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Carcassonne» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Carcassonne Tournament! I NEED HELP!! rss

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Eric Price
United States
Utah
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So i'm playing in a Carcassonne tournament tomorrow for the first time. Its at the FLGS with 20-30 players and I believe its using just the BASE game. meeple

I have played Carcassonne dozens and dozens of times but I have never bothered to develope a real strategy before. Do any of you have any suggestions on how to dominate the tournament!?

Any fool-proof strategies? ninja
Great ways to edge an opponent? devil
Focus on Farms? Cities? goo

If you have played in a Carcassonne Tournament before, how did it go? What was the strategy that won?

Thanks for your help! meeple
 
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Chris Ferejohn
United States
Mountain View
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It's hard to have a strategy in Carcassone because the game by nature is very tactical. Unless you are playing a variant in which you have a hand of tiles, there is simply no way to plan ahead.

If you have an iPhone, maybe download the app and play a bunch of games against the computer. The tougher opponents are pretty good/aggressive.

In general look for ways to be aggressive. Find ways to glom onto someone elses big city. If you can't glom on, find ways to make it hard for them to complete cities of their own (i.e. by placing inconvenient roads).

Be very wary of leaving yourself meepleless. Sometimes the opportunity is just too good, but look for alternatives.
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Carl Olson
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Connecticut
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AceRandahl wrote:
I have played Carcassonne dozens and dozens of times but I have never bothered to develope a real strategy before. Do any of you have any suggestions on how to dominate the tournament!?



Draw great tiles, and become a part of every large city and farm. :-)
 
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Well, if you've played that much you probably have a decent handle on the game. Just do your best and report back to this thread on how you did. There are no 'dominant' strategies to Carcassonne, really, though some might profess to know of one or two. It totally depends on the draw and your opponent's meeple placements.
 
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Mike Em
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This might sound like bad advice or too much work but...

Try to learn what all the tiles look like roughly. If you know how many of each tile are in the box, then it gets a lot easier to know if you should be starting that new megopolis or just capping of small cities.
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Scott Heise
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My rules of thumb:

Don't leave yourself meepleless.
Draw good tiles.
Don't place farmers too early in the game.
Draw good tiles.
Score as many 2-tile cities as you can.
Draw good tiles.
Try to use your last couple tiles to claim a small farm with 2+ cities for a easy 6+ points at the end of the game.
If you get a tile that has no obvious use to you, place it in a position next to your opponents cities/roads to reduce the nubmer of tiles they can add to them.
Get a little lucky.


 
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Eric Price
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Utah
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This is great! Thanks for the advice! It is a simple game, but hearing those rules of thumb help build my confidence in winning this thing tomorrow! I'll let you know how it goes, and keep the tips coming!

Thanks!
 
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Eric Price
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Utah
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So I just got home from the Carcassonne tournament at Game Night Games in Salt Lake City, and I think everyone had a great time! We ended up with 13 players at the start and played with 3 tables of 3 and 1 table of 4. We played the base game with only the 1st River expansion.

It was a great experience and I learned a lot about Carcassonne. I'll get to that in a minute. I didn't do very well, I got 11th place out of 13. Ouch! Hopefully I do better next time

So in my first game I decided to play an aggressive style. The pace of the first game was slow as each of us seemed intent on making sure our plays were smart. Because of that the game was fairly high scoring with 2 of us going over 100 points and the 3rd place not being far behind. I played aggressively and decided to focus mainly on the largest farm on the board as it touched almost every city in the game. I played a number of tiles that didn't help me much but ensured that my opponents would be unable to capitalize on certain opportunities. The deciding moment in the game came down to one piece that was drawn on one opponents final turn that put a 3rd farmer on my 1 large farm area. I only had 2. So the majority of my time in the game was wasted and he took the points. I still ended in 2nd place but without as many points as I'd hoped.

In my second game I was playing against my good friends wife and another woman. I decided to make sure my path to destruction in the last game wouldn't be repeated and I decided to dominate the main farm in the game. It wasn't as big as in the last game but worth the attention none the less. So I put 3 farmers down early in the game and worked my hardest to connect them. Unfortunately I never got the 3rd one in and I managed to come in 3rd.

In my last game I broke the cardinal rule and ran out of meeples chasing dead end roads and broken cities. I had no meeples to play for probably half the game. I was reduced to playing almost every piece trying to just screw my opponents. I couldn't even help my own position in the game as my pieces were deadlocked and helpless. Needless to say I was crushed.

The final table took place and the winning player was 1st in every game he had played that night. Well done!

So here is what I learned from this experience. There is WAY more strategy in the Carcassonne base game than I had ever realized. I figured the winner of the tournament would end up being someone who did well but had a few bad games along the way. But the play was dominated by one player who did well in every game he played. I learned that there must be more strategy to the game that is perhaps deeper then I was able to tap into myself.


I also realized that running out of meeples in your first 8 turns is the best way to lose.

So thats my report! Thanks!
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United States
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markgravitygood wrote:
Well, if you've played that much you probably have a decent handle on the game.


I now retract that statement!
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That sounds like a lot of fun Eric! I have played in quite a few cutthroat games of carc' but never entered a tournament. I will have to keep my eyes open for one now that I know what to expect.

I think the second most important thing is to know the frequency of certain tiles. It is usually fatal to wait blindly on just the right tile, but you have a great advantage over your foes if you know how many are left that fit certain areas. That knowledge can be used offensively and defensively.

The most important thing, as has been stated repeatedly, is to draw good tiles.

Good luck in your future games!
 
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