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Carcassonne: The River II» Forums » General

Subject: Thoughts on combing the Rivers rss

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(Barry) eldrbarry McWilliams
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Recently, the River II Tiles came out. I have been thinking about ways combining these two river sets. It occurs to me that rivers have tributaries and usually flow into the sea, not a lake. It also bothers me that farms apparently loop around the springs or the lake in the original set. The available ending tiles have the river flowing into a lake, a lake by a volcano (bringing the Dragon into play for that expansion); or a river flowing into a lake opposite a city (from one of the expansions).

Combining the first and second river sets, you have two Springs starting tiles, and three River into the Lake ending Tiles – one of which has a volcano – preventing a wrap around farm, and introducing the Dragon in that expansion and one a River into a Lake by a City Tile (also intended to prevent the wrap around farm)..

I made a few extra tiles using the five H&G tiles from the King and Scout – one with a Road by the Springs, one with the River flowing into a Estuary (one side is all water), and one with a bridge between two cities (not joining them); as well as an all grass tile, and a Priory with roads to two adjacent sides to add to my mix. Another possible piece to add could be “river in a canyon piece with a waterfall” – also breaking up farming along its river banks up and downstream..

I have been thinking about various ways combining these two river sets.

Alternate beginnings
* Springs pieces (2) One played first. [Another, when drawn, could start a second river.]
* Shuffle in one Lake, when drawn end that river, the next player puts a second Spring into play.
* A Road at the springs (No Farm wraparound) added to two existing Springs tiles.
* Start the river from any available side of the Count of Carcassonne Expansion 12 Tile base.
* Place the original starting piece in the river pile, when drawn the player plays it alongside the closest acceptable river tile to the last piece played; and then places the Count of Carcassonne 12 Tile city one tile away from the river at some point along its length. Or let the next person place the city.
* Create a Tributary: two sources from Springs converging at the fork – one Spring is used to start the river and the other is shuffled into the river draw pile after the fork piece is played and placed when drawn on one of the two branches.

Alternate endings
* Three possible Lake endings (River 1 & 2)
* Use the Lake and Volcano end piece, if playing the Princess and Dragon expansion to put the dragon immediately in play.
* Ending in a lake with a city on one side (piece in River II)
* Ending in an Estuary – one side water – a “one tile wide opening” to the sea must be maintained out from it’s water side, during the game.

There are a couple of German Tile expansions available there that promise some even more interesting possibilities adding lakes and “fisherman meeples” to the mix . . . one adds 24 Tiles: http://www.carcassonne-city.de/erw_see.html and and the other 48 downloadable Tiles: http://www.carcassonne-city.de/erw_see.html.

I have put together a substantial set of Carcassonne links on my web page at: http://www.eldrbarry.net/hatr/carclink.htm

- Eldrbarry (aka Barry McWilliams)


 
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I think the following covers all the implications for both river expansions, including any combination of the two.

When selecting an expansion:
Quote:
Any combination of river tiles that includes exactly one spring, exactly one lake/end tile and, optionally a single branch and a second lake/end tile.

In setup:
Quote:
Place the spring tile face up in the middle of the table, set one lake/end tile (with a volcano, if in use) and the branch tile aside, face up, and shuffle the remaining river tiles and place them face down. The basic starting tile is not used.

During play:
Quote:
Draw tiles in the following order: first the branch tile, then face down river tiles, then the face up lake/end tile (then from tiles in the bag/supply).

And a restriction:
Quote:
A river tile may only be placed adjacent to another river tile if it extends the river from that tile (only). A tile may not be placed if it could prevent any subsequently drawn river tiles from meeting this requirement.


From the forthcoming draft update of my Carcassonne rules summary, based on HiG official rules, v. 3.0, and mjharper's extensive FAQ and assistance.
 
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Mark Biggar
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The way I have thought of doing this would be to place out a single spring tile to start. Shuffle all the remaining river tiles (without the second spring tile) into a single stack. Draw and place river tiles until the river is terminated by a drawn lake (or two if the fork comes out). Then place all the other river tile aside out of play. This makes the river variable length and thus makes every game a little different. For a larger startign setup, start with both spring tiles back to back (or on opposite side of the city from the count) and again play river tiles until both river are terminated and then don't use the remaining tiles. A player can add a river tile to either river, his choice.
I've played this way with just the original river set just to add varity to the game.
 
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mark_biggar wrote:
[P]lace out a single spring tile to start. Shuffle all the remaining river tiles (without the second spring tile) into a single stack. Draw and place river tiles until the river is terminated by a drawn lake (or two if the fork comes out). Then place all the other river tile aside out of play.

That's an excellent way of putting it. Can a borrow from this when I update my rules summary?

The only shortcoming of this formulation is that it doesn't allow for specifically selecting what tiles to use beforehand; but, in practice, folks probably just use one river expansion, or both, and don't pick and choose individual tiles; and for covering those cases your way of putting it is better than mine. (I was also trying to adhere strictly the rule that the branch gets played first, but I think in combining sets, for which there's no official rule anyway, there's no reason to assume that's necessary.)
 
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(Barry) eldrbarry McWilliams
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I appreciate the posting of the rules - though for our play, we will probably use the variations. One of the nice things about this game is just playing it.

Correction on the URL for the 48 Tile download set: it is http://www.carcassonne-city.de/erw_see2.html

Also, I can not visualize "combing" a river, but I can "combining" one - opps!

- eldrbarry
 
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Matthew Harper
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There was a similar discussion at the time that the cards came out, which would be worth referencing:

- New rules (& combining the sets): http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/72924
- Session report (& combining the sets): http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/73318

There is an official line regarding the two sets (see http://carcassonnefaq.blogspot.com/2006/01/when-two-river-se...):
HiG wrote:
Question: When the two River sets are combined, should we make two rivers (using the two sources) or discard one source and one lake and make just one river?

Answer: One spring and one lake are discarded.

So that makes one river. And placing a lake tile to one side guarantees that all river tiles will be used, and the lake tile placed last. That should be true no matter how may river sets are employed. Also, the position of the fork is not arbitrary: it comes after the spring/source tile. If you are only using the second expansion, that is explicitly stated; if using both, there is no reason to think that it might now not come after the spring. Indeed, if the fork is mixed into the deck to make it come later), and you plan to use all the tiles, then both lake tiles have to be placed to one side at the start, otherwise you risk a prematurely terminated river.

Related to this, over on the New Rules discussion I suggested a means of having two rivers and using all the cards, namely by removing the lake tiles and shuffling one into the pack of river tiles when either the fork or second spring is drawn. To be honest, that was a fairly cumbersome method of combining the sets and although I play-tested it (see the Session report) I haven't used it since, and I'll be the first to admit that your solution is more elegant.

However, whenever we've made two rivers - placing all the tiles - we've tended to end up with 70+ farms. I think that's because of the two spring tiles, on which the farms flow unbroken around the springs. That, in combination with the lake tiles - where the farms flow unbroken around the lakes on two out of three of the tiles - almost necessarily leads to such überfarms. The problem is best avoided by using every tile, but only creating one river solves that problem.

I know your suggestion is trying to avoid the problem of überfarms by including in a mechanism for rivers of variable length, but that could conceivably result in a single lake consisting of nothing but a source and a lake tile, and then you need to have a clause of some kind which allows the players to agree that that is an (un)acceptable river; and at the other extreme, you still risk the creation of an überfarm. Also, you randomise which lake tile, whereas according to the rules the volcano/lake tile must be placed last (having been set to one side) in order to bring the dragon into play; and that player receives a second turn. So if that tile is drawn earlier, would you still award the player a double turn?

So my cirticisms here are as follows:

- Two rivers: risks überfarms;
- Randomised length: risks überfarms and mini-rivers;
- Random final lake: comes into conflict with 'volcano/lake = double' turn rule.

The best way to see The River II is as an expansion of The River: it simply provides more tiles, and a new rule for the second tile placed - the fork. Whether you play with only the second river set or with both, the same procedure can be followed: simply play a spring, then the fork, then the tiles (including one lake mixed into the deck), and finally the volcano/lake tile - which is what Aldaron said in his first post. If you are only playing with the first set, then the procedure is also the same but without the second lake: play a spring, then the tiles, and finally the lake. Then the problems above can be avoided.

Btw, I also made the suggestion about placing the river first and the city of Carcassonne second (see http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/64532). It would still have the problem of the double turn associated with the volcano/lake tile, though.
 
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(Barry) eldrbarry McWilliams
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Thanks for the all the replies.

I am wondering why no one has commented on the idea of using one branch as a tributary (i. e. two branches beginning with spring tiles join into one one river at the fork instead of splitting. Hence my idea of mixing the second spring tile in once the fork has been played,

River's seldom divide - they usually murge into larger rivers.

- eldrbarry

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Mark Biggar
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If your worried about the river being too short when allowing a drawn lake to terminate a river early, then just shuffle all but the lake tiles together, divide the stack in two, shuffle the lakes into one half and then put the other half on top. By varing where you make the cut you have control on the minimum river size.
 
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