Author Topic: Playing a 2 hour game  (Read 1098 times)

Offline PapaGeek

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Playing a 2 hour game
« on: May 11, 2023, 10:45:53 AM »
Not sure what forum to post this thread on, but this is sort of a Community Rule for us!

Our neighborhood group of four owns a long list of Carcassonne Expansions, including quite a few fan-expansions.  Our “normal” game usually included a few of the expansions with about 130 tiles to be played after the River tiles.

Then we found the City Gates and Water Wells and the total hit 170 and we are thinking about bringing back Under the Big Top and maybe more which would raise the tile count to almost 200.

But, the games are getting too long, so we started thinking about how to make the games end sooner.  After reading and posting a few forum threads, this is what we are thinking about.

In general, game play is basically divided into two phases.  The more adventurous play when there are a lot of tiles still available, and the more conservative play when the tiles are about to run out.

Our thought is to set a time limit on the game, but we don’t want to eliminate the almost out of tiles phase. So think of it this way:

It is about 8 PM and we want the game to end around 10 PM.  We put together as many expansions as we want and totally ignore the size of the tile stacks.  We set an alarm on one of our cell phones for 9:40 PM. When the alarm goes off we merely hit the snooze 5 minutes button and keep playing. 5 minutes later after the second alarm we hit the snooze button one more time and wait for the third alarm.

Then we turn off the alarm and, starting with the player whose turn it is, each player will take exactly 3 more turns.  When the game ends, we place all the remaining tiles on the side, and start the standard end of game scoring process.  Finally, we divide all the tiles into individual Expansion stacks and put everything back in the boxes.

We will definitely have an extremely interesting adventurous phase at the start of the game, then we will have one or two or three or … warnings that the conservative play is about the happen and the “playable” tiles will definitely run out. But, the important thing is that the game definitely took about 2 hours.

So, for everyone else who wants to try this “Community Rule” your group merely has to decide how many 5 minute warnings you get before starting how many final moves.


One thing that is very important for this process.  The player who is currently making their move is the first player to start making X more moves.  If that player is able to finish their move then the X more moves starts with the next player, delaying the game becomes an advantage because that player would get one more move than everyone else.



Linkback: https://www.carcassonnecentral.com/community/index.php?topic=6365.0
Totally addicted to this game

Offline Meepledrone

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Re: Playing a 2 hour game
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2023, 03:40:06 PM »
Beside the time limit, are you drawing tiles at the end of your turns?

This tends to reduce thinking time and speed up the game.
Questions about rules? Check WICA: wikicarpedia.com

Offline PapaGeek

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Re: Playing a 2 hour game
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2023, 03:58:49 PM »
Unfortunately, one of our four players is totally against drawing your next tile before it is your turn.  The rest of us are trying to convince him that it is a good idea.

Offline Meepledrone

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Re: Playing a 2 hour game
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2023, 12:14:32 PM »
It keeps everyone focused on the game... No wasted time waiting fo your next turn.

You may object that tiles may be drawn in a different order if double turns or an abbey gets in the way, but in the long term, this extra randomness would be nothing compared to drawing tiles from a bag.

Offline PapaGeek

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Re: Playing a 2 hour game
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2023, 06:48:00 PM »
The player who objects believes that it is normal for everyone to offer suggestions on where to place each tile, then the player whose turn it is makes the final decision.  It is less fair to offer suggestions when you know in advance what your tile will be after another player plays their tile.

The rest of us disagree with that, but we all have to agree on all house rules!


Our other alternative to the games taking too long is the limit the number of tiles that are played. If we play a large game, Inns, Traders, Fliers, Gates, Wells, and Big Top.  The total, after River, tile count would be 188 tiles.  If we merely agree on a house rule that the average would be 30 tiles each, 120 tiles combined for all four of us, we could merely place 68 random tiles on the side and play that game with just 120 tiles!

We have to discuss all of this during our next weekly gathering!

Offline Scott

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Re: Playing a 2 hour game
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2023, 10:34:00 AM »
Offering suggestions is encouraged by the rules, but I’m struggling to understand how it becomes unfair when you know what the tile is in advance. Typically the unfairness argument is that it prevents other players from being able to draw that tile.


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Offline Decar

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Re: Playing a 2 hour game
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2023, 11:10:13 AM »
Another way to make games longer is simply to use a faster clock. You'll be able to play the base game with 72 tiles, but if it was ticking faster, 2 hours could be over before you know it!


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