Author Topic: Carcassonne Central News #3 - September 2014  (Read 4903 times)

Offline danisthirty

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Carcassonne Central News #3 - September 2014
« on: October 08, 2014, 10:19:12 AM »
Carcassonne Central News #3 - September 2014

Hello and welcome to Carcassonne Central News #3, which is quite literally the third edition of Carcassonne Central News. And it's a whopper this month owing to the amount of stuff that went on in the world of Carcassonne during September! In light of this, I think it's worth issuing a quick warning to those reading this via phones or tablets: you are advised to ensure that you are sitting down before reading any further.

But before we get on with all that, here's this...

Under Starter's Orders
Can't decide which player should go first? Tired of always being the oldest player in a world that's so heavily weighted in favour of those at the other end of the age spectrum? So tired in fact that you've started sneaking into old people's homes to play Carcassonne purely so that you get to go first for once? Try this: next time you play get each player to draw four tiles at random (preferably from a bag) and place them face-up in front of them. Once everyone has done this, the player with the most cloisters in front of them gets to go first and play continues in a clockwise direction.

If two or more players have the same number of cloisters, the number of pennants drawn should be used as a tie-breaker. And if it's still tied after this, the second and third tie-breakers are the number of road endings (i.e. tiles that could be used to end a road) followed by the number of individual city segments. Don't forget to give the tiles a good mix once they've been returned to the bag!

If you have an alternative method of choosing the start player that you'd like to share with the rest of the community, please let me know!

Forum News
News and Events\ Carcassonne - new Edition - Is that true?
By far the biggest Carcassonne news of the month/ year/ century is the soon-to-be released version of the Carcassonne base game with all-new tile artwork. Clearly this has raised a lot of concerns over whether this is going to be a one-off or if all future expansions will also feature the new art, hence making them incompatible with the original game and all subsequent expansions up until now (without mixing the two different art styles). Unfortunately there aren't a lot of answers available at the moment, and we're equally unsure as to the nature of the new "Abbot" expansion that comes with it. Hopefully there will be news soon though so stay tuned to find out.

News and Events\ New Spielbox Expansion - "half and half"
Another new expansion – "Half and Half" – will soon be available via Spielbox magazine and also the Hans im Glück website. This expansion will feature triangular tiles that could be useful in helping to rescue trapped meeples from features that can't otherwise be completed. You can pre-order your copy of Spielbox now (here: but will have to wait until the middle of October for the other half of this expansion to become available on Cundco (

(if you're struggling to keep up with what's been released for Carcassonne this year, whaleyland has provided a list via the following post: News and Events\ Game & Expansion Roundup for 2014 -

News and Events\ New Carcassonne App for Android
If you're an Android user, you may already be familiar with Exozet Games' Carcassonne app. It's always played second fiddle to the iOS app in most people's opinion owing mostly to the lack of any online options. However, they recently unveiled the new online mode (albeit as a Beta) with further significant updates promised within the next month or two. This news hasn't been well-received by my phone battery which died soon after the new update became available...

General\ Element(s) of the Week: Inns, Rivers and Pigs
In other news, whaleyland has been helping us all to get back to basics with his newly launched "Element of the Week" series. So far we've discussed Inns from Inns & Cathedrals, River 1 + 2 and The Pig from Traders & Builders. If you have an opinion on any of these things, or on how you prefer to use them in your games then please share your thoughts on the relevant discussions linked to above!

General\ Earliest edition of the game
If you've been a fan of Carcassonne since the very early years you may remember the days of 2-tile cities being worth two points, first and second-edition farm scoring, farmers standing up and perhaps even a 70-point score track! If you don't remember any of these things, please visit this post to learn about the various rule changes that have made Carcassonne into the game it is now.

General\ Carcassonne game fan arts and crafts
Over the years, Carcassonne Central has been fortunate to attract all sorts of very talented artists and other creative thinkers. Many of these have been able to put their skills to good use by contributing to various fan-made expansions by way of ideas, designs and interesting rule variants. However, if you're one of those arty/ creative types who isn't keen on making expansions then perhaps this thread could provide some much-needed inspiration?

General\ BORED? Board Game Cafe
There's something very admirable about people who don't just dream big, but who then follow up on their ideas and make them happen! This is exactly what AlbinoAsian has done by opening his own board game cafe so that he can share his love of Carcassonne with others. If you're on Facebook, please show your support for him in this venture by "liking" his page there (or better still, if you're in New Zealand why not go and visit? I have no idea where it is but how hard can it be?).

Official Rules\ Sheep & Hill Question - the strange half tiles SchG and SchH
Confused by some of the more unusual tile configurations offered in the latest large expansion for Carcassonne: Sheep & Hills? Apparently you're not alone in this, so don't despair, have a look at this post!

Carcassonne Player's Guide #3: The Awesome Power of the Wagon (brought to you by MrNumbers)
Welcome back to another Carcassonne tip from MrNumbers!

In last month's newsletter I showed you some follower blocking methods. Today our hero will be the Wagon which is one of my favourite elements, and also something that is underutilised or treated simply as a normal follower by many players. Ignoring the more obvious usages of the Wagon, I will describe several examples where it can be helpful in some surprising ways that you might not have thought of previously...

If you draw a cloister/ city tile with a road leading into it, the wagon makes it possible to take the road (completing it in the process) and the cloister/ city in one move! This method is similar to using the phantom to do the same thing, but if you don't play with a phantom, the wagon can take its place for this purpose:

Here is another good use of the Wagon: imagine that your game includes one or more of the "eating" expansions (i.e. The Princess & The Dragon, The Tower, The Plague etc) and that you have been kicked out of a valuable city with no easy way back (perhaps because a specific tile is required in order to do so). Don't despair. Simply find some road leading into your city and put a wagon on it. When the road is complete, you can move your wagon back into the abandoned city and – hey presto – it's yours again!

Under the correct circumstances it can even be possible to switch your Wagon with an opponent's follower in one move (see picture below). The Princess tile allows you to remove the green follower from the city, completing the road leading into the city at the same time. If this road contains your wagon, it may now move into the recently vacated city.

As you've seen, the Wagon can be very helpful and is so much more than merely an extra follower. The advantage it provides can make all the difference, so don't hesitate to use its special ability as often as you can!

Member of the Month
Don't look now but we're being watched. Over there in the shadows! I can't say how many of them there are, but they're always there, silently watching, reading our posts and laughing at our hilarious banter. "Lurkers" are very welcome on these forums of course, but it's always nice when people step out of the shadows to introduce themselves, offer their thoughts and join in with some of our discussions. This is what the Member of the Month award is all about. So if you're a lurker who is willing to put their lurky ways behind them in order to contribute and become a more active member of the Carcassonne Central community, then you might be on the receiving end of this award someday too.

The winner of this highly-prestigious award for September is someone who has been a member here since April this year. He hasn't had to slay anything and he hasn't pretended to be Bill Oddy either. Just lately though, he has been posting all over the place; welcoming newer members, asking questions, answering questions, suggesting some great ideas, encouraging others and even offering to help some of us get some of the more difficult to find expansions (although I have a feeling he may be regretting this on account of the level of response he's had). So with all this in mind, ladies and gentlemen, please be upstanding and show your appreciation for our very own: SRBO! Congratulations, well done and thank you very much for your input so far; soon you will be able to impress your friends (*) with one of our specially made Caracassonne Central Member of the Month tiles!

(*) friends may not actually be impressed by your special tile

Video Library: 50/50
I've chosen to share this game with you because it provides an excellent example of a lot of things that many Carcassonne players will be familiar with. Jere reveals his strategy almost immediately and offers a master-class in trapping his opponent's meeples. A lesser opponent (such as myself) would have lost hope long before reaching the midway point, but jungleboy proved to be made of tougher stuff and battled on despite his seriously reduced supply of meeples, scoring good points as and when he could. If ever a game deserved to have two winners it would be this one, but in the end both players knew that the eventual winner would be the player who drew one very specific tile...

(the game took exactly an hour to play, but I've sped the video up so that the whole encounter can be enjoyed in just 8 minutes)

Lessons learnt:
7m1s: Good things come to those who wait. Sometimes.

Carcassonne Knowledge Tester (CKT) #3: Knight Fever
Welcome to another Carcassonne Knowledge Tester. Before moving on to this month's question, let's have another quick look at the question I posed last month where I asked you to determine how many points both Red and Blue have each won in the picture below:

Red #1: 0 points - this road isn't finished yet as the tile at the north end of it extends it in two directions rather than ending it
Red #2: 2 points for the short road
Red #3: 26 points for the city

Total score for  :red-meeple: is 2 + 26 = 28.

Blue #1: 9 points for the cloister
Blue #2: 10 points for the city
Blue #3: Red's 26-point city and Blue's 10-point city are both within reach of the castle. As such, Blue can choose to take either 10 points or 26 points for his castle. He wants to win so he takes 26.

Total score for  :blue-meeple: is 9 + 10 + 26 = 45.

Congratulations again to mas9dj for being the first person to PM me with the correct answer for the second month in a row. Great skills!

And so to this months test, and - uh oh! - it looks like Red has accidentally insulted Blue's family so they've decided to settle their differences over a game of Carcassonne. The game includes Inns & Cathedrals, Traders & Builders, The Princess & The Dragon, Abbey & Mayor, Mage & Witch, The Cathars, Cult, Siege and Creativity, Die Belagerer and The Phantom making this one of their largest and most adventurous games yet!

As the game has developed, so has a large city on the outskirts of the playing area (pictured below). Both players are determined to win it outright and as such competition is particularly fierce. With his family's honour at stake, Blue eventually closes the city as the lure of the trade tokens is too much for him to ignore, but who has won it? And how many points is it worth?

(it's a bit of a tricky one this month so I'll point out that at least one element of each of the expansions mentioned has been included in this city so look carefully before you come to any conclusions)

Please PM me with your answers. The correct answer will be discussed in the next newsletter.

Good luck!

Forum Statistics
I said September had been a whopper of a month and the numbers below certainly seem to back this up! So here's a quick recap of what September looked like from a forum statistics point of view:

74 new topics: not as high as last month (78) but still our second-highest month ever
1427 new posts: new record!
88 new members: most since July 2014 (102)
51 members simultaneously online: another new record!
191,655 page views: yet another new record!

The Last Tile
I hope you've found this to be an interesting read and have enjoyed the overall content. If you have any comments or suggestions, don't keep them to yourself! Please play your role in helping to shape future editions of the newsletter by letting me know how you feel about what you've just read. Your feedback is very much appreciated!

« Last Edit: October 11, 2017, 09:43:32 AM by danisthirty »

Offline jungleboy

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Re: Carcassonne Central News #3 - September 2014
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2014, 10:49:52 AM »
Do we have to wait until the next newsletter to find out what happened to the Forum today?  :@

P.S. I also really liked the wagon tips.

Offline danisthirty

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Re: Carcassonne Central News #3 - September 2014
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2014, 03:33:56 PM »
I only wish I knew...  ???

Welcome back anyway jungleboy. It's good to have you back with us again and I hope your trip was a good one!

Offline Carcking

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Re: Carcassonne Central News #3 - September 2014
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2014, 06:25:23 PM »
Another job well done Dan!! I too liked the Wagon tips!

I would add that with the new Hills mechanic there is another bonus for the Wagon. When you drive onto a new feature you can drive right to the tile that has a Hill (if there is one) and thereby own the tie-breaker for the feature.
I just drew the perfect tile for my MonKnighThieFarmer!

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