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Messages - kothmann

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General / Re: What is your favorite tile in the basegame?
« on: January 28, 2023, 12:56:53 PM »
I play C1.  My favorite is CFFF, because of the elegant simplicity, but also because there are 2 distinct designs, for no reason other than a commitment to the quality of the game.  The producers of the game made something interesting and beautiful.

Official Rules / Re: How many extra turns are there?
« on: January 26, 2023, 12:47:39 PM »
One of the Messages in Messenger mini.

General / Re: New clock
« on: January 23, 2023, 04:37:32 PM »
Nice!  +1 from me

Community Rules (Meepledrone & Friends) / Re: Base Game - Table edges
« on: January 20, 2023, 06:00:15 AM »
Sorry for hijacking the table edge thread!  ::)

I started a new thread for a variant that incorporates some sort of game mechanics into the expansion of a limited playing area:


Community Rules (Meepledrone & Friends) / Re: Base Game - Table edges
« on: January 19, 2023, 04:17:56 PM »
… you just can’t get builders these days …
Hahahahaha!  Variant: Your builder is used to allow you to add tiles to a road or city beyond the nominal limit of play!  You may add meeples to features on these tiles, and then add the builder once the first feature is finished!  Start with a very small playing area?  Each player gets two builders?

Community Rules (Meepledrone & Friends) / Re: Tile Modifiers
« on: January 19, 2023, 02:01:40 PM »
There is also one other, non-standard, expansion created by kothmann call Old City.  His personal expansion includes wooden Wall and Gate pieces that can be placed on the edge of a city tile to allow a field or road to be placed directly against the city tile.
I recently discovered that my idea was not really original: @asparagus had proposed a very similar idea in 2014.

In 2017, @GinCarc proposed a related idea that allows walls between two city edges, dividing a city from within.  @Leven had evidently developed similar rules but posted only a (super cool) photo in 2016.

In 2014, @quevy proposed adding fences to divide fields, but the photo link is broken so it isn’t clear if the intention is only to place the fences at F-F edges or whether they can be placed somewhere else?

And since there is a Piet Hein for every John Nash, there was also a 2013 Fences by @Gwommy and @elmendalerenda, with similar, if more elaborate ideas.

This leaves only R-R junctions without a modifier?  Google took me to a 2009 (old forum) brainstorming thread about road blocks and tollhouses (“road barns”) that look interesting.

Let us know if you play any of these!

Community Rules (Meepledrone & Friends) / Re: Base Game - Table edges
« on: January 19, 2023, 11:08:06 AM »
I'm still at total loss about the whole "extendable limits" thing, still an oxymoron to me.
I agree that the idea of “extendable limits” is confusing.  But perhaps the confusion arises because the WICA clarifications on use of a table, as provided by HiG, are not necessarily intended to be applied simultaneously—they are four distinct options, some of which may be combined, as the last bullet in this list makes clear (I converted the inner list to numbered items for easy reference below):
  • It is important generally, that all the players in the round agree how to play:
    • Table - Standard
    • Table - with "total shifting" of tiles
    • Table - with extension
    • Floor
It seems that in this community, there is a strong preference for avoiding table limits whenever it is reasonable to do so, by some combination of options 2 and 3, creating an effectively infinite play area.  I infer that this is also the most common approach in tournaments, although maybe option 2 is less desirable because of the potential for confusion or errors when moving the tiles?  In any case, your preference, option 1, is certainly a clear and not uncommon way to play—it is “Standard” after all.   :)

Hope this helps.

P.S.  Perhaps option 5 should be ‘Floor - with “total shifting” of tiles?’  >:D

General / Re: Carcassonne by Forums 2023
« on: January 18, 2023, 01:22:25 PM »
This sounds like fun.  I’m in.  No color preference.

I would be happy to set something up on, but the playing area doesn’t scroll so maybe not the best choice.  I can also hand-edit a JCZ file.  I could put this on google drive so it is always updated with just one tile to be placed.  Could also create a file where tile order is fixed but tiles not yet placed, so members could play out alternate games from the beginning.  Although my personal preference would be old school: I’ll use travel edition!  >:D

After some recent exchanges on the forum, I laughed when I saw this on the 2014 game thread:
That monastery and the adjacent city tile are illegal moves. They are off the edge of my table

General / Re: Do you use house rules?
« on: January 17, 2023, 06:18:01 AM »
It's fine for games with 71 players! ;)
+1 merit for prime number humor!

But also for your 2014 thread on this topic, which I should have read more carefully!    :)

General / Re: Do you use house rules?
« on: January 17, 2023, 04:18:21 AM »
…I was using 2 "house rules" because I wasn't aware … We still play it without correcting
The accidental house rule that you end up keeping!  Love it.

When we started, we always let the first player place a meeple on the start tile, because I didn’t read the rules carefully, but I just couldn’t imagine that the rules would demand an unequal number of turns no matter how many players were playing!?  We are now members of the 73rd-tile club, with the wind roses start tile as our 73rd.  Or sometimes we use the German Castles as start tiles.

We also played castles from Exp 8 wrong: we allowed a player to score a castle on the turn it is created!  This is too powerful, so we changed to official rules.  Actually, we played with a bunch of variants and now rarely use the castle, so I don’t know how we would play this today, probably some variant…

General / Re: Do you use house rules?
« on: January 12, 2023, 11:25:26 PM »
…we do play with a fair number of “sub-expansions”.

Sounds similar to what @cicerunner calls “modules”:

I treat each expansion as a collection of modules and add those modules individually rather than considering each expansion as something that needs to be added whole.

I also always do this, mostly to keep the games small: well under 3 hours!

Would it be considered “house rules” when you play with partial expansion, sub-expansions?

For me, the answer is “yes”.  The 8 bazaar tiles include 2 CCCC tiles, which will tend to result in fewer completed cities.  This in turn reduces the points earned by farms, which tend to be larger with Exp 8 because of the bridges connecting fields in new and exciting ways.  The effect of omitting the CCCC bazaar tiles might be similar to a house rule saying 2-tile cities don’t count for farms.

As another example, Abbeys are often thought of as useful for filling an otherwise permanent “hole” in the landscape.  But they can also be used to prevent a small field with a barn from joining a large field with a barn, when that union would otherwise be very likely, for example if a FRFR tile would fit.  If you play barns without Abbeys, this “defensive” use of an Abbey to protect a valuable barn is eliminated and barns become weaker.    A similar, if more exaggerated, effect could arise from a house rule disallowing placement of an Abbey if any two occupied features of the same type border the space where the Abbey would be placed.

One more favorite example for me is playing Exp 2 without the builder.  Because all trade goods are in city segments with at least 2 open edges, it is almost always necessary to place 2 separate city “end caps” to close a city.  If you want to ensure you have the first draw at a tile to get the goods, you must never place the first such cap, unless you have a builder in that city, giving you a chance to place both caps in the same turn!  So, playing “T&B without the B” is definitely a “house rule” that affects the tactics of play!

In summary, playing with any subset of an expansion is likely to have effects on strategy and scoring that are similar to changes that we all agree would be “house rules,” and such subsets are not explicitly enumerated on the WICA.  Thus, they are house rules.

The good news is that since we all do this at least to some extent, there is no reason for “house rules” to be stigmatized!  Play the game you enjoy!

One of the things we love about Carcassonne is that there are about 100 different combinations of “sub-expansions” that we can decide to include in our next game.  We can play a different game each time we get together. 
Yes!  More photos of these epic games, please!

General / Re: Do you use house rules?
« on: January 08, 2023, 05:31:15 AM »
I am currently in the process of splitting off 2 sets.  I was already playing with nearly 300 tiles, but 2 recent orders from getting me 50 tiles each & Mists Over Carcassonne getting me another 60 tiles, will make my set huge.
Shortly after I made that post, my wife convinced me the game would be better if it were smaller, so I set about assembling a  set of 60 tiles as my personal “base game” with lots of interesting tiles and reducing the tile count of all expansions as much as possible (e.g., only use the 6 Inns from I&C, since many of the other tiles were already in my base game.

I think she was right: we almost never play with more than 100 tiles now.  Better for us to play three 100-tile games with a mix of small expansions than to play one 300-tile game.  Although in truth I’m the only one who would be willing to play that long, so the real option is have anyone to play the 100-tile game with me.   ;D

Community Rules (Meepledrone & Friends) / Re: Base Game - Table edges
« on: January 08, 2023, 05:24:31 AM »
Carcassonne is a game of luck and strategy, and strategy calls into account ALL resources. Space is a resource….so this "no more space" rule may sound harsh but it's fair and most importantly prevents unpleasant discussions.
I agree with the logic of the argument, and not just for Carcassonne, but all games.  Make strict rules and discover the best way to play by those rules.  If you don’t like the resulting play, change the rules.

But I don’t think the argument leads to the conclusion that features have to be open at the edge.  In other words, I don’t think the game is less strategic or fair if the rule is “all features close at the edge of the table.” (In other words, it is as if the table is completely surrounded by Abbeys.)

Resource constraints introduce new strategy and tactics.  For me, allowing a player to run a city to the edge to close it, or place a tile in a corner to close a 1-tile FFCC+ city for 4 points, is preferable to allowing opponents to run a city to the edge to prevent it from closing or leaving corners unoccupied.  Our games are sufficiently aggressive already: we don’t need another mechanism for creating trapped meeples and incomplete features.   We also have a house rule that 1-tile cities don’t score for farmers.

Also: we use a mat in a serious game.  Otherwise, you always have a gray area at the edge.

General / Re: Do you use house rules?
« on: January 07, 2023, 08:44:43 AM »
I have 2 copies of River 1 & 1 copy of River 2
That’s plenty to try “Untamed River” or “Wild River” where the River tiles get mixed in with the regular tiles!

Welcome to the Forum @Broadstorm.

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