Guzzle #1 – Carcassonne Challenge

Welcome to the first Puzzle Friday — today there are two puzzle challenges here to take you into the weekend.  In this post, we have our first Guzzle…  What the heck is a Guzzle?  Well – it’s a word coined by Patrick Korner… It’s a Game and a Puzzle!  We thought it might be fun to take some of the games that you have up on your shelf and give you a new way to look at them.   Our other puzzle from today comes from master puzzle creator Mike Selinker.   My goal is to have a puzzle day every four to six weeks depending on the feedback that we get from the readers!

Guzzle #1 – Carcassonne Challenge

For this first Guzzle (hopefully in a long series), we’ll use the classic game Carcassonne by Hans im Gluck/Rio Grande Games.  I’m only using the basic set with no expansions.

My challenge to you is to see how many points you can score using only the 72 tiles in the base set – following all of the rules as printed in the box — EXCEPT that you can only use one meeple!

As there are a few different sets of English rules floating around – make sure that you use the rules found here:

Of note – cities of only two tiles score 4 points and at the end of the game, farmers score 3 points for each completed city that they touch in their field.

  • You must start with the usual start tile
  • You must follow the rules for tile placement, meeple placement and scoring as outlined in the rules
  • You may choose your tiles openly and play them in any order you desire
  • Remember that you must place a meeple on the tile that you have played before you score any meeples

If you don’t have a copy of the game handy (say… you’re at work right now) – if you go to the rules link noted above, you can find a full tile manifest on page 5 and you might be able to fashion your own set of tiles…

I’ve tried it a few times – each of which took under 20 minutes.  I think that my best score is decent – but certainly not optimal.  Thus far, I’ve just tried doing it completely on the fly without any advanced planning.

My best score is 241.

Other scores from the Opinionated Gamers:

  • Brian Yu: 228
  • Patrick Brennan: 267 (with two spare roads hanging off city tiles unused, so still not optimal)
  • Wei-Hwa Huang: 277

Attached here is a .pdf showing which tiles I played and how I scored to get there.

Wei-Hwa’s game can be seen in this flash animation.

Carcassonne Challenge

A pic of my final board layout:

This board scored me 241 points using all the standard rules.

How well can you do?

Post your scores in the comments below…

Good Luck!

The Gaming Doctor

About Dale Yu

Dale Yu is the Editor of the Opinionated Gamers. He can occasionally be found working as a volunteer administrator for BoardGameGeek, and he previously wrote for BoardGame News.
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9 Responses to Guzzle #1 – Carcassonne Challenge

  1. David Fair says:

    Your game is illegal. You have a city abutting a field in the lower right. For shmae, Dale, FOR SHMAE!

  2. David Fair says:

    Ahem. Lower LEFT.

  3. Aaron says:

    Really want to do this with a stop motion camera….

  4. Carly says:

    And where is the facebook like link ?

  5. Legend Dan says:

    My first attempt was 248. This was all kinds of fun, and I’m looking forward to trying again next time I have some free table space.

  6. Dale Yu says:

    For those of you that are interested, here is a link to Wei-Hwa’s excellent score:

    (This has also been added to the body of the text)

  7. 275! So close! My last move closed a road loop for 4 points but, of course, my was play was a farmer

    If I tie/break 277 I will number my plays on the tiles.

    Great puzzle!

  8. Anonymous carcassonne fan says:

    Managed to score 183: — however, I chose to use a blind draw, rather than face-up tiles, to make it more challenging. I would posit that anything over 200 in a blind draw could be considered a “win” if you wanted to play that way as solitaire…

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