How do you primarily use The Magic Portals?

To claim features I previously was unable to claim.
4 (40%)
To claim features other people failed to claim.
3 (30%)
As a normal tile (i.e., I place my Followers on a feature on the tile).
0 (0%)
I use it in some other creatively strategic manner (describe below).
1 (10%)
I don't ever play with or don't own The Princess & The Dragon.
2 (20%)

Total Members Voted: 10

Voting closed: December 12, 2014, 01:35:55 AM

Author Topic: The Magic Portals – Element of the Week #13  (Read 8104 times)

Offline Whaleyland

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The Magic Portals – Element of the Week #13
« on: December 05, 2014, 01:35:55 AM »

Each week, a specific element from an expansion is chosen for deeper discussion. This is an opportunity for you, Carcassonne's biggest English-language fans, to discuss strategies and problems you have encountered through the years regarding specific expansion elements. All forms of critique – from the most joyous to the most scathing – are encouraged.

This week's element is THE MAGIC PORTALS (from The Princess & The Dragon [Expansion #3]). This element is one of the most straight-forward of those released for Carcassonne. The concept is basic: a player can use the Magic Portal to claim a feature on any other tile that is not claimed and is not completed. That's pretty much it. A Magic Portal can only be used once, which means a player cannot use it for both a Follower and a Phantom. Honestly, there are few other restrictions with them. They're great little treats when you pull them.

The element comes with The Princess & The Dragon because the Dragon and Princess are both quite good at booting Followers off features. But the element is helpful with a lot of other elements as well, such as with The Catapult, The Tower, and The Plague.  Discuss your relationship with The Magic Portals, as well as your strategies for taking advantage of this element.

Next Week's Topic: The Traders   :(y) 8)

Linkback: https://www.carcassonnecentral.com/community/index.php?topic=1312.0

Offline Paul

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Re: The Magic Portals – Element of the Week #13
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2014, 01:49:20 AM »
This element has a multipurpose which makes it hard to choose one answer how I use it.

For example, I use both two first poll answers.

Then there is the combination with the phantom. For example, port the phantom into a city while at the same time claim a farm and thus gives you more options where to place the tile.
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Offline MrNumbers

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Re: The Magic Portals – Element of the Week #13
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2014, 04:08:32 AM »
I like magic portals and in very most cases use it to claim a good farm.
There can be some exceptions, for example: a huge city/road became available through Tower/Plague/Princess whatever or there is a great opportunity to share/steal such feature.
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Offline jungleboy

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Re: The Magic Portals – Element of the Week #13
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2014, 06:58:50 AM »
For example, I use both two first poll answers.

I agree. For me, whoever had control of the feature previously doesn't matter at all. Let's say I was building a small road and the dragon ate my thief, and in the same turn the dragon ate the only knight (that belonged to another player) in a large city. If I drew the magic portal on the next turn, I would obviously use it to transport myself into the large city rather than onto the small road, even though the road was "mine" before and the city wasn't.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2014, 07:07:17 AM by jungleboy »

Offline CarcinFool

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Re: The Magic Portals – Element of the Week #13
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2015, 11:04:02 AM »
For me, attractive targets for portal-jumpers include certain types of unclaimed fields that have a worthwhile number of completed or potentially completed cities, particularly those that are no longer accessible via normal tile placements such as the field inside the CCCC tile, or fields that are completely enclosed by roads, cities, and/or the river.

I also like sending the phantom (or a regular meeple if there are no interesting placements on the portal tile) through the portal to an unclaimed city or road that can be quickly completed with just a single tile (possibly two if it's early in the game and there are lots of potential tiles that will help with the completion). If there isn't an available feature either on the portal tile or elsewhere on the board that can be completely quickly I typically will not use the extra phantom placement when laying a portal tile since he'll probably be more useful in my supply.

The mayor and wagon can also be sent through the portal according to the CAR. I didn't see it specifically in the CAR yet, but I assume the ABBOT (follower) can also be sent through the portal. This would mean that you could send the abbot to an uncompleted cloister OR garden (assuming a garden count as a "feature"), and then grab him back on a subsequent turn. This provides a better option than sending a normal meeple to a cloister, where it would need to stay there until the feature is completed. The abbot would provide some quick points without giving up a meeple for too long. Using the Abbot with the Phantom can be a particularly lucrative combination.

Offline Christopher

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Re: The Magic Portals – Element of the Week #13
« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2016, 09:28:38 AM »
A lovely, simple addition. Follower placement on a previously placed tile. I enjoy that you can't use this to muscle in on a feature though. Placement under normal placement rules. I use it for whatever comes up and just drop a follower onto any decent feature on the table at the time, usually a city. I wouldn't mind using it on a closed farm though, if it's got a few cities. I probably wouldn't bother with a farm that isn't closed, though, as there's likely a chance of getting in without bothering with a magic portal.
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Offline dirk2112

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Re: The Magic Portals – Element of the Week #13
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2017, 07:58:09 AM »
This was my favorite part of the P&D expansion!  I couldn't believe how powerful it was.    :(y)

In all the times it has appeared, I believe only twice have players opted to place a meeple on the tile and forgo using the portal. 

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