finance & carcassone

Yes, this is a post about the board game Carcassonne – not a metaphor for something else so if you aren't interested in this game stop reading here. 🙂

Carcassonne has some very interesting financial elements (although not as interesting as the all time greatest finance board game – Modern Art).

I think of the best way to think of Carcassonne is by breaking features down by liquidity, risk & reward:

Liquidity:
short term liquidity – roads 
medium term liquidity – castles 
long term liquidity – cloisters
illiquid – fields

Risk/Reward:
low risk/reward – roads
med risk/reward – cloisters
med risk, high reward – fields
high risk/reward – castles

Next step would be calculating liquidity premium to see if there are systematic advantages to different features.

I've only played it about 10 times so comments from veteran players welcome.
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2 thoughts on “finance & carcassone

  1. Chrys Bader says:

    Carcassone is one of my favorite “board” games. I find your analogy very interesting. When I played when I was younger, I understood the sentiment of the risk vs reward, but never thought about it in comparison to how we make decisions in business or life today.It gets really interesting when you’re competing for someone else’s farm or castle. You can take a risk by putting a single castle piece near another castle and then hope that you get the piece that connects them, and then you split the castle.Same thing with farms (or fields), when you have a huge farm touching many castles, and someone is trying to connect to it, sometimes you have to protect your investment by laying another piece and trying to connect to your own farm.Another thing is, with farms, you don’t get your pieces back, as opposed to roads, castles and cloisters which you get back when they are complete.It’s all about expansion, protection, going for the quick kill, or making a bet on the longer term investments. It’s so good!Let’s play some time.

  2. HealyHoops says:

    I’m assuming you are talking about putting a follower on the tile pieces? Or are you trying to calculate the value of the actual tile and not the completed game element?Anyways, I’d say that the farms are the riskiest of the elements. It just so happens that my wife is very good at connecting farms and stealing them from me at the end of the game.The other element is that the value of uncompleted the cities decreases at end game, while roads and cloisters are scored the same as if they were completed during the game play. And farms are only valued at the end. It’s almost like the difference between American and European options…

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