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Topics - Decar

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General / Essen Spiel 2023 Reports
« on: October 10, 2023, 05:40:43 AM »
Here is the post where members of the forum can post a link to their write ups.

I'll keep this one up to date so people don't have to search around.

If you subscribe you can get emails when members post their write ups.

General / UK Meetup August?
« on: June 17, 2023, 03:35:30 AM »
Does anyone fancy having a Carcassonne meetup sometime in August?

Depending on the numbers, we usually all prepare to teach a game, so we all get to play different stuff. And there's always an obligatory game of Carcassonne or two!

General / UKGE 2023
« on: May 31, 2023, 01:39:03 AM »
Hi all, just a quick note to say that I'm attending to the UKGE on Friday. So if you're going it would be cool to have a high five from other UK fans.

I think some are attending the Carcassonne Championships, which is on the Saturday 11 til 6. Unfortunately I can't make those this year.

General / Decar's obligatory moaning thread
« on: May 16, 2023, 07:06:16 AM »
Hi all, when I'm catching up on the forum there's something that really bugs me, and it's when I'm reading a post to find that the next person has quoted the entire post again, pictures and all,  simply to reply with a short sentence.  Even worse is when someone quotes the previous message that already quoting their previous message.  I find the thread becomes far longer than it ever needed to be.  The structure of the forum, allows for a thread of conversation to form without having to quote the entirety of the previous post.  Imagine if I had to say everything I'd ever heard or said before ever adding to it.  I also end up with email notifications where it's utterly unclear who's saying what, but that's a limitation of our email service.

There are good times to use quotes, for example: sometimes it makes sense to quote a portion of a post, or sometimes to quote a portion of a post that happened a while ago where the flow of conversation has moved on some what.

So please consider using quotes wisely.

I'm going to be particularly grumpy now and warn that I'm going to indiscriminately delete posts where I think someone has clicked quote instead of reply.

News and Events / Cundco New Stuff Spring 2023
« on: April 28, 2023, 07:49:54 AM »
Cundco has new stuff for Spring!

For Spooky Ghost Night:

Frozen Guardian Meeple, Crystal Guardian Meeples Sets, and Crystal Ghost Sets.  Generally these are board game bling, but nice to have.  I'd like to have seen a 1 of each option rather than enough for a player colour to act like a new Phantom Meeple.

For Carcassonne:

Nordics Map is now available, as well as all existing maps in a bundle of the C3 style.

3D starting landscape + alternative inlay - This looks like the latest mini expansion that replaced the start tile with a 3d storage box.  The edges has some features on them; it's not entirely clear whether they close or remain open. There's going to be some weird corner cases (literally).  I'm sure it'll keep Meepledrone happy clarifying them!

There's also random assortments of bits and bobs, like some extra Amazonas tiles:

News and Events / Essen Spiel 2022 Reports
« on: October 13, 2022, 07:38:02 AM »

News and Events / Decar's trip to Essen Spiel 2022
« on: October 12, 2022, 09:50:32 AM »

it was an early start for me over in Wales. I had to be out of the house by 4:30 to give us enough time to drive across the country to mean Willem in Ashford.  I think I got to Dan's around 6.30am and we trundled through a lot of traffic cutting across the M4/M25.

Thankfully we had time for breakfast in one of our favourite establishments.  The traffic meant we were a little late to meet Willem.  All in all, I was very surprised to find how busy the roads were from a Wednesday morning.  To top it off Ashford doesn't use conventional roads, instead they've decided to block pave large sections of road and pavement, nor use any form of recognizable road markings.  The only clue I had was to not run over pedestrians or drive into lampposts.  Finally we got to the Ashford International Station car park. Willem was at the entrance.  I drove down the length of the carpark hoping to jump the fence, but we discovered that the fences were about 15 foot tall; so had to spin the car around to park a bit nearer to the main entrance; and walk to Willem's car.

Thanks to Willem's driving we managed to arrive at the Tunnel crossing a train earlier than expected; so we were able to cross a little earlier.  The crossing was mostly uneventful.  One of the most enjoyable parts of the trip is passing the town you left:

On the way in Dan, Willem, and I listened to the 5 Board Games of Doom podcast. Klaus-Jurgen Wrede was recently interviewed about the 5 games he'd like to play if we was trapped in a log cabin during an apocalypse.  It's well worth a listen.

I blinked for a minute of two, and we were suddenly in Essen.  The traffic in Antwerp was particularly rubbish.  We unpacked out things and headed to the Messe so that Willem know where it was.  We had dinner in the traditional Hans Im Glueck.

On the way back, we stopped for a beer in a pizzeria opposite the hotel.  It was Dan's turn to practise his German.  "Three Beers" got a painful "Was?!" in response.  After much pointing, apologizing, and Willem acting as mediator, we had 3 beers in the park, and got attacked by spiders.

Meepledrone finally arrived in the hotel, and had brought a tremendous number of Carcassonne paraphernalia for Willem, but he also had gifts for Dan and myself.  Thank you so much!  I'm always particularly nervous of Dan around tile-towers but this one left unscathed.  We stayed up late and played some games. I hope the candle helps the photo


We started bright and early then headed to the fine eatery of Mc Donalds.  I was disappointed not to have a hashbrown, but they made up for it with a broad selection of cake.

We were all wearing T-Shirts designed by Carcassonne Central's MMike. A few weeks earlier I suggested the concept of a Carcassonne shirt with: "No tile left unturned" and I had the shirts printed for us to wear.  We also played another game where members of the public could receive temporary tattoos.

Team A was Willem and myself, while Team B was Dan and Meepledrone.  We split into to groups to recce both Hans Im Gluck booths as quickly as possible.  The queues were massive.  In previous years I've just wandered up to the booth and been served immediately.  Willem and I spoke to a nice guy who had managed to nab a copy of Great Western Trails, apparently only 40 were available.  Later some friends joined him, and a lady boasted about selling her Carcassonne Spiel tile for 15€.  That was a good time for Willem to share photographs of his collection.

So my first purchases from Essen were the obligatory, Ukrainian tile, Ukrainian Map, The new mini-expansion The Bets, and Mists over Carcassonne. More than enough to get me over the Spiel 22 limit.  The first of many visits no doubt.  We headed over to the other HiG booth so I could grab the same for Rich The Fish.

We also played another game at the fair using Dan's meeples.  We made little baggies, and hid some Dan meeple around the fair and asked people to hashtag a photograph of Dan with their favourite game, and then hide the meeple somewhere else for someone to find.  What actually happened was 10 people stole Dan's meeple.  But it's the thought that counts.

So with the necessary HiG purchases out of the way, I headed to InPatience to pick up Stellarion, the latest game in the Oniverse Series.  In 2018, I walked all over Essen looking for Nautilion, and couldn't find it anywhere, until on Saturday, I found it in a single pile forgotten about in the Asmodee shop.  The Z--Man label has been dropped and Shadi Torbey has started this publishing house to reprint these games and finish the series.  Wonderful stuff.  But LOOK!  I'll be back no doubt!  The Onverse series are predominately solo games; the designer is a dedicated solo designer and way before it was trendy to include solo variants in games.  I'm happy these are set to return.

Radlands was a recommendation from UncleWills and Willem. I also grabbed Combi-nations from Cawali games, the kickstarter ended on the Friday before Essen, it was fun saying I had travelled from Antarctica to pick it up.  I also picked up a set of Shogi pieces, it was nice explaining to the guy that I already knew how to play.  I also collected Basilica which is a 2 player area control game.

Next stop, the UKGE booth for a cup of tea.  Dan and I spent several minutes talking to a nice gentleman called Christopher, who told us about the utter rigmarole of bringing in Yorkshire tea, and water into the Germany, and the Spiel trade fair.  Regardless, he was the man for the job, unfortunately, he was only able to find carbonated water for the giant urn. Needless to say, it was a bloody good cup of tea.  We heard that the Yorkshire tea was in limited supply, so I think it was safe to say that this was a supaRAR limited edition promo of the fair.

It was time for the Carcassonne meetup in the Atrium, so we headed over.  Dan had to pop to the loo, so I was slightly worried that no one else had turned up.  I waited a few more minutes, then did a comedy double take with the gentleman standing about 3 foot from me. It was Benny!  Our masks were obviously doing a good job because we didn't recognise each other.  It was great to see everyone again.  Mr Numbers (and Mr Decimals) were there too.  Going to conventions again after so many years can take a while to get used to.  But it's so much better to see real friends again.  It's been over 4 years since I last saw a lot of these people.  I'm glad I could organize something and catch up with Dieter and Konrad2605.

Benny recommended an abstract game Yoxii, so I later went off to pick up a copy.

We all caught up at the HiG booth. While the four of us were waiting in line, a random dude approached us and asked us for a tattoo for his son! He had seen a message about our secret phrase in a WhatsAppGroup, and when he saw our TShirts he had to ask.

Shortly after the meetup, I had to hunt down the designer of Noggin of the Nog, Nick Case. He had several problems with Maths trades and auctions, but I eventually tracked him down, and gave him a surprise gift from South Wales.  I grew up a bit of a fan of Noggin the Nog, but during the 90s having access to the stories and episodes was not so easy.  Nick designed a game recently under the Noggin The Nog license, and it arrived at about the time my son was born. So I decided to pick up the early reading stories, and sagas to read.  He loves them, so when Nick Case had found the existence and some 'lost sagas' I had to try and track them down.  Over the last few months I'd collected children's annuals and comics from 1963 – 1968, photographed, scanned and typeset the lost tales and produced a 200 page book.  Getting one book printed is obscenely expensive, so getting 12 books printed became a little more viable. So Essen was a great opportunity to surprise Nick and thank him for bringing Noggin back into our lives.  He was blown away, and we exchanged a couple of stories.  And he was kind enough to invite me to lunch the following day.  I also dropped another copy off with Tony Boydell, local board game designer, and museum owner, when I picked up my Box of Delights and copy of Aleph Null.

I eventually caught up with the guys playing Giant Carcassonne, and they left no prisoners as they battled against a lady in a lovely meeple t-shirt.  Time for some demos... Meepledrone and Willem wanted to revisit the HiG booth, so I convinced Dan to play Kingdomino: Origins.  It seemed like an expansion for Kingdomino that introduced elements found in Queendomino.  Fire is the key multiplier, and that is spread from volcano squares; which if well placed can be placed by the players for the greatest effect.  I didn't play very well unfortunately and neither Dan and I felt it added much to either of the existing games. Still it was good to demo, and if someone hadn't played either, I think it could be a good way to play.

When Meepledrone and Willem arrived, we stayed at the Pegasus booths and waited for a demo of DorftRomantik.  It started pretty slowly, but when we completed an assignment tile, the next 3 or 4 were also completed, and so we established a chain of results.  It was a fun game, which is mainly a solo experience, but with cooperative play for more.  I decided to pick up a copy, but they had already sold out on the day!

Finally, it was time to go, and I had booked a table at Burger Heart. And it was a fantastic burger, made even better with the company.


For breakfast croissants from a bakery.  We got to the Messe pretty early, but we were directed to the main entrance. I was slightly worried that between us we would be remembered as the group who bought a lot of Spiel tiles. So on the way in, we picked up two boxes of biscuits and cards to give to the people at the HiG booth.  Inga also asked for a tattoo, and gave us all HiG headbands.  Hopefully now, we'll be remembered as the guys who took a lot of spiel tiles, but also left some biscuits.

We went over to the 2nd HiG booth to repeat the same.  Willem scored lucky and was purchased an unpunched sheet of Ukrainian tiles!  Moments later Meepledrone was denied a Spiel tile!  So we went over to SpielMaterial.  I bought some pieces for a game I picked up at Essen in 2016  called Lembitu.  Then it was time for me to meet Nick and have lunch.  It was great listening to Nick's stories about visiting Peter Firmin, and some of the research he carried out to prepare for the game; and even some of the endeavors that didn't see the light of day.  Unfortunately, Nick's latest game was stuck in customs after being trapped on a ship outside of Hamburg for 2 weeks, but I got some tips for games to check out.

I caught up with Dan and after getting lost, we played a game called Trending Kittens.  It was pretty basic, and the special powers were not balanced at all; providing massive advantages compared to others.  I took a couple of minutes to track down Roland McDonald, who is the designer of Ruthless, and accomplished artist of many games now.  It was nice that he took the time to say hello, and wished him well.  After that it was time for the most important demonstration of Essen 2022.


The psychological and physical demands of this game are unrivaled. For those who read about our adventure in 2016, this was going to be the grudge match to end all grudge matches.  Highlights include, Dan dropping the magnet under the table to grab his player that he launched across my side of the board.  Later his player was caught in technical foul, but his player latched onto my magnet, so I was left with a super player with very big feet.  However, even with all of these benefits, my team was no match for Dan's superior ball-whacking control-with-a-magnet skills and after my lower back went into spasm, it was only a matter of time before the final goal was scored.

Next up was HiRoBa, a new Sudoku, token placement game.  The game was pretty tight and I Meepledrone picked up a couple of copies.  I already have a game that was quite similar, called Ichiban Haru, and I wasn't sure it would be so good with only 2 players.

By the time we finished, it was time to leave the fair.  We were heading into Essen proper to meet Melvin and hopefully go shopping.  We went to eat at FrittenWerks.  Earlier in the day Linksux joined us, and had brought Super Mariossonne!  Wow!  Dan and I started a game, but Dan had to leave early to meet Melvin.  So we restarted the game.  Playing with these tiles really affect the game.  For a start, recognizing edges and tiles is quite tricky, and it really messes up any tile counting; subtle things like changing the shapes of tiles, and how fields appear, really changes the game for me.  I got quite lucky by claiming an large field, and I was able to defend it for the majority of the points.  Overall hearing all the hard work that Linksux put in trimming and preparing the tiles was wonderful. Thanks so much for bringing this to try.

Unfortunately, Dan left his personal meeple set on the table and I stupidly didn't pick them up. So unfortunately, I had no idea how they managed to start appearing in different places.

After we were kicked out of the FrittenWerks, we went to catch up with Melvin and TheusGaldiator.  It was nice to meet them in person, but we didn't stay long because they had had a very long day.  So we started to walk back to the hotel.  It was apparent that the hotel bar would be closed before we got back so we decided to walk into an Off-license.  It was very apparent that we shouldn't have been there. But thankfully Dan's limited German skills were put to good use..... "Beer"... and they knew. From one hard working person to another.. they pointed to the fridge and I grabbed 4 beers.  Two for me and two for Dan.  There was some confusion, Meepledrone and Willem also wanted beer and thought we were holding theirs. Nope... 2 for me... 2 for Dan.  Thankfully we exchanged funds, and the two gangsters that ran the place were able to continue their night.

We got back to the hotel, the bar was open, beer was had.


I wanted to get to the Messe early to see if I could nab a copy of Turing Machine.  I was essentially standing in front of the main gate, but somehow people still thought it was ok to stand in front of me.  I exchanged a glance with the security guard.  We both knew.  Willem, Hector, and Dan were hiding out at Hall 3, the main doors open a few minutes later, but it might have been quicker for them compared to me dashing from Hall 6.  Here are the gates opening......

As I got down the steps, people started to run past..... I became that muppet you see on those video streams..... RUN!  I dashed into the outside area.... and sprinted towards the Gallery... And began to peg it.  Dudes working on the food stall cheered:  "RUN!  RUN! GET THE GAMES!"  "RUN! RUN FORREST RUN!"  shortly afterwards, my sprint became more of a hobble, the last 2 days of walking had taken their toll.  Into Hall 3.  It was already rammed with press and exhibitors with early access to the Messe.  I started to pick up speed.  Almost there... Almost... I got into the line.... I waited...There were about 30 people ahead of me already.  The queue slowly moved.  I got to the front and Turing Machine was there waiting for me.  I got my copy.  I asked, there are only 3 left.  I can at least say that for once in my life, I'd run for a board game, and got it before they sold out.  After that achievement, I needed a lie down.  Overall, I'm not really sure I appreciate things in limited quantity.  It's not a nice thing to see a queue for 150 people behind you unable to get a copy of the game they wanted.  Generally speaking this game will be available for quite some time in a matter of weeks.

Time for a cheese pretzel, and a coffee.

I bumped into Sincerely too; it was funny seeing him get a wrist band before leaving the Messe.  I've already mentioned Village Rails, so I went to book us a slot.  The four of us met up and started to play.  We had a quick explanation, and we were off in this neat little tableau, route building game.  A lot of people have said that this was the best game of the convention.  We ended the game a little early, but it certainly played very straightforwardly. There wasn't much messing about.  Generally, we didn't interact very much, but I think on another play we'd be more aware of what each other needed to get high scores.  It's a small box, with a high quality game inside.  It's a perfect offering from Osprey.  Shame it wasn't available at the fair. Brexit is to blame for that.

We had to end the game early, after about 25 minutes, because we had our second meet up at 2pm.  Wonderful seeing so many people again. BigBoss also had a few goodies for me!

At 2pm, I had to pop over to the InPatience signing.  There was a guy in front of us at the queue, who was embarrassed to ask for two boxes to be signed.  We were all for letting him make the most of the chance; and when he said he wished he'd brought his other games, I suggested he should buy them all again now they were available.  It was wonderful seeing Elise work, she explained that sometimes things inside box lids don't come out quite right because of the limited space.  Her use of coloured pencils and felt-tip was wonderful. It was amazing how quickly she was able to draw such expressive pieces.  I'm already regretting not getting all the games again so they could be signed.  Hopefully I'll have another opportunity in the future!

Time for Beer. WallacePrime was in town.  We had a lot of beer.  So we thought it was a good idea to get a cup of tea again.  We were told we couldn't have a cup of tea because there might not be enough teabags for tomorrow.  So I noted that it looked like they only had 5 tea bags remaining, which was already not enough for tomorrow, and we were fortunate enough to have another cup of tea and a chat with Christopher.

Next up it was burger-night - To begin with UHome joined us for a beer, where we were asked why we shouldn't have a beer.  Dan said he was 13, which was a good reason, but she asked for proof. So Dan offered to get his driving license out.  Brilliant, +1 from me Dan for such a hilarious exchange.  Carcassonne fans from CarcCentral (Uhome and Linksux) along with the Brazilian team, and NuNu(?) from Portugal joined us.

We took the car back to the hotel, and this was probably the best photo of the trip, because we hadn't quite thought about how Meepledrone would fit.... but somehow they managed it.

Back in the hotel we played Crazy-Casssonne. From what I could work out the rules changed on every turn. I also took a photo of Willem taking a Photo of Dan, so hopefully you'll see the other side of this in their write ups

Sunday.....Championship day.

We started with a Dingo. 

By the time we got to the Messe, the first games were underway.  There is definitely tension in the room, but compared to previous years, members of the public were allowed to walk between the tables.  The tournament is run by Spielizentrum in an area under the main Messe Halls.
Equally important was seeing these nice Meeple cakes that they had made for the contestants.

Dan met with Klaus-Jurgen Wrede and gave him a present from his daughter.  I took the photos, but I'll only share this one, you'll have to see the other in Dan's post.

Dan also asked KJW to sign a drink sachet:

I bumped into the Mobius Mother too and she posed for a nice photo.  No tournament complete without seeing the Mobius Mother.

The tournament is a long full day event, starting from 10am and ending just before 5pm.  Klaus-Jurgen signed some tiles and I took several photos that I shared on Twitter through the course of the day.  Afterwards Klaus-Jurgen offered to sign more things, but I felt he had already done enough for us.  He said he had had a successful Spiel, but he needs to take care of his heart.  I wished him a safe journey home.

We also met Mortiz Brunhofer, the HiG CEO who explained how busy he had been and by all accounts the event had done well.  I really appreciate the time he took to talk with fans, and I'm hoping we'll be able to do future work to support Carcassonne going forward.

It was time to go. Here's Dan in the car.

We decided to book a hotel in the Netherlands, which meant that Willem could go via his parents house to collect more boxes. All the boxes!  Although they also had a small game for me to save me 9€ of postage. It was nice meeting Willem's parents and it was extremely kind to let Dan and I into their home. Willem's mum also made a very nice apple pie!

When we got to our hotel, Dan and I both emptied our pants when I turned the light on. 

We spent most of the night wondering if we were going to be dragged into a nether realm portal.  Undoubtably, these were the victims who would murder us unless we were able to decrypt their messages and help them find resolution.  Unfortunately, we didn't speak Dutch, so decided to go to the bar downstairs.  We were settling into the idea of a night in a haunted hotel, when the barman asked for a room number.... "Are you sure it's room 527", he said, "there isn't a room 527!".  Dan and I spent most of the next day fearful that we would fall asleep and awake in that hotel room.


Having survived the night, Willem had organized a slight detour via Belgium to visit Ringo. Who was a Carcassonne collector.  It was quite an extraordinary collection, and the photos I share here simply don't do it justice.  Seeing all these boxes, so well organized, was delightful.  The subtle differences in boxes became even more apparent the longer we stared at the wall.  Ringo was kind enough to let our Carcassonne fans come together in his home, have lunch, and give us a respite on the way home. No doubt we could have stayed for much longer, but it was time for us to Get Back journey home.


Here's the obligatory photograph of my Essen Spiel Haul:

Every time I've been to Essen Spiel I've experienced something new about it.  After so many years of being unable to go, it was really special being able to meet so many Carcassonne fans in one place from all over the world.  It was wonderful exchanging items, sharing notes, playing games and whether meeting someone for the first time, or catching up with old friends; I had a fantastic time.  Events like Essen Spiel invigorate a lot of board gamers, and hopefully we all go back to our places of origin, revitalized, having seen the latest games, or renewed their passion in the games they already love.  In addition, having companions to share the experiences with is by far the best experience. It was wonderful to finally meet Meepledrone and witness his enthusiasm and energy in person; I hope it's not so long until we next meet.  I'm also eternally grateful for Willem, who organized more HiG purchases than I probably would have otherwise, and more importantly for driving all the way from Ashford to Essen and back again. And a huge thank you to Dan for putting up with my shenanigans and sharing a room with me even if my alarm beeped more than it should.

I'm looking forward to hearing about your experiences, as I've probably forgotten a lot of it. I can't wait for Spiel 2023!

General / Community Discord Server
« on: August 19, 2022, 10:15:30 AM »
Some of you know that we've been experimenting with Discord; as Slack seemingly has became less popular.
Discord is a social platform for instant messaging and chat room.
After learning the skills, I'm finally (mostly) confident that it's safe and ready for the general public to join us.

Thank you to everyone who's joined already and help test out the functionality!

If you want to join:
  • Click this link:
  • Register or sign into Discord if you need to
  • In the #welcome channel you'll need read and accept the community rules and click the Blue-tick

We've broken down the channels into different sub-categories which are applicable to certain roles.
To assign yourself a role go to #roles and click the emojis for the topics that you're interested in.

If you need any help getting started, you can either use the #help channel, or you can message us here.

General / Most fun game of Carcassonne played?
« on: August 18, 2022, 02:17:22 AM »
Doom Shark started the thread : Least fun Carcassonne game you've played?

I think it's only fair to consider the game you've had the most fun playing too!

News and Events / Essen Spiel 2022 meetup
« on: July 06, 2022, 01:59:31 AM »
Some folks from CarcC are attending Essen Spiel later this year. It runs from October 5-9th.

I'll be there with Dan, Willem and RichTheFish from Thursday until Monday.

We're thinking of organizing a stop-and-say-hello session; that often acts as a good break from the chaos in the main fair.

Alternatively, we can meetup for a little longer, perhaps later in the day, perhaps I can book a table in a local restaurant for some dinner too.

No doubt there's time for a game of Carcassonne, and maybe that new promo or expansion... if it's not too foggy.

Let us know when you're attending, and if you'd like to say hello!

We're meeting upstairs in the front foyer of the Messe at 2pm on Thursday and at 2pm on Saturday.
We'll likely be watching potions of the tournament held on Sunday.

One of the biggest benefits of making friends on forums is having someone to play games with.  It's been pretty tricky over the past few years, and although playing online has it's advantages, for me it's certainly not nearly as fun.  Another advantage is having someone to share the burden of shipping costs; dividing up the expense can sometimes make those hard to acquire things a little easier to bear.  Over the past year or so a few of us on the forum had started to collect a... mass of things for each other.  So we scheduled some time to meetup... and play some games.

Last Saturday, Dan, RichTheFish, Willem, and I decided it was time to meet up in the D20 Cafe in Watford, and UncleWills (+ Jr) joined us too!  It's a place we visited a few years ago, and although they take a while to serve biscuits, they were pretty quick delivering us some burgers.

It's tradition to play Carcassonne at a Carcassonne meetup.  So we started with something that Dan brought along, thanks to WallacePrime!

That's right....Cubeassonne (I hope I spelled that correctly).
We played with the, play the side the thumb was on after you draw it out the bag.

I really enjoyed playing this, and it's a brilliant idea. Thanks a lot Chris!  I would say that by only using the base tile configurations there's a very big incentive to trap other players.  There's almost more chance.  But I enjoy the fair way that tile counting is removed from the game.

Farms still saw a major swing for Dan, and although I made a crude attempt to join the party, Dan edged a comfortable lead:

Next up was a short game while we waited for lunch.  I think it's called Robin.  This is probably the least interesting photograph I could take of the game... it's of the empty board:

This was an interesting set collection game, where players have to auction their cards to perform actions.  The cards are also the suites you want to complete your sets, so you're moving up and down the track to draw more cards, or pull cards from the discard.  I'd not played it before but I'd happily play it again in the hope of developing some tactics.  Dan won this one about 3 rounds before he noticed :D

Next up was Snowdonia:
I've played many times on Yucata with Rich The Fish, and a few times with Dan, but it was the first time Willem had played.

This is becoming one of my favourite games. I love how the sequence of actions influence other players, and how the game always seems to offer you good paths to take, but you're always just a few actions away.  I also really like how the Contract cards guide players to their end games while also providing important boosts.

I especially like this game because it's set in Wales; and at least this time I was able to stop Dan's winning streak and claim my first victory of the day, by one point!

Next we played Pathways.  The game created my our forum's very own Franks.  We were lucky enough to receive a prototype copy of this dexterity-strategy game:

We played as teams, and there's a lot of fun to be had—plenty of lucky shots, and plenty of tactical plays, surprisingly few table nudges, but in the end RichTheFish and I are UK national team champions:

Pathways offers some variations that are played on a mat too:

I'll be writing up a little more about this v.soon!

Next up was Quacks of Quedlinburg. I've played this once before, and Rich is somewhat of a pro, we played with his copy.

Willem took an early lead, and managed to keep it convincingly.  I went bust early on, and incapable of moving my start token round the soup bowl.  I had a incredible amount of unluck drawing white token after white token.....

It's a fun game, push-your-luck is always a neat mechanism, even if you don't have any to start with.  I also like the rat tail catchup mechanism; I think it can give a necessary boost to help players who were lagging behind.

Congrats Potion Master Willem:

With only a few minutes to go we played Carcassonne Wheel of Fortune. Which Rich hadn't played before:

My luck came back here as I earned a lot of early points for simply doing not very much.  An early farmer helped me maintain control of a central farm, and although Dan took the majority, I was able to sneak back on with my last move (also denying Willem 6 points) because I used a curved bridge to connect a road:

To be honest, I always find WoF far too random.  Giving points left right and centre to players for little to no good tactical play.  Similarly some players are struck with negative results too.  Also the wheel becomes totally useless after all the wheel tokens are used up which is something that few people can be bothered to count.  So you're left wondering if those last people on the wheel will have been worth it.  On the plus side the tile configurations and additional tiles are nice and make for a good game with 4 players.

So that was it!

Here we all are:

Another grand day out in London.  It was great catching up with everyone!

Most importantly however, the crew was kind enough to venture across Watford to find a Fish and Chip Shop that sold Rock Fish.
Which is something that just isn't available in the South Wales region.
Thanks so much!

This closes off the report of the GBRBGWEGB -
The Great, British Rock and Board Game Week End Great Britain

News and Events / Mists over Carcassonne
« on: February 24, 2022, 03:34:49 AM »
News post today about the new expansion / spin-off for Carcassonne

Dense fog covers the meadows of Carcassonne, swallows up entire farmsteads and creeps up to the city walls. Even the bravest of knights tremble and their armor clatter when they hear the monks' tale: "The mist brings forth the souls of the Cathars, hunted during the Crusades. They come back for justice!"

With this spooky story we delve into the theme of the new game in the popular Carcassonne series, Fog over Carcassonne. The game, which is scheduled to be released in the fourth quarter of 2022, has several special features: on the one hand, it is a completely independent game that introduces a cooperative mode in Carcassonne for the first time, on the other hand, all the material can be transferred to the huge integrated into the Carcassonne world and can also be used as an extension.

Fog over Carcassonne as of Feb 2022
In cooperative mode, you will join forces and appease the spirits together. To save everyone, you must contain the spread of the mist and the ghosts within, contain the haunted earth in the cemeteries, and use the spooky haunted castles to your advantage. The game is played according to the well-known rules of Carcassonne in terms of placing tiles and collecting points. But for the first time, everyone must work together to keep as few ghosts from appearing as possible and survive three days. If too many ghosts have appeared or the days have passed before enough points have been collected, you will lose the game together.
Can you save Carcassonne together?

- A total of 45 meeples in two new forms
- 60 Carcassonne tiles (compatible with all other Carcassonne versions)
- some other special parts
- different levels of difficulty

The author of the new game is Klaus-Jürgen Wrede, who also created the original game and a variety of expansions for the extensive Carcassonne world.
With “Nebel über Carcassonne” we are now breaking new ground that will delight fans and new players alike.

Of course, we will also announce details about the functions as an extension in the course of the year.

News and Events / ZAMEK – DODATEK SOKÓŁ (The Castle: Falcon Expansion)
« on: February 09, 2022, 07:20:59 AM »
The Expansion for the Polish edition of Carcassonne: The Falcon will be available in April!


General / I'm scared to go to Carcassonne because....
« on: February 03, 2022, 06:01:07 AM »
Finish the sentence:

I'm scared to go to Carcassonne because.....

News and Events / An Interview with Board Game Arena
« on: February 01, 2022, 02:27:02 AM »
I doubt that many of you need an introduction to the online board game system Board Game Area (or BGA).
The site was founded in mid-2010 (in French only), and has now grown to host over 430 different games, support 45 languages; and the almost 7.6 million users play over 100 thousand games each day.

Here on Carcassonne Central, most of us come across Board Game Arena when looking for a popular implementation of Carcassonne.
I reached out to their team with some questions I thought we’d all like to know the answers to.

I was extremely happy and surprised to have a response in a matter of days (hours really) from Ian Parovel who is the Art Director (UI/UX & P.R) at BGA.
He had also shared the questions with Grégory Isabelli the CEO and founder of Board Game Arena.

Below are some extracts from my exchange, I hope you enjoy them:


Initially, I wanted to find out more about what it means to support Carcassonne on the platform; what sort of development effort does it take, and what considerations do Board Game Area have to consider to keep Carcassonne operational.

What are your other top performing games, and how do they compare?
Ian: For now Carcassonne is still in the top 3 and has been for years.
But as we add new games, the top 10 list is ever changing. 7 Wonders is still doing very well. Azul and Splendor, while released recently, are doing very well and have a good audience, and 6 Nimmt has always been a favorite of our users.
Unfortunately we cannot share the exact numbers, due to publisher-side non-disclosure agreements.

When you started BGA, which games did you prioritize?

Greg and Ian : We are gamers, so we prioritized the games we liked :)
However, to add a game on BGA, we need to get the proper authorization from its publisher, and this was not easy since we knew nobody in the game industry.
Fortunately, some extraordinary publishers gave us the chance to work on excellent games despite being a niche website.

How long Carcassonne has been on BGA and how long did the implementation take?

Greg : Carcassonne has been online on BGA since 2016.
It is difficult to say how long the implementation took because we worked on it several times, improving it and adding some expansions.
Usually developing a game on BGA is a 2 months job so I would say 2 months in total.
Have you ever had to resolve some weird bugs?

Ian : BGA is based on the most popular platform there is : web browsers.
Unfortunately, we have to keep things updated at all times, and weird bugs happen pretty often.
Fortunately, our bug tracker can help us keep a look at them 100% of the time, and most of the issues are identified and cleared in less than 24h.
Once we release a game, we make sure it would be bug-proof for a long period of time, but sometimes it happens that a feature needs some more work.
That's also why we release them, in most cases, in Alpha first, then in Beta for a group of qualified game testers, then to Gold.

With the rise in mobile phones supporting web-browser standards, it has meant that players can seamlessly switch between desktop and mobile during a game.
Carcassonne works very well on mobile browsers, but be careful placing your meeples!

Greg : For Carcassonne specifically, the most difficult bugs concerned the fields, since fields may be quite big and their limit should be very accurate.
If you mess up with a single tile, you can split a field in two or extend it while it should not.

Interestingly for those that don’t know, Board Game Arena’s implementation of Carcassonne supports the current (3rd) edition farmer scoring and a first edition style that scores 3-points per city (first edition scored 4-points); as well as the first-edition 2-points for a small city.  This must make the calculations for fields and majorities even more complex.
Is Carcassonne computationally expensive compared to other games, in terms of CPU or storage?

Greg : Board games in general are not CPU intensive because they are intended to be played by humans.
Once loaded, the games mostly require bandwidth to link exchanges and movements between players. But that's mostly it.

Ian : The game itself is not bigger or smaller than others.
The main resource it consumes is storage for replays.
And there's Terabytes of them. (popularity is a critical game-changer here)

I suspect server capacity is always an issue for you, especially when the pandemic first started. What approaches or technologies do you use to maintain good service?

Greg : We are using pretty common technologies for the web, using server redundancy to increase reliability and scalability.
Our approach over the years has been to learn from our mistakes: if it happens that the service crashes, we put in all our effort to make sure it does not crash twice for the same reason.
Whatever the projects we have in progress, stability is our main priority.

Ian : The pandemic was a surprise for us, and we managed to handle the traffic in a few days.
This case never happened before and now we're prepared to face pretty much any event.
We do a lot of daily checks, but like any service, things could happen.

Next, I wanted to find out a little bit more about the types of Carcassonne tournaments that are played on Board Game Area. So I asked DanisThirty for some more information about some of the tournament's he's played in. Here are a few:

WTCOC 2020
As far as I'm aware, this was the first time an online teams competition had been run for Carcassonne so it was new territory for everyone.
Of the 21 teams that took part, Japan beat Russia in the final with Germany and Romania making up the top 4.

MSO 2020
When COVID-19 prevented a physical UK Games Expo from taking place as usual, the UKGE went online and allowed a number of national board game championships (including Carcassonne) to be combined with MSO's annual board game championships that were being held online using BGA.
As a result, the 2020 UK Carcassonne Championships were contested by a field of over 100 players from all over the world, and were won by a Portuguese player who declined the opportunity to represent the UK at the next world championships after finishing 2nd in the Portuguese national championship the following year.
The place was offered to the Romanian runner-up instead, who joined his brother (the former world champion) and three other players from Romania at the 2021 world championships.

ETCOC 2020
Following on from the success of the World Team Championships, the European Team Championships attracted 14 teams from across the continent.
The UK got as far as the semi-final before losing to Germany who went on to beat Russia in the final.

WTCOC 2021
The World and European team events of 2020 were a huge highlight for many Carcassonne players in the absence of an official world championship, so it was no surprise to see a record number of teams in the 2021 World Team Championships.
Of the 29 teams that took part, Japan retained their title from the previous year; thus ensuring a third set of silver medals for the Russian team.

MSO 2021
The MSO held their annual "Pentamind" competition online again using BGA, but this time as an independent event without being affiliated with the UKGE which has been held earlier in the year as a physical event with in-person national championships.
The MSO's Carcassonne championship was won by Alexey Pegushev of Latvia and UK.

ETCOC 2021
22 teams from Europe competed against each other in another thrilling teams competition that saw the Russians finally claim their first online teams title.

As well as these events, there are weekly knockout and "single-elimination" events organized by our forum member Leven.
There are also Swiss-style tournaments that all players are welcome to join.
Dozens of other events are created each week using a variety of formats.

BGA has become the preferred platform for tournament play, seeing the Japanese, UK, and Spanish national teams selected using your platform.
Do you know how many tournaments are run?

Ian : Plenty. It is difficult to give a significant number because you have really small tournaments with only few players and large tournaments with many players.
From the famous ones hosted by Mind Sports Olympiad, Youtubers, officials... with close to 300 000 tables created monthly, that's something that's for sure, pretty famous.

How many games are part of tournaments?

Greg : We might be close to 10% of overall games that are tournaments.
From small 4 players tournaments to thousands of players, that's something a bit complicated to calculate exactly.

Are there additional features that you plan to implement to help tournament play, such as a turn-timer, like chess-clocks?

Ian : It's already in ;) And not only for tournaments: for all games on BGA you have a timer to make sure your opponents play on time, depending on the settings you've chosen.
From realtime to turn-based types, there are options to suit your available time to play  ;)
To wrap up, I wanted to find out a little bit more about the types of games that are played on the platform and the sheer scale of Carcassonne games played.

Would you be able to answer the following statistical questions:
How many games of Carcassonne have been played on the platform?

Greg : Around 5.2 Millions and counting.
I wonder how games have been played with the real box since the initial release?

Ian : Probably more than you think, as it's my favorite game.

Greg : So maybe millions too :)

(The previous edition stated that 12 million copies have been sold. So I hope at least half of them got played  ;) )

What has been the most number of Carcassonne games in a day?

Greg : Around 14000.

What has been the most number of concurrent Carcassonne games being played at once?

Ian : That's close to impossible to say, as the number is changing every second.
But as we speak, 27th January 2022, 3:14PM we have more than 4500 games in progress, realtime or turn based.

(And at 31st January 2022, 10PM there are 5500!)

How does the spin-off Hunters and Gatherers compare in terms of active players and games played?

Greg : Pretty good actually compared to most games on BGA, but obviously way less than the base game.

(And at 31st January 2022, 10PM there are about 330 active games)
Looking across all the games of Carcassonne played, what is the most popular player count?

Greg : The real deal seems to be 2 players. But playing digitally is way different than what you're looking for IRL. Two players is the favorite setting players are looking for. By far.
Is it possible to see the number of active games, or players, on a monthly basis, since the game was implemented?

Ian : Unfortunately, it's not our role to share such information, as they're all up to board game publishers' will.

What is the highest score achieved in a Carcassonne game?

Ian : That's also something we cannot extract with valuable information to answer your question, and it would require a lot of work.
Should we take into account games where users are only testing the game?
And what about games played between friends just to try to exploit the game scoring system?
Not all games are played in a way we can extract this information with certainty.
But you can have a look at the biggest tournament games results on Board Game Arena to have an idea of how high some users can get ;)
Are you able to compare top-ranked players' ability to score points against lower ranked players?

Greg : As Ian said, that would be possible, but will require a lot of analysis work on our side to extract this exact information. But I'm quite intrigued, too.

I decided to wrap up with some questions about where they saw the future of digital gaming.

Where do you see the future of Carcassonne on the BGA platform?

Greg : We like this game particularly, and would like to see as many expansions as possible on BGA.
This game is particularly good on large screens, and BGA allows you to take advantage of this, so we know that players are particularly attached to this online adaptation, and we want to satisfy them :)
I think the advantages of digital board gaming are well known, but I would like to ask you which you think are the most important aspects?

Greg and Ian : Our approach at BGA is to consider that we are only making adaptations of (great) board games, and not some kind of video games.
Our goal is to provide an experience as close as possible to the real games.
Thus, our main focus is to provide you with real, human opponents, anytime.
So I would say that the major advantage is this one: being able to play any board game, any time.
Also do you see any unexpected trends that occur due to digital implementations? As an example, I think I've seen some strategic games have effectively been 'solved' because a large number of good players are able to quickly and concurrently test their tactics.  Do you think this has, or will ever happen, to Carcassonne?

Greg : This may happen for some really simple games, but for the vast majority of games this does not happen, and certainly not for Carcassonne.

Ian : It all depends on game richness and complexity.
Solved games are mostly the ones giving "fixed information".
But will it be possible to "solve" a game with some randomized components? I don't know.
But there's plenty of useful information for publishers and game designers to learn from them.


I found the answers to these questions very interesting.  I think what comes across is how important physical gaming is to Ian and Greg, as well as their huge enthusiasm.  I really appreciate that they could take the time to answer these questions and give us a little insight in how everything works over on Board Game Arena.  I'm sure you would like to extend that thanks too.  Perhaps having read this you have some other questions you would like to ask them?  Please let me know!

If you're interested in opening an account on Board Game Arena, you can go to and Register.
To join games and start playing Carcassonne that is all you need to do.  If you wish to host games, you have to be a premium member. Currently premium membership is $24 a year, which I think is extremely reasonable considering I paid 25€ for a copy of Carcassonne v3 last week, and this gives me access to the library of over 430 games and I can start as many as I like.
Board Game Arena does offer a referral scheme, so if you are creating an account, I'd appreciate the tiny bit of support: Decar's registration referral link, but feel free to ignore this  :D

I hope you enjoyed reading about Board Game Arena, I hope to see you other there.

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