Tips & Strategies (103)

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Tips & Strategies (103)

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8
United Kingdom
Advanced Reviewer
Knight-errant
Tinkerer
83 of 87 gamers found this helpful
“One rule tweak to make a game for younger kids”

I have a 5-year-old daughter who is getting into boardgames so I’m finding how to tweak games to make them more accessible. For Carcassonne, all that was required was to play the basic game and drop the entire concept of farmers. Farms are probably the weirdest and most subtle part of the basic game and with this change she took to the game like a duck to water.

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7
Paladin
Herald
Advanced Reviewer
BoardGaming.com Bronze Supporter
45 of 47 gamers found this helpful
“Block your opponents”

This is a strategy for a competitive game. Don’t use it when playing a friendly game and don’t use it against children. Married male players, think twice before using it against your wives! You have been warned. 😉

When you draw your tile you should consider where to place it to get as much as you can from that play. This is obvious. But it happens quite often that you may well place it here and there for a more or less equal gain. Sometimes it even does not suit your plans at all so you just want to put it as far from your structures as possible…

In such a case look where that tile will obstruct your opponents’ structures. Big unfinished cities are obvious targets but in fact any started town or road can be one. Such obstructing tiles make your opponents look for specific matching tiles to finish their structures. If you find such a target place your tile nearby!

Sometimes those structures just remain unfinished to the end of the game (thus they give less points). Sometimes they are finished later, but even it that cease blocking does its job, because it freezes meeples for a number of turns – and thus restricting possible choices of blocked players.

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6
Tinkerer
Strategist
Amateur Advisor
80 of 84 gamers found this helpful
“Don't get too focused on big-points”

Remember that scoring small points quickly and often can add up.

Have an extra meeple? Have a tile that could close up an easy 2 or 3-tile city? Grab it, score it, and get your meeple back to do it again.

While you steadily take in a stream of small-point scores, you can place tiles that make your opponents big-point features difficult if not impossible to finish.

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7
USA
Book Lover
Novice Reviewer
28 of 29 gamers found this helpful
“When playing with young Kids...”

I have a six year old that loves this game. The only thing is that farming is still too much. So with kids age 5-6 just skip the farming.

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6
I'm a Gamin' Fiend!
Noble
Champion
My First Heart
41 of 43 gamers found this helpful
“Have a meeple ready”

You should avoid situations where all your meeples are on the board. Opportunities come and go and you would better be ready to catch them and claim a town or a road with your follower. So if it happens that you have all your meeples placed, try to recover one of them even for an otherwise small profit. Most of the time it will pay off.

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6
26 of 27 gamers found this helpful
“Easily Mix and Draw Tiles Concealed”

If your version did not come with the handy tile bag, here’s a quick solution. This was the case when we first picked up this fun game. Look to see if you have an empty Kleenex box around. The cube size is perfect. The plastic flaps at the top of the hole keep the tiles in for mixing and allow most hands in far enough to pluck out a tile. The box is easy to pass around, less fiddly than a limp bag, and can be decorated easily if you want something more thematic.
The box can also fit the other bits in baggies, so you have a small carry box to travel with the game.
There is also an endless ready supply of replacements if the box gets damaged.

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3
Novice Reviewer
Critic - Level 2
41 of 44 gamers found this helpful
“Farmers can award a lot of points”

Some players don’t like using the farmer meeples because they have to stay in play for the whole game, but I’ve found that just one or two well-strategized farmers are all you really need to reap huge rewards at the end of the game. Get your farmers down early, and look for spots that will most likely remain open and wide (ie don’t put your meeple down on land that is already looking to be closed in by roads). And strategize to keep opening land up by diverting roads and building small castles. This will monopolize land from others, and will score huge points for even small castles.

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9
My First Heart
My First Wish!
My First Favorite!
Gave My First Grade
40 of 43 gamers found this helpful
“One at a Time, Gentlemen, One at a Time!”

The number of fun and interesting expansions for this game can seem like a kid in a candy store for someone who’s just discovered how good this game can be. But like that candy, you take too many pieces all at once and you’re just going to make yourself sick.

Learn expansions one at a time so that the amount of time they slow down the game is minimal. This is especially important if you’re like me and bought one of the Big Box versions after playing a friend’s copy. It would have been a miserable game if I’d tried everything all at once, but instead learning became another thing I liked about the game.

We’d bust out the Big Box (number II for those of you keeping score at home) and each time we’d try out a new expansion. This made it much easier to learn the expansions and because we only added the expansion we were trying to learn, we could focus on it that much more to see how it affected the game.

So take your time, savor the flavor, and keep it one at a time for the new stuff.

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8
Professional Reviewer
Canada
I play black
Silver Supporter
39 of 42 gamers found this helpful
“Roads as city-blockers”

Remember, if you add a road leading into a spot where your opponent is trying to build/continue a city – it adds another requirement for the tile they need to put in there, making it tougher on them. Direct your roads that way so that others don’t build their cities wherever they feel like.

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5
BoardGaming.com Beta 1.0 Tester
Advanced Grader
Knight
38 of 41 gamers found this helpful
“Derail your opponents cities”

If an opponent seems to be building a massive city, try to add on to in in ways that will make it difficult to finish. Especially if you’re playing with cathedrals or siege tiles.

If you have the meeple to spare, you can also try to get into this massive city by placing a knight in a city tile not yet connected to the city, then connecting in. More often than sharing the points, you’ll force your opponent to try the same tactic to get more meeple in the city than you, which tends to create huge, sprawling, incomplete cities.

Of course, the danger is if they actually complete the large city you’ve stuck a cathedral in, they’ll score huge points. Try to keep an eye on how many tiles are left and try to guess how likely it is the city will complete.

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5
The Gold Heart
I Am What I Am
Strategist
20 of 21 gamers found this helpful
“Use Meeples Wisely!”

The Meeples are your only resource that can score victory points. However, they are a reusable resource. A practical stategy for your 7 starting Meeples should include:
•3 for long-term goals: cloisters, farms, and large cities
•3 for short-term goals: roads and small cities
•1 in reserve for potential instant scoring

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7
USA
Norway
Finland
I play black
20 of 21 gamers found this helpful
“Shuffle while cleaning up!”

When we clean up–and by “we” Gamer Bling means himself, because the Official Companion and the Expansions scoot from the table as soon as scoring is complete–we pick up the tiles in a semi-random fashion that shuffles as it goes.

When cleaning up, try picking up one tile, then picking up the next tile two rows over and one column to the side. This way the two tiles have nothing directly to do with each other, not even a common neighbor (in contrast, picking up adjacent tiles can lead to a streak of city tiles, for example). When you hit the edge of the map, change direction arbitrarily.

This pattern can be done quickly, ranging back and forth across the board, and creates a result that is effectively random. By sticking to the pattern, you ensure that no features catch your eye and cause you to pick them up next.

After we pick up stacks of tiles like this, we (that is, Gamer Bling) randomly place them in the tower, and we (that is, the whole family) are ready for the next game!

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7
Tasty Minstrel Games Fan
Petroglyph
34 of 37 gamers found this helpful
“Draw after your turn for faster game”

We like the game for what it is, a nice filler game, but it is a bit long for a filler. I liked the idea of gamers who draw multiple tiles, but I think that just slows the game down even more.

So we realized if you draw your tile at the end of your turn instead of during your turn you get more time to contemplate your move and you won’t hold up the game.

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6
Brazil
I play red
The Gold Heart
18 of 19 gamers found this helpful
“Building Cities”

Some of my friends often find themselves building a single huge city which they spend the whole game trying to complete. That usually happens because they refuse to start new cities before finishing one that is already in progress. What is bad in that? Well, if you put most of your efforts in only one huge city (or two), you are most likely forgetting to use that tile to complete a cloister, a road or even scoring points in farms. Remember that farms get you 3 points for each complete city? So if you spent the entire game building ONE city, your farmer was pretty much useless.

Try building more cities of small sizes. Remember to check how many tiles you need to complete a city and don’t place any tile that may increase that number. For example, if you have a city that needs one tile to be completed and draws a city tile that will leave your city with two sides open, start a new city and wait for the right draw to complete the first.

REMEMBER: don’t start new cities in the opponents’ farms or you will give them points for free!

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5
9 of 9 gamers found this helpful
“Game length for young kids”

Carcassonne is a great game for young kids, playable as young as 3. But sometimes kids don’t know their own limits, like when they insist on playing ALL THE TILES despite getting fidgety and irritable.

Solution: take only half the tiles from the box at the beginning of the game and add more 1 ater if everything is going smoothly.

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