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Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers» Forums » Sessions

Subject: “Stonehenge” turns the game rss

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Thies Kolln
United States
Cedar Rapids
Iowa
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Carcassonne: Hunters & Gatherers has been my most played game since I got it in February just as I were getting back into the hobby. Last night, I sat down to a game with my wife (K) and brother-in-law (D).

I’ve played about 25 games so far and strangely (at least from seeing others comment here) no game yet had turned on the hunting shrine tile, aka “Stonehenge.” More often than not Stonehenge has been drawn early in the game when good hunting grounds were not yet established, or otherwise effectively countered by sealing it off from promising fields. Last night I was finally confronted with the game changing power of that tile in full.

The set-up was perfect for K. D and I were battling for the most promising meadow and it was nearing 10 animals, with the fire (chases tigers away) tile already on it also. D and I each had one hunter in the meadow, with one further hunter each threatening to link in. Then K drew Stonehenge and set her sights on our hunting ground, successfully linking in a few rounds later despite our best efforts to keep her out. Final scores were K 121, me 109, D 97, with that one field netting 22 points for K and (of course) zero for the others.

Although I’ve read such comments from others, I never thought this tile was too powerful before. Did this game change my mind? The answer is definitively NO. Sure, it got K the win in this game, but that was once in 25 games when it by itself sealed a win. And even then, I could have overcome it – I was one tile away from linking into a river system held by both K and D that would have added 14 points to my score and only 2 to each of theirs and put me in a tie for the win. So my view remains the same: a very powerful tile in certain circumstances, but more or less useless in others. This actually contrasts nicely with some of the other bonus tiles. For example, the 4 fish pond won’t ever get you 14 points, but it will almost always give a good solid boost to your score. There are clearly some bonus tiles that are less valuable, such as the aurochs tiles and the mushrooms, but I’m holding firm to my view that none is overpowered.
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