Author Topic: Thanksgiving Five-Player Base Game+IC+TB+PD  (Read 1110 times)

Offline kothmann

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Thanksgiving Five-Player Base Game+IC+TB+PD
« on: November 28, 2021, 09:07:21 AM »
Here's the image at the end of the game, before final scoring (the tiles got jostled setting up the photo; we don't play with such a messy landscape!):

Five players with 144 tiles:
   72 = Base
   24 = I&C (6 extra Inns)
   24 = T&B
   30 = P&D

House rules:
  • Each player gets 8 regular meeples, one Abbey (Exp#5), and one bridge (Exp#8).
  • Exp#1: No big meeple, proportional scoring for Cathedrals.
  • Exp#2: No pig, no builder, alternative scoring of trade goods.
  • Exp#3: No new rules--tiles only.
  • Border of mat closes all features (like Abbey).
  • Draw next tile immediately after turn.  Discard tile if Abbey is played.
  • Proportional scoring for farms

  • In order of finish, the players were my daughter Julia (Gray, 162 points), me (Red, 154 points), Annie (Green, 144 points), Matthew (Black, 134 points), and Harry (Yellow, 128 points).  Julia and I usually play aggressively, Matthew is experienced but plays a friendlier game, and Annie and Harry had only played once before.
  • Five players combined with a large tile mix and the Abbeys virtually eliminated "trapping".  It is just too hard to know how to make a "'hole" in the landscape or whom you should target even if you could make a hole.  This seems like a good thing for a family holiday game.  ;D  It was still plenty competitive, just more civil than our typical 2- or 3-player smaller game.  I prefer the smaller more aggressive games but will totally play these big games again at family gatherings.
  • Proportional scoring of farms is fantastic in a big game.  The big field ended up being worth 45 points, which rounded up to 48 with 4 meeples, so each meeple earned 12.  Julia had two meeples to Annie and Matthew each having one, and she earned a narrow victory.  With conventional scoring, she literally laps the bottom 3 players  ::), which is way less fun.
  • A mat is really great to have for a large game so there are no arguments about the edge of the table and also because everyone enjoys the easy closures on edges at the end of the game.  This mat is 13x23, so the game could be much bigger.
  • Speaking of keeping the game enjoyable, Annie said at the end that the only other time she played Carcassonne, the Dragon came out and ate everything and it was kind of miserable.  I had been inspired by a recent post by @PapaGeek to try official Dragon rules again, but everyone in our group seemed to be opposed, except possibly for the magic portals, which Matthew likes.
    • Annie came out with a couple of relatively early farmers, which I thought was a mistake, but she said, "I wanted to get all my meeples working for me."  I think it turned out well for her, as she got 27 points for her 3 farmers.  As a more experienced and shrewd player, Julia waited a bit longer to start farming  >:D and ended up with 30 points for 3 farmers.
    • Harry is a young teen and seemed to be enjoying just building a landscape.  8)  He also won the trade good battle, scoring a total of 14 points, beating Julia 12, Bruce 12, Matthew 4, and Annie 4.  Proportional trade-good scoring has higher total points but roughly the same point differentials.  It also keeps trade goods compelling and relevant to the very end.
    • I closed the 18-point city in the southwest by placing the tile at J-14, even though Matthew had invaded it twice.  This gave me 3 wheat tokens (12 points!), and avoided a protracted fight which I think can often just lead to both players losing.  I was happy with this decision in the end.
    • I made a tragic blunder about 2/3 of the way through the game by closing a city that Julia and I shared.  She was out of meeples at that point and I had plenty.  I didn't see an obviously better play but that was definitely a game-loser.   :(
    • It took about 2 hours to play and everyone had a great time.  It really is a fantastic game.

« Last Edit: February 13, 2024, 10:13:54 AM by kothmann »

Offline KBellon

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Re: Thanksgiving Five-Player Base Game+IC+TB+PD
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2021, 11:41:03 AM »
I like the proportional farm scoring as well. I never play certain sets of the river because they create a large central field and you can almost win the game if you own it.

Offline unclewill

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Re: Thanksgiving Five-Player Base Game+IC+TB+PD
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2021, 11:56:01 AM »
Hi kothmann, it looks and sounds like a great game!

I like it how you have tailored the experience so it is the most fun for everyone by picking the elements of the expansions that you want to use. Great for players of varying age/ interest/ experience.

I am interested in trying out some of the scoring variations you discuss, particularly proportionality. For big games we tend to dispense with farmers and either just use shepherds or ignore the green spaces so this is an approach we might try.

I guess proportional scoring still gives an incentive to dominate but I presume the winner still has to be at least competitive in most aspects of the game to get a winning score? A broad approach is required and swing is reduced so the better player is likely to score higher (all other aspects being equal). Does that fit with your experience?

Thanks for sharing.

« Last Edit: November 28, 2021, 11:57:32 AM by unclewill »

Offline Challa007

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Re: Thanksgiving Five-Player Base Game+IC+TB+PD
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2021, 08:43:50 PM »
Hi kothmann,
happy to see that you had great fun with Carcassonne at Thanksgiving!  :)

Thanks for sharing your game! Proportionally scoring sounds like a nice variant to me (I had not heard of before). We will definitely try!!  ;D

Keep up the fun!  :pink-meeple:

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