The green fields of Frankreich
April 1, 2011 8:34 AM   Subscribe

Carcassonne for iOS scoring mystery: where did my field points go?

I have been playing Carcassonne on my iPhone non-stop since picking it up about a month ago. The game on iOS is really beautiful, definitely the best gaming app I have seen.

There seems to be an undocumented scoring routine, which is probably implementing a ruleset from the physical version. However, in the human-readable rules in the app, I can find no mention of this scoring. I have not been able to uncover what is going on by looking for a place that folks gather to discuss the game and the app.

The issue affects shared-territory scoring. In particular, in a game I just concluded, all three players had men on a large field with nine completed cities on it. The field was scored at 27, 9x3.

However, in my endgame scoring, instead of showing as a green bar in the graph and counting, my endgame score displayed a '-27' and no green bar. The other two players may have scored full points for the fields; they both showed green bars. I backed off the score screen prior to thinking to closely examine how their field scores were counted.

I find this confusing, as the in-app rules show a shared field with three men on it and describe each player as scoring the same points for the territory.

What is the deal?
posted by mwhybark to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (9 answers total)
Maybe they had two farmers on the field where you only had one?
posted by cmm at 8:41 AM on April 1, 2011

Best answer: There are several variants of how to score farms. Did the other players have more farmers on the field than you? Did they control other fields adjacent to the cities?

Rio Grande Games (who publish the English-language versions of Carcassonne) have chosen to stay with the original rules, which state that for each completed city the player with the most farmers supplying it gets 4 points. Tied players all get 4 points each. Each city only provides one score.

The current (as of September 2005) rules only give 3 points per city, but each farm adjacent to a city gets full points even if that means one player gets multiple scores thereby. The rules were changed firstly to a 3 points per farm basis, and secondly to allow one player to score more than once for the same city.

So the current rules are:

For each farm, count the number of farmers in that farm. The player with the most farmers in the farm scores for that farm. If multiple players tie for the majority of followers then they all receive the full points. The size of the farm is not relevant. Scoring is based solely on the number of completed cities which the farm touches.

The farm scores 3 points for each completed city adjacent to the farm. A city is adjacent to a farm when any part of the city walls is used to define the boundary of the farm.

If the thing that happened doesn't fall within any of those rules, it could be a bug. Maybe they didn't explain their in-app rules very well.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 8:41 AM on April 1, 2011 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: qxntpqbbbqxl: "The player with the most farmers in the farm scores for that farm."

OK, that would make sense, I noticed the other players adding men to the field and couldn't figure out why. Do you know if the same determinant is in place for roads and cities?

The app uses what I saw described as 'version 3' scoring online.

Ah, here it is, one sentence in the rules I had overlooked or couldn't interpret at first:

"The points for a road, city or field are scored for the player(s) with the most deployed followers on them."

Mystery solved! I think I now have a complete understanding of the game rules.

A side note here, I started with the Catan app but got to where I can beat it every single time now, presumably due to overly-determinant AI rules in the trading module. Even in games where no misunderstood scoring was noted by me, after a month I still find the AI opponents challenging.

It will be interesting to see if that changes now that I grok this rule.
posted by mwhybark at 8:50 AM on April 1, 2011

Response by poster: mwhybark: "Even in games where no misunderstood scoring was noted by me, after a month I still find the AI opponents challenging. "

in the Carcassonne app, I mean.
posted by mwhybark at 8:50 AM on April 1, 2011

Response by poster: also, what is that, six minutes? well done!
posted by mwhybark at 8:52 AM on April 1, 2011

Yeah the farmer scoring is a big part of the strategy, imo. High risk high reward. The most fun thing to me is trying to connect two separate farms, when my opponent thinks that they safely have one safely controlled.
posted by empath at 8:59 AM on April 1, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Totally, that two-and-three step forward strategy stuff is what makes the game so deep. Too bad I was missing such a crucial part of the rules!

*gnashes teeth*
posted by mwhybark at 9:01 AM on April 1, 2011

I found that slowly progressing up the ranks of the AI players in one-on-ones has given me a really solid grasp of strategy. I went from not knowing anything about the scoring to consistently beating the most difficult AI in about a hundred games or so.

I found the downloadable opponent "Frank" (the guy with the 8-bit tiles) to be especially mean about stealing points - it felt really good when it finally clicked how to defend myself against that sort of thing.

Add randomproxy at gmail to your Carcassonne friends if you like - I'm almost always up for a game :D
posted by The demon that lives in the air at 10:39 AM on April 1, 2011

Response by poster: One on ones, interesting. I have been playing 2x on me, at the basic level. I would have thought the game in a two player setup was less compelling. I will have to check it out.
posted by mwhybark at 9:33 PM on April 1, 2011

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