Author Topic: Pre-Determined Meeple Purposes  (Read 4664 times)

Offline danisthirty

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Pre-Determined Meeple Purposes
« on: August 05, 2014, 01:47:02 AM »
As we all know, in games of Carcassonne (let’s stick to the basic game to save confusion) meeples can serve a variety of purposes. They can be knights if placed on cities, thieves if places on roads, monks if placed on cloisters or farmers if placed on farms. These purposes aren’t fixed though, so a knight can be taken out of a city when that city is completed and the same physical meeple could then become a farmer on the owning player’s next turn. You could say they adapt to serve whatever purpose you require of them, but what if this wasn’t the case?

Let’s imagine two things:
1) Meeples have a fixed purpose (knight, thief, monk or farmer) and that purpose can’t change from the start of the game until the end
2) You get to decide how many of each type of follower you’d like your 7 meeples to be

Personally I think my breakdown would be the following:

3 x Farmers
2 x Knights
1 x Thief
1 x Monk

Ideally I’d want more farmers but this would reduce my scoring capacity too much. I chose 3 so that I’d still have a chance of competing for the main farm or picking off smaller unclaimed farms towards the end of the game. The others are no-brainers really. I usually have at least 2 cities on the go, or it may come in handy getting a second knight into a shared city to outdo my opponent. This leaves me with just 2 meeples in my supply so it stands to reason that I’d go for 1 thief and 1 monk.

I’m curious to hear other people’s thoughts regarding the purposes they’d allocate their meeples so please post if you have any suggestions!

Dan

Linkback: https://www.carcassonnecentral.com/community/index.php?topic=935.0

Offline jungleboy

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Re: Pre-Determined Meeple Purposes
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2014, 02:53:59 AM »
Fun idea!

Dan's breakdown makes perfect sense in a vacuum butI wonder if, in practice, people would choose differently if they had to think about what set-up their opponent would choose. I think it comes down to how you would approach farms. Whoever has the most predetermined farmers should win the main farm pretty much all the time, so you could go for a fourth farmer (probably at the expense of a monk) to virtually guarantee it.

On the other hand you could just choose to abandon farms altogether and go with something like 4 knights, 2 thieves and 1 monk. This would allow you to glom on to any city you liked if your opponent had a more traditional setup (i.e. about 2 knights), and generally try to take a large lead during the game to offset the farm points that your opponent would get in end-game scoring. I think I might go for that setup so I can enjoy myself and score points during the game instead of just waiting for my pre-determined farmers to bail me out at the end :)

Offline danisthirty

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Re: Pre-Determined Meeple Purposes
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2014, 03:15:34 AM »
I like the idea of sharing your starting line-up with your opponent an hour or so before a big match so you can plan tactics! I also like the idea of being able to make substitutions (perhaps for a points penalty or instead of deploying a meeple on a turn?) so that you can change a meeple from one type to another in response to what’s happening in the game.

By the way, I’m not suggesting this as an alternative way of playing (although it might be interesting as an experiment). I’m most interested in comments like jungleboy’s below and what decisions people would make. If I was choosing a line-up without farmers I’d probably go with 3K-2T-2M rather than jungleboy’s 4K-2T-1M setup as I think being able to claim a second cloister is more likely to generate points in the majority of games.

Offline mas9dj

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Re: Pre-Determined Meeple Purposes
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2014, 03:28:19 AM »
I like this idea! Hmmm I think I'd go 3 knights, 2 farmers, 1 monk, 1 thief. It's a bit risking those farms but I think I would manage to do well.
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Offline Carcking

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Re: Pre-Determined Meeple Purposes
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2014, 11:45:27 AM »
If my opponent chose heavy on Farmers I would do what I could to lump all city tiles into one City...and make sure as many others would not be completed as possible. This would mean of course it would behoove me to be heavy on Knights.

Do you think there is a way to layout all the tiles so that no City is completed? What about Roads?

I just drew the perfect tile for my MonKnighThieFarmer!

Offline jungleboy

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Re: Pre-Determined Meeple Purposes
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2014, 01:59:39 PM »
Do you think there is a way to layout all the tiles so that no City is completed? What about Roads?

Sounds like a challenge for someone other than me :)

I would say that it might be possible for cities but not roads, though I am completely guessing.

Offline danisthirty

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Re: Pre-Determined Meeple Purposes
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2014, 02:08:53 PM »
I don't think it would be too hard to layout all the tiles so that no feature is complete. It just depends on your definition of layout! If you're talking about a nice, neat 9 x 8 rectangle than I think it would be very hard. Another layout though would be to just place them all in a straight line, adding tiles at the side wherever necessary...

Actually, that's made me wonder. Would it be possible to get all tiles into a straight line (a 1 x 72 grid if you like)? Again, I think it would but would love to find out for myself.

These could be good homework questions for the next newsletter! :)

Offline MrNumbers

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Re: Pre-Determined Meeple Purposes
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2014, 02:19:58 PM »
Before I saw Dan's arrangement I thought the same way as him: 3F-2K-1T-1M. Maybe I would sacrifice 1 monk and make it either 4F or 3K, since I don't really like cloisters (they are easily "blockable"). But I agree with the others - it heavily depends on opponent choice.

I can imagine situation when not a single road is completed. More than that, I succeeded in my very first attempt: no completed cities and no completed roads.
"I never lose. Either I win or I learn." (Nelson Mandela)


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