Author Topic: [edited] Loop scoring the Abbot  (Read 1621 times)

Offline Death Meeple

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[edited] Loop scoring the Abbot
« on: February 29, 2024, 02:04:42 AM »
Hi all,

EDIT : to my big disappointment and as @Vital Pluymers  noticed, the strategy I wrote down contained one very big mistake : it assumed that you can score the big points of Special Monateries when taking back you Abbot if he was placed as an abbot / claustral prior (on its side). The sentence about it on WiCa went unnoticed by me, as you can score the Abbot but not the feature, leading to the confusion.
The strategy is still possible to use, but way less powerfull, wich is actually a good point as it was ruining the game. The original post is edited to avoid players reading wrong informations.

I've recently been thinking about a strategy for large games with several expansions.
I had the opportunity to test it last weekend and it turned out to be efficient !

Here is the strategy :

1) Before the game: expansions needed to use the strategy
In order to complete this strategy, you'll need several particular expansions in game:

-The Gifts
-The Abbot

-[Facultative] Any expansion including Monasteries-like features
(Monasteries in Germany, Monasteries in the Netherlands & Belgium, Japanese Buildings, Abbey, Shrines, …). The more you have in game, the more opportunities you have to increase the efficiency of the strategy, so don't hesitate to use several of them!
-Several random expansions, the strategy takes times and a bunch of turns before strating scoring points, so more tiles in the game = more time to plan the strategy!

2) In game: create the proper situation
In order to complete the strategy, you need to prepare a few things so the situation is under your control when the opportunity to score comes:

-Keep your abbot available. Make sure no expansion are making it impossible to remove. While building the strategy, you can use it as you wish: keep it in your supply, place it and remove it to score... When the times come, you'll need it in your supply.

-Make sure there is at least 1 well placed and free Monastery-like feature. Place it by yourself, remove a meeple from an opponent, place your Abbot on it in order to remove it later... What you want is an uncompleted Monastery that can bring a decent amount of points (7-8 points preferably) and where no meeple are placed. If possible, manage to place several of them to avoid your opponents to close it and block the strategy.

-Create a Gift shortage. What you want here is to empty the Gifts supply, none of them should be left available. You especially wants the Synods cards, at least one, but it's highly preferable to get the 5 Synods cards. Extend your opponents features: whatever the points you are giving them, you'll get way more points back later. Also, keep in mind a Gift card gives you 2 points at the end of the game, so even if you extend a city, you're not really giving points to your opponent.
Be smart, don't make it too obvious you want all the Gifts, it's a big game, you have time to get them all... Pretend you're collecting them for other reasons: closing the largest city/road, closing a city with Goods Tokens, extending your opponents features while extending an other one from you, extend things to the edge of the table so they can't be completed...
If your opponents also collect Gifts, that's actually a good point for you: your main target is to create a shortage, and if possible, get the 5 Synods cards. You can even wait for them to use their Synods cards to get them later.

2') (facultative) In game: trick your opponents into starting several features
The strategy is now ready to start. If you want to score really fast and with more efficiency, you can trick your opponents into building several features they can't close in just a few turns. Large cities with several openings, 2 openings roads... If they are building several things, that's the best you can expect!
Just place a few tiles to extend unclaimed cities / roads, they should see a good opportunity to score and place some meeple over there.

If some of your opponents have Synods cards, make sure you have no current feature they can extend (especially in a 2 players game!)

3) In game: start the loop
You now have your Abbot in your supply, there is an uncompleted and unclaimed Monastery-like feature (preferably several of them actually) in the game area, the Gifts supply is empty, and you have the Synods cards (preferably all of them). It's time to reveal what you were planning all along. Here is the typical turn you'll now play every single time it's possible:

a) Draw a tile, and make sure it can be used to extend one of your opponents area. If it can't, stop reading here and play normally until next turn, hoping you'll get a more suitable tile.
b) Open a Synod Gift, and place your Abbot on the unclaimed Monastery-like feature.  Discard the Gift card, it's now the only one in the Gifts supply.
c) Place your tile, and extend one of your opponents feature. As a result, receive a Gift. The Synod card you just used is now the only one in the supply: you get it back!
d) Don't place a meeple. Instead, get your Abbot back, and score the (probably) 8 points.
e) Get ready to repeat that pattern next turn

Note: all opponent having Synods cards can replicate the strategy, so don't give them additional opportunities to do so: stop building if you don't have all 5 cards!

4) Enjoy the results of that strategy
It won't take long until your opponents understand what's going on. Every single feature they own is now a new opportunity for you to score an easy 8 points on each turn, while you'd need to work sveeral turns to get these points an other way. They have no solution but close their cities and roads, and stop building anything if they want to avoid you from scoring every single time you play. The few turns they need to close everything give you the opportunity to score the Monastery several times, taking a nice amount of points for it.

They'll now probably stick to small constructions they can close immediately in order to score points, or may even open constructions without placing a meeple on them to avoid you from using that trick again.
It doesn't mean the strategy doesn't brings results anymore, actually, its impact is even better for you now: take this opportunity where your opponents hesitate to start new features to score / place meeples in the constructions where they are afraid to place a meeple, build larger stuffs without any fear of what they'll do...

Also, if there are some unclaimed Special Monasteries left, or if you can remove opponents meeple from some of them: wisely use you Synods cards at the end of the game to place some meeple on those and score them at the end!

« Last Edit: March 04, 2024, 11:34:46 PM by Death Meeple »

Offline Vital Pluymers

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Re: Destroy your opponents : the GAS strategy
« Reply #1 on: February 29, 2024, 04:13:46 AM »
If you take back the Abbot from a special monastry before the end of the game, even if your Abbot is placed as a prior, you would only score 1 point for the special monastery tile and 1 point for any of the eight surrounding tiles. If you take back an Abbot, you simply score the meeple, not the feature it is placed on.

Nevertheless, I agree with you that some features are extremely overpowered in long games with loads of tiles.

Offline Death Meeple

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Re: [edited] Loop scoring the Abbot
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2024, 11:36:54 PM »
It took me some time to find back the sentence I had seen on WiCa, wich I misunderstood in the first place: indeed, the Special Monastery can't be scored this way.
This means the strategy is less powerfull and it's a better balance for the game, so good news!

I edited the first post to avoid leading people into wrong info. Thanks for spotting my mistake!

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