Author Topic: Tactical Tips for Ferries  (Read 2684 times)

Offline kothmann

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Tactical Tips for Ferries
« on: February 13, 2023, 11:19:18 AM »
I like the Ferries more than I thought I would.  It’s a bit chaotic but fun.

The obvious new tactic is simply to use a ferry to join an opponent’s valuable road.  More than some other expansions, I like this because the opponent often has a chance to kick you out before the road is completed.  So player interaction and tension rise.  Fun.

But are there other more subtle tactics?  I’m especially interested in ways to combine multiple ferry tiles in interesting or unexpected ways.  (I think 8 ferry tiles is too many so I’m thinking of splitting up my set into 2 groups in an irreversible way.  But before I do that, I’m wondering if I might end up losing out on something that is really cool.)

Thanks in advance for any tips.

Linkback: https://www.carcassonnecentral.com/community/index.php?topic=6278.0
« Last Edit: February 19, 2023, 06:24:46 PM by kothmann, Reason: Change Title: Question to Statement »

Offline Snearone

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Re: Tactical Tips for Ferries?
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2023, 03:44:08 PM »
Scoring more then once the "same" road. Especially when it have an inn. Even better when combined with Mage meeple.
Yes, my friends don't like it, but I do. Very much  ;D ;D ;D
Completed: Robber's Son | Gambler's Luck | Vistas Revisited | First Wells | The Flying Machines 2
WIP: The Occult Tower | Binding Deed | Wandering Preachers | City Gates Rebuilt | New King's Orders

Offline kothmann

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Re: Tactical Tips for Ferries?
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2023, 11:20:54 AM »
I searched the Forum for tips on playing Ferries, and found this little gem:

...I did once try to convince my wife to play a game with just the six Ferries tiles, just to make our brains hurt -- it never happened

I didn't want to play with just 6 tiles, but I do like small games, so I decided to give it a go--it was fun!



Used the RRRR Ferry as the start tile, and then grabbed 24 other interesting tiles with no cities.  To prevent cloisters from being too powerful, they scored only 5 points when surrounded by adjacent (non-diagonal) tiles.  Inns scored as usual.  No gold or dragon.

The photo shows Yellow placing the last tile of the game.  Final score of this self-play test: Red 42, Yellow 41, Black 41.

I feel like it helped me develop a sense of how to play Ferries.  But also could be a fun little diversion on its own.  My daughter has already agreed to play next time we're together, so stay tuned for a real game report...

Offline kothmann

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Re: Tactical Tips for Ferries?
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2023, 12:54:36 PM »
Played with my wife.  I got 4/5 cloisters but she got 4/5 Inns.  She didn’t get closing tiles at the end and I squeaked out a win 38-36.

I definitely understand Ferries better now.  Particularly how to permanently fix a ferry when completing a road versus how to make it possible to reopen it.  >:D


Offline Challa007

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Re: Tactical Tips for Ferries?
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2023, 01:36:26 AM »
 :D

Offline kothmann

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Re: Tactical Tips for Ferries
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2023, 07:00:56 PM »
I definitely understand Ferries better now.

Okay, so I thought I would try writing down some of my thoughts.  I suspect the ideas I have so far are pretty well known, but maybe somebody in 2031 will find this useful ...

The Basic "Steal"
If an opponent has a valuable road and you get a ferry, you can join the opponent's road in one turn (unlike the usual "place a meeple this turn and connect it next turn" sequence).  It looks like this when Yellow joins the valuable Red road:

Of course, Yellow is not guaranteed to benefit from this, because the ferry can move again, but I think this play is almost always the best thing to do in this situation.

The Double Score
This one surprised me.  If you have a valuable road, and you draw a ferry, I think your best play is to connect the ferry tile to the existing road, but don't simply extend the road: instead, put a meeple on one of the new road ends, and then connect the two docks that don't connect to the valuable road!  This will close the valuable road (in this case, Red immediately scores 8 points and removes the meeple on the completed road):

The idea here is that on a subsequent turn, you can complete the newly created road and shift the ferry back to the valuable road, scoring even more points this time (in this case, Red scores 10 points)!

Note that after this play, the ferry can never be moved again, because the only open dock does not have a ferry.  Also note that although an opponent can prevent the double-score, they cannot "re-steal" the road by immediately (that is, in one turn) by placing a meeple on a regular tile, because your meeple is already occupying that road:

Probably the best play for an opponent in this case is the defensive move of placing the tile without the meeple and moving the ferry, permanently closing the valuable road so that you can't score it again:

Although defense is probably the best play with a regular tile that completes a road, there is a risk that the opponent will draw another ferry tile, in which case they can immediately take possession of the valuable road segment:

After this move, the original ferry (top of image) can never be moved again.  The second ferry is still movable, so Yellow's advantage here is not permanent, but it will take Red multiple turns to prevent the steal.
I’m especially interested in ways to combine multiple ferry tiles in interesting or unexpected ways....I’m wondering if I might end up losing out on something that is really cool
The answer to my original question is definitely YES!  Having many ferry tiles definitely changes the risk-reward balance of going for the double-score!  More ferry tiles makes this play more risky!

Other Situations
I'm still working on understanding the best plays in more complex situations.  But I think the basic insights described here have helped me understand and enjoy Ferries a lot more.  I hope I'll learn more and post again sometime soon.

As always, questions or comments welcomed.  It is difficult to be sure you haven't overlooked a logical flaw when you are only playing against yourself!   ::)

Offline Challa007

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Re: Tactical Tips for Ferries
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2023, 04:57:25 AM »
Now, anwering Advent Quizz Questions with ferries should be a piece of (roscon) cake or you  ;)

2022
https://www.carcassonnecentral.com/community/index.php?topic=6182.msg89402#msg89402

Give it a try :)

Offline kothmann

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Re: Tactical Tips for Ferries
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2023, 05:09:08 AM »
Thanks!  That puzzle was delicious!

Offline kothmann

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Re: Tactical Tips for Ferries?
« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2023, 07:16:36 AM »
Another game with my wife.  Much more exciting.  I (Blue) used a Ferry (top left of photo below) to end a 5-tile Inn road my wife had made, with the intention of reopening it later.  But then she extended my road with the FRRR tile from A&M, which meant I would have a hard time completing the road from that dock.  Fortunately, I connected it the other dock to a road that already had my thief on it, and then a miracle happened: I got another ferry, allowing me to close the now 9-tile Inn road and set up to open-and-close it again as a 10-tile road.  I began celebrating that I would score a total of 38 points!  Here is a photo of the joyous moment:

But then tragedy!  My wife's next tile was a road ending! She pulled the defensive maneuver of playing it on the unoccupied open dock of my ferry, and then switching the ferry to permanently close the 10-tile Inn road with nobody on it!   >:D

Ferries are so great!  And not just because I managed to hold on to win 43-36.  ::)  Here is the final landscape:


I have been working on another "tactical summary" post, but even single-Ferry tactics get quite complex quickly...

Hope to post over the weekend...


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