Chutes and Ladders Carcassonne

Chutes and Ladders Carcassonne is a non-euclidean version of Carcassonne where, instead of playing on a standard xy-plane, you are playing on a high-genus surface with a toroidal macroscructure.

The game was inspired by the remarkable realization that the squares on some editions of Chutes and Ladders and Carcassonne tiles are exactly the same size.

Chutes and Ladders Carcassonne requires an older Chutes and Ladders board and a Carcassonne set.

Gameplay is the same as in regular Carcassonne except that the surface is non-euclidean and defined by the Chutes and Ladders Board.

The top of the Chutes and Ladders Board maps to the bottom of the Chutes and Ladders board (ex: bottom of square 1 must be connected to top of square 100). The right side of the board maps to the left side (ex: left side of square 1 must be connected to right side of square 10). This defines the toroidal macrostructure of the board.

The chutes and ladders define non-standard mappings or "holes" in the surface. The examples here use the following board:

Chutes and Ladders Board
Image from boardgamegeek.com
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Chutes and ladders are functionally the same in this game. The side of the tile going into the "top" of each chute or ladder connects to the side of the tile going out of the "bottom" of that chute or ladder. For example, the top of tile 1 needs to match up with the bottom of tile 38. In some cases, it may not be immediately obvious which side of the tile the chute or ladder goes into. For example, the chute going into tile 62. In this case, it connects to the one that the chute seems to go into the most and just make sure that you have a consensus amongst players. I generally play that the right side of tile 19 matches up with the bottom of tile 62.

In order for the bijection to work, we must also map the tiles that would have connected out of the tops and bottoms of each chute and ladder to each other. For example, the bottom of tile 20 must match the the bottom of tile 23 and the left side of tile 18 must match the top of tile 59.

Place the starting tile someone on the board to begin play. It is nice to start somewhere towards the center of the board; I usually start on with the tile on square 56 with the city pointing right. Play normally as in Carcassonne with the geometries described above. Scoring is the same as in regular Carcassonne with the following exceptions.

Scoring Cloisters: In regular Carcassonne, cloisters receive a point for each tile adjacent to the cloister and for the cloister itself. The odd geometries of Chutes and Ladders Carcassonne mean that it is possible for more or less than 8 tiles to be adjacent to the cloister. We resolve this issue by defining Cloister scoring as follows:

A cloister receives a point for itself and for each tile that shares a side with it. It receives an additional point for the tile that is "turn right" of each tile that it shares a side with. For example, a cloister on square 47 receives 1 point if there are tiles on the following squares:

  • Square 47 (itself)
  • Square 46 (the tile to its left)
  • Square 55 (the tile that you get to if you enter tile 46 from the right and turn right)
  • Square 54 (the tile to its top)
  • Square 55 (the tile that you get to if you enter tile 54 from the bottom and turn right)
  • Square 26 (the tile to its right)
  • Square 35 (the tile that you get to if you enter tile 26 from the right and turn right)
  • Square 34 (the tile to its bottom)
  • Square 35 (the tile that you get to if you enter tile 34 from the top and turn right)
Note that in this example squares 35 and 55 are each scored twice. Thus a tile in either of these locations is worth two points.

Congratulations! If you understand cloister scoring than you have pretty much mastered Chutes and Ladders Carcassonne.

Scoring single tile cities: These are worth two points and complete immediately. It is possible to create single tile cities and roads on squares 81, 90, and 45 - basically any square that connects to itself.

 
Interesting Features of Chutes and Ladders Carcassonne

  • Single tile cities and roads can be played on squares 81, 90, and 45
  • A cloister played on square 45 is worth at least 5 points as soon as it is played - it scores 4 points for itself (the tile to its left, bottom, and bottom turn right are all itself) plus at least 1 point for any other tiles adjacent to it (at least one tile must be adjacent in order for it to be played)
  • There are numerous places where you can make cute things like toroidal cities.