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Carcassonne» Forums » General

Subject: Why not a multiplayer tournament besides the obvious reasons? rss

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William Jason Raynovich
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So, Carc is a fun game. 2 player Carc is a great competitive game, but more cutthroat than friendly. It is a fine 2 player tournament game.

Besides the potential chaos from multiplayer Carc and the possible collusion, why not try 4 or 5 player tournaments. If you stay with the chess clocks, the game could still be competitive with a slight bit of Diplomacy thrown in.

Would the metagame colluding be too strong? Does multiplayer Carc really not hold up?
 
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Alex Drazen
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Unless you're throwing in expansions, multi-player Carcassonne will have a high luck factor, especially at 4+ player counts.

With 71 tiles in the bag for a base game (72nd is starting tile)...

2P = 36, 35 moves
3P = 24, 24, 23 moves
4P = 18, 18, 18, 17 moves
5P = 15, 14, 14, 14, 14 moves
6P = 12, 12, 12, 12, 12, 11 moves

2P = 1 starting meeple per ~5 tiles
3P = 1 starting meeple per ~3.4 tiles
4P = 1 starting meeple per ~2.5 tiles
5P = 1 starting meeple per ~2.1 tiles
6P = 1 starting meeple per ~1.7 tiles

As the player count goes up, the number of tiles you place goes down. I feel like at 4P this starts to shift away from strategic placement to just being more of a luck-of-the-draw game.

I suppose if you LIKE colluding, it might hold up, but I don't. Carcassonne is a 2P-3P game for me. If you want a higher count, I'm of the opinion that you need to throw in enough expansions to make meeple management actually matter.




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William Jason Raynovich
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Thanks. I like your argument. How many expansions would be needed to make it a considerably less a "luck-of-the-draw" game?

Three?

 
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Scott Heise
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It's true that their is a significant luck factor based on tile draws, but there are ways to create a no-luck competitive environment. For example, Bridge is played competitively at many levels despite the luck of the deal of the deck of cards because they play what is known as "duplicate" bridge. The gist of duplicate bridge is that there are multiple pre-dealt hands that are circulated between the different tables (the cards are not shuffled after a hand is played), and the competitive scoring is based only on how many points you scored relative to the other tables who played with the exact same deal.

The key here is that the deal of the hands is still random but the randomness is removed from the competitive environment by not shuffling the cards between tables. One could visualize a similar set-up for Carcassonne by having pre-shuffled tile sets were the order of the tiles is not random, but maintained after the game has been played and then passed on to the next table.

I'm not saying this is necessarily practical for a game Carcassonne, but I wanted to give an example of how a no-luck competitive structure can be created for game with a lot of inherent randomness in the deal (or tile-drawing) of an individual game.
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Alex Drazen
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Quote:
One could visualize a similar set-up for Carcassonne by having pre-shuffled tile sets were the order of the tiles is not random, but maintained after the game has been played and then passed on to the next table.


I suppose, but balancing this out to give each person an advantage (especially the person, or persons, who get one fewer move) would be tricky.

The luck of the draw element is greatly reduced by a longer game with more tiles, accomplished by either a lower player count, or a higher tile count.

However, I stand by the point about meeple management. If you're only placing 11 tiles with a hand of 7 followers, you don't have to think that hard about when or where to place.
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William Jason Raynovich
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HomerJr wrote:
It's true that their is a significant luck factor based on tile draws, but there are ways to create a no-luck competitive environment. For example, Bridge is played competitively at many levels despite the luck of the deal of the deck of cards because they play what is known as "duplicate" bridge. The gist of duplicate bridge is that there are multiple pre-dealt hands that are circulated between the different tables (the cards are not shuffled after a hand is played), and the competitive scoring is based only on how many points you scored relative to the other tables who played with the exact same deal.

The key here is that the deal of the hands is still random but the randomness is removed from the competitive environment by not shuffling the cards between tables. One could visualize a similar set-up for Carcassonne by having pre-shuffled tile sets were the order of the tiles is not random, but maintained after the game has been played and then passed on to the next table.

I'm not saying this is necessarily practical for a game Carcassonne, but I wanted to give an example of how a no-luck competitive structure can be created for game with a lot of inherent randomness in the deal (or tile-drawing) of an individual game.


Thanks for the input and thoughts. I am intrigued by your ideas. I also like the fact that you bring up Bridge and card games as games of skill and luck. But if there are enough rounds, the luck should be somewhat mitigated.

 
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William Jason Raynovich
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alexdrazen wrote:
Quote:
One could visualize a similar set-up for Carcassonne by having pre-shuffled tile sets were the order of the tiles is not random, but maintained after the game has been played and then passed on to the next table.


I suppose, but balancing this out to give each person an advantage (especially the person, or persons, who get one fewer move) would be tricky.

The luck of the draw element is greatly reduced by a longer game with more tiles, accomplished by either a lower player count, or a higher tile count.

However, I stand by the point about meeple management. If you're only placing 11 tiles with a hand of 7 followers, you don't have to think that hard about when or where to place.


Part of Carcassonne is the management of one's meeples. Perhaps it is not as important in a multiplayer game and that the real issue is placing to get the maximum amount of points. In a four-player game each person would get 17 or 18 plays. One would want to get their meeples in the most positions to score and get at least a few meeples back.

With the River Expansion, each player could get 20 tiles. How about to add a bit of unknown factors to the game, eliminating the "extra tiles" from player's play. So if one does a four-player game with the river, then there would be 81 tiles. One tile would NOT be played. With 20 plays (I am thinking that one tile would be NOT be drawn.) I also think it could be possible to play that 5 tiles would not be drawn, giving every player 19 tiles (Now as a caveat, if a tile was deemed illegal to play, then the player would discard the tile and that would be one of the "non-played" tiles.)

I realize this would be a different competitive game than 2 player Carcassonne, but I think it might be an interesting competitive style of playing. I also would want to go with the 3 tile hand for this type of play.
 
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Scott Heise
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alexdrazen wrote:
Quote:
One could visualize a similar set-up for Carcassonne by having pre-shuffled tile sets were the order of the tiles is not random, but maintained after the game has been played and then passed on to the next table.


I suppose, but balancing this out to give each person an advantage (especially the person, or persons, who get one fewer move) would be tricky.

The luck of the draw element is greatly reduced by a longer game with more tiles, accomplished by either a lower player count, or a higher tile count.

However, I stand by the point about meeple management. If you're only placing 11 tiles with a hand of 7 followers, you don't have to think that hard about when or where to place.


You bring up good points, as there are differences between each player's seat. But it is also possible to remove this player-to-player variability from a tournament by only comparing the points of players who are in the same seat at the table. For example, for the purposes of tournament scoring, player 5 only compares his points scored to the other player 5s at the other tables who played with the same pre-dealt stack of tiles. You could then have the players rotate between seats during the tournament so that each player sits in each seat during the tournament. The exact rotation will depend on the # of players, # of tables, # of players per table, and # of games to be played by each player.

Here is an example of how duplicate bridge handles player rotations: http://www.durangobill.com/BridgeCyclicSolutions.html

And a lengthy wikipedia article on bridge rotations: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duplicate_bridge_movements

Obviously these are probably far too intricate for what the OP has in mind, but I just wanted to show examples of how the issues of randomness/luck and player-to-player variability are eliminated from competitive tournaments for games with a random draw/deal factor.

 
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Will Brasher
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Maybe mitigate luck of draw by using the campaigns where you campaign points after each minigame which are in the file section?

I'm on my crummy phone at the mo so can't link them in.
 
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