Collin continues to request Carc.  We played 3 games to refresh him of the rules and gameplay, then we added The River II, Traders & Builders, and Inns & Cathedrals expansions (all at once), to expose him to “The Real Game“.  Carcassonne has many expansions to add spice and flavors and twists to the base game, but these three are widely considered the essential ones that make the base game perfect.

I like this.  This has more meat to it.  There’s a lot more to think about, in a good way.  I want to play it this way every time from now on.

Unfortunately, his strategy of getting me drunk faster didn’t work this time, but he did well even so.

Is it just my imagination, or are the drinks getting bigger each time?

I continue to teach and point out common pitfalls and opportunities for mitigating risk.  We talked over a few of these ideas after each game, but here’s a more detailed list of things I think about when playing this game:

  • Don’t put city edges near road edges.  City-to-Road tiles are rare and tend to show up in your opponent’s hand, not yours.  Minimize your exposure to this.
  • The flip side: use this to attack your opponent, sabotage his plans, prevent him from completing high scoring tile sets because you placed an inconvenient road near his enormous and uncompleted city.  Later, when you draw the only tile he needs to complete his monstrosity, make sure you show him how perfectly it fits before you place it somewhere else.  🙂
  • If you draw a tile that doesn’t help you in any way whatsoever, use it to mess with your opponent.
  • Score often.  Keep the pressure on.
  • Don’t lock up your Builder for the entire game.  Try to have more extra turns than your opponent.
  • The flip side: make a few attempts to lock up your opponent’s Builder so he gets fewer extra turns than you.
  • Pay attention to how many tiles are left in the bag.  Don’t overcommit when time is running out.
  • Keep as many of your meeples in play as possible, but keep 1 or 2 in reserve so you always have a chance to score.
  • Before the game ends, get all of your meeples onto the board.  Unused meeples don’t score you any points at the end of the game.
  • Don’t waste your farmers by placing them too early.  Wait a little bit to see the lay of the land before committing.

Carcassonne seems to be a Biergarten favorite.  I have no problem with that.  Saturday marked my 73rd game of it, and I still enjoy it to pieces.

How about you?  What are some of your favorite Carcassonne strategies?  Share them in the comments below!