I don't get it, we've played this over a year ago for the last time, and we played it only 3 times....... but.... when we played those surveyor-guys were ALWAYS in the west,... completely the west... all 3 games...
ever road/city you finish they move to the west right? 1 at a time, ...
Not for every feature finished but for every feature scored. there is a slight difference. In addition, only 1 moves. So they will be slowed down as you alternate between them. Also the don't move if you haven't expanded to the west. In other words you can stop them from moving for a bit so you can work on a feature as long as you aren't building directly to the west.
Finally, you can still place your meeple to the east of them and score. They move after your feature scores and your meeples come off after they move. So you can go back and pick up abandoned points in the east - it is just risking because your opponents might score something and kick you out.
least favorite Carcassone game so far,... alot better already without those white surveyors guys.
For me the least favorite is still Discovery. New World definitely has an odd mechanic in that it pressures you to move. If you take away the Surveyors though, you just have basic Carcassonne (for the most part) with new artwork.