Monday, April 5, 2010

Favorite Games: Carcassonne

CarcassonneOne of my favorite games to play during grad school was Carcassonne. What? That doesn't sound like any map you ever played from Counter Strike? While I played plenty of Counter Strike, mostly so that I didn't end up as fodder for my friends when we had our LAN parties, I discovered my preference in gaming was actually board games. Carcassonne is an excellent board game to play with friends. It is not the American norm that we grew up with. I found it after my foray into European gaming. Carcassonne is a tile lying game - one where the playing board grows as the game progresses. You take turns laying new tiles that feature fields, castles, roads, etc. You play different 'meeples' that can farm, rob, or be knights to gain more points from the unfolding countryside.

To win at Carcassonne, you have to plan ahead and react to your opponents actions. Sometimes it can be difficult to know which player is going to win before the game ends and the points are added up. The player must take risks in going for larger point events or just scoop up easy rewards.

What can you learn from playing Carcassonne? Management and risks and dealing with threats or problems as they materialize.
Carcassonne - Princess and Dragon ExpansionYou are given eight little meeples that you can employ, one per turn, to use on roads, take control of castles, farm the countryside, or establish monasteries. With further expansions, you can build towers, evade dragons, and be a trader. As features like roads, castles, and monasteries are completed your meeple returns to you to be used again in another venture. Once placed as a farmer however, the meeple will stay on the board until game end. Sometimes you and your opponents can work together to accomplish the same goals, like finishing a castle because a finished castle provides twice the points than an unfinished one and returns your meeple to you for further use. Careful planning is necessary to make sure that you have enough meeples on hand to take advantage of opportunities as they arise. I have lost a game because all my meeples were placed on the board and an opportunity to score more points was effectively given to my opponent for my lack of meeples on hand.

Just like in the real world. Save up and keep cash on hand to take advantage of opportunities when they arise.

1 comment:

  1. We really should have played that more back then.

    By the way, a good buddy of mine is about to release a new tile-laying game called Gold Mine:

    I actually helped play-test this game, and I think it's great. I can't wait until it's out!



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