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Messages - Just a Bill

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General / Re: update profile
« on: November 17, 2021, 11:03:05 AM »
* Spiel '21 Tile

C2.5 (20th Anniversary Edition):
* Base Game 20th Anniversary Edition
* River 20th Anniversary Edition
* 20th Anniversary Expansion

* Base Game
* Exp. 1 (in BB7 only so far)
* Exp. 2 (in BB7 only so far)
* River I 3.0
* Minis #1-#7 (in BB7 only)
* The Gifts
* Peasant Revolts
* ...Whatever else they release by the Advent Campaign...

Haven't been on the site in quite a while, but I got an email alert on this topic. Seeing how weak the continuity discipline has gotten at HiG makes me even more glad I didn't start to become a completionist on new Carc. The multiple redesigns and the "need" to keep rebuying the whole system might have killed my joy for the game.

Don't get me wrong, completionism is pretty fun — but these endless format changes are getting kind of ridiculous. I'm so glad I somehow got booted out of the cult mindset, and I'm pretty happy with my "closed canon" of classic Carcassonne.

This split-building business is ... surprisingly ill-advised. It's like they've completely forgotten how the quaint beauty of Doris' original artwork was so foundational to the game and its early success. Part of the fun of playing was sitting back afterwards and admiring the landscape that was built. Unfortunately every new development seems to replace parts of that countryside beauty with a cacophony of noisy tiles. Rip out the heart, stick in a pacemaker, make everything flash and beep and spam words & numbers across the tiles... and when you see a patch of empty grass, for heaven's sake FILL THAT SPACE UP WITH STUFF! The artwork approach now seems to be "The noisier, the better."

It's still Carcassonne in terms of game mechanics. But no longer in terms of beauty. Some players like this flashiness and busy-ness better; I get that. To each his own. But I can't escape the fact that it's not the sweet, slender, soft-spoken girl we knew in high school; it's an aging, overweight woman caked with heavy makeup and laboring under pounds of gaudy jewelry. And she's LOUD. When in doubt, wear more bangles; increase the makeup; add more colors; combine stripes with polka-dots.

In one man's opinion, anyway. (Probably the wrong opinion for this clubhouse.) I'll go back to shutting up now.

General / Re: Dark colours of the 6th expansion
« on: September 18, 2019, 07:27:35 AM »
I don't think I'm understanding exactly what we are disagreeing about, but I'm happy for you that the tiles you're showing here seem pretty consistent.

Official Rules / Re: Fruit-bearing trees
« on: April 23, 2019, 06:28:50 PM »
but the rules state that fruit actions may only happen in later turns after placing the tree tile.

Actually, they state the opposite. In your initial claim you have added the word "only," which is not present in the actual rules. And in your excerpt, you have added an entire paragraph that I cannot find in the rules document, and you have also deleted the triggering rule that allows the active player to perform a fruit action on the same turn the tree is placed.

One thing I believe you are overlooking in the rules are the words "as well," meaning "in addition" or "also." You may use a fruit tree on later turns as well as the turn on which it is placed on the map. (EDIT: I went back to the German and this word should really be translated as likewise.)

Note that the two separate modes of tree use are further reinforced by the use of two different player-perspectives with correspondingly different pronouns: you and he. If you place a meeple on the just-placed tile, you may perform a fruit action; as well, if any player places a meeple on an adjacent tile on a later turn, he may perform a fruit action.

I will quote the English rules with clarifying context added {in curly braces}.

Carrying out a ‚fruit action‘
When you have deployed a meeple {as just stated above, on the tree tile}, you may carry out one of the two actions explained below.

If a player places a land tile next to the tree tile in another turn (vertically, horizontally or diagonally) and deploys a meeple on this land tile, he may, as well, carry out one of the following actions.

If we look at the original German rules, the points above become even more clear. Unfortunately the "official" English translation is not a very good representation of the original intent (probably another consequence of HiG not letting kettlefish or anyone else from the player-community proofread the rules), in at least three ways that are germane to this discussion.

First, the German employs an implied "if" rather than a "when" and it uses the word nun ("now") to link the same-turn "you may" rule directly back to the previous paragraph about deploying a meeple on the fruit tree tile that was just placed.

Second, if you look closely at the line breaks and the inter-paragraph spacing in the German PDF, you'll see that the two rules (one rule using "you" to allow you a fruit action on this turn and another rule using "he" to allow any player to do so on later turns) are in fact two separate paragraphs. In the English, they are inappropriately combined into a single paragraph, which can imply that the second sentence is a restriction on the first, rather than a second (permissive and separate) rule as is clear in the German.

Third, I think the German ebenfalls more naturally translates in this context as "likewise," further making the original intent more clear.

Hast du einen Meeple eingesetzt, darfst du nun eine der beiden gleich folgenden Aktionen ausführen.

Legt ein Spieler in einem späteren Zug ein Landschaftsplättchen angrenzend (senkrecht, waagerecht oder diagonal) an ein Baumplättchen an und setzt einen Meeple auf das Plättchen ein, darf er ebenfalls eine der beiden folgenden Aktionen ausführen.

Literal translation
Have you a meeple deployed, may you now one of the two following actions perform.

Places a player in a later turn a tile adjacent (vertically, horizontally or diagonally) to a tree tile and places a meeple on the tile,
may he likewise one of the two following actions perform.

Smoother translation
If you have deployed a meeple, you may now perform either one of the following two actions.

If a player in a later turn places a tile adjacent (vertically, horizontally or diagonally) to a tree tile and places a meeple on the tile,
he may likewise perform one of the following two actions.

Finally, if I'm not mistaken, this interpretation was confirmed somewhere on the German forums (

Official Rules / Re: Fruit-bearing trees
« on: April 21, 2019, 12:04:42 PM »
Thank you for clarifying that your word "validated" was not meant to imply some kind of player community consensus, or an official answer.

I think we can agree that the rules are poorly written. On the German forums, I found that they have additional questions about this expansion beyond the one we are discussing here.

  • The second clause refers to 'the tree', not 'a tree'. I believe this means that the if clause applies to each tree on future turns.

On the contrary, "the" tree implies that there is only one tree, or that only one tree is relevant; whereas "a" tree would be more in keeping with the concept of each. So even this argues more for concluding that they did not really intend for the active player to get up to 8 or 10 fruit actions all in the same turn.

  • It takes too many turns to collect and sell fruit when you compare to scoring points traditionally; so combinations make the investment worthwhile.

That may be true, but weak game mechanics are nothing new. Sometimes they are downright ridiculous, like the Wind Roses, and on the German forums, I saw the Fruit Trees being referred to as "a laugh" (after translation) more than serious gameplay. We already know that HiG puts only minimal rules effort into these mini-expansions, and the regulars on the German forums have confirmed that The Fruit Trees was not even allowed the usual proofreading by kettlefish or any other knowledgeable players. In any case, the strength/weakness of the mechanic does not change what the rules say (and don't say).

The bottom line is that I can't find anything in the rules that suggests they intended for getting large numbers of fruit actions in the same turn. We would naturally (and reasonably) expect that if this were the case, they would simply have said "If any other fruit trees are adjacent to the meeple, you get one fruit action for each tree." But there's nothing of the kind.

So let's see an example of how assuming unlimited fruit actions lets things get out of hand.

First, Blue placed the Apricot tree and took 1 fruit action; then, Green placed the Cherry tree and took 2 fruit actions. (Green puts his follower on the city segment, hoping to join in to Blue's city later on.)

Now Red places the Apple tree and, using his phantom, takes six fruit actions. If he spends them all grabbing fruit discs, that's an average of 21 points, compared to Blue's paltry average of 3.5 points for his Apricot disc. Of course Red will get a bunch more points when he sells the discs later, and he didn't even have to risk stranding his phantom. He gets it back immediately, since the road is completed. This will be quite easy to do in many cases, since the fruit trees tiles have so many easily-completed city and road elements (5 terminal city sections and 10 terminal road sections.

If somebody comes along later and plugs the hole with another fruit tree (the Elderberry would do nicely) and his own Phantom, that player will then get eight fruit actions.

I simply cannot imagine that HiG — if they were asked the question in a way that fully explained this potential — would say "yeah, sure, as many fruit actions as you like. That's what we were going for." I guess it's possible, but as a game designer I would be disappointed to see such a lopsided and undisciplined design approach.

Then again, it is one of their throw-away mini-expansions, and they probably just don't really care. So I guess I should prepare for disappointment. :))

Official Rules / Re: Fruit-bearing trees
« on: April 20, 2019, 09:00:54 AM »
Was discussed at the meetup and was validated. As the rules stand it's possible to invoke two or more tree actions.

Can you cite the source? I just reviewed the rules, and nowhere is it stated or implied that you get to peform one fruit action per tree. In fact, the rules (twice) associate the fruit action with deploying a meeple and they (twice) say you can perform one fruit action.

Carrying out a ‚fruit action‘
When you have deployed a meeple, you may carry out one of the two actions explained below. If a player places a land tile next to the tree tile in another turn (vertically, horizontally or diagonally) and deploys a meeple on this land tile, he may, as well, carry out one of the following actions.

The only way I can see to legally perform a second fruit action is to deploy a second figure (e.g., your phantom).

Where was it "validated" that you perform one action per tree? If this comes from HiG, where is the official explanation/errata?

Official Rules / Re: Fruit-bearing trees
« on: April 20, 2019, 08:04:02 AM »
I would add that if you place a tree next with a meeple, next to another tree, (so by 2 trees) then you can invoke the action on both trees.
Wouldn't this encourage the players (in general) to cluster the trees together on the map? That doesn't seem like a good goal.

General / Re: update profile
« on: April 15, 2019, 06:35:10 AM »
In my experience, game rules projects and Wikis are not a good mix. I've seen it fail, but I've never seen it succeed. Perhaps you will prove me wrong.

General / Re: update profile
« on: April 15, 2019, 05:50:18 AM »
OK, I will remove La Porxada from the CAR.

Are you busy with the CAR 7.5?
Not currently, but I can make time to delete the semi-real, semi-fake international expansions.

General / Re: update profile
« on: April 15, 2019, 05:17:04 AM »
OK, I will remove La Porxada from the CAR.

News and Events / Re: Carcassonne Special limited edition
« on: November 14, 2018, 07:39:28 AM »
That will have some completionists in a right pickle!

It will also cure some of their completionism. I always wonder why manufacturers would want to do that.

In addition to all the other negatives with these tiles (super-ugly presentation, wrong backs, opportunity cost of displacing several much superior starting-tile options), I have to ask...

What is the point of printing a garden on a tile that nobody deploys onto? (Yes, I realize you might get to use a flying machine or something in a game or two during the rest of your life, but seriously... who thought this made sense as a starting tile?)

Overall, these seem like two of the worst Carcassonne tiles that have ever been printed.

SD: Hello, HiG. We want another exclusive promo. Our last one was attractive and had interesting gameplay; however, this time we want a couple of tiles that do almost nothing interesting. Instead, we want our boring text-logo to absolutely dominate the tiles in a big, self-indulgent way that sets a new standard for injecting ugliness into the game right from the first turn.

HiG: Sure! We'll be happy to print for you whatever crap you need once your check clears! As you know, our addicts will buy literally anything that says Carcassonne on it. Now, they will probably almost never play these goofy tiles, so if your goal is brand exposure then this might not meet that goal. But if you just want to sell magazines, then this will probably do the trick.

General / Re: Hans Im Glueck Trademarking Meeple
« on: November 02, 2018, 04:48:01 AM »
I would like to clarify that this is a figurative trademark, which means that HiG is protecting the shape they invented. Based on these attachments, it does not appear that they are attempting to trademark the word "meeple," which they did not invent (nor even use in their product until recent times, many years after the term was already in general use by the public and many other businesses). Indeed, trying to claim that word as a trademark would be (I think) both difficult and dishonest. But the shape is absolutely all theirs, and they should protect it.

Thus, I would say that (for example) Meeplesource will not have to change its name, but may have a big problem with a lot of its inventory (or may need to purchase a license).

Anything Else / Re: Problems with domain
« on: July 20, 2018, 03:07:39 PM »
Good to know, and thanks for the help.

Official Rules / Re: Two questions C I
« on: July 20, 2018, 11:47:22 AM »
Hmm, so why on earth didn't they make the tokens 45 mm wide and run the castle art to the edges? Showing field grass connecting the fields on both tiles communicates the exact opposite of the design intent.

(Yes, this is rhetorical. I just don't understand why game publishers think it's a good idea to let the art contradict the gameplay.)

Anything Else / Re: Problems with domain
« on: July 20, 2018, 11:39:14 AM »
Hmm, that is why I kept running the search repeatedly until it did not find any more links. I am aware that the search is cached, so I would subtly change it each time to force it to run afresh, while still finding new, remaining links each time (it only reports the first one found on each page/thread, so when multiple posts had links it would take multiple searches to find them). So either something was wrong in my process or the search function is not as consistent as I have assumed it was.

FWIW, there were a few posts that had text references to that were not actually links. You're not counting those, I assume?

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