Bruce's Carcassonne Variants & Wonderments

Musings and explorations related to my favorite board game.
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Variant #15: TinyCarc (48-Tile Game)

Bruce Kothmann
United States
Pennsylvania
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From gallery of kothmann

Definition (What?)
• Use the 48 tiles from the base set shown on the right in the photo above. This leaves a very close approximation to the Tiles used in Carcassonne für 2, which are shown on the left.
• Use only 6 regular meeples for two players, or 5 meeples with three or more players.
• Add any combination of variants 1, 2, and 5-14 which were all designed and play-tested in TinyCarc.

Examples (How?)
It is usually easier to set up by removing the following tiles from the base set:
From gallery of kothmann

Below are some images from TinyCarc games:
From gallery of kothmann

From gallery of kothmann

From gallery of kothmann

From gallery of kothmann

Explanation (Why?)
TinyCarc is fast and almost entirely tactical, as there isn’t time or space for much strategy or planning.

Mixing up the variants makes the game new and different every time:
• We almost always use Highway Bridges (Variant 5), Pennant Keepers (Variant 6), and Gates & Walls (Variant 7).
• We usually use the Large Absolving Archabbot (Variants 1, 2, & 14), with just 4 regular meeples.
• We mix the others in pretty arbitrary combinations.

Options (What if...?)
Sometimes we like a slightly longer 60-tile game, so we remove only the 12 tiles on the right of the first Examples photo above. We call this LittleCarc.


Interactions (With Whom?)
The whole idea of TinyCarc and most of our variants is to avoid extra tiles and complex interactions.

Discussion
Many people play smaller games by randomly choosing a subset of tiles and rules from whatever expansions they decide to play. We also experimented with a timer, allowing each player two more turns after the alarm. Both of these suffered from frequent unbalanced tile distributions. We were motivated to seek something more robust and elegant.

The tiles in the base set don’t provide enough city nor field divisions for our liking, so a suitable subset of base tiles alone was difficult to find. We did a lot of play testing with the two tile mixes shown below: one using BC&C (Expansion #8), Games Quarterly, Das Fest, and base game tiles; the other using subsets of I&C and T&B, plus base tiles.
From gallery of kothmann

From gallery of kothmann

We actually loved the first mix, but wanted something more accessible to share with others. It was only after creating the Gates & Walls (Variant 7) that we really liked TinyCarc with base tiles only.

We purchased Carcassonne für 2 only after playing a lot of TinyCarc with Gates, Walls, and base tiles only. We felt vindicated that our originally chosen mix of base tiles was very close to the 48 tiles in C42, though we made a few adjustments to get an exact match for pennants and each edge type (CRF). Having played a good bit of C42 now, we have rediscovered how much we enjoy the simplicity of the base game with no variants at all! :-)
Updates
2021-04-20: Original Post

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Subscribe sub options Tue Apr 20, 2021 5:58 pm
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