Thursday, August 30, 2007


GenConUK 2007 - report #1 - Extreme Carcassone

Thursday-Sunday this week has been GenCon UK 2007, held at Reading university.
I'll put my thoughts down in type over the next few days.

Highlight of the convention was a game of Extreme Carcassonne - basically the basic game and a pile of expansion sets. I'd played a lot of games already on Xbox Live (and bought the boxed set too for a more tactile experience) so I was happy about the basic rules but this gave me a chance to try out the expansions at little cost (a £3 ticket to play) against a bunch of players from South Wales.

From the picture below, you can see at least seven expansion sets in use:

  1. The wooden tower pieces from "Carcassonne - The Tower"
  2. The Count and 12-tile town from "Carcassonne - The Count of Carcassonne"
  3. A grey wooden pig from "Carcassonne - Traders & Builders"
  4. A red wooden dragon (edge-on) from "Carcassonne - The Princess & the Dragon"
  5. Cloth and wheat counters from "Carcassonne - Traders & Builders" (again)
  6. The King tile from "Carcassonne - King"
  7. Cathedral and Inn tiles from, surprisingly, "Carcassonne - Inns & Cathedrals"
  8. Extra river tiles from the 2nd River expansion

This lead to quite a confusing game to start with as we got to grips with the various rules. The towers allowed you to take followers hostage and the dragon could be steered by the players to scare followers away, both making for a chaotically changing game. One of the key point winners was the King - if you completed (but not necessarily owned) the largest city during the game then you were King and gained an extra point for every complete city at the end of the game - with the number of expansion sets in play, this meant a 40+ point bonus. There was a similar tile for completing the longest road which also brought in a hefty amount.

Not all the pieces and rules felt like they fitted neatly together - the Tower, for example, didn't make too much sense in the context of the rest of the game. The expansions (apart from the extra tiles) seem to be additional game mechanics and pieces that somebody thought were a good idea at the time. But then even the basic set is a pretty abstract game so I shouldn't really be looking for something that makes a lot of real-world sense.

If you're on Xbox Live and fancy a game, just let me know (Gamer Tag Kingfisher280).


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