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Subject: Carcassonne: H&G vs. Original recipe? rss

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j s
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After playing Carcassonne a couple times i have run into what i see as a problem with the game. It seems that farms kind of break the game for me. Now whether this is true or not is not the topic of this question. I'm more interested in whether hunters and gathers would be more the game for me? I have heard a couple people not the least of which our own Derek and Alde express that Hunters and Gathers is Carcassonne done right. Any thoughts?
 
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T. Rosen
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In my opinion, original Carcassonne is much better than Hunters & Gatherers. The original is more interesting and has more variability because of all the excellent expansions available. The original also has much better artwork that is less busy and less distracting that the H&G artwork. Finally, the original has much more interesting endgame strategy because the farms can be worth so much that players often to fight to sneak as many farmers as possible onto a giant farm.

I'm not sure what "farms kind of break the game for me" means. If it means you don't like how important farms are, then you probably should go ahead and get H&G because the farms are less important and slightly easier to understand/teach to new players. If it means that you recognize the importance of farms when playing and enjoy that aspect of it, then you should keep playing, and buy the Inns/Cathedrals and Traders/Builders expansion, and probably also King/Scout and Count.

I agree with Derk and Aldie about a number of things, such as Euphrat & Tigris, but definitely think that original Carcassonne is Carcassonne done right, and H&G is inferior.
 
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A L D A R O N
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ValentineS wrote:
It seems that farms kind of break the game for me.

What version of the farmer scoring rules are you using? The old RGG farmer scoring rules do indeed "break the game" for many, which is one reason they were changed by HiG.

The current rules are quite simple, and no different from the rules for any other feature:

HiG wrote:
The owner(s) of each field score 3 points per completed city bordering it.

(As with all other features, you can remove followers as each field is scored.)

Some history and links here: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/828560#828560
 
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Steffan O'Sullivan
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I think H&G is superior in all ways except two:

A) The artwork in original Carc is better.

B) I hate the stupid rules for the temple piece. We fix that by making it work as if it were a Carc monastary.

 
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Jessica
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I agree with Tom on all the points he made. I started out with H&G. It was about a year before I got to play the original Carcassonne and I greatly prefer it over H&G. The expansions help keep the game fresh for me. Of course, there are tons of people that prefer the simplicity H&G provides because there is only a small expansion for it so you might want to think about how you feel about that particular topic.

If you are interested in a different Carcassonne, maybe look into it The City or The Castle (depending on how many people you play with).
 
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P B
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Hunters and Gathers is much better.

1) 'Hunters in the meadow' is an easier concept to grasp than the farmer's fields. Young kids always seem to have trouble understanding the farms. Also, infiltrating someone elses meadow with tigers is a good response to someone with a large meadow. I think this balances the game more than the original.
2) It stands alone. The endless amount of expansions are ridiculous and try to make the game more than what it really is - a simple family oriented game.
3) The bonus cards are a nice addition to the game.
 
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I prefer the original, partly because I find it simpler than H&G.

See: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/97690
 
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Ákos Tasnádi
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H&G, for sure.

The artwork a bit busy, and it's a problem for some people, true. (Not for me. )

And the endgame is still interesting: you desperately need to complete your rivers and forests (no points for the uncomplete), and you still fight for the big hunting territories, sneaking in with as many meeple as you can.

But I love the original, too.
 
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Matt Price
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I'm another person who likes H&G better.

More opportunities to play offensively: placing tigers on your opponent's meadows being the big difference (they can remove points from your meadow's total at the end), with sneaking on roads and meadows being fairly similar to the original.

The use of the 'gold tiles' for an extra turn and as an incentive to finish other's forests is particularly good. H&G feels much more interactive to me than the original - the original just feels more like a multiplayer solitaire than H&G to me.

I do like the expansion idea of the original (and I didn't like the small H&G expansion), but H&G is fine without them. I'd definately recommend H&G over the original.

Happy gaming,
Matt
 
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David Miller
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I prefer H&G. I prefer the system of scoring hunters. I like the theme. I like the artwork. I like the river scoring and the huts. As a light strategy, light theme, easy-to-teach game, it fills a niche. And while I do like to play the game, for me Carcassonne is just not the type of game for which I care about expansions. In fact, there is a small H&G expansion that a friend gave to me, but I never use it.
 
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Luke Morris
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I like original Carcassonne field strategy. Adds an extra strategy for people to compare when playing.
I think I defend it mostly as fields are MY strategy for winning.

As my wife said "Ultimately it's a risk - whether you lie loads of men down and go for that or go for towns, roads etc".

With the fields the endgame becomes highly enjoyable, with people battling to bring new farmers into fields, sometimes finishing roads and towns for people in order to build farmers into an important field...
 
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Ben .
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There's one rule difference hidden away in there that I think often gets overlooked as change in the style of the games.

Cities in regular and Forests in H&G are scored similarly: 2 points per tile.
However, in regular carc there is an exception: A 2-tile forest scores only 2 points, not 4.

The lack of this exception actually manifests itself in a couple of ways in H&G:

- firstly, it is usually safer to close off quick forests - the bonus tiles (only obtained in size 3 or larger forests) are nice, but as someone else is probably going to finish your forest and grab them first anyway, it's not worth the risk. As there is no other reason for building a larger forest (unless you are forced to by tile draw, of course), forests are frequently closed off at 2 tiles. This means you don't get anywhere near as many fights over forests as you get fights over cities in regular carc. This reduction in direct conflict detracts considerably from the tension of the game (for me personally - it may be a good thing for some groups, of course).

- following on from this, a combination of the tile manifest and the large propensity of small forests (see above) leads to LARGE plains areas. Then we have the temple tile. The temple tile bestows upon the holding player the ability (note - it doesn't always work - you have to be able to link it in) to win a single meadow outright. With large meadows abound, this has frequently been the game-winning tile in my experience of playing.

snore
 
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Fraser
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I like them both, but think that Carcassonne Hunters & Gatherers is the more tactical game than Carcassonne. I discussed some of the differences between the two in my review of Carcassonne Hunters & Gatherers http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/491991#491991
 
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Chris Shaffer
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I like both, but I like Hunters and Gatherers more.

1) It's important that you play the temple correctly. Playing a meeple on the temple follows all the rules for playing a meeple on grassland. You can't play the meeple directly on the temple in someone else's field - you have to merge it into their field.

2) We don't have large grasslands at all in our games. Players are fairly quick about adding tigers to opponents' grasslands and/or closing off the grasslands.

3) You don't have to buy expansions to make the game enjoyable. There's only one expansion and it sucks, so once you've bought the game, you own the whole thing. This is a *plus* in my book.

4) We rarely see anyone closing off someone else's forest. It's almost always better to start your own forest instead. Many of the bonus tiles aren't worth much, and even the good ones like the 4 fish lakes offer opportunities for others to score them on later turns. Thus, by closing off someone else's forest, if you don't also use the tile to score points at the same time, you've saved another player a full turn in order to get a tile that's worth perhaps 1.25 turns. Thus, you give up 1 turn (the forest tile) to get 1.25 turns (net .25 turns) and in return you give another player 1 turn. That's not a great deal, even if you think the bonus tiles are worth 1.5 or even 1.75 turns. Note that forests don't count at the end of the game unless they have been completed, so finishing someone else's forest is really doing them a big favor.

5) Children like the artwork in H&G. Most adults do as well. I've yet to meet anyone new to the system who thought the artwork for H&G was "busy." It's only peole who played the original first who comlain about the artwork, in my experience. And people who play H&G first often don't care for the artwork in the original.

6) Fraser is right in the review - end-game-scoring is a lower percentage of total score, thus the game is more tactical and more accessible to new players.
 
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Mark Wong
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Hunters & Gatherers by itself is an excellent game however because there is only one single expansion for it (King and Scout), the game play does not change very much. H&G does offer some more interesting scoring elements than Carc but no less random or game breaking than Carcassonne. The hut is one element that, if placed properly, can gain the player a good lead over their opponents and this is very much so for the farmer.

If you were to talk about the Carcassonnes without the expansion then H&G would be a better choice otherwise the orginal one would provide more tactical options as expansions are added on. Game time may increase but it makes the original Carc more fun to play.
 
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Jason Woodburn
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Personally, I like regular Carcassonne better, but it seems from the limited information in the thread-originating post that you will probably like H&G better.

I played H&G first, and liked it a lot. After that, I bought regular Carc (as someone in my group already had H&G). I've played both several times, since then, with and without expansions.

I do find regular Carc more visually pleasing than H&G. I also think that H&G tile layout can look a little "busy," as there are more individual elements to keep track of. I don't think I would want to classify one game as "better" than the other. Carcassonne has a nicely defined beginning/middle/endgame with discernable strategies that require careful consideration, and a wonderful suspense factor. H&G has intiguing balance throughout, as well as the encouragement to finish an opponent's forest (for whatever reason), and the satisfying bonus tyles (which can be somewhat swingy). I would say that I haven't played H&G enough to become familiar with the tile distribution, which, I imagine, has also affected my feelings about game outcome.

Hopefully, you can find someone who has H&G to try it out. Peoples' comments are very useful, but this will, of course, ultimately be a matter of persoanl choice.
 
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