Author Topic: Next Move Strategy  (Read 1429 times)

Offline PapaGeek

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Next Move Strategy
« on: May 06, 2022, 10:23:48 AM »
When our group introduces new players to the game, one of the first things we talk about is the Next Move Strategy!

Each turn in Carcassonne is divided into 3 phases: 1. Draw and Place a tile, 2. Place a meeple and 3. Score a feature. When you start playing Carcassonne your primary objective with each New Tile is how you can score the most points with it - how to maximize your point scoring. As you continue to play Carcassonne, you start to develop strategies for how to maximize your points while minimizing your opponent's points! Eventually, you start to think about your Next Move, then you start thinking about your opponent's Next Move!

The Next Move Strategy

A large part of the Next Move Strategy is understanding what tile could be drawn for making that Next Move.

Memorizing the lists of what tiles are included in every expansion of the Carcassonne game and then combining those lists to know what tiles are available in the current game you are playing is nearly impossible except for the real experts who have played thousands of games.

So, if the Next Move Strategy doesn't depend on that level of understanding, what does it depend on?

Your Next Move and your opponents Next Move will be more difficult if the Next Move Tile has to match 2 sides instead just 1, 3 sides instead of just 2, and 4 sides instead of just 3 makes it extremely difficult!

If the first player in a new basic game extends the road with a RFRF tile and the second player draws a CCFF tile, how should they place their tile? What does the Next Move have to do with it?

Placing this tile as shown in the first example will require your Next Move tile to match the existing board on two sides while placing the same tile as shown in the second example will only require your Next Move tile to match the existing board on only one side. 44 of the 72 Basic Game Tiles have a city on at least one side while only 25 tiles have a city on one side with a field on an adjacent side. But you don't have to know the exact numbers to know what your best move is!

The odds of randomly picking a tile that you need is considerably reduced by the number of sides that your tile has to match!
OK, you chose the best placement of your tile for your game, but your opponent also knows about the Next Move Strategy, so when they draw their RRFF next tile, what should they do?

Do they place their tile to reduce the chances of another player completing their feature, or place their tile to complete or extend one of their own features, or, is there a way of doing both at the same time?

Yes, both placements of your RRFF tile as shown will cause your opponent to match 2 sides instead of one on their Next Move, but... The one on the right leaves you needing only a 1 sided match for your Road -?- but the one on the left might also force your opponent to help you extend your Road! Ever wonder why the more games you play, the longer it takes you to make your Next Move?

The expansion of your Next Move Strategy is the primary way that you become a better and better Carcassonne player. As you grow in the game you start looking at the Next Next Move, etc.

And, there is also an extremely important reason for expanding your implementation of this strategy, when you limit your opponent's opportunities to complete their features, you are also trapping their meeples on the board, hopefully for the rest of the game!

The very first topic in The Book of Carcassonne, Chapter 8: Advanced Strategy; is "The Art of the Trap", how to trap your opponents meeples on the board! It talks about Digging Holes, how to create 4 sided empty spaces that are impossible or at least nearly impossible to fill, and using these holes to trap your opponent’s meeples on the board. It then talks about the situations when you should or should not consider digging holes, and of course, some of the strategies used to defend against having your meeples trapped.

One final thought that is extremely important: If you don't win, learn. Sometimes the tiles are against you; this is an opportunity to analyze the game you just lost and learn something from it.

Totally addicted to this game

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