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Halflings can slow down the game!

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As we continue to expand our Strategies on playing Carcassonne, individual turns seem to be taking longer.  We are no longer just looking at how to place our new tile to improve the features that we have claimed, but we are also looking at how to use that new tile to Sabotage our opponents and/or how to freeload on the work they have done.

Now comes the Halflings tiles!  The basic rules seem to indicate that you start off with the 12 Halflings I tiles plus the 12 Halflings II tiles and each player draws 3 Halflings while the rest are put out of play back in the box.  The timing with these rules seems to be getting out of hand!

Now instead of drawing a tile and considering if we should play it to improve our game or mess with someone else’s game is only the second phase of your turn’s timing.  Phase one is now looking at your Halflings each turn to determine if you should use a Halfling or draw a random tile.

We have thought of a few options, such as drawing only 1 or 2 Halflings at the start of the game and possibly keeping the remaining Halflings as replacements until they are all gone.

Has anyone else experienced the slow down caused by the Halflings?  And have you come up with any solutions?


When I play with Haflings and/or German castles we are not as disciplined as to check these tiles in our supply every turn. If you see an interesting gap you may check then. Otherwise, like you said, the game will slow down if each tile placement involves checking all your options...  :o

Our group started playing Carcassonne in June 2021 and we have already found and read the “Carcassonne Strategy Guide” published by Meeple Mountain:

And we are already into “Every tile is useful”.  We are spending about the same amount of time maximizing our own scores as we spend minimizing each other’s scores.

Carcassonne King:
Yeah, that is kind of a problem, so we decided to not follow the rules on this one.  At our house, we take turns randomly drawing the halfling tiles at the end after all of the regular tiles have been exhausted.  This system has worked well for us.

Thanks for the suggestion, but that removes a lot of what we find interesting with the Halflings.

When someone isolates one or more of your meeples by creating a tile space that basically does not exist “on all four sides”, a Halfling only has to match on two sides to upset their Isolation move.

When they place a parasite city tile and meeple at a right angle to the edge of your large city to force you to share the city, a Halfling can ignore their city tile and maybe even isolate their meeple!

And 5 of the 24 combined Halflings include roads that terminate in the middle of a field that allows you to join the farms on both sides of the road.

There is even a “random” crop circle.  Playing the normal Crop Circle expansion, each of the 6 crop circle tiles force you to take action on the fields, roads, OR cities.  The Halfling crop circle lets you choose field, road, or city before choosing the Crop Circle Action.

Our game night this weekend we will probably try drawing just a single Halfling each with the remaining Halflings on the side as replacements.


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