In week 1 I played Settlers of Catan. I had played this game before but I was playing with 3 other people who were very new to board games and had never played Catan before. Apparently, when it comes to Settlers of Catan, experience doesn’t really matter and as long as you understand the base mechanics of the game, you’ll do alright.
Carcassonne was designed by famed board game creator, Klaus-Jürgen Wrede and published by Hans im Glück in the year 2000. The game is named after the town of Carcassonne in southern France which is famous for its city walls. Just like the town, the game is based around building cities through the connection of walls and land. The game is played by placing tiles in a connecting manner as to create cities, block others off, create farms and create roads. To win you must have gathered the maximum number of points through creating these things. The game itself is very simple and can be played by almost anyone as long as they have the ability to place tiles. Each tile can only be connected to another of the same type (e.g farm to farm, town to town, wall to wall, and road to road).
Carcassonne uses modular boards and area control as its 2 most base mechanics.
Modular boards allow each game to be vastly different to the one previous and allows the players of the game to be able to create boards they want as well as giving them a sense of control over how the game plays. It also allows players the ability to purposely mess up other players. Carcassonne uses this expertly by randomizing each tile when you draw and by minimizing the better and more flexible cards and maximizing the tougher cards that only work in certain situations. In my experience, having the less flexible cards being the ones that you draw the most makes the game more difficult and makes you have to think about your strategy multiple turns in advance. In spite of this, I found that it didn’t matter how far I planned ahead and how much I tried to mess up my competition, the randomness of the tiles leveled the playing field for myself and my competitors.
Carcassonne’s other mechanic of area control adds a skill to the game that perfectly matches the modular board’s randomness. By minimizing the number of followers that each player has access to, players really need to make sure every placement of a follower counts. In the 2 games that we played, I lost probably 3 followers by being too ambitious with cities and/or roads that I was trying to build. Because of this I probably lost both the games.