After sitting on the shelf for the month since its purchase, I finally got an opportunity to play Carcassonne with the Traders and Builders expansion (as well as The Tower; a session report for that expansion has already been submitted). My wife and I sat down last night to play, and it certainly added a new twist to what was already one of our favorite games.
It took just a few turns for one of the new city tiles to come out. I think my wife had it first, and was lucky enough to pull a second (different) commodity just a short time later. Since I was never able to play anything on her city--nor willing, since she had a mammoth area going--she ended up completing it on her own, and snagged many commodity tiles.
Shortly thereafter I was able to get one or three of my own. Even so, I lagged behind most of the game.
Unfortunately, because of our dual-expansions going on, and both being new to us, we weren't able to focus on either of them like we should have. Thus, much of our attention was on the towers, attempting to steal or retrieve meeples--and so we didn't really get into the Traders aspect of the game.
I did, however, play a pig on one of my farms. This helped in final scoring, as you'll note later.
Aside from those, we got good use out of our builders, although I did have to remind my wife of their use. In one instance, she was able to expand her three-tile city to a 10-tile in just a few turns, thanks to lucky tile draws and a well-placed builder.
In the end, though, I eked out a victory, having won the bulk of the commodity points. It was quite close, though, perhaps only a dozen or so points--the commodities really made the difference.
While it doesn't change the gameplay as much as, say, The Tower does, it's certainly a welcome addition, and definitely changes the tactics we will play with in the future.