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Carcassonne: The Castle» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Session Report rss

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Mike Bauerlein
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Mesa
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I finally had a chance to teach my wife, Tammy, how to play Carcassonne: The Castle. She had no trouble picking up on the strategies required (with a little help from her very good teacher :-) and went on to win the game. We're both big fans of Hunters & Gatherers, and I think she joins me in moving The Castle to the top of our list of two-player games.

Things started out slowly, as we both established a road, a residence and a tower. I kept reminding her that it was just as important to score points to get the bonus tiles as it was to build large-scoring features on the board. My experience helped early, as I was able to grab the first bonus piece (an unfinished tower scorer, which went unused at the end as a large 18-point tower I was working on got finished late in the game for tactical reasons). After that, though, Tammy took control of the game.

When the final scoring came around, she was leading by 17 points. To add insult to injury, the last bonus tile she grabbed was the +2 to residence size. She already had the largest residence (I had a chance to tie her, but I knew I needed to beat her outright to have any chance at the win) and this just rubbed salt in my wounds. I'm actually glad I never got to finish my residence, which would have been one larger than hers, as this tile would have given her the bonus scoring anyway - it turned out to be a very healthy 9 points.

My only other bonus tile was an unfinished residence, which netted me 5 points. I also scored 15 points for my 5 tents. Tammy had the +5 point tile, and the 4-point tent tile, which gave her 12 points for her 3 tents instead of 9. In the end, she won by 14 points (107 - 93), so it wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be.

Tammy is improving her game playing each week (last week she beat Bobby, Jason and Steve at Maya in her first ever game!) and has become a very respectable opponent - something we both enjoy very much. I think The Castle will see many more plays in the future - and next time, she gets no coaching from me!
 
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