New World: A Carcassonne Game
Thank you Secret Santa!
This was obviously similar to Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers, which was my first introduction to the Carcassonne family of games. I really enjoy Hunters & Gatherers, but I'm less a fan of the main game. I'm not really sure why — maybe it's just a theme issue.
New World is awesome. Not only is it absolutely beautiful, it's a great twist to the strategy of the game.
The forced westward expansion was a real treat. We had difficulty sometimes with it — occasionally it was time to move the surveyors west when they were both already in the westernmost column. We decided to just take a bye on those movements.
The surveyors changed everything in the game for us. It was like playing three different Carcassonne games at once: I would try to maximize points by building quick structures right where the surveyors were; I tried to prepare long-lasting structures out west before the surveyors got there; and I used the east to grab some quick one-off points (though my wife did better at that — she snagged a farm out east with a single tile placement). I really loved that tripartite division to the game.
It was tough to block trappers in this game compared to blocking hunters in H&G — the tiles seem to paint the plains a bit more open in this one. I worked to put two trappers into the single game-rich field on the map but I couldn't keep her from getting a second trapper on it as well.
In the end we tied at 171 points.
Santa did a really good job with this one!