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Subject: Stacking Tiles rss

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Nick Shaw
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I'm not sure if this has been suggested before, but I came up with a variant where you can stack tiles on top of each other. It makes for some interesting strategy!

Variant Rules:
1. A tile can be placed ON TOP of an existing laid tile, as long as:
(a) There are no meeples already on that tile;
(b) All edges connecting to existing adjacent tiles still match.
2. A meeple can be deployed to that tile providing it is not deployed to an already-complete feature. Completing an incomplete feature by placing the tile and then placing a meeple on that feature to score it is allowed though.
3. Tiles can be stacked on top of already-stacked tiles. No limit to how many can be stacked on top of each other.

Strategy tips:
- Merge two cities together to expand your city considerably with just one tile!
- Split cities into two to gain extra points for farmers!
- Block off other players from stealing your feature by breaking the road/city up!

Some example images from a test play (end of game state, using just base game tiles, after final scoring):

Full game "board", stacking fairly visible:


Close-up of some of the stacked tiles, one at 3-tiles deep.


Comments / suggestions for rules improvements welcome!
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PC ichigo
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Interesting!

Any comment on how players feel after playing like this?
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Nick Shaw
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I've only played it with one other person (the guy I usually play Carc against, and we play it majorly cut-throat). Seemed to go down well. Being able to split a city in two to gain extra farm points, or to block a city takeover attempt, was especially useful.

Stacking didn't happen all the time, which you might think would happen (it may happen if you add a lot of expansion tiles in though I guess); it was only occasionally, but it does allow you to (and make you) re-evaluate the existing layout and not always have to build off what's left around the "board" edge. That in itself changes the way you usually think/plan in basic Carc, where once features are complete, they're really only useful for farming (cities for points, roads to close off farms). Being able to stack changes this, as you can potentially break road barriers, re-open cities for new scoring, split cities or merge cities to screw with farm scores, etc.
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    Ok, so two complete cities are merged into one by the stacked tile. Can you score the one big city?

    Same question with one complete city and one incomplete -- if the stacked tile turns the two into one do you score the whole thing?

    Same question could apply to roads as well I suppose.

             S.


 
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Nick Shaw
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I'd say if you merge two cities and one is already complete, that's fine. A grey area though, hence why I'm interested in these thoughts. Is it worth just saying completed features can be re-completed immediately by placing tiles?
 
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Or maybe the opposite -- make the rule "no space can be scored for the same feature" maybe?
 
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Nick Shaw
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Actually, thinking about it, if you're adding a new tile which joins two previously completed features, that would be fine. The rule I added about not putting a meeple on a stacked tile that re-completes an existing feature was really to prevent just stacking a single tile to get a massive score for very little work. I think joining two [completed] cities is something different - you're changing the landscape. So I think that would be allowed.
 
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This is pretty interesting. There's good game here if you can work out the details.

S.

 
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Nick Shaw
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Thanks Sagrilarus. I'll playtest it some more and try to tighten up the rules.
 
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Eugene Spears
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One thing that could save some crazy rules: If a player stacks, they'd skip their meeple placement.

My other thought is that this seems like the Builder would really love this variant a bit too much!
 
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dennis bennett
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Any more thoughts on this?
"stacking" looks to be some interesting design space that hasn't been explored much yet.
 
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Nick Shaw
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I've not tried my variant for some time now. But I do note that the Hills & Sheep expansion uses the concept of stacked tiles, though only slightly. It's certainly worth more investigation I think!
 
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