Recommend
7 
 Thumb up
 Hide
12 Posts

Carcassonne: Expansion 1 – Inns & Cathedrals» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Does it improve Carcassonne? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
I will not rest until Biblios is in the Top 100. - Steve Oksienik
United States
Howell
Michigan
flag msg tools
badge
Well I been watchin' while you been coughin, I've been drinking life while you've been nauseous, and so I drink to health while you kill yourself and I got just one thing that I can offer... Go on and save yourself and take it out on me
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
My girlfriend and I are avid Carcassonne players. We enjoy The Castle for 2 player as well as Carcassonne for two player or playing with the family. Carcassonne has been a big hit with my family and is certainly helping to turn them into gamers. We were heading to my mom's house for what is becoming our standard Saturday night routine so I though we should pick up Inns and Cathedrals as we were expecting 6 players. This review is based on how I felt I&C improved Carcassonne.

Components

I&C adds a 18 new game tiles. These tiles are made to the same high standards as the original Carc tiles. What makes this is an expansion is that some of these tiles feature Inns and Cathedrals which increase scoring on roads and cities respectively. I&C also includes a sixth set of gray meeples. I have no idea why they didn't pick a nicer color than gray, but it doesn't really matter. There is also a giant meeple for each color that counts as 2 when placed on the board.

They also included scoring tiles, which while pretty, are almost pointless.


Rules

As mentioned above, I&C has 2 new tile types. Inns are attached to roads. When the road is completed, the scoring player receives 2 points instead of 1 for each tile in the roadway. However, if a road with an Inn is not finished, the player will score no points at the end of the game as opposed to the usual 1. Cathedrals work largely the same way, except they are place as part of a city and change the city scoring to 3 points per tile and pennant.


Overall

I'm not sure that I&C is a large improvement. For my taste, it makes the game too easy. When you play 5-player Carc, the game is very cut-throat because you're all competing for a few tiles you need. The Inns in I&C take that away by making roads worth so much more. I think there is a fair opportunity for increased farmer scoring with the large meeples, but my family doesn't really understand farmer scoring at all so there was very little impact there.

I will certainly keep this as part of my standard Carc set. Its nice to expand the game, but I don't feel I&C is 100% necessary to enjoying the Carc experience.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Gary Pressler
United States
West Lafayette
Indiana
flag msg tools
designer
OMG! Overtext! How long have I been sleeping?! OVERTEXT! Also, I'm a DESIGNER now?! Sweet! OVERTEXXXXXXT!
badge
HO HO HO! Give me some money!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I would agree that this expansion does not add a lot for the 2P game. As you said, it sort of homogenizes the values of the different terrain features. In a 2P game, this is really not necessary. However, with more than 3 players, I think that this is a very helpful expansion. With more players, it is too easy to be screwed by drawing consecutive tiles with only a road on them. The Inns and additional number of tiles help alleviate this a bit.

My preferred mix for 3P or greater games is both Inns & Cathedrals and Traders & Builders. If you do get stuck with a few road tiles, an Inn and your Builder can turn that into a profitable combination.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Susan F.
Canada
Lethbridge
Alberta
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
stormseeker75 wrote:
They also included scoring tiles, which while pretty, are almost pointless.


In 2- or 3-player games, we've found the scoring tiles really useful because we run out of different ways to place the meeples to indicate what lap of the scoring track they're on. Plus, as you said, they're pretty (and we're used to having them from Hunters and Gatherers).
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Yours Truly,
United States
Raleigh
North Carolina
flag msg tools
badge
There must have been a moment at the beginning, where we could have said no. Somehow we missed it. Well, we'll know better next time.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Quote:
it sort of homogenizes the values of the different terrain features
One person's "homogenize" is another's "balance" meeple
It seems that by increasing the value of the roads, I&C increases the strategic aspect of the game, so it all depends on what your preferred luck-to-strategy ratio is...
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
michael dorazio
United States
Tyngsboro
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
In my opinion, farmers make Carc a great game. Farming some out of the way tiles with plans to connect to the majority of the board later is my favorite part of the game. Your family is only discovering a small portion of the fun (as you probably know) if they aren't reading much into the farming rules. Anyway, it was cool to read your comments on the expansion.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
I will not rest until Biblios is in the Top 100. - Steve Oksienik
United States
Howell
Michigan
flag msg tools
badge
Well I been watchin' while you been coughin, I've been drinking life while you've been nauseous, and so I drink to health while you kill yourself and I got just one thing that I can offer... Go on and save yourself and take it out on me
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks so much. I figured out pretty quickly how important farmers are. My mom and sisters especially are really new to gaming. I'm gonna let them wrap their heads around the basics first, and then introduce the importance of farmers.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Gary Pressler
United States
West Lafayette
Indiana
flag msg tools
designer
OMG! Overtext! How long have I been sleeping?! OVERTEXT! Also, I'm a DESIGNER now?! Sweet! OVERTEXXXXXXT!
badge
HO HO HO! Give me some money!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
JohnnyDollar wrote:
Quote:
it sort of homogenizes the values of the different terrain features
One person's "homogenize" is another's "balance" meeple
It seems that by increasing the value of the roads, I&C increases the strategic aspect of the game, so it all depends on what your preferred luck-to-strategy ratio is...

Heh... yes, "homogenize" is likely too strong, to the point of being incorrect. However, we agree on the overall effect. With I&C there is good reason to invest a meeple on a road when an Inn is present. And since the road now needs to be completed before game's end, a road leading to a city might well be used to finish a road instead of adding to an already existing city.

The need for completion also adds a great competitive edge, although this is especially true for the Cathedral. "You want to keep that big city for yourself? Fine! *Now* try to finish it!"
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ken Newell
Canada
Prince George
British Columbia
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
JohnnyDollar wrote:
It seems that by increasing the value of the roads, I&C increases the strategic aspect of the game, so it all depends on what your preferred luck-to-strategy ratio is...


I would agree with this. My wife and I just recently added I&C to our Carc. Late in the game I decided to add an INN to one of her roads to try and mess her out of points. A strategic move on my part, especially considering I didn't have a decent place to put it so I could score points.

However, this "strategic" move eventually backfired in my face and she managed to score a 20 point road.

I still won the game thanks to a nicely placed farmer, but that road made the game a LOT closer than it should have been.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joshua Noe
United States
Wauwatosa
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
Love live the Empress!
badge
For the Motherland!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
LFITQ wrote:
JohnnyDollar wrote:
It seems that by increasing the value of the roads, I&C increases the strategic aspect of the game, so it all depends on what your preferred luck-to-strategy ratio is...


I would agree with this. My wife and I just recently added I&C to our Carc. Late in the game I decided to add an INN to one of her roads to try and mess her out of points. A strategic move on my part, especially considering I didn't have a decent place to put it so I could score points.

However, this "strategic" move eventually backfired in my face and she managed to score a 20 point road.

I still won the game thanks to a nicely placed farmer, but that road made the game a LOT closer than it should have been.



I agree with this poster 100%. I actually find, in 2-player game, that it really depends on *when* you draw/place the inn or cathedral. Especially the cathedral. If you draw it late in the game, you can place it on your opponent's city and they are essentially screwed out of getting 1 point per tile. Early on, one would place it on their own hoping to get lots of points, but not expand the city (hence wasting valuable tiles) unless they think they can finish.

I agree, though, I'm not sure how much I like this expansion for 2 players. It's fun, but I like the original rules the best.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Tegenfeldt
Sweden
örnsköldsvik
domsjö
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Yes IC improves it greatly for me.
I did not even like carcassonne until i tried a game with IC now i love it.
Dunno about 2p games thou , the lowest number i have played is 4.

My game group is very aggresive so the big meeple made all the game for us and IC is permanently mixed in.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Branko K.
msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I think you are the first guy to actually prefer low-value roads.

Also, I don't see how you think the game is easier with I&C. Easier to get more points, or easier to win? The first might be true, but the second deffinitely isn't. With more choices there are more strategies and less luck involved, not to even mention the vastly improved option of aggresive gameplay then the original Carcassonne had.

Finally, may I suggest NOT playing with 5 players? Carcassonne shines with 2 players, is probably best with 3 and 4 is the absolute limit. 5 and 6 players is often just too random and is worth playing only for tutorial purposes or as an extremely casual game. If you really have to play with plenty of players, then I find the best thing is to get as much expansions as possible and just have a blast - not playing to win, but rather to create as much chaos for other players as possible.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dumont Claude
Canada
Montreal
Québec
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I don't know much about the other expansions of Carcassonne, but I have played the Traders and Builders expansion in several two player games and would strongly recommand this one. It makes the game a little bit more strategic and fun. My girlfriend and I cannot play a standard game of Carcassonne anymore now that we have played that expansion
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.