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I probably didn't get some part of the rulings correctly but it seems to me that there is an interaction problem with 2 of the mini-expansions in Carcassonne. The problem seems to be the following:

  • Adding the mini-expansion "The Robbers" allows you to put a robber on the scoreboard and whenever a player moves a Meeple that is on the same square as your robber, you then get to steal points.

  • Adding the "The Messages" mini-expansion, gives you a second Meeple on the scoreboard which allows and allows you to move either one of the two when you score points.

The problem: Once you have the robber on the board, no one will ever move a Meeple that has the robber on the same square as a Meeple. They will always move the other Meeple as to not give any points to a stealing player thus rendering the robber completely useless.

How do you guys deal with this? Or am I not getting something?

Thanks

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    When the robber tile is played the person playing the tile places a robber, then the next person in order places one. Would it not be optimal for the next person to place it on a tile that has the same player as the first one, thus guaranteeing at least one person a score? Personally, I wouldn't play these two mini's together because they don't have synergy. – LeppyR64 Aug 19 '16 at 14:53
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    This would in fact work, but often I play only with my girlfriend so we're playing 1 vs 1, negating this option. I agree that they don't have synergy, but I would've thought that all the mini-expansions would play well together since they all come with the Agroglyphes that you need to play the 7th mini expansion. – IronWilliamCash Aug 19 '16 at 14:56
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    You can play all the tiles, just leave out the mechanic. I play with my wife and many mechanics don't work too well with two. My favourite expansion is the princess and the dragon, but the dragon doesn't really give any benefit when there's only two people. – LeppyR64 Aug 19 '16 at 15:04
  • Thanks for the input. We've been playing with an alternate robber mechanic for now, which is basically that whenever someone moves a Meeple on the scoreboard, with the robbers active, that Meeple will trigger a Robber stealing those points. So it doesn't have to be on the same square that the Meeple is. This forces you to think about how many points you're willing to make on your next move since your opponent will be making half of those. It's not ideal, but it seemed better than the original ruling. – IronWilliamCash Aug 19 '16 at 15:07
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+100

Official answer, taken from Carcassonne Central. The source is Georg Wild from HiG, via telephone call.

TL;DR; yes, it is possible that the robber might stand still until the end of the game. You haven't missed anything, this is how it's supposed to work.

Robber and Messages:

  1. Robber stands near one particular counting figure and robs only its points. In this situation it is possible that robber will stand on the scoreboard till the end of the game, if the player will decide not to move this particular figure.

Answer: Yes, it is possible that the robber would stand till the end of the game.

  1. Robber stands near any counting figure and robs any points that this player will receive regardless what figure player will move forward. In this situation robber stands near "virtual" counting figure and receive first available points (of course, according the rules).

Answer: No, the robber can only rob the points from the counting figure which is on the same space as the robber.

And just to be clear, you can "rob" points from either figure (source):

Q: When playing with The Messages and The Robber, can a player's Robber follow either Messenger?

A: The Robber can rob points from both scoring figures - from the follower and from the Messenger (woman follower). If there are more than one scoring figure at the same space as the Robber and multiple scoring take place - the Robber can only rob from one scoring figure for one scoring.

Telephone call with HiG - Georg Wild - 03 05 2013

Own thoughts: you might still be inclined to move your "locked" scoring meeple if you score 2-3 points, just to free it. Much of the strategy in the "Messengers" expansion is to keep your two scoring meeples from the dark spaces (multiples of 5) at different distances. I wouldn't mind giving over 1-2 extra points to my opponent for increased flexibility, especially if most of the robber tiles have already been drawn.

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Not an official answer. But there is some interaction between the two.

First the Messenger, you now have an extra meeple on the scoreboard. When you score, you can choose which of the two to move. And in the end of the game, add the total of both. So far no advantage. But there are 8 prices to win when you land on a score field which is a multiple of 5. So with two you almost double the chance of a price.

Next, the Robber, you now have a robber token. If you draw a tile of a robber (1 of 8) you can put a robber tile next to a score marker of another player. And if the player moves this score marker, the owner of the robber gets 50% of the score.

Both expansions have a small advantage. When combined, a few things happen. As long as there are prices left, placing the robber slightly decreases the chance of getting one. It does not limit the choice, but nobody likes to give away free points. So you only go for the "robbed" score marker if the gains are low and there is a price to win. If all the prices are gone, the robbers become almost useless (unless one player has two of its meeples robbed.

I would use these together. Possible adding a new rule, that having a robber on the score board at the end of the game, gives a few extra points (5 looks balanced) to its owner. So it can be advantageous to remove it somewhere in the game.

By the way, if both player have a robber you can probably rob some of the points back.

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    If all the prices are gone, the robbers become almost useless Rules say that the Message tile is put on the bottom of the message tile plies after played, so this situation can never happen :) – Alexander Ortiz Dec 23 '16 at 13:00

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