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Subject: Legal track placement, Carcassonne style rss

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Randy Yessler
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Kodak
Tennessee
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Okay Carcassonne fans...what do you think of this:

Get your map of Germany out. Player White has laid one tile connecting Arnhem and Nijmegen and two other tiles (#'s 21&22) leading southwest then south from Nijmegen (almost to Eindhoven.) Player Green follows by similarly connecting Arnhem and Nijmegen with one curvy tile and proceeds south then southwest with two tiles (#'s 22&21.) That's one phase of Building Track. Look at what's happened.

Each player has fashioned an incomplete link out of Nijmegen, intent on arriving in Eindhoven. BUT, by virtue of each of them 'pointing' to the same empty hex immediately north of Eindhoven, have they forced a situation which would prohibit either from placing a tile in that hex? Playing the #43 tile would be clever, but is disallowed because it would be extending another player's track.

If we play in a Carcassonne fashion (that is, tile edges must be compatible), then this hex north of Eindhoven is unplayable unless one of the two approaching Incomplete links first becomes Unowned and subsequently completed by the other player, *or* Player Green chooses to Redirect his last track tile to turn south rather than continue to run southwest. Player White appears to be stuck without a valid play. He's not allowed to discard his last tile (#22) in order to redirect his link into a scissors crossing with Green.

Several posts speak of blocking as a valuable tactic and I certainly understand and appreciate the need to do so. But the rules are, from my reading, unclear on the options available to the players in a situation such as this. Unless I can clearly see rules to the contrary, I'm inclined to play in such a fashion that forces all tile edges to match.

Does anyone see the rules more clearly and offer an explanation?

(AND...can't you just see Michael Caine directing XXX Corps along this route??)
 
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Pasta Batman
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Tustin
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I don't see a problem using redirection or improvement here. Let's say green builds first and finishes his link with a #22. Then white can improve that tile to a #43. That does not extend or change greens track, so it is legal. If white goes first, then green will have to redirect his last tile south with a #22.

Edit: Note that it is legal to build tiles that have blank edges that touch the open end of incomplete links. That's blocking.
 
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Steve K
United Kingdom
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ryessler wrote:
Does anyone see the rules more clearly and offer an explanation?


Yes. The rules of track placement in Steam do not correspond to tile placement in Carcassonne.

In particular: there is no requirement to maintain track across tiles, in fact the rule is that you must not extend another player's track. Blocking another player's track by placing a tile in front of it (with a non-track edge touching it) is fine.
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