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Messages - danisthirty

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Reviews & Session Reports / Winter Edition Time Lapse
« on: August 19, 2013, 02:30:20 AM »
I know that a lot of people have done some very good Carcassonne time lapses in the past but I was keen to do one of my own as I love playing Carcassonne and am also very keen on time lapse and stop-motion animations. For this reason, I'm very proud to bring you this time lapse video of two recent games of Carcassonne Winter Edition:

"A Night in on the Tiles":

The photos were taken on my phone (a Samsung Galaxy S2) using a free Android app called "Tina Timelapse". Rather than fork out for a proper tripod I built a cradle to hold my phone out of my daughter's Duplo and then fixed this atop another little table using Blu Tack! Not a very high-tech solution but it was cheap and effective so I was happy. I set the app to take a picture every 8 seconds and then enjoyed myself while the phone did its stuff...

My wife (playing with the princess meeples) won the first game by 35 points after some surprisingly ruthless but equally effective measures to prevent my zombies benefitting from two cities worth 20 to 30 points each. When the second game started to go the same way I became much more aggressive and made the most of an early opportunity to trap five princesses with one tile! Needless to say I won the game by quite a wide margin after this but I can't say how wide the margin was as we didn't calculate our final scores and had an argument instead (also included in the video).

After the games I transferred all of the images from phone to laptop and used Windows Movie Maker to turn them into a video. I experimented with different frame rates but found that displaying each image for 0.35 seconds seemed to work well. This ratio meant that both 30-minute games could be condensed into just under a minute and a half of video each and this felt about right to me.

I hope you enjoy it! If you have any feedback/ comments/ suggestions/ improvements/ ideas then I'd be very happy to hear them as I'm sure this is something that I'm going to be repeating again soon.

@CKorfmann - I don't know how familiar you are with Castles but take my advice, completing your spouses castles with short roads is not good for a marriage! Other than this they can be great fun and like most of the expansions give you more options to think about...

@Scott - That sounds like a good plan too but I wouldn't trust my luck to draw the last cloister if it's still up for grabs!

The Marketplace / Re: Catching up - What I "need".
« on: August 16, 2013, 06:07:01 AM »
I've had a lot of success getting things from Most of the interesting listings say they won't post to the UK but if you contact the seller and ask them if they'll reconsider they almost always say they will (for a small fee of about 4 euros). Not sure if it would be the same for US but it's probably worth a try if you're keen. And as a consequence, you'll usually get it for a good price because fewer people are bidding on it too!

@CKorfmann - I have an extra copy of The Plague which is still in its original wrapping. I'd be happy to part with it if I knew it was going to such a good home! Feel free to message me if you'd like me to send it to you...

Thanks CKorfmann! Half of those expansions (Inns & Cathedrals, Traders & Builders, King & Robber Baron, Rivers 1 and 2) are almost always included whenever we play Carcassonne anyway, whereas the others were included randomly to add a bit of variety as it was a first outing for Corn Circles 1 and 2 and The Goldmines. I like the extra options that Bridges, Castles & Bazaars opens up (except for the bazaars which we just ignore) and Mage and Witch just happened to be in the right place at the right time!

I'm glad I'm not the only person who tries to keep a few Meeples back to place as farmers in the last few tiles. A lot of the people I play against seem to get so caught up in establishing a majority on the main farm that they don't spot (or don't have anyone left to claim) the smaller farms which, as you say, can be worth at least a dozen or so points in the final scoring, especially for big games.

Thanks for the feedback guys. I tend to write in some detail as it helps me to remember which expansions worked well together, which didn't and why. This is useful as I normally host my friends when we play, so it's usually my decision as to which expansions we play and I always try to choose a selection that everyone will enjoy.

As for the photo, I was gutted that I forgot to take one this time as I often put photos on Instagram before calculating the final scores. Will definitely remember to take one next time!

This evening I took part in the biggest game of Carcassonne I've ever played (so far)! As well as the basic tiles we included three major expansions (Inns & Cathedrals, Traders & Builders and Bridges, Castles & Bazaars) plus seven minor expansions (River 1, River 2, Corn Circles 1, Corn Circles 2, The Goldmines, Mage and Witch and King & Robber Baron) which brought the total number of playable tiles up to 181.

After I'd gone over the rules of some of the less familiar expansions with everyone, the game started off with the placement of the river using both River 1 and River 2 tiles mixed together. After this we started drawing tiles normally and after a couple of turns each all four of us were using our builders to help ourselves get off to the best possible start.

As the landscape gradually spread across the table there was enough space for all of us to develop features in our own areas so there wasn't a lot of competitiveness at first. Lenny wasn't particularly pleased when I tried to steal a city from him with my MegaMeeple but a fortunately timed Crop Circle tile meant that we ended up sharing the points when it was eventually closed. He was even less pleased when I successfully stole his points from another city in exactly the same way, even though they were only small cities worth about 14 points each.

The inclusion of the Crop Circles expansions meant that much of the middle part of the game seemed to move quite slowly and our rate of progress around the score track reflected this. Rather than adding additional followers each time a Crop Circle was drawn, most of the time we either did nothing or removed one from a corresponding city/ road/ farm forcing everyone else to do the same. Having to remove a Meeple from a potentially valuable feature was quite painful at times, but I escaped a lot of this as there was usually an alternative I could recall instead. This meant that I generally retained control of my most lucrative features whilst everyone else was abandoning theirs around me!

There was some controversy over Lenny's insistence that Michael shouldn't close a city of Edd's when the rare opportunity for him to do so arose. Admittedly it was quite a tough call but I think I probably would have closed it as it was large enough to secure the King token, probably for the rest of the game, and was also worth several trade tokens. Instead, Michael used the tile elsewhere and began to develop a city of his own. This grew quite quickly so Edd and Lenny both built castles next to it hoping to cash-in equally on his efforts but I was able to complete a tiny road in the vicinity of the castles which meant they won just two points each rather than the 20 or so that they might have scored if Michael's city had been the next feature to be completed. As it turned out, I closed Michael's city and was able to claim the King token for it although Lenny later won this back from me (and kept it) after closing Edd's city despite his earlier protests when Michael had the opportunity to do the same thing.

As the game progressed, Edd and I became locked in a battle to establish a majority on a large farm that ended up serving ten cities and two castles. Edd was winning with three farmers against my two and I couldn't see any good opportunities for me to get another farmer onto the field. Fortunately however I was able to use a Crop Circle tile to force him to remove one of his three farmers (since he didn't have any farmers elsewhere) and we shared the field for 50 points each since we also both had our pigs on it.

The Mage and the Witch didn't really impact on the game very much although I seemed to have a strange propensity for drawing tiles from the Goldmines expansion. I was always able to use them in such a way that I could later claim the gold too and ended up with nine (of 16) gold bars worth a bonus of 27 points in the final scoring.

As the game began to draw to a close it became increasingly likely that I was going to win although everyone else seemed to realise this before me as I remained unconvinced until the last dozen or so tiles. Despite drawing cloisters and placing a lot of monks in the early stages of the game, I never seemed to run particularly low on Meeples and was able to claim some reasonably good farms with my last few turns. As well as the gold I'd managed to win the majority of wine and wheat tokens whereas Lenny had the majority of the silk tokens winning us 20 points and 10 points respectively at the end of the game. I also won the Robber Baron tile for closing an unusually long road of Michael's that nobody else seemed interested in at the time. Whilst the scores were fairly even at the end of the game, my farmers and end-game bonuses were worth around 130 points and this all added-up to a final score that nobody else could come close to.

Including the time taken to calculate everyone's final scores the game took just under three and a half hours to play! If you remove all the stops for various reasons, the average amount of time spent per turn was probably about a minute and we each had around 45 turns. Some turns lasted far longer than this as did the discussions surrounding the more controversial/ aggressive opportunities, but there were only really two or three occasions where I actually got bored waiting for someone to take their turn. Ultimately it gave me more thinking time to decide what I was going to do with my next tile. But there's only so much time required when you either get a tile that you desperately need and would be stupid to place elsewhere or a duff tile that isn't going to make much of a difference regardless of where you put it.

As games of Carcassonne go this was definitely a good one. I felt that each of the expansions improved and added to the overall game although I would have enjoyed it more if we'd imposed a restriction on the amount of thinking time taken as long as it was fair and practical. This would be tricky though as it feels less social and more intimidating when each person has a clock in front of them and knows that they're being timed!

General / Re: Competitive Friendliness?
« on: August 14, 2013, 05:32:55 AM »
Thanks so much for your views on this. It was interesting to read about how differently people play depending on who they're playing against and I think this may be a lot to do with why my wife won't play with me anymore (she claims that she's too tired because she's pregnant but I don't buy this [the tiredness, not the pregnancy]). This said, we've had a few games of Winter Edition Carcassonne recently and she enjoys that as long as we keep it friendly. I struggle to win without a certain amount of aggression but I enjoy the fact that we're playing more than the winning itself so I won't often try to make life too difficult for her, not unless I can disguise it anyway!

Quizzes, Puzzles and Challenges / Re: Carcassonne Tetris Screenshot
« on: August 14, 2013, 05:19:51 AM »
Two of my favourite games of all time! Love it!

General / Competitive Friendliness?
« on: July 16, 2013, 09:36:51 AM »
I wouldn't say I was an overly competitive person but I like to win from time to time and I certainly play to win whenever I play Carcassonne. One thing I struggle with though, is that there's a fine line between playing to win and being unfriendly towards your opposition. In fact I'm not convinced there's even a line at all. Sharing or stealing points with/ from your competition, trapping their Meeples and otherwise ensuring that certain features of theirs will never be completed are all important components of a winning strategy when it comes to Carcassonne. It's never nice to be on the receiving end though, and "friendly" games can be especially challenging when both players are doing all they can to score more points than their opponent.

I recently spent much of an online, three-player game of Carcassonne battling against one of my opponents to win an overall majority in a large city. The city was worth fighting for as it included a cathedral which would have pushed its value up to around 70 points or more if it had been closed. But just as everything appeared to be working in my favour, the player who hadn't been competing for the city deliberately placed a tile that made it impossible to close and therefore completely worthless. The other player immediately left the game and I was tempted to do the same, but didn't want to be rude and so decided to stick around even though I stood no chance of winning as I'd lost too many of my Meeples to the uncloseable city.

I pointed out to my one remaining opponent that I was only there out of politeness and that they'd spoilt the game for me. Thinking about it now I probably sounded very childish but I was furious at the time. We argued for the rest of the game, and about a month later the other person was still complaining about our encounter on the public message board but we've managed to avoid each other so far. I've since apologised indirectly for my behaviour (as it isn't possible for me to apologise directly) but I don't know whether this was ever seen, I'm guessing probably not...

The thing is, if I'd been in my opponent's position at the time I would probably have done exactly the same thing. I know this because I have done on plenty of occasions! I rarely feel guilty about it as it's all part of the game, but some people deal with "competitive unfriendliness" far better than others and cross words aren't uncommon.

So what's the solution? I'm not convinced there is one as there seems little point in playing if you're not playing to win, and if you're playing to win then you do everything you can to ensure that this is the most likely outcome. Otherwise it's like playing Doom with the "nomonsters" switch on in that it's still vaguely enjoyable but there's something missing and the game feels pointless without it. Whilst friendliness and cooperation can be important in games with three or more players, Carcassonne for two is best when it's "no holds barred"

Official Rules / Re: Carcassonne: The Dice Game
« on: July 05, 2013, 08:30:18 AM »
I would be very happy to write some sort of rules guidance/ clarification specifically for Carcassonne: The Dice Game. Perhaps this isn’t necessary as it’s such a simple game but if it could be of use/ interest to anyone then I’d be happy to put something together that could be used as a base document if anyone wanted to expand upon it (assuming nothing like this exists already)?

Just an idea anyway.


Official Rules / Re: Carcassonne: The Dice Game
« on: July 04, 2013, 02:44:49 PM »
Thanks for clearing this up for me everyone!

Now that I've had a chance to play it, the only house rule that seemed to become obvious quite early on was that since the winner is the first person to score 42 (or reach some pre-determined target score) whoever goes first has a slight advantage over the other players.

To make things fairer we played that the game carries on when a player reaches the target score so that all other players up to and excluding the player who went first can have one more turn in order to ensure that all players have had the same number of turns at the end of the game. Everyone then totalled up their scores and the player with the highest score won (it wasn't always the player who was the first to reach 42).

Obviously this isn't official at all, but I just thought I'd suggest it in case this thread has encouraged anyone else to try playing it!

Thanks again,

Official Rules / Re: Carcassonne: The Dice Game
« on: July 04, 2013, 06:23:15 AM »
So the example on Page 5 is correct? This seems to make more sense as if you’re unfortunate enough to get a catapult on each of your three rolls you wouldn’t be able to score any points even if you managed to build a small city with the other dice.

For what it’s worth, the rules are only very short and the rest of them seemed to make sense. After all, if they’re good enough for me to understand then they can’t be too complicated!

Thanks so much guys. I’m very grateful for your quick responses!

Official Rules / Carcassonne: The Dice Game
« on: July 04, 2013, 06:03:07 AM »
Hi all,

Has anyone here played Carcassonne the Dice Game? I got it for my birthday two days ago and it seems like a great little game, but obviously I want to play it properly and am somewhat confused by what seems like a contradiction in the rules...

(Page 2) "If he rolls 1 or more catapults the player passes those dice immediately to the player to his left (he may not re-roll the catapults nor score points for this roll)."

This makes sense. If you roll a catapult you've basically lost that dice as you have to pass it on to the next player. That's fine. However, this also says that if you roll at least one catapult you can't score points for that roll."

(Page 5) "Second roll: the player immediately passes this second catapult to his left neighbor. With 2 city segment dice, he adds to his city. The player cannot use the knight and chooses to end his turn and score the largest city he built."

Despite rolling a catapult, the player is able to score this roll. To me, this doesn't seem to be in keeping with the rule on page 2.

Any ideas?

(rules can be found here:‎)

Official Rules / Re: The Goldminers: Gold Removal Question
« on: May 30, 2013, 05:35:42 AM »
Thanks for the response BT.

I've read the CAR quite carefully several times and am familiar with the part you mentioned, but don't quite see that it addresses this question directly. I'm inclined to agree with you though that it should be left to the player to decide which feature they take the gold from first. But if I was the player sharing the road I might disagree as this would mean that I'm missing out on a gold bar!

Official Rules / The Goldminers: Gold Removal Question
« on: May 30, 2013, 03:43:53 AM »
Hello all.

I have a somewhat fiddly question regarding The Goldminers and what order gold should be removed from the board if two features are completed at the same time. I’ve done my best to describe the potential situation below but please let me know if it isn’t clear.

I place a tile that completes both a road and a city. The road is shared equally with another player whereas the city is entirely mine. Aside from the tile I’ve just placed, there is one other tile which forms part of both the completed road and the completed city and this has a gold bar on it. An adjacent road tile has another gold bar on it.

Once the road and the city have been scored, I can collect the gold from the two features. My question relates to which feature (the road or the city) should have its gold removed first in light of the following:

If I were to take the gold for the city first then I would take two gold bars i.e. one bar for the city followed by one bar the road. The player I shared the road with would have been entitled to a bar but there wouldn’t have been any left to share with him as I took the gold for the city first so there was only one bar left on the road (which I then took).

If I were to take the gold for the road first then I would take one gold bar and the player I share the road with would take the other. When I then come to take the gold for the city there would be none left.

Has anybody ever been in this situation (or one similar to it)? If so, how did you resolve it? I would guess that it’s up to the player to decide so in this case I’d take the gold from the city followed by the road in order to get both bits. I wasn’t sure if there was any kind of recommended ruling on this though so wanted to check with anyone else who may have been here before.


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