How do you primarily use The Chapels?

I try to create the largest possible Chapel for the biggest rewards.
I use my Falconer to try and score points for both the Chapel and the Aeries.
I use the King to try to double the points earned by a Chapel.
I use them in some other creatively strategic manner (describe below).
I don't ever play with or do not use The Falcon Expansion.

Author Topic: Element of the Week #61 – The Chapels (from The Castle)  (Read 2067 times)

Offline Whaleyland

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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 CHAPELS (from Carcassonne: The Castle – Falcon Expansion). Unlike the more complex Falcon aeries and the rules related to them, the Chapels introduced to The Castle a much simpler concept: stackable bonuses. When a Chapel is placed on the board, a player may claim it converting their follower into a Preacher. The value of the Chapel increases via triangular numbers, so they do not increase in value at a regular rate, but rather increase at a quite fast rate. If one player gets most of the Chapels and is able to connect them, they can earn 36 points or more. More troubleling for the opponent, many Chapel tiles include Aeries, so that player may also be collecting a lot of bonus points from Aerie tokens. The only thing that may stop the player's progress are Gates along the scoreboard, that (if playing with the recommended variant) stop a player from earning more points for their currently-scored feature.

All-in-all, there are 15 new tiles featuring Chapels, plus 2 Chapels appear on the new Gate tiles, thus there are plenty of opportunities to try out Chapels and see how they work and interact with the other features on the board.

Discuss your relationship with The Chapels, as well as your strategies for taking advantage of this element.

Next Week's Topic: The Tents   :red-meeple:   :yellow-meeple:   :red-meeple:

Linkback: https://www.carcassonnecentral.com/community/index.php?topic=3341.0
« Last Edit: May 27, 2017, 03:36:31 PM by whaleyland »

Offline jungleboy

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Re: Element of the Week #61 – The Chapels (from The Castle)
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2017, 12:48:47 AM »
The king/chapel combination is the most powerful way to score in the game, so I voted for that. Of course, the potential to score big using the expansion can come at the expense of picking up wall tiles along the way.

The thing that limits the chapel's power is that you can usually close off an opponent's chapel quite easily. Given that only roads need to match in the Castle, if your opponent has a 2-3 tile chapel going, you're best off just placing tiles around it to limit its capacity to grow. That means you are playing a bit of catch-up for a few turns while your opponent can score points elsewhere, but you can't just allow your opponent to grow a chapel unchecked. To mitigate against that as the chapel builder, you could try to start a chapel in an open area of the castle where placing just a couple of chapel tiles could require 4-5 tiles to close it. Of course, that makes it more difficult for you to close it too.

The chapels are pretty intriguing and probably the best part of the expansion, I think.

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