Halflings (1st edition)
- 1 WikiCarpedia authors' disclaimer
- 2 General info and comments
- 3 Contents
- 4 Rules
- 5 Tile distribution
- 6 Footnotes
The designers of Halflings took a gamble by changing the tile shape, which departs completely from the base game concept. We are far for judging whether this experiment was a success, yet we feel obliged to make a few statements.
All through WikiCarpedia we follow the facts and official clarifications but it is nearly impossible in the case of Halflings as it is unsupported by the publisher, HiG. Due to its unique nature, it is even hard to work out a comprehensive set of rules that provides answers to all the open issues that may arise when interacting with other expansions.
In the end, please be warned that, while playing Halflings, you may come across situations that are not addressed here, not because we are not aware of those situations, but because we were not able to find answers within official clarifications. In such cases, feel justified to make house rules and have fun!
General info and comments
The Halflings (or “Half & Half”) mini-expansion is available in two versions. One version is available in the 5/2014 issue of Spielbox magazine (www.spielboxshop.de) and these tiles are marked with the pentagon symbol. The second version was available at the Hans im Glück online shop (www.cundco.de) and these tiles are marked with the “C” Follower symbol. Therefore, it is possible that in the examples that follow, tiles may be shown that are not a part of the “Half” set you may own.
- 12 new “half-sized” triangular land tiles (Spielbox: Halflings I)
- 12 new “half-sized” triangular land tiles (Cundco: Halflings II)
This mini-expansion is playable with up to 6 players. With additional copies, more than 6 may play. For the first game with this mini-expansion, we suggest mixing all triangular tiles face down, and giving 2 to each player. The players look at their tiles and return them face down to the table in front of them. Once the players are more familiar with the new tiles, they may want to try the following variant: At the beginning of the game all triangular tiles are placed face up on the table. A starting player is determined. Starting with the player who will be last in turn order and moving counterclockwise, everyone takes one tile and places it face down in front of him. All players then take a second tile in the same way. Thus, each player has chosen 2 tiles to use during the game.   
With the exception of the new rules used with this mini-expansion, all basic Carcassonne rules remain unchanged.
Placing a tile
On a player’s turn, he may play one of his 2 triangular tiles instead of drawing a normal tile. The triangular tiles are placed according to the usual rules; they must be placed so that at least one of the shorter sides of the tile touches a previously placed tile (not corner-to-corner only) or the longer side touches the longer side of another triangular tile.
In addition, any city, road, and field segments must continue segments already in play. Note: The longer side of a triangular tile may never be placed against the side of a normal tile.
Tiles with expansion features: Some of the tiles from the CundCo version contain features from the Hills & Sheep and Crop Circles   expansions. If you are not playing with those expansions along with Halflings, you may disregard those features.
Hills: If a player places a triangular tile containing a Hill feature, and you are playing with the Hills & Sheep expansion, the player immediately draws a second (normal) tile, in accordance with the Hills & Sheep rules, and places it face down under the triangular tile. The other “half” of the face down tile may be covered with another triangular tile at a later time. Both triangular tiles would then be considered part of the same Hill.
Scoring a feature 
Cloisters: When playing with Halflings, a cloister is considered to be completed even if one or more of its surrounding tiles are triangular tiles. In this case, a triangular tile scores as a normal landscape tile (1 point per tile surrounding the cloister.) If there are 2 triangular tiles in the same square “space”, they still only count as 1 point each for scoring a cloister. 
The game ends immediately at the end of the turn in which the last normal land tile is placed. If any player still has any unplayed triangular tiles in front of them, they may no longer play them. Final scoring then takes place. 
>> General considerations
- When a Halfling tile is beside a triangular gap, the Halfling tile counts as a single tile. When 2 Halfling tiles are side-by-side to create one square, they count as a single tile each. This is relevant when considering cloister scoring, city scoring, road scoring, Dragon movement, the Plague token placement, the Flier movement, etc. (10/2014; updated 10/2015)
- At present HiG does not support the Halflings expansion and no further clarifications will be provided. Combining Halflings with other expansions will then happen "at the players' own risk." In such cases, house rules will have to be agreed and applied.
>> The Princess and The Dragon - Dragon movement
- There is no official clarification regarding how the dragon moves on Halfling tiles beyond the general considerations above.
- Rule clarification: When moving the dragon, triangle tiles are considered individual tiles.
- Open question: Can it be assumed that the dragon can move past a triangular gap? Clarifications for other expansions such as The Plague (see below), may lead to a positive conclusion but there is no official confirmation.
>> The Tower - Tower range
- There is no official clarification regarding how tower range is calculated involving Halflings beyond the general considerations above.
- Rule clarification: When computing the tiles affected by the tower range, triangle tiles are counted as individual tiles.
- Open question: Can it be assumed that triangular gaps, if any present, are ignored in the tower range calculation? Clarifications for other expansions such as German/Dutch and Belgian Monasteries (see below), may lead to a positive conclusion but there is no official confirmation.
>> Abbey and the Mayor - Part 1: Abbey placement and scoring
- An abbey can be placed if a Halfling tile is on one of the edges, even if there is a Halfling gap on one of the edges. See the clarification images below. (3/2015)
- There is no official explicit confirmation on how abbeys are scored when interacting with Halflings beyond ruling for cloisters.
- House rule: The scoring of an abbey follows the official rules defined for cloisters.
>> Abbey and the Mayor - Part 2: Barn placement
- A barn can be placed as long as 4 tiles touch at the intersection, even if there is one or more Halfling tiles. (10/2015)
- Additionally the barn placement rules have been updated as follows: The base ground for the barn has to be stable so it cannot wiggle. This means that under the barn:
- all tiles have to touch each other in the middle;
- no quarter is empty in the middle; and
- all tiles have farm in the middle for the placement of the barn.
- See the following examples involving Halfling tiles and double-size tiles (see Castles in Germany.) (04/2016)
- Note: The rules update from 10/2015 overrides, in certain cases, the original four-tile intersection requirement for the placement of the barn defined originally for square tiles. This happens in favor of providing stability to the barn when tiles with other geometries are considered, as can be seen in the examples involving double-size tiles and/or triangle tiles.
>> Abbey and the Mayor - Part 3: Barn scoring
- There is no official rules on how barns interact with the landscape discontinuities that can be generated by Halflings.
- Open question: Can triangular gaps be considered as holes in the farm landscape? If so, certain tile configuration could lead to the creation of separate farms that converge at an intersection, some of them eligible for barn placement. There is no official rule or clarification stating how triangle gaps affect farms.
- Open question: When placed on a farm convergence intersection, does the barn connect these separate farms to form one single farm? There is no official rule or clarification on this point, but the official rules for barn placement were designed to ensure it was always placed on one single farm.
- House rule 1: Triangular gaps could be considered as limits of the landscape (the same as square holes), so several farms can converge at a tile intersection and be disconnected.
- House rule 2: The barn, when placed (legally) at a point where several farms meet, they should be considered as merged into one single farm. This seems reasonable as the placement of additional Halfling tiles filling the gaps would not alter the previous situation but resolve to materialize the assumed landscape continuity. Additionally, all the barn scoring rules would apply as usual.
>> Heretics and Shrines - Shrine scoring
- There is no official explicit confirmation on how shrines are scored when interacting with Halflings beyond ruling for cloisters.
- House rule: The scoring of a shrine follows the official rules defined for cloisters.
>> Bridges, Castles and Bazaars - Bridge placement
- There is no official clarification regarding how bridges can interact with Halflings.
- Open question: Can a bridge be placed on a square space only occupied by one to two Halflings?
- House rule: A house rule could allow the placement of the bridge only if it stands on a stable base ground following the lead of the clarifications for the Abbey and the Mayor's barn (see above). This would mean that bridges could be deployed on a place occupied by a square tile or two Halflings, but not if occupied by one single Halfling.
>> The Flier (Flying Machines) - Flier distance and placement
- There is no official clarification regarding how the Flier distance and landing cases are handled when Halflings are involved beyond the general considerations above.
- Rule clarification: When computing the Flier distance, triangle tiles are counted as individual tiles.
- Open question: Can it be assumed that triangular gaps, if any present, are ignored and only the Halfling tiles are taken into account for computing the Flier distance? Clarifications for other expansions such as German/Dutch and Belgian Monasteries (see below), may lead to a positive conclusion but there is no official confirmation. See the examples below following this assumption.
- Open question: How to proceed if the Flier, following a diagonal trajectory, has to land on a square tile occupied by two triangle tiles whose long side is aligned with such trajectory? No official clarification exists. A house rule may dictate that the player may choose a feature of either tile.
- House rule: A house rule could define that the Flier distance is calculated taking into account square tiles, square gaps and triangular tiles. If the landing place contains two triangular tiles with the same distance, the player will choose either of them at his/her convenience.
>> The Plague - Plague spreading
- A single triangle hole does not prevent the Plague from spreading in that direction. (10/2015)
>> German/Dutch and Belgian Monasteries - Abbot scoring
- A triangle tile takes the place of a regular landscape tile. Thus, a single triangle hole in the map does not stop the row or column for scoring for German and Dutch/Belgian Monasteries's abbot. Only a hole of a complete regular landscape tile interrupts the row or column. (3/2015)
- The following image shows how triangle tiles are considered individually when scoring an abbot placed on a German Monastery. It can be seen that triangular gaps are ignored.
>> Castles in Germany - Completion of German Castles
- There is no official clarification regarding how German Castles interact with Halflings beyond the general considerations above.
- House rule: A German Castle could be considered completed if totally surrounded by square tiles and spaces occupied by one or two Halflings, following the official ruling for cloisters.
- House rule: The scoring of a German Castle could be 2 points for the German Castle tile plus 1 point per surrounding tile (square or triangular), taking into account the official rules for cloisters.
This section provides a set basic unofficial community rules to navigate through the the pitfalls found when playing Halflings. They are not official but will help solve some of the issues derived from the lack of rules for the expansion itself and the interactions with other expansions.
The Carcassonne base rules define the behavior and interactions based on a square grid occupied by tiles and holes. The problems with Halflings arise from the lack of a full set of rules that cover all the cases when a square space is occupied by a triangular tile (that leaves a triangular gap) or two triangular tiles.
Triangular tiles are considered as individual tiles, and this affects several aspects of the basic game mechanics. However, triangular gaps become a serious generator of continuous conflict. The incomplete clarifications to the Halflings rules leave behind a field full of pitfalls and a few hints that players try to squeeze and analyze looking for answers that will never be officially confirmed by HiG.
With this context, after detailing in the previous section the rules, clarifications, open questions and some house rules for the interactions between Halflings and other expansions, we'll try to put together some basic remarks that could serve as a short guideline that distill the aforementioned material.
Two principles serve as a cornerstone:
- Triangular tiles are counted as individual tiles
- Triangular gaps show two different behaviors depending on the context:
- A triangular gap can behave as a hole, for example, in a feature
- A triangular gap can be ignored, for example, when moving a figure
The table below sums up the different contexts where issues arise and provide an appropriate ruling. But first let's list the game contexts taken into consideration:
- Landscape Continuity: how triangular tiles and gaps affect various features, such as a farm or a city
- Feature Placement: how triangular tiles and gaps affect the placement of a feature, such as an abbey
- Feature Completeness: how triangular tiles and gaps affect a feature to be considered as completed, such as a city or a cloister
- Featuring Scoring: how triangular tiles and gaps affect the scoring of a feature, such as a German Monastery
- Figure Placing/Movement: how figure mechanics are affected by triangular tiles and gaps; for example, the dragon
- Action Range / Trajectory calculation: how action ranges for a tower or the trajectory of a flier are affected by triangular tiles and gaps
>> How to deal with triangular tiles and gaps
Important Reminder: Triangular tiles are considered as individual tiles. Bear this in mind when placing followers or other figures, and when scoring features.
The following table summarizes the community rules for conflicting scenarios.
|Triangular Tiles and Triangular Gap Behavior|
|Gap Behavior||Landscape Continuity||Feature Placement||Feature Completeness||Feature Scoring||Placing / Moving a Figure||Action range / Trajectory Calculation|
|A hole||Farm (1)||Farm||Bridge|
|City, Road||City, Road||City, Road|
|Ignored||Abbey (2)||Cloister, Shrine, Abbey, Garden, German Monastery (monk)||Cloister, Shrine, Abbey, Garden, German Monastery (monk)||Dragon||Tower, Flier (3)|
|German Monastery (abbot)|
- (1) - Farm continuity: The placement of a barn can alter farm continuity if it merges separate farms touching at intersection it is placed on
- (2) - Abbey placement: An eligible place for an abbey requires its four sides not to be square holes
- (3) - Flier landing: if the Flier has to land on a square space with two triangular tiles side by side when following a diagonal trajectory (i.e., both share the same distance), the player has to choose one of them at his/her convenience as landing tile
>> How to deal with the barn
Additionally, these are the community rules for the barn:
- Placement Rules: It is placed on the intersection of four square corners where all quarters are partially or fully occupied and meet in the middle. That is, the barn is always placed on a stable base ground. At an intersection can meet from 3 (involving a double-sized tile) up to 8 tiles (all of them Halflings), and all of them should have only farmland to allow the barn to be placed.
- Landscape Continuity: The barn will merge any farms touching at the intersection where it is placed. Thus, farm scoring will happen as usual. Any additional triangular tile placed in any gaps left under the barn will materialize the assumed farm continuity.
Halfling I (Spielbox)
Total Tiles: 12 halves
Halfling II (Cundco)
Total Tiles: 12 halves
For Icons licensing and explanation please visit Icons page.
- When playing with fewer than 6 players, each player should still only end up with 2 tiles. (3/2015)
- As an alternative, when playing with fewer than 6 players, each player could draw or choose tiles until the tiles are depleted and each player has the same number of tiles (e.g., 4 players get 3 each). (3/2015)
- When playing with both Halflings I and II, there is no consensus regarding number of tiles per person. They are technically two separate mini-expansions, so players could take 2 from each set. Alternatively, because they have the same rules and are thus functionally one larger expansion, players could take 2 Halfling tiles total. (3/2015)
- The sheep on the tile counts as a "permanent" sheep token every time that a shepherd on the associated field scores his sheep. (11/2014)
- The circular crop circle on the Halfling tile is a Joker. This means that the player who places this tile can decide if he or she wants to treat it as a shield, a pitchfork, or a club. (11/2014)
The following examples show the consequences of the poorly-defined rules as there are cases where no official ruling dictates if a city is completed.
Similar cases can arise when deciding whether a road is completed if interrupted by a triangular gap.
- Triangular gaps in farms are also an open question: It is not defined if the break the landscape and therefore can separate farms.
- The scoring of a completed city or road will follow the normal rules and any triangular tiles will be counted as a regular tile.
- The following image illustrates the scoring of a completed cloister with Halfling tiles in its surroundings.
- Farm scoring is affected by the landscape continuity. There are cases not covered by the rules or later clarifications.