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Carcassonne» Forums » Variants

Subject: Making Carcassonne More Lifelike rss

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Peter Mumford
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My goal in my rules for Carcassonne is to make the game a more accurate metaphor for a medieval countryside, yet retain the original game's innocence and simplicity. To play this variant you will need the Carcassone game, plus the expansions "Inns and Cathedrals" and "Traders and Builders". This variant does not use all the components, just the ones that work best (in my humble opinion). This variant does not use builders, even though they are fun to play with. But they would make the game too complicated when used with my pigs rule, and I like my pigs idea better. Nor does it use traders, inns, or river tiles.

Toward the goal of accuacy, it seems obvious that a road that connects 2 cities, or a city to a cloister, should be worth more than a road that goes from nowhere to nowhere. And a pig is a fine symbol of added value. It seems natural that a pig could be anywhere: the monks in a cloister might raise a pig on scraps and leftovers, or a pig might be raised in a city where someone had a little space, since cities would produce lots of food scraps for them to eat. Pigs were of course often walked or carted along roads to market.

The church was never owned or controlled by the municipality. So cathedrals and the city that surround them may be owned by different players.

Therefore, my rules, as follows:

meeple Original 72 tiles are used, plus 2 cathedrals, plus any supplemental tiles from the expansions that don't have inns or trade goods. The river is not used. Six followers per player, plus scoring marker, and pigs. Large follower is optional.

meeple Roads are worth more if they connect to cities or cloisters. If a road is connected, on both ends, to a city or cloister, finished or unfinished, it scores an additional 4 points.

meeple Cloisters score additional points if a completed city lies within, or partially within, its domain of 9 tiles. 2 points for a small city (two tiles), 4 points for a large city (more than two tiles).

meeple Cathedrals are played like cloisters. A player may place a cathedral in any unfinished city, even if it is occupied by a knight of another player. When the eight tiles surrounding the cathedral are placed, it scores 9 points.

meeple Pigs may be placed on, or associated with, roads, farms, cloisters, or cities, or cathedrals. Pigs may be placed on any tile adjacent to a tile with the a follower of the same color. It is then associated with that follower's road, farm, cloister, city or cathedral. A pig may not be placed on a tile that completes a road, cloister, cathedral or city (i.e. you may not place your pig and score on the same turn). Note that a cloister pig will be placed on a farm, road or city tile adjacent to the cloister. Pigs score an extra 1 point per tile for roads, cloisters, and cities. Pigs on farms score an extra point per city (as in official rules). If a road, city, or cloister, or cathedral that has a pig is uncompleted at the end of the game, the road, city or cloister scores NO points for the player.

meeple If a pig is adjacent to multiple followers of its own color it is both a farm pig and a city pig, or serves 2 cloisters, or becomes a cloister pig and city pig, etc. If a player has a cloister or farm pig on the board, and then places a city tile adjacent to the pig, the player may occupy the city with a meeple and gain the benefits and risk of the pig. If a pig is located on a farm tile, but there is no farmer of like color adjacent to the pig, the pig is not a farm pig, and is removed when its associated cloister, road or city scores.

meeple Score farms in the way your group usually scores them.
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Davo Brawn
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Sounds like a really neat variation. A lot of good ideas.

I just have a couple questions before i try it:
photocurio wrote:
Roads are worth more if they connect to cities or cloisters. If a road is connected, on both ends, to a city or cloister, finished or unfinished, it scores an additional 4 points.
finished or unfinished refers to the city/cloister NOT the road. True?

photocurio wrote:
Cloisters score additional points if a completed city lies within, or partially within, its domain of 9 tiles. 2 points for a small city (two tiles), 4 points for a large city (more than two tiles).
....().
(=)C...
..(=)..
so this cloister, even though only one city (at bottom) is completely in the cloister's nine squares, would score a bonus 10 points?

photocurio wrote:
Cathedrals are played like cloisters. [...] When the eight tiles surrounding the cathedral are placed, it scores 9 points.
I think i'll try giving the cathedral cloisters one point for each tile in the city. The bigger the congregation, the more valuable the church.

photocurio wrote:
If a road, city, or cloister, or cathedral that has a pig is uncompleted at the end of the game, the road, city or cloister scores NO points for the player.
Cool.

Thanks for sharing your ideas. Can't wait to try.
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Peter Mumford
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groening wrote:
Sounds like a really neat variation. A lot of good ideas.

I just have a couple questions before i try it:
photocurio wrote:
Roads are worth more if they connect to cities or cloisters. If a road is connected, on both ends, to a city or cloister, finished or unfinished, it scores an additional 4 points.
finished or unfinished refers to the city/cloister NOT the road. True?
If a road starts at a cloister or city, and you close with a cloister or city tile, then you get the additional points. This worked well in testing.

groening wrote:

photocurio wrote:
Cloisters score additional points if a completed city lies within, or partially within, its domain of 9 tiles. 2 points for a small city (two tiles), 4 points for a large city (more than two tiles).
....().
(=)C...
..(=)..
so this cloister, even though only one city (at bottom) is completely in the cloister's nine squares, would score a bonus 10 points?
I like the idea of your notation, but I can't figure it out. But I don't see how its possible to get so many points out of one city near the cloister. Scoring does need to stay consistent, and giving a per-tile score would create inflation, in my view. So there is a per-city score. There is a precedent for the 2 points per small city and 4 points per large city (farm scoring).

groening wrote:

photocurio wrote:
Cathedrals are played like cloisters. [...] When the eight tiles surrounding the cathedral are placed, it scores 9 points.
I think i'll try giving the cathedral cloisters one point for each tile in the city. The bigger the congregation, the more valuable the church.
Yes, this way works too, and the cathedral scores when the city scores. In some ways this is more interesting than the cathedral just scoring 9 points like a cloister, and this is closer to Wrede's rules for cathedrals.
The drawback to this, IMO, is that there are only two cathedral tiles. If they score too high they can throw the balance of the game. To keep inflation down and consistency up, I prefer to score them just like cloisters. But cathedrals do create risk also, since an unfinished city with a cathedral would score no points (as in Wrede).

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Davo Brawn
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photocurio wrote:
groening wrote:
photocurio wrote:
Cloisters score additional points if a completed city lies within, or partially within, its domain of 9 tiles. 2 points for a small city (two tiles), 4 points for a large city (more than two tiles).
....(). -2 tile city starting in cloister's top right corner
(=)C... 3 tile city to left of cloister
..(=).. -3 tile city fully in cloister's three bottom squares
so this cloister, even though only one city (at bottom) is completely in the cloister's nine squares, would score a bonus 10 points?
I like the idea of your notation, but I can't figure it out. But I don't see how its possible to get so many points out of one city near the cloister. Scoring does need to stay consistent, and giving a per-tile score would create inflation, in my view. So there is a per-city score. There is a precedent for the 2 points per small city and 4 points per large city (farm scoring).

I get it now. The Bonus is scored for the CITY, not the cloister.

So top city score 2(4) plus 2
left city scores 6 plus 4
bottom city scores 6 plus 4
and cloister scores 9.

Thanks,



 
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Peter Mumford
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I don't think thats right. Writing rules is dificult! So, I am posting a photo:

This cloister is completed: it is surrounded by eight tiles. Including the cloister tile, I call these nine tiles the cloister's domain.
The two tiles on the bottom are included to show that the larger city is completed. They are not part of the cloister's domaine.
One completed city is within, and one city is partially within this cloisters' domaine, so the cloister scores 9 points for completion, 2 points for the small city (two tiles), and 4 points for the large city (more than two tiles). Total is 15 points.

But let me know how your game worked out with the cloisters and pigs and what rules worked best.
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Togu Oppusunggu
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Peter, thanks for a FANTASTIC variant. Just tried it out solitaire to see how it runs, and it is so fun. What a great way to use pigs. They are used much more significantly and thus their presence on the board is more prevalent, and they look so good in their various configurations (cloister pig, road pig, etc.). Also, in keeping with the spirit of the original Carcassonne, the pigs are not so easy to place despite the seemingly simple rules for placing them.

I had just tried out Trader and Builders before your variant and what a disappointment that was. I realized that, with the expansions, more can actually mean less, because the basic tensions of the basic game gets lost when there are too many options for scoring; they make the game too easy and ultimately nondescript. I also have always liked the original "big farmer" scoring, because a lot of the tension comes from the danger of a big farm being scored, and the river just takes away from that tension. The lack of the farmer tension is why I never warmed to Hunters and Gatherers.

The pigs in your variant now add to the fundamental tensions of the basic game. And yes, somehow it feels more like the build up of a real medieval countryside.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.
 
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sunday silence
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toguopp wrote:
Peter, thanks for a FANTASTIC variant. Just tried it out solitaire to see how it runs, and it is so fun. What a great way to use pigs. They are used much more significantly ...


with all due respect, why should this even come as a shock? Any variant that would increase the risk reward factor of any build should increase the choices and hence the strategy of the game becomes richer. This seemed obvious even before I began to mess around with this game...

WHy not just make this routine for all/most features in your games: score pts. only if cites are complete, score double only if they connect to some other feature. Same with roads.

Have only begun to try this with the city but I suspect it will work for the original as well. Why wouldnt it? You dont need pigs!

This is just an obvious evolution of a basic solid drive system.

In any event, lots of great ideas here. keep them coming...
 
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Gwommy the Purple
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When you play a city pig for example, is the pig collected after the city is finished or does the pig remain on the board for the rest of the game?
 
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Peter Mumford
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gwommy wrote:
When you play a city pig for example, is the pig collected after the city is finished or does the pig remain on the board for the rest of the game?


You may take the pig back. But you might choose to leave it. It might be adjacent to another meeple that has not yet scored.
 
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