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Subject: Carcassone for 6 - impressions from my gaming group rss

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Ryan Fitzpatrick
United States
Terryville
Connecticut
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As the second game of our latest get-together, my group chose to try out Carcassone. Three of us had played previously - Mark, Mike, and I played the game just last week with my wife. The other three - Eric, John, and Jeanne - were completely new to the game.

We took about 10 minutes to explain tile placement, claiming cities, roads, and cloisters, and farming. We played with the original rules, but with additional tiles from the "City of Carcassone" expansion, some of the "Inns and Cathedrals" tiles, and some miscellaneous tiles from another expansion or two for good measure.

Our newbies caught onto the rules quickly - we had to stop a couple times and explain why a farmer couldn't be layed down in a particular field, but the cities, roads, and cloisters presented no difficulties. Interestingly enough, our layout wound up including two or three cloister-clusters, for lack of a better term. One such had 4 cloisters adjacent to one another!

Mark and I were the last to get on the score board - Eric had jumped out to an early lead, with Mike not far behind. I soon found I had mismanaged my Meeples, and spent 2 turns laying tiles with no Meeples in my hand. In the space of 2 turns, however, I scored a cloister and two larg-ish cities. Mark shared one of those cities with me, and scored a road or two to boot. Those 2 turns left Mark and me tied for 2nd place, only a handful of points behind Eric.

As the game progressed, Mark continued to pile on the points and pulled out to a fairly significant lead. Eric commented on this, and Mark then reminded Eric that, due to Eric's and my work with the farmers, and Mark's lack thereof, that he was pretty confident that the game would go to either Eric or me.

We did wind up with the now-obligatory giant-city-that-never-stops-growing, which tied up 2 of my Meeples for most of the game, 2 of Eric's, and one of Mike's. There was only a single tile that could have completed the city as it turned out - and Mike drew it. Since he would've lost the city to Eric and me, and since it'd leave us both with stranded Meeples, he wisely chose to play the tile elsewhere.

When all was said and done, Mark proved to be prescient: sure enough, Eric won the game, I trailed Eric by 3 points, and our nearest competitor was 20+ points behind me. Everyone had a good time, and especially since we had just played (and suffered through the long setup time for) Seafarers of Catan, the lack of ANY setup time was refreshing to all. This one was a definite success, and will most definitely get played often in by my group.
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Lisa Batchelder
United States
Brookline
Massachusetts
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Good point about the relief of "no set-up"... I nice option when you are tired from a long day playing games but want to squeeze one more in!
 
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