Thursday, June 24, 2004

Carcasses of Carcassonne

Wednesday night we delved into the mediaeval South of France via the Teutonic game mechanics of Klaus-Jurgen Wrede's classic, Carcassonne.

Shemp hadn't played before, so a quick review of the easy-peasy rules of tile placement and the job opportunities for the ubiquitous "meeples" in this twisting Gallic landscape was called for. We played vanilla Carcassonne first, eschewing all but the most basic rules. It was a relatively close affair at first, but the Unnamed One (currently tagged with the unfortunate moniker of "Hapi") rocketed into first place with a plethora of farmers supplying a bunch of two-tile cities. *cough* Weenie. *cough*

The second game, Shemp had caught on to some degree and was able to ken some of the strategies. Despite my best efforts, Hapi once again was farmer king, edging me out by less than a half-dozen points.

Emboldened by the relative closeness of the second game, we threw in the whole chimichanga and added the river expansion as well as the "Traders and Builders" expansion, thus making this game the most "added-on" version of Carcassonne any of us had played to date. While we don't have the "Inns and Cathedrals" expansion and we had the "King and Scout" expansion but didn't add it in, the change in play feel created by the new add-ons added a new flavour to vanilla Carcassonne - now it tasted of wine mixed with wheat and fabric. Mmmmmm... roughage.

This game was close fought and included two player collusion to prevent farmer-happy Hapi from dominating once again by the use of a strategically placed winding road. In the end, Hapi was left far behind by failing to complete cities or roads, and Shemp and I duelled for first. Shemp, ever the nascent capitalist pig-dog, had also managed to corner the commodities market for wine and wheat, twice sneaking in to complete a city I had all but finished. We tied in fabrics, so those 10 points were a wash. Cagey, that Shemp is. As always, it came down to farmers, but when the dust settled, Shemp's last minute placement of his meeple pig (peegle? piggle? meeg?) earned him the extra points to put him ahead of me by a measly two points. I had lost all three games, but at least in this one, I had the pleasure of almost lapping Hapi twice.

Carcassone: a very well designed and simple game with cute name for pieces.


  1. It's sad to say, but the reason Kozure didn't even MENTION me, (easy) was becasue I was dead last in every game. No points for roads, no points for farms, no points for cities. Sheesh, I didn't even KNOW about fabrics and pigs. No wonder I lost. That, and I wasn't there. This foursome is rapidly becoming a threesome! (though not always the same three). Anyway, I am very sorry I missed this one, as i was really looking forward to playing this one again.

    Until next time,


  2. Hey! ~Linkification!!~

    Tres cool, Kozure.

    I REALLY enjoyed this one, and think that it would be very well recieved by the civillian (non game-geek) population - I am leaning towards picking it up for that very reason. Not having played before, I found the fully-tricked out version to be a little too chaotic to get a good handle on - I got luck on that pig placement, for instance. I think I'll like the expanded version in the future, but since I was still trying to get the hang of farmers, it was a lot to take in all at once.

    Speaking of farmers, what is the new method of scoring them? Is it any more intuitive? I do think that the farmer scoring would be the biggest barrier to picking up the game. Everything else made a lot of sense, and ran smoothly. Like Kozure says - a well designed game.

    Shemp's Rating: 8.