Author Topic: Carcassonne Central News #4 - October 2014  (Read 11213 times)

Offline danisthirty

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Carcassonne Central News #4 - October 2014
« on: November 03, 2014, 04:22:52 AM »
Carcassonne Central News #4 - October 2014

Hello and welcome to Carcassonne Central News #4; may the fourth (edition of Carcassonne Central News) be with you.

October has been another big month for Carcassonne, most significantly of all because of the Spiel festival in Essen where several new expansions, spin-off games and even an expansion for a spin-off game were released or re-released. There was Germany's national Carcassonne championship and the world Carcassonne championship to follow; the crown this year going to 19 year-old Takafumi Mochiduki from Japan. However, as someone who wasn't there to see any of this for myself, I think it's safe to say that the excitement of Essen has been mirrored pretty closely here on the forums with everything that's been going on lately. And we've got the posts to prove it!

Under Starter's Orders
True story (and one which my wife reminds me of unnecessarily frequently): I once knocked a game of Ludo on the floor because my opponents (my wife and her 8 year-old sister) were halfway round the board already and I hadn't even got a single person away from the start on account of not being able to roll a 6...

Don't let a dice that hates you ruin your board game fun though. Instead, try this: next time you play get everyone to take it in turns to draw a tile from your bag (or stack, or tower thing – whichever you prefer as long as it's random) then place it face-up in front of them. Keep doing this until someone is lucky enough to draw a cloister, and then let that person start as a reward (or eliminate them and repeat the process with the remaining players until only one player remains).

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\ Spiel 2014 at Essen
If like so many of us, you weren't able to get to the Spiel festival in Essen this year you'll be glad to know that most of what went on has been described or linked to from this post. It includes the experiences of some of those who visited along with details of the launches of brand new spin-off game Carcassonne Around the World #2: Gold Rush, Carcassonne 2.0 and several mini expansions that have been released or re-released through HiG and Spielbox. Oh and what else was there? Oh yeah, only the Carcassonne World Championships!

News and Events\ Carcassonne Central Twitter Account
If you're a Twitterer you may be interested to know that Carcassonne Central is now on Twitter too. Our Twitter account - @Carcassonne - features all things Carcassonne in terms of news, links and photos so please show your support by following us and helping to spread the word amongst anyone else you know who may be interested.

News and Events\ Dutch and Belgium Monasteries (De kloosters)
News and Events\ another new Mini-Expansion "Carcassonne - Darmstadt"
The Carcassonne completionists among us will recognise how frustrating it can be when certain new expansions are released in a limited way or are otherwise difficult to get hold of. Two recent examples of this are the Dutch/ Belgian Monasteries and the "Darmstadt" mini-expansions. However, thanks to the incredible efforts of several members of Carcassonne Central including SRBO, Khonnor, MrNumbers and kettlefish, many of us have been able to get our hands on these without having to sell any limbs in order to buy them through eBay!

News and Events\ Besiegers and Halflings II (and New Edition and Goldrush) now available at Cundco
There's not a lot I can say here that isn't already covered by the topic. Just to reiterate though, the 2nd (HiG) half of the "Halflings" expansion is now available to buy from As is the most recent Cathars\ Siege replacement "Die Belagerer", the German Monasteries, Carcassonne 2.0 (featuring all new artwork), Carcassonne Around the World #2: Gold Rush and it's expansion: "The Sheriff".

General\ Sale of fan-made expansions
If you ever see something for sale that doesn't look like an official expansion for Carcassonne, chances are that it probably isn't. Fan-made expansions are supposed to be free so that true fans of the game like us can enjoy playing them and even coming up with our own ideas. Trying to make money by selling these to others is illegal. Please don't support those who attempt to do this by giving them your money, but read this post for more information instead.

General\ Element(s) of the Week: The Princess, King & Robber Baron, The Tower, Big Followers and Abbeys
Whaleyland's "Element of the Week" series has continued throughout October. This month has seen discussion surrounding The Princess, King & Robber Baron, The Tower, The Big Followers (from Inns & Cathedrals) and Abbeys. So if you have an opinion on any of these (or would merely like to vote regarding how you use them) then please visit the appropriate link below:
General\ Carcassonne by Forums
If you get annoyed when your opponent takes several minutes deciding where to place their tile, just imagine how you'd feel if they took a day or two! Yet that's exactly how this 5-player game of Carcassonne is being played at the moment between Yellow, MrNumbers, SRBO, Rosco and danisthirty. Play commenced on the 1st October and whilst the game is still only half finished, it's starting to get pretty tense now so members of a nervous disposition may wish to avert their eyes!

Reviews & Session Reports\ My first game with Wheel of Fortune, ferries, schools and half and half
An interesting combination of expansions here seems to have made for an exciting game between quevy and his cousin with the final scores settling on 346 vs. 298 in quevy's favour. Well played!

Official Rules\ Clarification of rules - by meeting with HiG - 04 10 2014
As Carcassonne grows so does the number of potentially confusing scenarios that could arise where rules from various expansions seem to clash with each other and aren't easily resolved. Fortunately, our very own kettlefish is able to consult with "rule master" Georg Wild (HiG) from time to time in order to settle our disputes and further strengthen our Complete Annotated Rules. This post is the result of what they discussed when they met earlier this month.

Official Rules\ German Monasteries and Halflings interaction
With triangular Carcassonne tiles now hitting the tables of thousands of homes around the world, it was inevitable that questions would be asked regarding how these should be used with existing expansions. Several of these questions have been raised and answered here so if you're looking for three-sided answers, this is the best place to start looking...

CarcCentral Carcassonne League\ Upcoming Scheduled Games\ Weekly Online Game
Throughout October, a friendly online game of Carcassonne has been played every Thursday evening using a variety of different expansions. All players of all abilities are very welcome to join in, so if you're at a loose end at 9:30 (CET) on a Thursday evening and fancy chatting with fellow forum members while you steal their features and trap their meeples then this is your opportunity to do so!

The Workshop\ Crafters' Guild\ Homemade Tower
Draw them from a bag, a little stack on the table or a tower; how you draw your tiles is up to you. If you're feeling creative though (and have about two hours to spare), perhaps you'd like to build your own tile-drawing tower? New forum member Reggie777 may be able to help if this is the case...

Carcassonne Player's Guide #4: Head for the Hills! (brought to you by MrNumbers)
Welcome back to another Carcassonne tip from MrNumbers!

Today I will show you some secrets about the newest major expansion "Sheep and Hills" (specifically the Hills element). Everyone knows that Hills are used to break a tie in the event that no single player owns the majority of followers in the feature being scored, but this can also be exploted by certain techniques that allow you to steal a feature (using a hill) in just one move!

My intention isn't to discuss any of the obvious ways of doing this such as by using a magic portal, flier or wagon; the methods I've described are trickier and can be applied even when a feature is occupied (although technically, a flier could do this contrary to magic portals and wagons). Some of these have already been discussed in the forum, but others are new:

1. Plague. If you alone own a feature or share it with an opponent, you can "take flight" from the Plague to a tile with a Hill. Your opponent may attempt to do the same of course, so use the flea tokens to try to cut him off from that tile as soon as possible.

2. City of Carcassonne. When a feature is scored you can "parachute" from the City of Carcassonne to a tile with a Hill, breaking a tie with your opponent.

3. Ferries. Placing a Hill tile can trigger ferry switching and, as a result, you can switch a ferry to a road belonging to your opponent, winning ownership of that road in the process! The same technique can be applied when using Tunnels.

We haven't had this for a few months but October saw some fantastic Carcassonne-related photos posted on the forums and I couldn't bring myself to post this edition of the newsletter without including a selection of them:

Carcassonne Jenga (posted by jungleboy)

A "small" game (posted by Darwin)

My new profile pic. (posted by Rosco)

Carcassonne Pies (posted by jungleboy)

Member of the Month
If you don't like waiting months on end for all the latest Carcassonne expansions and spin-offs to be released in your own country, you may have found yourself ordering stuff with rules in a foreign language from time to time. I studied German in school but the only two words I can remember now are "hausaufgaben" (homework) and "berichtigung" (corrections) which seems rather fitting considering how much I struggled with it. So far though, neither of these words have come up in any of the German expansion rules I've tried to read so it's helpful to know that there are plenty of people on these forums who are only too happy to translate rules from one language to another without losing any of the original meaning. One person who has been doing this a lot lately is our newest Member of the Month: wamboyil! See below for a list of his works this month:
So, many thanks for all your hard work on behalf of the entire English-speaking community here at Carcassonne Central. It is very much appreciated! :(y)

Carcassonne Knowledge Tester (CKT) #4: What a mess!

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 decide who had won a certain city, and how many points it was worth:

I included a couple of tricks in this one which weren't especially obvious from the photo (this wasn't deliberate). So I'll start by going through each figure and the effect they have on the final outcome:
  • 1. This is a normal follower placed in the city. It counts as one knight for Blue.
  • 2. This is a builder. It doesn't count towards ownership of the city.
  • 3. This is a phantom. It counts as one knight for Blue regardless of the fact that it represents someone who is dead.
  • 4. This is a large follower. It counts as two knights for Blue.
  • 5. This is a mayor. It counts for as many knights as there are pennants in the city (see below) for Red.
  • 6. This is a normal follower. However it is not in the city, it is on the cloister contained within the city and so doesn't count towards ownership of the city (I tried to make this obvious but it was difficult to show that the cloister was there and that the monk was on it).
So the matter of who wins the city comes down to the number of pennants it contains. Four are shown in the picture, but one of them is part of a separate city so Blue wins it by four knights to three. Well done Blue! But how many points does he win? Well, the city consists of 18 tiles and 3 pennants so would normally be worth 42 points. But there are a few other things to take into consideration:
  • The presence of a Cathars tile
  • The presence of a Siege tile (from Cult, Siege & Creativity)
  • The presence of a Belagerers tile
  • The presence of a Cathedral
  • The presence of the Witch (the orange figure)
The effect of there being tiles from Cathars, Siege and Belagerers isn't cumulative which means that the value of each city tile/ pennant is reduced by one point (from 2 to 1). This however is countered by the effect of the Cathedral which increases the value of each city tile/ pennant back up to 2. Finally, the witch halves the value of the city meaning that rather than being worth 42 points, it is worth 21.

Finally, the fact that the Fairy (the white figure) is standing on the same tile as Red's mayor means that he gets 3 points outright simply for this, regardless of who won the city. In light of this, the full outcome of Blue's tile is threefold:
  • 21 points for Blue :blue-meeple: :D
  • 3 points for Red :red-meeple: :'(
  • 2 Barrel, 2 Cloth and 2 Wheat tokens for Blue for closing the city :(y)
Congratulations to gmartinscott and Vital Pluymers for arriving at the same conclusion as I did! I hope this goes to show that insulting your opponent's family is rarely a winning strategy in Carcassonne...

"No it's OK, we'll be fine"
"What? Are you sure?"
"Yeah, we've got the rules and everything"
"But you're using Abbey & Mayor"
"I know, and it all looks perfectly self-explanatory..."
"...and Bridges, Castle and Bazaars?"
"We can work it out as we go!"
"The fact that you're saying that leads me to believe that you have no idea what you're getting yourselves into!"
"Leave us alone Dad!"
"Fine then. But if you forget to take a photo at the end of the game, you're living in the shed for the rest of the month..."

(10 minutes later)

"Dad! Dad! Can you come and help us with something?"

Ha! You knew this would happen. But you weren't expecting this:

It's carnage! Where do you even begin? It's tough I know, but being a dad (or a mum) comes with its responsibilities and making sure everyone sticks to the rules properly during games of Carcassonne is right up there with the most important of them. In order to demonstrate this, please point out as many mistakes and/or illegal placements of tiles/ followers/ other as you can see in the picture above. Do it for the kids, and PM me with your answer. Good luck!

Forum Statistics
I've been keeping a very close eye on the stats this month as we've been smashing records left, right and centre lately. And I'm happy to report that despite the site being down for a full day on the 7th October, this trend has continued again this month with a phenomenally busy October:

98 new topics: new record!  :)
2015 new posts: another new record!  :D
84 new members: most since last month (88)
48 members simultaneously online: not as high as last month (51) but still our second-highest month ever
229,146 page views: yet another new record!  ;D

The Last Tile
This month saw the 30th birthday of Moritz Brunnhofer from HiG; best wishes from all at Carcassonne Central! And congratulations to thegreatone3182 and his wife who have now scored over 100,000 points between them in 128 games. If like me you're wondering how they can possibly have achieved an average score of almost 400 points per player per game in order to accomplish this, it may help you to know that their most recent game included almost 20 expansions and took 3.5 hours to play! (read more about that here)

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, 09:44:43 AM by danisthirty »

Offline Paul

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Re: Carcassonne Central News #4 - October 2014
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2014, 01:06:00 PM »
I'm laughing hysterically!  :))

The images and the text related to them is fun reading. I'll be looking forward to some of the challenges in this newsletter.

Overall, yet another excellent newsletter to read.  :(y)

World record holder for a single game of Carcassonne using 10 007 tiles!

Offline wamboyil

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Re: Carcassonne Central News #4 - October 2014
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2014, 01:33:34 PM »
So grateful and humbled to be mentioned as the Member of the Month!  ;D

I enjoy doing the English translations (mostly because I usually cannot wait for the "official" English rules to be released!).

Not Carcassonne related, but I just finished an English rules translation for The Staufer Dynasty (Die Staufer). It should be posted at BGG as soon as the powers that be approve it.

Offline jungleboy

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Re: Carcassonne Central News #4 - October 2014
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2014, 01:46:16 PM »
Best newsletter yet Dan! (It must have been the Carcassonne pies.)

I just had a go at the knowledge tester for the first time. Fingers crossed :)

Offline kettlefish

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Re: Carcassonne Central News #4 - October 2014
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2014, 12:09:52 AM »
nice Newsletter  ;D

Offline toastytoast

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Re: Carcassonne Central News #4 - October 2014
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2014, 03:18:50 AM »
Great read!

(I particularly enjoy the 'Carcassonne Knowledge Tester'  :)))

Offline danisthirty

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Re: Carcassonne Central News #4 - October 2014
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2014, 03:24:12 AM »
Thanks for all the comments everyone, I'm glad people seem to be enjoying it!

Great read!

(I particularly enjoy the 'Carcassonne Knowledge Tester'  :)))

Are you going to have a go? There have been 4 responses so far and only one person got everything first time!

Offline Darwin

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Re: Carcassonne Central News #4 - October 2014
« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2014, 07:28:03 AM »
An interesting read, as always. :(y)

I hope I can get back to you soon with a picture of a big game  ;)
« Last Edit: November 04, 2014, 07:30:05 AM by Darwin »

Offline quevy

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Re: Carcassonne Central News #4 - October 2014
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2014, 09:18:07 AM »
Every time I read the news I think Dan has done a wonderful job, but every time I read the following I see that it is better than the last.
Well done.
A knight is sworn to valour.
His heart knows only virtue.
His blade defends the helpless.
His might upholds the weak.
His word speaks only truth.
His wrath undoes the wicked.

 :white-meeple: My works.

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