Poll

What do you think of this variant of The Tunnel rules?

I prefer the original rules. Mercy is for the weak!
2 (50%)
I prefer the variant rules. Trapping is baaaaad!
0 (0%)
I would use both versions depending on my game partners
1 (25%)
I would prefer another option... Let me explain
1 (25%)
I won't play The Tunnel at all!
0 (0%)

Total Members Voted: 4

Author Topic: Official variant for The Tunnel  (Read 2157 times)

Offline Meepledrone

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Official variant for The Tunnel
« on: September 27, 2021, 12:19:06 PM »
The Tunnel is one of those expansions players may hate because it allows you to block meeples on roads very easily:
1) You extend a road with a tunnel tile and place a tunnel token right away on the tunnel entrance connected to the road
2) You never place the second tunnel token on any other tunnel
This cutthroat tactic can keep those meeples blocked until the end of the game if you are not playing with at least one expansion that allows you to remove meeples from the playing area.

You can check the rules here:
https://wikicarpedia.com/index.php/The_Tunnel_(1st_edition)

This said, some time ago I came across this thread on BGG where one of the a user posts some clarifications he got from the author of the expansion himself, Christwart Conrad. (For trivia lovers, he is also the author of The Plague and Mini #5 - Mage & Witch). Here is the thread:

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/455033/rules

The discussion was mainly focused on when the tunnel tokens can be placed, and it was confirmed that they can be placed at any time: before placing a tile, after placing a tile, before placing a meeple, after placing a meeple, after scoring... You name it.

So far, so good. What surprised me was that Christwart also covered this cutthroat use of his expansion.

Quote
Christwart>>
In addition, I want to add another situation: A player places his big meeple on a road and another player continues the road with a tunnel, placing his tunnel token there - and never places his second one. So for the whole game, the big meeple is blocked. I didn't think of the possibility of such destructive play. I suggest that the affected player is allowed to steal the 2nd token and may place it immediately by himself during his turn, if the owner of the token didn't use at least one opportunity to place it.

What do you thing of the variant he suggests? Do you like it? Would you use it or would you use the original rules?

Linkback: https://www.carcassonnecentral.com/community/index.php?topic=5481.0
Questions about rules? Check WICA: wikicarpedia.com

Offline Willem

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Re: Official variant for The Tunnel
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2021, 02:40:50 PM »
It is interesting that he wants to avoid the cutthroat use of the tunnels, however it is a bit tricky to use I think.
What constitutes "at least one good opportunity to use it"? It's not usual if the owner of the token needs to defend not placing the token, and I can also understand them not wanting to use it immediately.
If a road is worth trying to steal, the owner of the token would want to set up enough of their own meeples on a other road to then connect through the other token.
But when those points are reached, are subjective and normally players are not forced to lay out their tactics
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Offline Whaleyland

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Re: Official variant for The Tunnel
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2021, 02:59:52 PM »
I think a much simpler solution is that when a Road with a Tunnel is claimed, that player *must* place both tokens at the same time. This may stop people from claiming Tunnel Roads early on, but it would virtually eliminate the stranding capacity since it would be the obligation of the player who claimed the Road to claim both sides of the Tunnel. I think also not having the Tunnel tokens player-specific helps.

Offline kothmann

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Re: Official variant for The Tunnel
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2021, 06:38:20 PM »
I don’t own and have never played with the tunnel.  So, my comments are all thought experiments with respect to the proposed changes.
  • Suppose I place a tunnel tile in such a way that a road on that tile leads to a hole in the landscape (RCFC, RFCF in base game) and I place a token on that road.  I have now created the threat of placing another tunnel tile, if I draw one, and placing the matching token to link a road with an opponent’s meeple to the hole, trapping that meeple.  The proposed rule change would not prevent this?  Maybe that is okay, but it seems to create a new and ominous threat for placing meeples on roads?  The proposed rule change would not stop this, right?
  • I agree with @Willem’s comment that “at least one opportunity” seems to make it difficult to place a token on an opponent’s road, with the hope of placing another token on a future turn that would allow you to join that road.  This would seem to be one of the most useful applications of the tunnel?  Is it accurate that the rules do not allow a player to place 2 tokens on the same turn?  That would seem to be the only way to salvage a steal?
  • What if there are multiple players on an occupied road that are trapped by an opponent?  May any one of those players claim the token whenever they wish?  How do we keep track of when a player has had “one opportunity” so we know that the opponents may now steal?
  • I count 11 tunnels with 12 tokens.  Is it illegal under the proposed rules to place the 11th token, because it could never be completed?

Now I’ll really go out on a limb with my own suggestion.  I like @Whaleyland’s idea of “not having Tunnel tokens be player-specific”.  They could be a shared resource.  In that case, perhaps token placement would be in lieu of placing a meeple—it should cost something to place a token.  Finally, what if a player could only place a token on a road on which that player has a meeple?  You have to start your invasion from your own road, and you can only trap if you are willing to trap your own meeple at the same time?  It seems like players would often end up cooperating to increase the value of road, which would be a good thing, in my opinion.

I’m not voting in the poll, because I think you have to play with variants to give them a fair shake.  There are probably reason that my rules wouldn’t work.  But if I were voting, I would pick “change the rules, but not with the proposed change.”

Thanks for posting.  This is interesting.  Actually, it kind of makes me want to get the tunnels, but they are about 100 Euro on BGG!  Yikes.  Maybe I can fake it with existing FRRR tiles…

Offline Allograft

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Re: Official variant for The Tunnel
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2021, 06:48:48 PM »
I haven't played Der Tunnel yet, so I can't comment. -  :pink-meeple:

Offline Bumsakalaka

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Re: Official variant for The Tunnel
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2021, 02:05:00 AM »
I don't know. I don't like that idea about stealing of 2nd token. Then this expansions total lost its beauty.
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Offline Bumsakalaka

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Re: Official variant for The Tunnel
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2021, 02:05:43 AM »
I haven't played Der Tunnel yet, so I can't comment. -  :pink-meeple:


Check it in JCloisterZone. You will definitely wanted to buy that expansion!

Offline Bumsakalaka

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Re: Official variant for The Tunnel
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2021, 02:08:42 AM »
And original Tunnel is awesome expansions uses:
1. points strategy to join large roads
2. offensive strategy to invade to existing opponents roads
3. defensive strategy for blocking other players meeples

Awesome. I hoped that this will is candidate to Essen mini expansion, but The Gifts will be.

So none redesign of C1 mini this year? WFT!

Offline Ker42

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Re: Official variant for The Tunnel
« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2021, 07:26:23 AM »
Actually, it kind of makes me want to get the tunnels, but they are about 100 Euro on BGG!  Yikes.  Maybe I can fake it with existing FRRR tiles…
Same reason why I don't own the original, but there's a fan expansion download you could try: https://www.carcassonnecentral.com/community/index.php?action=downloads;sa=view;down=295
I printed it but haven't tried it yet.
It's all fun and games...until the Mirror Zone comes out.

Offline Meepledrone

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Re: Official variant for The Tunnel
« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2021, 07:56:00 AM »
Check this post add more angles to the discussion about rules variants for The Tunnel...

https://www.carcassonnecentral.com/community/index.php?topic=2571.0

This has been a hot topic for quite a while... Is the expansion flawed?

Offline corinthiens13

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Re: Official variant for The Tunnel
« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2021, 01:16:14 PM »
I do also think the steal token rule is quite difficult to apply... I usually play with the house rule "do not use a tunnel token to block an opponent's meeple"  :yellow-meeple:

Offline Bumsakalaka

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Re: Official variant for The Tunnel
« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2021, 01:27:02 PM »
I do also think the steal token rule is quite difficult to apply... I usually play with the house rule "do not use a tunnel token to block an opponent's meeple"  :yellow-meeple:

Well, to be honest. We play at home absolute non "war" variant of Mega Carcassonne. Mine road, Mine German Castle, Mine German Castle bonuses, Mine Gold tokens, Mine FARM! (horrible) :D


Offline Decar

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Re: Official variant for The Tunnel
« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2021, 01:11:07 AM »
So that's basically the problem with the expansion. You can simply trap meeple with it.

I dont think the fix is to make it easy to steal the token from the other player, because then there's little benefit using your first token.

It won't fix the problem if the player decides to place their 2nd token to simply trap the big meeple on their next turn. So the exit runs to a road that traps too.

Adding more complexity to unwriggle an issue just introduces more issues in the long run.

Like what happens if you place your token, then the player adds their meeple to a road, does that mean they can steal the token on their next turn?


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