Author Topic: Stealing Cities with Phantoms  (Read 2263 times)

Offline PapaGeek

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Stealing Cities with Phantoms
« on: March 03, 2022, 05:41:38 AM »
Footnote 445 in the latest Annotated Rules, S_CARv7.4, printed on May 22, 2015 states:

The placement of a princess tile (Princess & Dragon) with removal of a knight from the city cannot be used as a first “follower move” and be followed by placement of the Phantom (e.g. into the now-vacated city). As per the rules for the princess, “if a knight is removed from the city, the player may not deploy or move any other figure.” [This combo would be too powerful in allowing city stealing. –ed.]

While the WikiCarPedia page for Exp 4: The Tower; in the Other expansions (Phantom) section, gives the example:


 
Where Blue owns the city, Red places a Tower Tile, then places a tower floor on the NEW tower tile to capture Blue’s meeple, then the Red Phantom is placed on the Tower Tile to steal the City.

This example is not in the Annotated Rules, and it sort of goes against the princess example that is in the Annotated Rules, but I do like the aggressive nature of what WikiCarPedia is suggesting.

But let’s take this a step further!


 
In this example, Red’s new tile is not a tower tile, it is a trader tile that will complete the city. But, there is also a tower base tile with one floor next to the city, placing the Blue meeple in range when Red’s initial meeple placement is used to add a second floor to the existing tower to capture the Blue meeple, allowing Red’s Phantom to be placed on the new trader tile which allows Red to steal the city!

If WikiCarPedia is saying that the first example allows a player to steal a city, can the second example also be used to steal a city?


Linkback: https://www.carcassonnecentral.com/community/index.php?topic=5805.0
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Offline Bumsakalaka

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Re: Stealing Cities with Phantoms
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2022, 06:27:56 AM »
CAR is outdated and not include newest clarifications. Also some new reprint of rules include updated and corrected rules. And at all, WICA is new CAR
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Offline corinthiens13

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Re: Stealing Cities with Phantoms
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2022, 09:20:51 AM »
And yes, both examples are possible. P&D has the restriction you mentioned in official rules, but there's not such restriction in tower rules  :yellow-meeple:

Offline DIN0

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Re: Stealing Cities with Phantoms
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2022, 09:42:10 AM »
Well since someone finally brought it up, it is time for me to unveil my years long thoughts on this specific clarification. This will probably come out as a slight rant, but it is meant to be informative - the true story of princess/phantom interaction and why it's silly.

I have always found the princess/phantom restriction to be a very cheap move on the part of the rule authors.
The reason for that is that they realized the combo was "too strong" and wanted to prevent players from doing that. They ended up creating a completely artificial and arbitrary restriction and used the specific wording of the princess rules as a tacked-on justification. They were simply lucky that the wording of the princess rules was outdated by the time of the phantom's arrival on the Carcassonne scene. Let me explain...

The rulling in princess states the following: "If a knight is removed from the city, the player may not deploy or move any other figure."
This served to let players know that the princess seduction action takes the slot of the "move wood" phase (in CAR terms) and thus cannot be fitted with any other "move wood" action (be it figure deployment or its equivalent). However the time frame is the key here.
At the time this sentence was written, the alternative move wood actions were in their infancy and in fact the fairy and princess were the very first ones introduced into the game and the only ones available at the time. So the only actions to choose from to fill the move wood slot were: deploy a follower/special figure*, move a fairy, seduce with princess.
The only other two alternative actions for using the princess seduction both involve moving some kind of a figure - so it is only natural the wording of the rules reflected that. Hence the "If a knight is removed from the city, the player may not deploy or move any other figure." . It was merely meant to let you know your deployment action equivalent was used up for that turn.

Now fast forward 6 years. The number of actions capable of filling the deployment (move wood) slot grew substantially, including the Tower expansion. Most of the newer rules acknowledged this plurality and worded their rules accordingly. When phantom was released a second move wood slot was opened for the first time and it was exclusive for the phantom deployment. Even if the first slot is filled with any other equivalent action, you can still place the phantom as your second. Even in the case of princess there is nothing mechanistically prohibiting you from placing a phantom - the princess seduction fills the first slot and phantom the second.

However, this is where the arbitrary rules come in. The authors were clearly dissatisfied with how strong the phantom was, especially in combination with other expansion such as the princess. They wanted to limit its strength, but making a random restriction simply on the basis of "it's too strong, we don't like it, please don't do that" is not convincing and unsupported by how the game actually works.
But, in the case of princess, they lucked-out and found a loophole - the out of date wording of the rules, if taken literaly could be spun into a new much stronger restriction covering the phantom. The authors used the wording  "If a knight is removed from the city, the player may not deploy or move any other figure." The original spirit of the sentence was abandoned and the literal wording was used to justify extending the restriction to the end of the turn, period. It is a deliberate misrepresentation of the original meaning of the rules used as an excuse to justify making a completely arbitrary restriction on what would otherwise be a totally valid play.
The reason we do not see this in case of the tower (which is by the way much stronger combo with phantom than the princess) is that the authors did not have this kind of wordplay foothold to support them.

That is why I always disliked this specific princess/phantom clarification - it is a very sloppy bandate for a lack of foresight and essentially amounts to "We couldn't think of anything better for a solution, but look here, if you take this sentence out of context and squint really hard, you can say the restriction was there all along! Brilliant right? No. >:(
...

Sorry if the post was too rant-like for your taste, but it's all in good spirit  ;D  I am not actually mad at the authors', but I did want to provide my critique of their decisions. In conclusion,it is for the afformentioned reasons this clarification is included firmly on my blacklist of silliest official clarifications provided :black1-meeple:

The true solution to the problem (which isn't really that big or strong) is to simply play better - try to avoid the effects of this move, or play it yourself. As everything in Carcassonne, it will even out over the course of the game/s. If the stronger tower/phantom version can be dealt with, it's weaker cousin should be no problem (and it isn't [source=experience]).

 

*this distiction also did not exist at the time

Offline Vital Pluymers

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Re: Stealing Cities with Phantoms
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2022, 10:39:09 PM »
Hi DINO, I agree!

+1 merit from me.

Offline ny1050220

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Re: Stealing Cities with Phantoms
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2022, 07:34:02 PM »
Without the knowledge of the timing of any rules or FAQs or clarification, I can understand and accept that one may not deploy the phantom after removing a knight with the princess tile but one may do so after removing a knight with a tower.

If there are towers, your phantom risks being captured in the next round by your opponent if they want to retaliate. Your opponent does not need to draw the tower tile to add to a tower and there may be multiple towers/bases that they can build on to capture your phantom. All they need to have is a tower piece and a tower/base that can capture your phantom.

In contrast, there is a much smaller chance that your opponent can steal back the city even if the combo in question were allowed. They have to draw a princess tile and that very tile has to have appropriate edges and orientation to connect to the city.

Offline PapaGeek

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Re: Stealing Cities with Phantoms
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2022, 09:37:34 PM »
Let’s take this forum thread to another another another level!

The Bazaar, Tower, Builder, Phantom combo!

As I combine the Bazaar, Tower, Builder, and Phantom Expansions together, things really get wild!

I’m just one of the players in the game and I bid on a Bazaar Tile that will expand the feature that I currently have my builder on.  There is also a Tower base on the map with one floor that is three tiles away from another meeple that is controlling a large incomplete city.  When it is my turn to place my auctioned tile, I place it on my builder’s feature, I do not place a meeple so that I can place a second tower floor on the Tower base.  Then I take my builder second turn where I am lucky to draw the city tile that will complete my opponent’s large city.  Again, I do not place a meeple so that I can place the another tower floor on the tower base which puts the large city’s owner in range, so I capture the meeple leaving the city unoccupied then place my Phantom on the city tile I just placed scoring all of the point for the large city, or should I say stealing them!

There are no specific rules in CAR for the combination of these expansions, but as far as I can tell, all of what I just said does follow the rules for each individual expansion!
« Last Edit: March 06, 2022, 09:59:35 PM by PapaGeek »

Offline corinthiens13

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Re: Stealing Cities with Phantoms
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2022, 10:34:54 PM »
As far as I can tell, this indeed follows the rules and is simply a... Very well played double turn  :yellow-meeple:

Offline cicerunner

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Re: Stealing Cities with Phantoms
« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2022, 11:39:20 AM »
Let’s take this forum thread to another another another level!

The Bazaar, Tower, Builder, Phantom combo ...
This is a thing of beauty!

And speaking as someone who has played only with the Builder of all the elements you mention I'm clearly still not appreciating the full beauty ...

Is this thing so esoteric that it only exists hypothetically? Or have you actually played such a combo? (Combo, combo.)

+1 merit from me! :)

Offline PapaGeek

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Re: Stealing Cities with Phantoms
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2022, 01:35:57 AM »
We have already played various games with Builders, Bazaars, and Towers, and yes, using a builder to place a first and second tower floor to remove an opponent from a feature has happened many times.

Our Phantoms are currently on order, so this thread is just us looking at the hypothetical ways that we will be using our Phantoms to “steal” things in the next week or so!

And yes, we are definitely planning to play this combo as soon as we get the Phantoms!

Offline Meepledrone

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Re: Stealing Cities with Phantoms
« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2022, 01:47:46 AM »
Just in case, the phantom is great for immediate scorings that you can combine with a wooden meeple for a longer play.

We always play with phantoms. ;D
Questions about rules? Check WICA: wikicarpedia.com

Offline Challa007

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Re: Stealing Cities with Phantoms
« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2022, 03:04:46 AM »
We always play with phantoms. ;D

We ALWAYS play with phantoms, too  ;D

Offline Meepledrone

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Re: Stealing Cities with Phantoms
« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2022, 03:39:49 AM »
Even if they've been neglected in C2, they have a special place in out hearts... ^-^

Offline PapaGeek

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Re: Stealing Cities with Phantoms
« Reply #13 on: March 08, 2022, 12:02:15 PM »
I think our group is also going to get addicted to the Phantoms.  We are waiting for our first set of real Phantoms to arrive before making that decision.

On the other hand, our games are almost always played with 4 players and sometimes 6 players. SO, because they both add extra meeples to the score card, we are seriously talking about not even trying the Robber and Messages expansions. 4 players, 8 or 12 meeples on the score card, how fair is that for the two players who are not sitting next to the score card? And make that 12 of 18 meeples with 6 players!!!

If we are not using the Robbers as score card meeples, they might be distinctive enough to use as Phantoms!

Offline Meepledrone

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Re: Stealing Cities with Phantoms
« Reply #14 on: March 08, 2022, 12:05:40 PM »
If we are not using the Robbers as score card meeples, they might be distinctive enough to use as Phantoms!

Robbers on the board... They musy be so happy to leave the scoreboard for once...

Are you getting real phantoms or teachers instead?


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