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Subject: Chase The Pig (quick game for two) rss

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Steve Tregidgo
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Seeking a faster game of Carcassonne with my seven-year old son this evening, we came up with a 2-player variant we call Chase The Pig.

1. Regular starting tile on the table. All other tiles in the bag, except the river (so we don't spend too much time on extra setup).
2. Four meeples each, plus one to score as usual. Builders optional.
3. A meeple of a third colour on the score board. We chose a pig (from Traders & Builders).
4. Before each Every time a tile is played (from the usual draw or a builder bonus), the pig moves one space on the track.
5. When the pig gets back to the starting tile, the game is over. The pig has escaped; count your points as usual.
6. If any player catches the pig (exactly or by moving past it), they win.

Under the rules we played, one could probably pursue both the long-game scores (big cities and farmers) AND try for the short-term gains needed to grab the pig. So I wonder if restricting to three meeples is necessary, to force a strategy -- I suppose that's the sort of thing that comes with repeated play-testing.

We played with builders and caught the pig on about the 40th position. I definitely want to play this way again as we don't get much time for the monster 2-hour multi-expansion epics we usually end up with.

My biggest question: it would be more thematically appropriate if both players lost if the pig escaped -- or even if the player closest to the pig lost, since they were closest so it's their fault (a sort of "you touched it last, so you're responsible" mindset). But would it be more fun? It would perhaps force a more gung-ho approach, and especially the latter could lead to some hairy self-sabotage in the last few plays.

I'd love to hear some input from other players on ways to finesse this without increasing the time.

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Andy
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I can't really offer any opinion until I try this but wanted to say thanks for posting and I'm definitely keen to try it!
I really like the idea of the player closest to the pig losing - adds some very interesting positioning and timing to a player's moves that doesnt really exist in regular Carc.
 
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Kilo Force
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Does the pig start on space 1, or a later space? I would assume not space 0, as the players would have already caught it? If two terminating road tiles came out at the beginning, you could catch the pig within just 2 tiles, so placing it further down the track seems to make more sense?
 
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Matthew Soto
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kiloforce wrote:
Does the pig start on space 1, or a later space? I would assume not space 0, as the players would have already caught it? If two terminating road tiles came out at the beginning, you could catch the pig within just 2 tiles, so placing it further down the track seems to make more sense?


Or heck, the odds of immediately drawing a city tile that would terminate the city (4 points in modern carc, 2 in the very first edition/printing). Maybe starting at space 4 would be good for the pig?

Also maybe reword that before the player draws a tile the pig advances one. Would fit in with the Builder's special ability.
 
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Steve Tregidgo
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kiloforce wrote:
Does the pig start on space 1, or a later space? I would assume not space 0, as the players would have already caught it? If two terminating road tiles came out at the beginning, you could catch the pig within just 2 tiles, so placing it further down the track seems to make more sense?


This is a great point, and exactly why I came here to flesh this out. You're quite right that it ought to start a few places down the track. 4 seems like the absolute minimum, as if we assume the starting tile doesn't move the pig then (as Matthew mentioned) a city-terminating tile on the first move would shift the pig to 5 and still not catch it. A slightly higher number would give more buffer around the first few starting moves.

That initial gap could be implemented by starting the players back in the 40s (eg 44 = -6 points) and the pig on 0, to give it the full run of the track. This just comes down to tuning though: coming up with a good pig run distance and a good initial buffer.

I will look forward to playing with my son again soon and seeing how it shakes out.

Thanks for all the positive replies!
 
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Steve Tregidgo
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lomdr wrote:
Also maybe reword that before the player draws a tile the pig advances one. Would fit in with the Builder's special ability.


Good idea. I have done so.
 
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Steve Tregidgo
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InappropriateAndy wrote:
I can't really offer any opinion until I try this but wanted to say thanks for posting and I'm definitely keen to try it!
I really like the idea of the player closest to the pig losing - adds some very interesting positioning and timing to a player's moves that doesnt really exist in regular Carc.


I think I'm beginning to favour that idea as well; I'll be interested to see if anybody tries it.
 
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Matthew Soto
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smst wrote:
kiloforce wrote:
Does the pig start on space 1, or a later space? I would assume not space 0, as the players would have already caught it? If two terminating road tiles came out at the beginning, you could catch the pig within just 2 tiles, so placing it further down the track seems to make more sense?


This is a great point, and exactly why I came here to flesh this out. You're quite right that it ought to start a few places down the track. 4 seems like the absolute minimum, as if we assume the starting tile doesn't move the pig then (as Matthew mentioned) a city-terminating tile on the first move would shift the pig to 5 and still not catch it. A slightly higher number would give more buffer around the first few starting moves.

That initial gap could be implemented by starting the players back in the 40s (eg 44 = -6 points) and the pig on 0, to give it the full run of the track. This just comes down to tuning though: coming up with a good pig run distance and a good initial buffer.

I will look forward to playing with my son again soon and seeing how it shakes out.

Thanks for all the positive replies!


You're very welcome. Or, how about if the pig makes it back to its starting space (54-56, depending on the starting buffer you give). You can easily mark it with the pigs of the player colors as I don't think farming would come into play with your variant and Pigs modify scoring for farms
 
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