Tabletop Time – Carcassonne

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About The Game

Carcassonne is a tile based game where every player takes a turn and draws a tile to place in a strategic location on the table. Each tile has different qualities or restrictions that require you to fit them together correctly with the corresponding depiction on the tile that you place next in your turn. The goal of the game is to score the highest points by a number of means. To gain these points the following are necessary:

  • Completing a road
  • Completing a city
  • Surrounding a monastery
  • Having the highest influence in fields that have finished cities in them

At the beginning of the game you are given little men that need to be placed on the tiles that have a field, city, road or monastery and this is how you score points. The final score is tallied at the end when all 72 tiles have been placed on the playing field. You may only place one man in an area you wish to control, however if you want to take over someone else’s territory this is only possible by placing it on a tile that is not yet connected with the original you want to steal and then later connected. If any roads, cities or monasteries are finished then you can reclaim the man you placed on that area to use again. These are the main ways to earn points but you can also use tactics to sabotage other people’s plans in gaining points. For instance you could make it impossible for someone to complete their city by placing your tile next to it so they cannot place another tile with the corresponding borders. To finish a city it must be completely walled, a road must have a beginning and end without interruption and a monastery must have 8 tiles surrounding it.

Carcassonne has many expansions which add new tiles and gameplay to the base game. It also has variations which do not count as expansions and will not need the base game of Carcassonne to play.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Versatile – every game is different
  • Suited for a big range of ages
  • Not overcomplicated
  • Easy gameplay
  • Group activity
  • Not language restricted (tiles do not contain text)

Cons

  • Expansions add up the cost of the game
  • Seems more complicated than it actually is for first timers

Personal Opinion

It brings friends and family together no matter the age and can be hilarious when you try to steal someone else’s territory. You can have a lot of fun even when you don’t pick up the tiles you need and is very easy to play once you get the ground rules out of the way. We have played it on numerous occasions with different groups of friends. Carcasonne can be played with a big group but also a smaller group which makes it suited for many occasions. We have found ourselves laughing each time we’ve played it as the game also allows you some space for free banter while you’re playing. Not only are you playing with friends and family, but you also get some good quality time out of it. In our minds this is what playing these games is all about and you might say this game has a decent “friendship-factor” to it (even though you spend most of the game time trying to screw each other over).

Why Do We Recommend It?

We recommend this game for its fun factor, well thought out game mechanics and overall the ease of play when chosen. It doesn’t need a lot of time to set up and can be a very fast game depending on who and how many are playing. Each time you create a new map and no game is ever the same! The wide variety of additional content could possibly add more value to the experience and create endless hours of even more fun.

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Expansions

  • Carcassonne: The Expansion
  • Carcassonne: Merchants & Builders
  • Carcassonne: The Dragon, The Fairy & The Lady
  • Carcassonne: The Tower
  • Carcassonne: Mayors & Abbeys
  • Carcassonne: Count, Kings & Consorts
  • Carcassonne: The Catapult
  • Carcassonne: Bridges, Strongholds & Bazaars
  • Carcassonne: Sheep & Hills

Mini Expansions

  • The River
  • King & Scout
  • The Count
  • The Cathars
  • The River II
  • The Mini Expansion
  • Cults & Heretics
  • The Tunnel
  • The Plague
  • Cult, Siege & Creativity
  • The Party
  • The Follower
  • The Monasteries
  • The Halflings
  • Castles

Variations

  • Hunters & Collectors
  • Carcassonne, The Stronghold
  • Carcassonne, The city
  • Carcassonne, Overseas
  • Arc of the Covenant
  • Travel version
  • New World
  • Wheel of Fortune
  • Carcassonne, Junior
  • Cardcassonne
  • Carcassonne, Dice game
  • Carcassonne, South Pacific
  • Star Wars

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