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Gwommy the Purple
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[color=purple]I picked up this expansion the other day and was able to immediately play a game with a couple friends and here is some descriptions and my thoughts about the game.

COMPONENTS:
For an expansion, it had a decent amount of components. There's 12 new tiles with some that feature a bazaar, 12 castle tokens, and 12 wooden bridge pieces which are as long as a land tile.

My opinion: I think this is pretty good compared to the other expansions that were the same size. The tiles and tokens are same quality as the rest of the game and other expansions as expected. The wooden bridges are great too, nice and sturdy. My only complaint is the amount of space that the bridges take up for storage. There's no convienent way to stack them, but you do get a plastic bag to keep them all in.

RULES:
The rules are basically a small double sided sheet of paper. There are only 3 new features to explain, so it wasn't all that hard to follow.

My opinion: The new game concepts that were fairly easy to understand. We did have to read through the rules a couple of times to double check to make sure we were playing the game right. Most questions that we had while playing were answered in the rule book. Of course, it's hard to include answers for everything in the rule book considering the number of expansions that there are, so not all questions can be answered by just reading the rules.

BRIDGES:
The bridge pieces allows you to continue a road where there isn't actually a road. Each player starts with the same number of bridge pieces and may use them whenever they want and even place a follower at the same time. With 2-4 players each player gets 3 bridges, and with 5-6 players each player gets 2 bridges.

My opinion: I really like this feature. It adds to the possibilities of where you can place your tiles. I found this feature very helpful for getting out of situations where my opponent tried to block me from completing a larger city. This is probably my favorite edition to the game, and it can be played without the other two elements in this expansion. Bridges may also help in connecting farmlands.

CASTLES:
These tokens can be placed on the board when you complete a 2 tile city. Instead of taking points for the city, you may instead place a castle token to cover the city and then place your follower on that token. You'll then get points equal to the first feature that is completed that touches a tile around your fortress.

My opinion: It's an interesting concept. It does make it easier to share points of a large city. On top of that, you don't need to have the majority of knights to get points for a touching city. The only catch is that it has to be the first feature in the area to completed, an opponent may be able to finish a nearby road before you get a chance to score on the big city. It's not the best expansion edition, but I still like it.

BAZAARS:
Bazaars appear on most of the land tiles that you get with this expansion. When a Bazaar is played, an auction begins by drawing a number of land tiles equal to the number of players. The next player selects a tile and makes a bid. It goes once around the table with each player making a higher bid or passing. Highest bidder pays the first bidder in Victory Points, and the process continues until all of the players get a tile. Then they are allowed to play that tile.

My opinion: I like this concept. And it can be especially interesting with some of the other expansions. For Traders and Builders, you may want to bid higher for a piece with a traded goods symbol, or for Wheel of Fortune, maybe you want the pig movement numbers to be played in a certain order. This has good possibilities and also adds a little more strategy to the game play.

OVERALL SCORE:
I feel that this expansion doesn't add a great deal of complexity to the game but does add some flexibility for strategy to the game. I'd recommend it to anyone that likes Carcassonne!
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Vinicius Yuiti Takaki
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Where exactly can you put the bridges?
 
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Oh you seekers of the new who run terrified from history into the clutches of an eternal life where no electric shaver can be built to last.
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Thank you for the informative review. The concept of auctions in Carc means I'll pass, so your review has saved me from an impulse buy that likely wouldn't have worked out for me.

S.


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Gwommy the Purple
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[color=purple]Bridges may be placed in the middle of the tile that you just laid or in the middle of a tile next to the tile that you just laid. Neither end of the bridge may be placed on a road road or city. There are also examples in the rule book.
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Taras Vercesuks
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I do like Bridges part - simple and elegant, doesn't break any base rules, just gives another way to follow them as you still build and score a road. And as it's very easy to try in "home-made" version I probably will do it in my next Carc session.

Other two parts seem to be significantly less interesting and much more "game breaking" add-ons.

 
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PO
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Sagrilarus wrote:

Thank you for the informative review. The concept of auctions in Carc means I'll pass, so your review has saved me from an impulse buy that likely wouldn't have worked out for me.

S.


It's interesting that you find the thought of auctions in Carc a turn off. For me, the Bazaar is the best expansion to Carc for a while.
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Luc Bossé
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I agree.
 
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The Games Are About Glory
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Thanks for this - you saved me some money.

gwommy wrote:
[color=purple]BRIDGES: I found this feature very helpful for getting out of situations where my opponent tried to block me from completing a larger city.
[color=black]This reminds me of the abbey tile in A&M, and I don't like that idea either. Putting your opponent(s) in a bad position and locking up meeples is a big part of how I play, so making it easy to escape such situations is not a good feature for me.

gwommy wrote:
[color=purple]CASTLES:It does make it easier to share points of a large city.
[color=black]Similar to the above, but not as severe. The ability to complete a small feature and screw over your opponent exists, but it's still too nice for my taste.

gwommy wrote:
[color=purple]BAZAARS:This has good possibilities and also adds a little more strategy to the game play.
[color=black]This sounds interesting, but since I play primarily 2p it loses some appeal. Also, I imagine a runaway leader could increase the gap by bullying the other players in an auction.
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PO
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Paul65 wrote:
Sagrilarus wrote:

Thank you for the informative review. The concept of auctions in Carc means I'll pass, so your review has saved me from an impulse buy that likely wouldn't have worked out for me.

S.


It's interesting that you find the thought of auctions in Carc a turn off. For me, the Bazaar is the best expansion to Carc for a while.


I have the Cult, Siege, Creativity expansion. I may try using the Cult tiles as Bazaar tiles & see how the bidding goes as a test run.
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Patrick R
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Just got this expansion last week and we've had a couple of plays with it (4 players). First, everybody loves the bridges. They add a huge amount of creativity to how you play tiles and give you a lot of new options.

The castles are interesting, but not nearly as exciting.

The bazaars... They prove useful every once in a while, but most of the time I just found they slowed down the action. It's annoying to participate in 4 separate tiles auctions when you don't particularly need any of those tiles and just want to move on with the game. We played our last game without these and it was more like the Carcassonne I'm used to.
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PO
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OK - thanks for that.
It's good to get thoughts from those who have given it a test run.
 
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Rich Riley
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Mighty Pope wrote:

The bazaars... They prove useful every once in a while, but most of the time I just found they slowed down the action. It's annoying to participate in 4 separate tiles auctions when you don't particularly need any of those tiles and just want to move on with the game. We played our last game without these and it was more like the Carcassonne I'm used to.


I completely agree. We decided that we really liked the castle mechanic, and the bridges were sort of interesting, but we will not be using the Bazaazs (sic) in future games.
 
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Chad Weaver
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hida_dragonbane wrote:
Mighty Pope wrote:

The bazaars... They prove useful every once in a while, but most of the time I just found they slowed down the action. It's annoying to participate in 4 separate tiles auctions when you don't particularly need any of those tiles and just want to move on with the game. We played our last game without these and it was more like the Carcassonne I'm used to.


I completely agree. We decided that we really liked the castle mechanic, and the bridges were sort of interesting, but we will not be using the Bazaazs (sic) in future games.


Odd. Our auctions were intense. One tile drew a bid of 15 at one point!
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Yours Truly,
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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.
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FrozenHoHos wrote:
Thanks for this - you saved me some money.

gwommy wrote:
[color=purple]BRIDGES: I found this feature very helpful for getting out of situations where my opponent tried to block me from completing a larger city.
[color=black]This reminds me of the abbey tile in A&M, and I don't like that idea either. Putting your opponent(s) in a bad position and locking up meeples is a big part of how I play, so making it easy to escape such situations is not a good feature for me.



I agree with you about not wanting to make it to easy for an opponent to escape out of a bad spot that you've spent effort "created" for them.

But, the difference for me is I find the abbey tiles to be a really ugly addition to the landscape, whereas the bridges are not only nice looking but a 3-D feature. For me, although I'm all about a cut-throat game of carc, the aesthetics and emerging landscape are also what part of the fun is all about, so the bridges add to that. And you can put a meeple on *top* of a bridge, how cool is that?
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Bert Philippe
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chadw09 wrote:
hida_dragonbane wrote:
Mighty Pope wrote:

The bazaars... They prove useful every once in a while, but most of the time I just found they slowed down the action. It's annoying to participate in 4 separate tiles auctions when you don't particularly need any of those tiles and just want to move on with the game. We played our last game without these and it was more like the Carcassonne I'm used to.


I completely agree. We decided that we really liked the castle mechanic, and the bridges were sort of interesting, but we will not be using the Bazaazs (sic) in future games.


Odd. Our auctions were intense. One tile drew a bid of 15 at one point!

I had auctions going intense as well. I find this feature is more for a 5-6 player game.
 
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