Author Topic: First Mists Over Carcassonne Session Reports  (Read 1447 times)

Offline Whaleyland

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First Mists Over Carcassonne Session Reports
« on: December 26, 2022, 04:11:45 PM »
Happy Holidays everyone!

So, I picked up the German version of Mists Over Carcassonne during the Advent event on CundCo and finally gave it a try today. Like most my Carcassonne playthroughs, it was just two-player, though I don't think that has a huge impact on this iteration of the game. In any case, I made the bold and, in hindsight, presumptuous decision to start at Level 2. That was a grave mistake.

Game 1: Level 2
Drew a Cemetery tile as the very first tile and promptly drew a bunch of tiles showing Mist that couldn't be connected together. We quickly ran out of meeples with our Cemetery in possession of 6(!) when the last ghost was placed. Game lost.

Game 2: Level 2
The first Cemetery came out a few turns into the game, but was quickly followed by a second Cemetery. This didn't impact much, to be honest, but the game was already feeling brutal. The ghosts were gone within a few turns and we felt like we could do absolutely nothing to stop them. Game lost.

Game 3: Level 1
We decided to switch to Level 1 to get a few victories under our belt before returning to Level 2. Also presumptuous of us as we soon discovered. We quickly ended up with an out-of-control massive Mist field and it was eating up our ghosts fast. We staved it off a few turns by drawing vanilla tiles and single-ghost tiles, but the latter just increased the size of the giant field even more. Game lost.

Game 4: Level 1
We immediately went in for a rematch and got what we thought was lucky by drawing a bunch of vanilla tiles early on. That eventually got us up to 44 points of the 50 we needed to win! But with barely any vanilla tiles left, all we had were ghosts, and we made the mistake again of allowing a single Mist field to grow to an unmanageable size. Our 6 points fled ever into the distance as we ran out of options. Game lost.

Game 5: Level 1
We decided this game that our primary goal was to make small Mist fields and avoid a monster field. We also were going to aim for more smaller-scoring features than large features like big cities. The problem is that we kept drawing Mist tiles with lots of ghosts on them. Against our best wishes, some of these fields merged and made awkward holes that we weren't able to fill. Game lost.

Game 6: Level 1
Attempting the strategy again from the previous try, we went for small Mist fields and small features. We had some luck early on and managed to get up to 26 points, but the small point gains weren't increasing fast enough and we kept drawing Mist tiles with awkwardly-arranged Roads on them. We had some luck fending these off initially but then we suddenly stopped drawing more Mist tiles with Roads, which meant we couldn't complete any of the Mist fields. The Roads were killing us slowly but surely. After some truly terrible draws of those insidious three-ghost tiles, we lost our sixth and final game of the day.

Recap: Mists Over Carcassonne is no light-weight co-op game. Just getting good enough to attempt Level 2 is a challenge. Like all Carcassonne games, luck is a major factor which can make or break the game, but there really is a lot of strategy in this game too. Honestly, we're not huge fans of co-op games in general and I mostly bought this game for the Ghosts, Castles & Cemeteries expansion. Having lost the co-op mode six times in rather rapid succession, I am not sure how much more we're going to try it. My partner really hates losing games, and when nobody wins multiple times in a row, she gets even more jaded. I think we'll try the expansion next and see how we like that. I would be willing to try Mists Over Carcassonne again, but my advice to anyone playing it for the first time: it is much more difficult than it appears!

Linkback: https://www.carcassonnecentral.com/community/index.php?topic=6212.0

Offline Challa007

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Re: First Mists Over Carcassonne Session Reports
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2022, 06:08:55 AM »
Hi @Whaleyland,

I just cannot believe that level 1 should be so un-feasable.
Level 6 IS unfeasable, but you should be able to do level 1-5.

From my own experience *sigh*  I can tell that most find it difficult because there is some misunderstanding of the rules. (we misinterpreted the rules at two different stages!!)

You might want to check here:

https://www.carcassonnecentral.com/community/index.php?topic=5778.msg89003#msg89003

my biggest advice:
you need to create cities with meeples of at least 2 colors, better 3 or 4 colors. If you don't do that, it is very hard to win, especially in the later levels.
In normal Carcassonne this is the competitive part, here in the Coop Version it is the Coop part  :D

Also: sometimes it is necessary to NOT built a coherent mist bank, meaning sometimes it is strategically better to leave it open at some point and put mist against a normal field.

I hope this helps.  :D






Offline Whaleyland

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Re: First Mists Over Carcassonne Session Reports
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2022, 07:22:24 PM »
Thanks for making me re-read the rules, Challa007! We completely missed the terribly-written part that says a feature scores separately for all differently colored Meeples on it. That definitely changes gameplay quite a lot, at least conceptually. I don't know why Hans im Glück decided to explain that rule primarily through examples, which I regularly ignore since they're sometimes wrong and often unclear. The actual wording of the rule is poor and I must have mentally skipped over it.

In any case, we tired three more games at Level 1 today to better results. We made one quasi-house rule: each player gets one meeple of  :black1-meeple: :blue-meeple: :green-meeple: :yellow-meeple: :red-meeple:. This makes it much easier to place differently-colored meeples on features, elevating the game closer to what a 5 player game would resemble. In the end, it barely mattered though.

Game 1: Level 1
First attempt playing with the correct rules. We did successfully dual score for a Road and mid-sized City, and we also fought against Mist creep, but not well enough. We drew three 3-Ghost tiles in a row and promptly ran out of Ghosts. We even called a mulligan on the third tile, drew a fourth, which we were able to place, but then pulled another 3-Ghost tile, ending the game. Game lost.

Game 2: Level 1
We focused more on getting points this time and managed to get lucky with a merged 16 point City early on. We followed this with several Roads and smaller Cities. The Mist fields remained manageable and we decided to focus on narrowing Mist fields rather than knocking it out entirely. We were at 39 points when we realized we could score for two 6-point Cities, pushing us over the 50 victory threshold. GAME WON!!!

Game 3: Level 1
So, we got cocky and decided to try again for a victory since our previous game went so well. Clearly the game felt like putting us back in our place. We managed the Mist well enough early on and quickly got into the mid-20s in points. Unfortunately, we started to draw several 2- and 3-Ghost tiles that could not be placed anywhere convenient. A few of these were also CFFF and RFFF tiles, with Mists on all the Field edges, making it extremely difficult to contain the Mist spread. We fought valiantly but were unable to combine even a single feature due to crappy Road tiles and crappier City tiles. Game lost.

So, we still have a little ways to go before we establish a strong strategy regarding Level 1. This game does not mess around—that's for sure. And I think it may be more difficult at 2-player even with the house rule we used. The good thing is that the game plays incredibly quickly. I think the longest round we've played so far took 15 minutes. We played three games today in about 35 minutes. The fact that there are only 50 tiles in a Level 1 game, and that you are not meant to play all of them, means that the game is designed to be quicker. We are starting to see this more as a puzzle than a game against the 'computer', and I think that may be a better approach. It also makes losing less painful.

Offline Willem

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Re: First Mists Over Carcassonne Session Reports
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2022, 11:03:41 PM »
A game won! That's the main take away!

For the house rule, did you not have 3 meeple of 2 colours each already? We found that with 4 colours, there's often a chance to combine 2 colours in a feature.
We weren't strict on which colour's "turn" it would be, as long as each player kept to the 2 colours they have. It works ok for us, although sometimes the tiles are just against you
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Offline Whaleyland

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Re: First Mists Over Carcassonne Session Reports
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2022, 11:36:14 PM »
For the house rule, did you not have 3 meeple of 2 colours each already? We found that with 4 colours, there's often a chance to combine 2 colours in a feature.
God, there are so many little rules hidden in these rules. I'm less than happy with their design and even the Wikicarpedia people haven't entirely cracked the clarity and readability code yet. So no, we didn't play with the 2-player rules because I didn't even notice them. Ugh. I suppose our house rule was a slight variant on them, though I feel like three pairs of 2 colors per player would be better. We'll try the actual 2-player rules next time.  ;D

Offline Willem

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Re: First Mists Over Carcassonne Session Reports
« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2022, 02:12:41 AM »
See it this way;
Now you get to re-discover the game over and over again!

But yes, i agree that the rules are not great in explaining everything. I made the mistake with not-completed mists, and other things, so had to replay the game a few times before i got the hang of it

Offline Scott

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Re: First Mists Over Carcassonne Session Reports
« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2022, 10:58:25 AM »
For Wikicarpedia, I typed up the English rules exactly as they were provided by HiG/ZMG. Meepledrone made some improvements, and I think it's safe to say on behalf on everyone at WICA that we are happy to make more improvements. When my copy of Mists finally decides to arrive, I won't even bother looking at the printed rules. Not just because I've already read and transcribed them, but because I know they're poorly translated.

Offline Challa007

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Re: First Mists Over Carcassonne Session Reports
« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2022, 11:57:47 AM »
God, there are so many little rules hidden in these rules. I'm less than happy with their design and even the Wikicarpedia people haven't entirely cracked the clarity and readability code yet. So no, we didn't play with the 2-player rules because I didn't even notice them. Ugh. I suppose our house rule was a slight variant on them, though I feel like three pairs of 2 colors per player would be better. We'll try the actual 2-player rules next time.  ;D

In order to get into the COOP spirit you can try the one-player rules and play together as 1 player.  (That's level 0,5 for 2 players  :D )
When you got that, next time you play the 2-player rules and suddenly COOP will be a piece of cake  ;)

Offline Whaleyland

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Re: First Mists Over Carcassonne Session Reports
« Reply #8 on: December 28, 2022, 11:16:47 PM »
 Well, we finally seem to be over the Level 1 hurdle after much confusion. We played as the rules instruct (finally!) with each of us playing using two sets of 3 meeples (Red/Pink and Blue/Green). Rather than give individual session reports, I will simply report that the easiest strategy is indeed combining features—high scoring Cities to be specific.

We worked to restrict the Mist fields to two or three active ones at a time, closing them off whenever it was convenient. We did this in all three games and only once in Game 2 did it get a little close. Our main strategy that won us the first and third games decisively was to build one large City that had three different-colored meeples in it). In Game 1, this pushed us over the victory line by 4 points, and in Game 3, it pushed us over 11 points! Game 2 was won with two smaller Cities with 2 different-colored meeples in them, followed by a single-meeple 6-point city, which pushed us over the edge by 1 point.

Overall, we are fairly confident now with our Level 1 strategy, so we may try again with Cemeteries and [Haunted] Castles next time. Also, I reiterate what I said last time, that thinking of the game as a puzzle rather than as a competition against a computer makes the game experience more fun, at least for us.

Offline Whaleyland

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Re: First Mists Over Carcassonne Session Reports
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2023, 02:37:35 AM »
Just a quick update: after 25 games at Levels 1 and 2, we finally played our first Level 3 game today only to realise that we've accidentally been playing the game at an even harder level than intended. We never noticed the rules that allow you to remove 3 ghosts rather than score points for a feature!

Why on earth did they stick this at the end of a section in the rules that explained that ghosts don't score anything? I've read the rules twice and my partner once and neither of us noticed this rule. It should be reiterated in every scoring section, not in its own nonsensical section crammed in after explaining how ghosts work.

I am super disappointed with how these rules were written and organised. They have caused us endless confusion. At least we finally figured out why we were only at about a 40% success rate at Level 2. Had we known about the removal option, we would have saved ourselves a lot of trouble.

In better news, we handily won our first Level 3 game with about half the tiles left and a few ghosts still sitting in the reserve. The second hound did nothing for us (none of our meeples were adjacent to ghosts) but we managed to score 64 points for a single 16-point feature by strategically getting all four of our meeple colours on it. After that, we only had 8 more points to win, which we achieved in three more turns. We didn't even end up using the meeple removal option. However, we did get lucky in that we only drew one Cemetery about mid-way through the game. Those things can get vicious if multiple are pulled early on.

I am aiming to play a few more games (with the correct rules) over the next few evenings and then I'll write a Barbarian Report next weekend. As a preview, one of the negative points will 100% be the rules booklet.

Offline Challa007

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Re: First Mists Over Carcassonne Session Reports
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2023, 06:05:18 AM »
I am glad you finally got around all the rules misunderstandings/misreadings - haha - who knows, maybe not all yet  ;)
I knew this would be the biggest issue...

Maybe we need to write completely new rules for the WICA ... so that people who consult the WICA get a chance to do it right from the beginning...


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