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Subject: Meeple Variant rss

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Daniel Kotzin
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Hello, BGGers!
I have a great idea for a variant of Carcassonne. Each color has a a different special power, here they are:
RED: +1 point on the tile you put your Meeple down on.
BLUE: Banners in cities give you +1 point.
YELLOW: You may put +1 Meeple down per turn.
GREEN: Incomplete cities still give you +2 points.
BLACK: You may put down +1 tile per turn.
PURPLE: You only need 8 tiles surrounding a monastery.

By the way, I haven't play tested this yet...
 
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Alex Drazen
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Green and black sound a bit OP compared to the rest.
 
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PenumbraPenguin
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This looks very unbalanced to me. Here are some thoughts on power level:

Red: Does this work only for me? If so, it's pretty good.
Blue: This isn't worth much.
Yellow: This is almost useless, might get you a couple of points near the end of the game when you're committing farmers on small farms.
Green: 2 points per tile, I assume? This will make your opponent not bother to block your cities, which is ok...
Black: This is far and away the best of these powers. Not even close.
Purple: This doesn't seem very useful. It's applicable to only 3 tiles per game, on average.
 
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Daniel Kotzin
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'Kay, here's the new version:
RED stays the same
BLUE gives +1 point on ALL tiles in cities
YELLOW gives you +1 point on roads
GREEN is now rephrased: Even non-completed cities give +2 points to farmers.
BLACK stays the same
PURPLE gives you +1 point at the end of your turn.
 
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Ariel
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Vina del Mar
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It seems to me a great idea! Worth trying the skills of each color and the balance of play...
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John
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I always like the idea of special powers for different players. I suspect this would be very difficult to balance, but if you can then it would be fun.

DominionGuy wrote:
Red: +1 point on the tile you put your Meeple down on.
Is this when you score the tile? Does it count each time you score the tile? So if I put a meeple on a road next to my cloister which completed the cloister I'd score 10 points. Do you get the points even if you don't control the feature (e.g. City with 2 green knights and 1 red, does red score 1 or 0)?

DominionGuy wrote:

BLUE gives +1 point on ALL tiles in cities
YELLOW gives you +1 point on roads
GREEN is now rephrased: Even non-completed cities give +2 points to farmers.

These sound like they might be balanced against each other. Blue & Yellow could be tweaked if needed by adjusting whether the +1 bonus only applies to complete features or applied at game end too.

DominionGuy wrote:

BLACK: You may put down +1 tile per turn.

That means they get to put down twice as many tiles as anyone else! If we assume points scored is approximately proportionally to the number of tiles you put down then you would expect this player to score double a player with no bonus. How about giving them the builder out of Traders & Builders instead?

Purple = 14 extra points in a 5 player game without expansions (15 points if you go 1st) (reduced if some else picks black). This isn't a very exciting ability as it wouldn't change the way you play at all, but I reckon that's not an unreasonable average score from an extra ability - it wouldn't dominate the game but you would need to take it into account.

Another idea is that you could give one (or more) player one of the special meeples from an expansion (you could use anything the correct colour if you don't have the expansion in question):
Builder from T&B
Pig from T&B
Big meeple from I&C (either replacing a meeple or as an extra)
An extra regular meeple (either use a big meeple on the scoreing track, put a coin on scoring track, or reduce everyone else's meeple count by 1)
A phantom meeple (if it was an extra meeple then that'd be slightly stronger than your original idea for yellow)

I guess there are others but those are the ones I know the rules for.

Good luck!
 
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Alex Drazen
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Quote:
'Kay, here's the new version:
RED gives +1 point per tile with your meeple
BLUE gives +1 point on ALL tiles in cities
YELLOW gives you +1 point on roads
GREEN is now rephrased: Even non-completed cities give +2 points to farmers.
BLACK gets +1 tiles to lay per turn
PURPLE gives you +1 point at the end of your turn.


Black is still ridiculously OP in this game. Purple gets 35-36 free points in a 2 player game!


Here is how you could potentially tweak this:

RED gets a x2 multiplier on completed cloisters, and +1/+2 for incompleted ones.
BLUE gets +1 point per city (completed or incomplete)
YELLOW gets +1 point per road (completed or incomplete)
GREEN gets a bonus of +1 point per farm (or maybe Total Farm Score/3)
BLACK gets a secret hand of 2-3 tiles, and chooses which to play.
PURPLE gets +2 points for completing any feature with an opponent on it, per opponent on the feature.


I don't claim this is balanced, but I suspect it would be less unbalanced than your proposal, which has a couple clearly superior choices. Red might seem a little powerful here but there are only 6 cloister tiles and they are easier to force to be incomplete, so I view him as risk/reward. Black gets choices but no bonus points (maybe he gets to draw 2-3, but discards the unplayed tiles). Purple is probably the weakest, so I just changed it a bit (I had +1 per feature, now it's +2 per opponent per feature).
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John
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alexdrazen wrote:

PURPLE gets +2 points for completing any feature with an opponent on it, per opponent on the feature.

I like that one. Simple & adds another reason for sharing features. Would that apply to farms? And would you have to have a meeple in the feature? So if you finished your cloister, and in doing so finished an opponents road would you get +2? I guess that's something which could be changed to balance it.

It occurs to me that you could write these on cards and either pick or randomly deal them at the start of a game. That way people could pick their favorite colour and still pick a different ability each time. It also wouldn't matter if you came up with more than 6 abilities (though 6 reasonably balanced abilities isn't going to be easy).
 
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Alex Drazen
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Re: Purple +2

Quote:
Would that apply to farms?


No, as farms are not really completed during the game (unless you make a circular trap, but it's so rare as to not bother with, especially since checking for completed farms would be a hassle).

Quote:
And would you have to have a meeple in the feature? So if you finished your cloister, and in doing so finished an opponents road would you get +2?


No and yes. It's +2 points per opponent who has a meeple in a feature that YOU completed, but you don't have to be in it.

If I finish my cloister, I get +9 for that. If the tile I placed finishes a road with two opponents on it, I get +4. If the tile I placed finishes TWO roads (likely a T-junction), one with two opponents on it and one with one opponent on it, I'd score +6.

As stated: "+2 bonus per opponent per feature completed by the Purple player." Mathematically: 2 x (# of Feature 1 opponents + {# of Feature 2 opponents, if applicable} + {# of Feature 3 opponents, if applicable})

I tried to make all the powers roughly equal. If purple is closing features, he's helping opponents, which is why I made the bonus so good.

I actually think +1 per city is probably the weakest one of these powers. Maybe it should be +2 per completed non-football city and +1 per other city.
 
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John
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alexdrazen wrote:
Re: Purple +2

That's what I thought. Purple is helping opponents but if he can share multiple features with different opponents (assuming 3+ players) then could do well out of it.

The blue/yellow/green bonuses are per feature rather than per tile aren't they? In which case I'd have thought green is the weakest is farms (unless you do Total Farm Score/3 which is the same as each city scoring +1 point assuming no expansions which effect farms).
 
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Alex Drazen
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Quote:
The blue/yellow/green bonuses are per feature rather than per tile aren't they? In which case I'd have thought green is the weakest is farms (unless you do Total Farm Score/3 which is the same as each city scoring +1 point assuming no expansions which effect farms).


Yes, which is why I considered a couple options, such as +2 for "non-trivial" (3+ tile) features for the road/city bonuses and Farm Score/3 for the Farm bonus (must be tied or control the farm to get the bonus). The bonus would be based on the base game farm score, would happen when the farm is scored, and would not change for Barns or Pigs. So if the player got hit with a Barn they'd just get +2 per city instead of +1 or +3.

I never used the Pig so I don't know how Pig+Barn work together.

Updated version:

RED gets a x2 multiplier on completed cloisters, and +2 points for each incomplete Cloister at the end of the game.
BLUE gets +2 points per completed non-trivial city and +1 point per other city, when scored (completed or incomplete)
YELLOW gets +1 point per completed non-trivial road and +1 point per other road, when scored (completed or incomplete)
GREEN gets a bonus of {Base Game Farm Score ÷ 3} each time he scores a farm.
BLACK gets a secret hand of 2-3 tiles, and chooses which to play.
PURPLE/GRAY gets +2 points for completing any feature with an opponent on it, per opponent on the feature.


Non-trivial features must be 3 or more tiles. Thus, two-tile "football" cities and two-tile roads are considered "trivial" features.

Alternate proposal: Make "Helper" cards like in Catan Scenarios: Helpers of Catan, with A/B sides. Each turn, a player can use their Helper or exchange it for one in the display (but not both). THE CATCH: Taking or using a Helper negates your ability to place a Meeple on that turn!



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John
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alexdrazen wrote:

Alternate proposal: Make "Helper" cards like in Catan Scenarios: Helpers of Catan, with A/B sides. Each turn, a player can use their Helper or exchange it for one in the display (but not both). THE CATCH: Taking or using a Helper negates your ability to place a Meeple on that turn!

Nice - if there was a farmer one (or any others which applied at game end) then there would be an interesting decision mid game whether to grab the one that'd help you end game, or hold out until later so you can use the ones that'd help you during the game.

It'd also make balancing them less of a problem as no one can get the benefit of any of them for the whole game (and people might end up holding the more powerful ones for a number of turns before they use them and end up getting less benefit than someone who managed to use a few less powerful cards).
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