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Subject: Strategy from the computer version rss

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Digren K
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This isn't a thread about the computer version. It's a thread about strategy learned by losing to the computers, and how it applies to the tabletop version.

I've been playing a lot of single player Carcassonne recently against four computer opponents. The iPad version has two computers each who are "easy, hard, mean, and weird". I've been switching though different combinations to see which I can beat. I have beat two hard + two of any other, though it's certainly not guaranteed.

One thing that surprised me was how low scores got with certain combinations. The "mean" computers try to prevent you from completing anything you've started, by throwing down tiles to prevent city, road, or cloister completion, trapping your meeple. All of them (except "easy") do everything in their power to get a "piece of the action" so to speak for any given town, constantly trying to tie up or take ownership through by building nearby in ways that almost force linkage.

It's just the basic game, but with some combinations the end game scores are as low as in the 30s, while with other combinations they get up into the 60s-70s.

As I've learned to beat the computers, I've had to adopt their tactics. What I don't know, though, is if those tactics will translate very well into the tabletop game. I've always played that version as a "completionist" - where to a large extent I work on my things and others work on their things, and while I'm trying to win, filling in the board is also a worthy goal. I certainly don't try to be a jerk about messing with folks or trapping their meeples on purpose, and I rarely try to keep extending a city (to the point of preventing its completion) just to get a piece of the action.

So my questions are, to anyone who plays the computer version, or who has used similar strategies in the tabletop version, do they work? Or do you end up making all the other players gang up on you because of your perceived hostility? Or do you and your gamer friends generally play a more cutthroat version in general and this is normal?

Note that I don't play any of the meeple removal expansions. My brief experience with the tower made it clear that those create a more cutthroat game than I usually enjoy.
 
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DC
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The short answer is: it requires balance.

You must try to get in on or block others' features (road, city, field). That is essential. But to what extent? That's where the balance comes in. Sometimes you just have to decide that placing another meeple would overcommit you. It's important to keep some meeples free for opportunistic scoring, and to defend/build up your own features.

So yes, it is very important to be a bit hostile. How hostile? Hostile enough to give other players something to worry about, but not so hostile that you lose the no ability to build up your own stuff.
 
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Andreas Krüger
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Note that once two cities are joined, their owners become a team... Except, of course, if one has used the large meeple or attacks with another one.
 
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ketchupgun
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i always equate it to my friend's theory on billiards...if you can't sink a shot on your turn, use that turn to put your opponent in a worse position than you.
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When I play against AI on iOS version, vs 2 Evil opponents isn't too bad since they're moreso at each other's throats than mine. When I play agianst just 1 Evil AI, then I take more time on my turns. I need to be extra sure that he won't try to backdoor in somehow, or cause the feature to be uncompletable. For example, one of the Evil AIs takes every opp to backdoor into my city.


One thing that's definitely not available in f2f games is the full count of what tiles are left. OTOH, your opponents in a f2f won't likely know either.


Ugggh!! Eagerly awaiting the River II and I&C expansions for the iOS version
 
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