Author Topic: Carcassonne Central's New Owners  (Read 3467 times)

Offline danisthirty

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Carcassonne Central's New Owners
« on: January 17, 2022, 03:58:36 AM »
Yo dudes! I have exciting news to reveal, so please grab some popcorn and a fresh drink before continuing. Got it? Good. You may start eating... now!

If you've been around these forums for more than a couple of years then you might have heard some of us talking about Gantry, but I've quoted part of an eight and a half year old post below for those of you who don't (it's well worth reading even if you do know who Gantry is):

Gantry told me more about the history of Carcassonne Central. He was a regular user of BoardGameGeek, but found the forums difficult to use. (I think many of us can understand that feeling.) He tried to reach out to the guys who ran the site, but never heard anything back. Eventually, his frustration with the BGG forums led to his decision to create Carcassonne Central. He found a fan site about the game by Matt Harper, an Englishman living in Germany, and sent him an e-mail. (Matt's web site is still available here: http://carc.mjharper.de/) They collaborated on building a community around the game; Gantry was the technical "make it happen" guy, and Matt was the rules answer guy. Matt created the Complete Annotated Rules and posted it on BoardGameGeek, with a note that updates would only be available at Carcassonne Central, and only to members. Thousands of Carcassonne fans signed up just for the privilege of getting their hands on the latest version of the Complete Annotated Rules. Most never made a single post, but a core group of people arose. Some of those people moved on, and others took their place. Somewhere along the line, we started churning out fan-made expansions on a weekly basis. I feel like this coincided with a time where official expansions weren't being published by Rio Grande, and the community wanted more.

In short, Gantry has been there since Day 1 of Carcassonne Central. He and Matt Harper started it all back in 2008 and he's been leading the way (and paying the bills) for us ever since. He was prepared to give me the chance to become one of the site admins in 2014 and thankfully things worked out pretty well, but I never really had the chance to get to know him on the forums as life was taking him in a different direction at a time when mine was steering me directly towards Carcassonne. We chatted occasionally via email, especially during those awkward times when the forums were down and nobody quite knew what to do. Those were his moments to shine, and he always shone very brightly when we needed him to!

Last year, at around the time when the forums were down for 6 or 7 weeks, Gantry emailed me to say that he was considering selling Carcassonne Central. Furthermore, he was keen to know whether I might be interested in buying it from him and taking over his ultimate responsibility as Carcassonne Central's owner. You might say I jumped at the chance, but I know my limitations too and I recognise when I need a little help from my friends. So, I asked Tom (Decar) and Hector (Meepledrone) to stand by my side as co-owners. They agreed, and as of Wednesday 5th January when Carcassonne Central's website, database and files were moved from Gantry's host account to my own during this short outage, I'm proud to announce on behalf of Tom, Hector and myself that Carcassonne Central is under new ownership! 8)

Before I introduce the team, I'd just like to take a moment to recognise the years of hard work that Gantry has put into making Carcassonne Central everything that it is today. It takes great vision and drive to create something like this, and with so many Carcassonne fan communities springing up all around the world in recent years it's easy to forget that Carcassonne Central was the first of its kind. It's only because Gantry and Matt Harper did such a great job that we're still here today with almost ten thousand members, and with large followings on Facebook and Twitter that share our communities news and achievements to an even wider audience. Just saying "thanks" seems a little underwhelming, but I'm sure he'll continue to take great pride from Carcasonne Central in the future, knowing that he was the person who started it all. Let's do him proud... :(y)

So without further ado, here's a quick reminder of who Tom, Hector and I are:



(left: Tom looking delighted to have found a Carcassonne Big Box, middle: Hector: working his way through his latest set of rules books, right: me rejoicing after a well-deserved victory at the pingy-flicky game)

Tom/ Decar
Hello. I'm not exactly sure when I first started to learn about Carcassonne. I have been interested in board games for many years and sometime around 2006 I started to take an interest in the Japanese game of Go. Predominantly though, I was a computer or console gamer. Somehow, internet rabbit holes seemed to always end up with me looking at Carcassonne. I remember trying an early edition of JCZ with no idea what the rules were, and vaguely figured it out on my own. Adda was a much easier opponent back then.

Back in December 2014, I saw a post here on Carcasonne Central from JungleBoy asking if anyone was free for a game that evening. Back in those days you had to open up ports on your home firewalls to play each other, but I decided to take part. I still remember the game quite well; there was a big fight for a city (which describes about 85% of games of Carcassonne). Anyway after that I was well and truly hooked, and some days later DanIsThirty messaged me and we became friends.

In 2015 we all met up at the UKGE where Udo Schmitz was hosting a Carcassonne on Tour event. I played in the tournament and met someone else with the same name as me... who oddly had a wife with the same name as my wife. Thankfully, I was on a higher table than them, confirming my status as best person with my name. From then to now, I've had many an adventure thanks to Carcassonne, whether I'm crafting another fan expansion, creating my own meeple, organizing forum meetups, or attending events such Essen or the International Carcassonne meetup. I hope to be able to take part in some of these again soon.

Over all these years, the friendships I've found through our shared passions of a topological rendition of the fields and cities of particular area of the South of France have been something I doubt I could have found anywhere else. Possibly, the greatest reward of being a member here is seeing all the people who help each other with their side projects, or collections.

Although the management is changing, I have every faith in Dan, whose character allows him to mediate everyone's interests. I know that whatever changes occur, Dan will make the right decision.

Hector/ Meepledrone
I was introduced into the world of Carcassonne by a friend back in the summer of 2003... When the base game, I&C, T&B, River I and King & Robber were the limit :o... I loved the game at first sight...ehrr... play. I switched jobs shortly after and the game stayed dormant for a years.

But something terrible happened in May 2018... I went on a short vacation with my wife and a couple of friends to the seaside and it rained a lot in the evenings. Don't ask me why but it happened I have my Carcassonne collection with me by chance... We had the most terrific evenings playing Carcassonne. ;D

So, I went back home completely ecstatic and I started to scan the Internet thoroughly to catch up with everything Carcassonne-y, joined Carcassonne Central, and loved the CAR (my summer bedtime reading) and its fan expansions... So I became a Carcassonne fan-expansion completionist and even started to create some fan expansions on my own or in collaboration with friends from the forum and off-line...

In September 2018 I joined the WICA project (https://wikicarpedia.com) as a co-founder along with Maj.Frost, Wolnic and Sinscerly and added plenty of content and the craziest stuff I could devise: An updated dynamic version of the Reference Chapters of the CAR, covering the Game structure, the Order of Play, the Scoring Summaries, the Figure Reference (along with Murphy013)... So I became a Carcassonne rules completionist and started to run some Advent Calendar Scoring Quizzes starting in 2019. (At last a good use for all that useless information... :o)

What other things has the forum done for me? Well, I also became a C1-C2-C3 Carcassonne completionist due to the worst influences there, but I don't have plans for a museum or the time being. ;)

Away from Carcassonne, I'm happily married to a wonderful and understanding wife who allows me to talk about Carcassonne nuances for hours on end (Carcassonne again, really? ::)) while she rolls her eyes... I also love binge viewing TV shows, Lego, retro games, eating ice cream and doing nothing from time to time.

Dan/ danisthirty
I was given my first Carcassonne game as a birthday present in 2012 and I've barely stopped playing it ever since. Much of the blame for my rapid descent into Carcassonne Completionism Disorder (CCD) lies with Carcassonne Central and the people who frequent it, but I've always felt that the friendly and supportive atmosphere here is something truly special and I wouldn't change it for the world! I've loved serving as an admin here for the last eight years and find great reward in sharing my passion for Carcassonne in a way that encourages others to do the same.

I play Carcassonne regularly at www.boardgamearena.com (find me there: danisthirty) and captained the UK Carcassonne Team for the World and European Online Team Championships 2020/21. I co-wrote "The Book of Carcassonne" in 2019/20, have commissioned my own personalised meeples and have been responsible for numerous CarcC initiatives including tournaments, newsletters, quizzes, competitions, giveaways and this 15th anniversary gift for Klaus-J├╝rgen Wrede which Tom and I took all the way to Essen to present to him.

Away from Carcassonne, I've been married to my wife Becky since 2008, and have two energetic but hilarious kids aged 11 and 8 who keep me pretty busy. I like many other boardgames (though none as much as Carcassonne), retro computer games, collecting Lego minifigures (I have around 500 so far), running, Pepsi Max and cheeseburgers. And finally, please note that I'm not thirsty.


Hopefully you'll agree that the site is in safe hands, even if those hands no longer belong to Gantry. There's lots planned already, and lots to look forward to, so please be excited and watch this space! :(y)

Linkback: https://www.carcassonnecentral.com/community/index.php?topic=5672.0
« Last Edit: January 17, 2022, 06:45:28 AM by danisthirty »

Offline Sinscerly

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Re: Carcassonne Central's New Owners
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2022, 04:13:30 AM »
Awesome write up Dan, I knew some things were already moving. Thank you Gantry for keeping the site up for many years and hopefully the site will stay up with the new maintainers forever  O0

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Offline kettlefish

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Re: Carcassonne Central's New Owners
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2022, 05:21:15 AM »
I wish the new CarcC leader team a good time with us members.

I hope that the community will be creative and active like all the years. (Sorry, I was not much active in the last few years.)

And also I send many thanks for the work to Gantry, Matt Harper, Scott an all the other members from the first time of CarcC.

Offline Meepledrone

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Re: Carcassonne Central's New Owners
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2022, 05:22:54 AM »
Thanks, Kettlefish!

We'd love to see mor eof you around!  ;D

 :black1-meeple: :green-meeple: :gray-meeple: :pink-meeple: :white-meeple: :neutral-meeple: :yellow-meeple: :brown-meeple: :orange-meeple: :violet-meeple: :red-meeple: :blue-meeple:
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Offline unclewill

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Re: Carcassonne Central's New Owners
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2022, 05:25:46 AM »
That's exciting news.
Thanks to Scott, Matt, Gantry and all others for the years of effort from genesis to the community that we enjoy today.
Congratulations Tom, Hector and Dan!
« Last Edit: January 17, 2022, 06:09:58 AM by unclewill »

Offline Challa007

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Re: Carcassonne Central's New Owners
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2022, 05:30:24 AM »
This is HUGE!!  :)
Thank you Dan, Tom and Hector for doing this for the community, its awesome  :(y) +1 merit for all of you
I mean, being admin or mod is one thing, but being the owner is a whole different responsibility. Thank you for accepting it.
And I love to finally have a picture of you! Really nice   :-*

Unfortunately, I have never been in touch with Gantry, Scott or Matt Harper or other early leaders, but I am sending my "Thank you" also out to all of you. Your names are written all over the place here, nobody will ever forget what you did (or are still doing) for the community!!  :(y)

Offline Meepledrone

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Re: Carcassonne Central's New Owners
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2022, 05:35:33 AM »
Thank you, @Challa007. Our pleasure...

Hope my picture solved the issues caused by my automatic translations on CarcF. :o

Offline Challa007

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Re: Carcassonne Central's New Owners
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2022, 05:46:44 AM »
Thank you, @Challa007. Our pleasure...

Hope my picture solved the issues caused by my automatic translations on CarcF. :o

Haha, well, we did sort that out earlier ;) ... but wait..... am I seeing a ponytail there or is that just my imagination...  :o

Offline Decar

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Re: Carcassonne Central's New Owners
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2022, 05:50:56 AM »
This is HUGE!!  :)
Thank you Dan, Tom and Hector for doing this for the community, its awesome  :(y) +1 merit for all of you
I mean, being admin or mod is one thing, but being the owner is a whole different responsibility. Thank you for accepting it.
And I love to finally have a picture of you! Really nice   :-*

Unfortunately, I have never been in touch with Gantry, Scott or Matt Harper or other early leaders, but I am sending my "Thank you" also out to all of you. Your names are written all over the place here, nobody will ever forget what you did (or are still doing) for the community!!  :(y)

Thanks for your kind words Challa007. And thanks for your help translating; especially during the Twitch stream!

Offline KlausiMausi

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Re: Carcassonne Central's New Owners
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2022, 06:22:56 AM »
That's great!  :(y)
Good luck and success to you all!  :)
there shall be disobedient meeple ... but it doesn't bother us

Offline Willem

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Re: Carcassonne Central's New Owners
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2022, 06:30:27 AM »

Hector/ Meepledrone

but I don't have plans for a museum or the time being. ;)


Why do I feel this is directed at me?  ::)

All joking aside, i think this is a great development for the forum.
Many many thanks to Gantry for starting it all and supporting the forum for so long, and it is always good to see it managed by 3 of the most a(ttra)ctive Carcassonne fans, and 3 great guys!

Congratulations guys!
« Last Edit: January 17, 2022, 06:55:50 AM by Willem »
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Offline Meepledrone

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Re: Carcassonne Central's New Owners
« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2022, 06:35:52 AM »
Thanks @Willem!

Who else could it be? >:D


Offline Bumsakalaka

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Re: Carcassonne Central's New Owners
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2022, 06:39:04 AM »
Congratulations!

Hope that we will have @mention module! :D

Offline Decar

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Re: Carcassonne Central's New Owners
« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2022, 06:43:10 AM »
That seems like such a good idea, until someone uses @here and we notify all 17500 members at once  C:-)

Offline danisthirty

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Re: Carcassonne Central's New Owners
« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2022, 06:43:18 AM »
Thanks for your kind comments everyone. It's great to know we have your support! :(y)

...and it is always good to see it managed by 3 of the most a(ttra)ctive Carcassonne fans, and 3 great guys!

Special thanks to you for this lovely and accurate comment too Willem. We certainly are. :-*


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