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Subject: Which expansion (or trick) to reduce the size of the fields ? rss

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Lionel
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Hi,

Sorry if the question has already been answered, but I didn't find it.
I have the 10 year edition of Carcassonne. We play it mostly 2 players and enjoy it a lot.

The only issue we have is that the fields can end up being ridiculously big ( I had a field with 14 cities yesterday, so basically it's an easy victory to whoever owns this field). So either we are doing something wrong, or we would need some mini-expansion to correct this ? The river ?
I would like to avoid buying a full expansion.

Thanks for your help
 
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Patrick
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The river (or river 2) can help. Alternatively YOU could drop the farmer in there early on and get the points.
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Jason W.
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The River fixes this quite a bit. We use both River 1 and 2 and it separates them good. They are a bit hard to find now though.
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Hubert Figuière
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I didn't find that the river helped. Quite the opposite.

Yes it is common to have large farms. So be it.
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Michael Howden
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We always play with the river and our house-rule is that fields do NOT wrap around the lake or the source tile. It helps.
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Jason W.
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Galstaff wrote:
We always play with the river and our house-rule is that fields do NOT wrap around the lake or the source tile.


I believe the River 2 spring tile has a small starting road coming out of a small house so the river doesn't wrap around it, there's also some other good tiles that separate using roads and city bridges (that might be part of the Mini Expansion but we have that one as well). Plus with both Rivers mixed together, you also have the fork river section. Our rivers separate the farms pretty good.
 
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Kevin Brown
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jasonw91 wrote:
The River fixes this quite a bit. We use both River 1 and 2 and it separates them good. They are a bit hard to find now though.


River 2 is part of Carcassonne: Expansion 6 – Count, King & Robber which is cheaper than the exorbitant secondary market prices for just the River 2.
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Tim Schmitt
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hfiguiere wrote:
I didn't find that the river helped. Quite the opposite.


This has been my experience too (with River I.) On the other hand, I find that the expansions tiles tend to be a little more likely to break up the farms; they have less open space. (Caveat - most of my expansion experience is with Inns & Cathedrals, and Traders & Builders... I can't say whether this holds true for other expansions.)
 
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MisuVir
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We've got River 2 and we've found that this encourages even larger farms due to the large amount of connected greenery at the start of the game.

I like the Ferries mini-expansion - it adds a bunch of lake tiles with movable roads/ferries. This expansion combined with the point-doubling inns from the Inns and Cathedrals expansion encourages people to build more inter-connected roads. This makes it a lot easier to break up farms.

If you hate large farms, definitely avoid using the Bridges expansion.
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L H
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I like Trader & Builders as it adds mostly city segments, many of which have roads coming from them.
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John
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I've found that sometimes the river helps and sometimes it makes for bigger fields. I wouldn't worry too much as it adds to the variety if sometimes it's a battle to control the big field. If you're always getting 10+ cities in a field I'd be surprised, it's usually possible to create extra fields and if you proponent has grabbed what looks like a promising field then you can build your cities on the other side of the road, and try to hem in their field with roads. A cloister on the end of a road can sometimes join fields though.

My limited experience with Inns and Cathedrals backs up what others have said about there being less big farms. It also gives you a big meeple which counts as 2 normal meeples which can help with stealing farms.

jasonw91 wrote:
I believe the River 2 spring tile has a small starting road coming out of a small house so the river doesn't wrap around it, there's also some other good tiles that separate using roads and city bridges (that might be part of the Mini Expansion but we have that one as well).


That is The Mini Expansion which isn't at all easy to get. If you had both River 1 & 2 you could modify one of the spring tiles though.

River 1 is available from cundou.de.
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Build bigger cities, so there are fewer of them. Traders & Builders help here too (the Scribe).
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1) Try to compete for the field, either early or as a late-game coup
2) Work to close off a field with roads.
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TonyKR
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I think the "trick" is to play offense better. Place more farmers in disconnected fields and join them up so that you are the one with the majority at the end.
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Tomello Visello
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Rather than an expansion, what about a whole different version of Carcassonne?

So often I see discussions about expansions; so rarely a discussion about alternate titles within the family. Earlier this week I studied ownership numbers among the brand extenstions and was quite surprised how significantly things dropped.


landcsf wrote:
We play it mostly 2 players and enjoy it a lot.
In my own house we happen to prefer Carcassonne: The Discovery for this.

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Alex Drazen
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Quote:
I believe the River 2 spring tile has a small starting road coming out of a small house so the river doesn't wrap around it


That's actually from The Mini Expansion.

Large farms are just a part of the game. If you don't like them, try to start your cities in areas where they won't be part of a large farm.

I don't mind farms because, as someone who grew up in a rural area, I'm all for my agrarian friends sticking it to those snobbish city folk.
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Jeffrey Huntington
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Lurkfish wrote:
jasonw91 wrote:
The River fixes this quite a bit. We use both River 1 and 2 and it separates them good. They are a bit hard to find now though.


River 2 is part of Carcassonne: Expansion 6 – Count, King & Robber which is cheaper than the exorbitant secondary market prices for just the River 2.


I also find that using the 12-tile city from Count, whether you use the rules for it or not, is another good way to split things up. The number of roads coming off of it helps to separate fields if they are built upon.
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Jarek Szczepanik
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I also recommend Carcassonne: The School mini expansion. It's 2 tiles with 6 roads.
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John Taber
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hfiguiere wrote:
I didn't find that the river helped. Quite the opposite.

Yes it is common to have large farms. So be it.


I actually agree with Hubert. I think the opposite. The river and the ends open up farmers more in my opinion.
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Scott Dye
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The whole river and it's impact on fields is odd. I've seen SO many forum threads that go back and forth "it splits them up" vs "it makes them bigger" - my experience, even with the GQ mini expansion tile, is that it doesn't help much if at all. My theory (which is probably wrong) is that for some the existence of the river often makes players more passive and just stick to their area of the board, so it seems to help - but for those that remain aggressive it doesn't help much.

I played a lot on iOS at one point, and over time learned how easy it really is in the base game to join in almost any farm I wanted to. Even without counting exact tiles, as long as you know the relative frequency of types of tiles available makes it pretty easy to figure out where you can attack a field. Fine against AI of course, but even when I played in an iOS tournament organized on BGG, I did pretty well at negating or overtaking most large farms when they happened. To that point, I often laid tiles to force bigger farms knowing that.

I don't say that to brag - Im not that good a player. I'm saying that it really isn't that hard to join in farms, as long as you are relatively aggressive about it. It takes awhile to get that feel though - and honestly I'm not as good right now at it as I was at one point. It takes two tiles at minimum to join, so start looking for areas where that is possible. OR, as someone suggested, plunk down the farmer first, as a bluff if nothing else, and look to disrupt anywhere that the opponent starts to lay the first of a two-tile join.

Of all the past "suggestions" to reduce the farm size with expansions, they really just lead to an over-importance of cites…which to me is just as bad.

My favorite way to play is with the base game, and just accept the farms for what they are, and either work throughout the game to split farms, or attack large farms.

Second favorite is to play with base + the inn tiles only from I&C…this helps make roads more of a threat, and helps to break up large farms due to more road tiles - without also beefing up cities (which the cathedrals and city tiles from I&C do).

I recently got the ferries, but haven't played it yet (when we do play now, my wife would prefer playing base game only), but it looks to have a similar effect to my modified I&C expansion mentioned above, and should help break up farms.

Just throwing out ideas. Good luck!
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Scott Dye
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Just to add…

I just looked again at the extra tiles in 10 Anniv edition (I don't have it) - many of those tiles with the "10" icon lend toward larger farms developing (the double curve road, but also there are more curved roads in general than straight "ending" roads. The base game does as well (if you don't actively counteract it), but these extra tiles seem like they would make larger farms easier.

Not sure my point here, except to recognize that the 10th does seem like it would be a bit more farm heavy than even the standard base game, for those that aren't trying to stop them.
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Badger
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Carcassonne: The Count of Carcassonne provides multiple starting fields and an alternate way to get farmers in to play.
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Scott Dye
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Sorry for the redundancy in my posts, but I can't seem to get my head off the topic, and trying to give you more ideas. Here's my take on how a lot of the expansions would affect farm size. You mentioned preferring a mini-expansion - the only "mini" expansions that seem to have any effect in reducing farms would be:

River(s): Hard to say - it's about 50/50 on reports here on BGG as to whether it actually helps farms or not. Some like it, some don't. I don't think it offers enough to take a chance, in your case.

Ferries: This should help reduce farms, but some say the rules are a bit confusing - others like them. I haven't played it yet. But it would be a cheap set that would offer tiles to help break up farms with the roads. You could possibly play with the tiles and not the ferry rules, and still break up farm size a bit.


As for larger expansions:

Count: This definitely breaks up the play area into multiple zones, but it always feels like such a forced attempt to do so - it really breaks up the game as well. If you like to play Carc in a "leave me to build my area, you build your area" manner, this would be good (and many do like to play that way, which is fine). If, however, you prefer Carc as more interactive and want to have some level of stealing and defense in the game, then I think the Count start area separates the playfield too much. Personally, a reason I don't like the river and count is that I like the confined nature of the base start tile - it makes you deal with the opponent, instead of playing semi-solitaire.

Inns & Cathedrals: many of the tiles do a fair amount to disrupt farms, and the big meeple and cathedrals offer scoring options that could help overcome an opponent's farm score, so this is another way to compensate for farms. This might be your best bang for the buck, and in addition it is (arguably) the most popular expansion, and retains much of the feel of the base game.

Traders & Builders: This has a lot of tiles to help break up farms, but it REALLY tips the balance toward city building as the main method of gaining points (there are only 3 tiles that do not include a city). The trade goods don't offer as much of a bonus as first appears - usually 10 points over your opponent, unless you happen to get a majority in all 3, which is rare. You do a lot of work to try to get the goods, and even may finish an opponent's city for them to get the goods (giving them points), and all that for only a 10 point advantage at the end (or less if you finished one or more of their cities in the process).



While I still say you should first try to push your gameplay further in regards to how the joining, blocking, and stealing fields "work" in the overall aspect of gameplay, if you want to buy an expansion, I would say Inns & Cathedrals. I&C is usually the most recommended "first" expansion anyway, doesn't change gameplay much, and does helps break up farms (you could even remove a few tiles that encouraged farms if you wanted at that point).

If price is a huge concern, The Ferry seems to be the best mini-expansion option.
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Adam Frandsen
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porkozone wrote:
The trade goods don't offer as much of a bonus as first appears - usually 10 points over your opponent, unless you happen to get a majority in all 3, which is rare. You do a lot of work to try to get the goods, and even may finish an opponent's city for them to get the goods (giving them points), and all that for only a 10 point advantage at the end (or less if you finished one or more of their cities in the process).


I disagree. In my experience, having a majority in all 3 trade goods is surprisingly common--especially with only 2 players!

More importantly though, remember this: having a majority in one trade good is often worth 20 points, not 10. Sure, it's ten points to you, but what about your opponent? If you take away a trade good majority from an opponent, you're lowering their score by 10, and increasing your score by 10, for a total relative gain of 20 points. And if you manage to do this with all 3 trade goods (again, not a terribly uncommon event), then you're increasing your relative score by up to 60 points! So it's definitely worth it to finish an opponent's city from time to time. Especially because if you don't finish it and get those trade goods, someone else probably will!
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Tim Wright
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Svartisen wrote:
I also recommend Carcassonne: The School mini expansion. It's 2 tiles with 6 roads.

I agree, it encourages road building early in the game.
 
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