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This game is my current favourite. To be honest I generally hate strategy/territory gaining games (eg, Risk). However some friends introduced Carcassonne to us and I have been hooked ever since.
It's a game for up to 5 players and the aim is to win more points than the other players. You gain points by building cities, roads, cloisters and farms. It is a strategic game and can seem quite complicated but if you persevere through learning the rules it is really a very good game. Every time you play you make a different kind of board - this can change even more when you play with more or less players. I usually play with my husband and thought I was getting quite good at it but when we have then played with friends I found that the dynamics of the game changes loads and I had to work out a different way of playing!
Since buying the game a year ago we have also bought the expansion packs - these are also great fun. But if you are new to the game I recommend you buying this original pack first and adding expansions once you are confident in how to play.
Carcassonne is a wonderful board game. I would recommend it to anyone!
It's simple to grasp and yet hard to master, which is truly the sign of any great board game. It is a turn-based game where each player chooses a mystery tile and decides where to place it next on the table. There are squares with cities, roads, churchs and fields, and eventually you end up with a table covered in what looks like (aha!) a little French countryside region. The aim of the game is, via various methods, to claim territory. As I said, it's really easy to understand, and would be suitable for a 10+ age range in my opinion. It's also the kind of game you can simplify, if you want to play with younger children.
Also, there are some really beautiful expansion packs, if you get tired of the original map. I don't own any of them, but they're definitely on the wish list! Carcassonne the original is also a very lovingly drawn game. It might look old-fashioned, but don't let that deceive you! It's good as a social game, as a game to teach tactics, as a way to practise strategy, and it's different every time you play. I've played it various ways, from in a big group with a movie on in the background, to an intense tactical battle between two people - and every way is just as fun.
Overall, it's just a brilliant game to have around the house. In a time when people are spending less and less time as a family, or face to face with each other, board games are a wonderful way to pass the time. And like the box says, it's a great game for two players as well as for a group, although obviously the vibe can be quite different. More players makes the game much more unpredictable, and you will need to change your tactic! If you like board games, or strategy games, then I cannot recommend Carcassonne enough!
Players: 2 - 5 (more with expansions)
Suitable for: 10+ (8+ it says on the box)
Average game length: 30mins - 1 hour
Requires: A table
Being brought up in a tabletop gaming family I was already playing a lot of Euro games before Carcassone came about, however it is by far one of my favourite games and a great way to get people playing games who generally do not.
Carcassone is a really easy game to pick up and learn even for a gaming novice, there is not one person that I have played it with that hasn't enjoyed it. It is both a great two player game and supports up to four (more with expansions) More players of course makes the game a bit more hectic and random, whereas a two player is a bit more strategic.
The game itself is very simple to play, every turn you choose a random tile from a bag and place it down next to another tile. Now as long as the sides of the tile link you can place the tile anywhere, like a road to a road or a city to a city. Once a specific thing has been closed off completely such as a road or cloister (meaning no more tiles can be added to it) you then score points for that object. So simply the more things you finish the more points you earn. Now the only thing that complicates this is that there are actually a few different rule sets between America and the European editions so some games come with different rules. So if you find yourself playing with someone who has played a different edition it can get confusing.
I have easily played over a hundred games of Carcassone and I still love it, it is often a fast game finishing between 20 and 30 minutes, with more players it does take longer. Every game is different due to the element of random tiles and if that gets stale there are more expansions that add a new rule or tile type to the game.
Now if I play Carcassone with my girlfriend the game is a relaxed and carefree one, but if I play it with my father it becomes very cut throat and personal, stealing each others cities and farming fields. As I have revealed what may seem like a simple game at first is actually pretty deep, if you chose to get more brutal in your Carcassone there is a lot of tactics that can be put into place.
Whether you are new to games or a veteran, Carcassone is a sure fire winner and it is a great game to play with dinner guests even after a few drinks, but alternatively playing it as a couple never gets stale. I have been playing the game for years and it still is one of my favourites, it is a keeper and if you haven't got a copy I suggest purchasing one.
My lovely better half bought me the board game Carcassone for Christmas and the first expansion, Inns and Cathedrals. I was thrilled to bits to recieve this, as we've been playing with our friends and I've been getting really into it.
The premise of the game is relatively simple. Players take it in turns to choose a tile which they add to the board that is forming in the play area. As the tiles are laid, roads, cities and farms are created which players can lay claim too. The winner is the person with the most points from claiming areas of the land at the end.
Thats a pretty simple explanation, but the game is about tactics, and alliances and I adore it! The game is complex and never the same twice. I've yet to win a board game version (you can also get it on the Xbox 360 and so far I've done pretty well at that version!) but each time I play I learn something new and interesting.
The game itself is beautifully illustrated and really well made, the next expansion I'd like is the tower one which gives you a storage and display box for the tiles, as well as an expansion to the game (I haven't played the tower version as yet).
One warning, you'll probably need a decent sized table to play this game.. its really frustrating when you're playing a game and find you need to either stop working on your road/city/farm or move the whole game up a bit or you're going to lose it off the edge. And be prepared for a numb bum if a few of you are playing. The basic game is suitable for 2-5 players and the first expansion gives you enough followers to take it up to a 6 player game. Its great to play with 2 players, but obviously the more players you add the more time it takes.
Overall I love this game and I can't wait until we play again!
Carcassonne is one of my favourite games to play and I only discovered it a year ago. We were on holiday with my in laws and my father in law is always in the know about strategy games so he got out Carcassonne to play. Well that was it, we got it for the Christmas and have been playing it ever since and here is why.
Carcassonne is a strategy game and is by Rio Grande Games. I believe it has won awards for being the best strategy game which shows you that it is a good one to get. It comes in a blue box with a picture of a knight and a castle on it. I have to admit that the picture does make the game look a little dated but do not be fooled as this is a game that you will be playing for years to come and with everybody.
When you open the box you will see a scoreboard which has numbers snaking around it. You will see lots of game tiles which are about 5cm square (I might be a little off with that measurement as I haven't got a ruler on me). Then you will also see some great little playing pieces which are wooden people in red, black, green, yellow and blue. You have not got a huge game board however which was the first thing my friend asked when we were playing - where's the board.
Ok so now this is what you have to do, you place all of the game tiles face down and in little piles across a table. You will need to play this game on a table or a hard and stable surface. You each choose a colour team and have all the wooden pieces in that colour. You put one on the scoring board ready to take score and the rest you keep by you.
Now the idea of the game is to get points. Each player in turn takes a game tile and places it in the centre of the table. Now every time you have a new game tile you should be able to place it next to a tile on the table. Therefore as you can imagine you are creating a huge game board out of the tiles.
As you are going along you can choose to play your pieces. The game board has roads, castles, grass, rivers and cloisters. The players can all mean different things and everything has to be completed so this is what they are;
Thieves - You place a piece on a road and then when the road is complete you can earn points.
Cloisters - When you put a playing piece on a cloister you have to surround it with game tiles.
Knights - You put these in castles and then when your castle is completed you earn points.
Farms - You put your pieces on the grass and then when a castle is completed you get points.
Now these are just the basic rules and you will have to follow the rule booklets as there are quite a few ways in which points cannot be scored or you have to share points with an opponent. It is however a strategy game as you really have to think about the game tiles and how you will complete things to get points as it's not that easy.
What I have found with this game is that it can go on for a couple of hours if you have some players who really like to debate things but we usually play a game within an hour or just over. It really gets your thinking caps on which is better than the games you literally throw the dice and move. It is also highly competitive as you will find people trying to steal your points and stop you from getting any at all by making things harder to complete.
Carcassonne is a great game and has been enjoyed by all of my family and friends we have introduced it to. We love it and you can even buy expansion packs for it now. We have only got the river one which extends the board but we will be looking to get the cathedrals one when we can to make the game even harder and more competitive.
I would recommend this game for any age although it can be tricky and I think you can pick it up now for about £15 which is a bargain for how many times you will play it. Definitely worth it!
Thanks for reading.
Carcassonne is quick and easy to learn as there are few concepts to get the hang of, but it is difficult to master. We have played dozens of games, mainly two player. It works very well with two players which is quite rare as many games that claim to work with two are much better with more players. Carcassonne, however, has slightly different tactics when played with different numbers of players, but is equally good with any number.
Two player games can be very cut-throat, attempting to steal one anothers cities and farms, and block one anothers pieces on the board. With more players you often get two players teaming up to add to and share points for a feature.
The game consists of lots of square tiles that must be placed one at a time to build up an area of cities, roads, farms and cloisters. The tiles can be placed anywhere as long as the sides match up, for example city section to city section. Points are gained when you finish a road or city you control or surround a cloister with other tiles. Farms are the tricky bit to get the hang of and are the reason most new players will not win their first game as they underestimate their importance. There are two sets of rules for scoring farmers, which change the tactics somewhat. Check out www.boardgamegeek.com for more info.
I have played scores of games and it is still one of our favouite two player games. As the tiles come out in a different order you always end up with a different game and the best decision is not always obvious. The basic games plays quite quickly (around 30 mins) but we also play with the 'Traders and Builders' and 'Inns and Cathedrals' expansions. These add to the number and variety of tiles and make for a longer more interesting game. We have also tried 'Princess and the Dragon' and 'The Tower' but didn't like these; they introduced too much of a random element.
For me, board games are a great way of relaxing and having fun with friends or family. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoy computer games too, but even the best multiplayer games don't have the same relaxed social interaction of board games, and Carcassonne is one of the better games out there.
- Key Facts -
Type of game: Tile laying
Number of players: 2-5
Price: approx £15-£20
- About the Game -
Rather than having a single board, Carcassonne is made up of lots and lots of cardboard tiles, each about 2 or 3 inches square. The tiles each contain some or all of the following: roads, rivers, fields, cities, monasteries. As well as the tiles, you get a 8 coloured wooden followers each. The idea of the game is that players take it in turns to lay a tile adjacent to another tile already laid down by another player. The tiles must match up however, so if you place your tile next to a tile that has a road running upto the edge of the tile, your tile must continue that road. Likewise a section of a city must link up with another city section etc. Think of it a bit like dominoes - two adjacent sides that link up must be the same.
When placing a tile, you can place a follower (one of your playing pieces) on that tile if you wish, either on a section of road, city, field or monastery. You will then get points when that city, road etc is complete.
The aim of the game is to have the most points at the end of the game. You do this by building and completing cities, roads and monasteries, and having farmers in fields that have access to lots of cities.
The game is one of both skill and luck. Choosing where to place tiles and how to use your followers to gain the most points involves skill, and experience of having played a few games already helps. You still rely somewhat on luck however, as each turn you draw a tile at random to play that turn. While no tiles are obviously much better than any other, you will need certain tiles at different points throughout the game to complete your cities, roads, or monasteries and particularly towards the end of the game, if you don't draw the right type of tiles you will be stuck with unfinished cities or roads at the end of the game, which reduces your score.
The game ends when all tiles have been played and none are left to draw. The winner is the person with the most points.
- Why I Like It -
Carcassonne has quite simple rules and is quick and easy to learn, but there's quite a lot of scope for strategising and thinking carefully over your turns to maximise your points and try to win the game. The tiles and playing pieces are quite visually appealing too, making it a nice game to play. I also like it because it's just as good (if not better) as a two player game as it is with more players, so I can play with my wife and have a good game without needing to have friends round. Finally, unlike many games you don't know who has won until the game is over, which keeps players interested throughout.
- What's this about expansions? -
One of the great things about Carcassonne is the fact that it has quite a few different expansions that are available to buy for it. These range from small expansion which just contain a few different tiles, to larger expansions that significantly expand the gameplay. So if you get bored of the original game or fancy a change, you can just spend a few quid and get an expansion or two. A few of the expansions are as follows:
Inns & Cathedrals - this contains a number of extra tiles on with inns or cathedrals - these allow you to get extra points. There's also one large follower per player (which doubles the points for the city/road etc that that follower is on), scoring tiles and enough playing pieces to allow a sixth player to join in.
Traders & Builders - This includes a variety of extra pieces including traders, which allow players to get more points; builders, which allow players to lay an extra tile; and pigs which enhance the value of farms/fields.
King & Scout - This expands the gameplay so that players are rewarded for building the biggest city or the longest road.
Princess & Dragon - this adds some magical fantasy-esque elements to the gameplay.
- Where to Buy From -
Carcassonne is not a game you'll find in most high street stores (don't get me started on the poor selection of games available in the big stores) so your best bet is the internet - though the game is often on sale in Waterstones stores around Christmas. On the internet, Amazon stock the main game, as do specialist board game sites such as Infinity Games UK (iguk.co.uk), and Games Lore (gameslore.com), who will also sell the expansions.
- Where can I learn more? -
If you are interested and want to learn more, you can view a pdf copy of the rules at the following address. This is provided by Rio Grande Games, the manufacturers of Carcassonne. The document also contains pictures showing the tiles and playing pieces so you can get a better idea of how the game looks.
- Summary -
A great game, easy to learn but very absorbing to play. It is a really good 2 player game, but can be played with upto 5 players.
I'd never heard of this game, just spotted it in a shop one day and thought it looked like fun. I love 'world building' games like Civilisation and thought it sounded a bit like a simplified version of that so decided to give it a go.
The basic idea of the game is to lay tiles along a river, creating (or discovering) the layout of the land around it and claiming for yourself those pieces of land which you think will be most useful to you and which will score you the most points.
The tiles are shuffled and placed face down, with each player taking a turn to draw from the pile and place their tile on the map. You then get a chance to 'claim' the land on the tile you have just placed by putting one of your playing pieces on it. This is, however, quite strategic as you cannot choose to claim an area that is already occupied by another piece. Once you do occupy a piece you need to concentrate on increasing the value of it before the end of the game. As value is added by the size of an area, but also by having it completed (for example, a completed building is worth much more than a bigger, half finished one) there are some difficult decisions to make about size vs. completion as the game goes on, and an incomplete area can tie up a playing piece which could have been put to better use later in the game.
As the tiles are randomly drawn and have to be fitted together in a logical order (the sides have to match, a bit like dominoes) there is no way to guarantee that you will be able to finish something you've started and the point scoring during the game becomes quite a balancing act, while the final count at the end can prove quite surprising and change everything for a clever player.
All round this is a great, fun game with enough variation to stay interesting for multiple plays. It's quite short (about 30 minutes to an hour), simple enough for anyone to learn (I'd recommend it for ages about 8 years and up) and can be played equally in a mixed group. There are also some optional expansions which can be added to the original game to shake things up a little and add some interest.
Carcassone is a tile based game for 2 to 5 players. The game begins with one tile being laid and the other tiles being shuffled and placed in a pile face down. The next player then picks a tile and lays it next to the original so that the features of both tiles match up. For example: if the first tile is the middle of a city, the second must be laid with part of a city connected to the first tile. Tiles can contain parts of cities, fields, roads, junctions or churches. Once a tile has been laid the player can place a 'follower' - a small wooden figure - on any part of the tile that has just been laid and that player then becomes the owner of that feature e.g. road, city, field or church. The aim of the game is to claim as much territory as possible by the time that all tiles have been laid. It is not as simple as it first seems as territories owned by different players may link up over the course of the game - such as separate fields joining together through tiles placed between them - and in this case the player with the most followers in the territory owns it or if they have equal numbers two or more players share the points for the territory. Carcassone is a very tactical game and I wouldn't recommend it for younger children as it may be boring to them. I would suggest that if you enjoy strategy games such as chess you may enjoy Carcassone but it can be quite a long game so make sure you leave plenty of time to play it.
This is an old style game, played face to face round a table. No fancy graphics, no consoles, no avatars. Perhaps not the most promising idea for family entertainment in a digital age. Yet Carcassonne is actually strangely compelling - our family received it for Christmas and, after the first game, didn't want to stop playing.
Carcassonne is a game of strategy. The concept is simple. The idea is to build up a "map" of a medieval region showing fields, roads, cities and cloisters, by placing tiles adjacent to each other. If you complete a city, road or cloister, and have claimed it by placing one of your followers on it, you win points. You can also win points by claiming the farms around the cities which are scored at the end of the game by the number of completed cities they are adjacent to. Followers are knights (within cities), thieves (on roads), priests (in cloisters) and farmers (on fields) and each player only has 7 for the game so part of the skill is to decide when and where to place them to get the most points.
The game starts with a particular tile being placed on the table. Each player then places a tile from the deck and places it so it adjoins one of the existing tiles, so that all elements on the growing map are continued. Once a player has placed a tile, s/he has the option to place one of their followers on the tile. As the map builds up, players have to make strategic decisions about how to use their followers and place their tiles to maximise their points. These are complicated by the fact that farms are only scored at the end of the game (when all tiles have been placed) so players have to judge how profitable their farms might become.
It is a simple game but quite addictive and lots of fun. Games are fast moving and can be finished in under an hour. But I bet you can't play just once....
In this fairly light tile-laying game, players pull a tile from the deck and place it against a played tile. If you create a new object (a city, a road or a farm), then you control it. If you complete an object you score based on how developed it is.