A tile-laying challenge
Carcassonne is a tile-laying game that is based on the southern French city Carcassonne, which is quite famous for its unique Roman and Medieval battlements.
The game was designed by Klaus-Jurgen Wrede and was released in the year 2000. Since its publication, it has been nominated and has won many awards and accolades, it won the Spiel des Jahres in 2001.
The game earned its place in many board game collections and became a gateway game for many people who weren’t into board games.
Since it was launched, many expansions have been made to the base game, which adds various new tiles and gameplay. Carcassonne can be played with 2 to 5 players, within 45 minutes and has simple gameplay.
Send your followers into the city
Players deploy their limited followers to best control the landscape and, as the area expands with roads, fields, cities and cloisters, score as many points as possible. Using followers as thieves, farmers, knights and monks, the wise player will plan his moves carefully and deploy followers when and where he can earn the most points.
Simple, yet strategic
A simple, clever tile laying game that brings new challenges with every turn, Carcassonne can be played and enjoyed by the whole family, as well as within a gaming group or with new players. Carcassonne is easy to learn and creates enough tension to keep all players involved and waiting for the next tile to appear.
In this game, the players create an ever-expanding section of southern France, tile by tile. The tiles depict a combination of cloisters, cities, grasslands, and roads.
Every player has several meeples that they can place on the tile to score points. The victory points are scored in different ways, which depend on the piece of the landscape on which the meeple is placed.
Carcassonne has a simple setup. You place the starting tile face up in the middle of the play area.
The remaining game tiles are placed face down on the side, and every player gets a set of meeples. When a player has his turn, a tile is drawn from the face-down stack of tiles at random.
What happens next?
This tile should then be placed next to an existing tile using a simple set of rules, i.e., cities connected to cities, roads connected to roads, grasslands connected to grasslands, and so on.
The moment the tile is placed; the player can then choose to place a meeple on that tile. The landscape on which the meeple is placed will depend on how they will score.
A meeple is classed as a thief when it is placed on a road, a knight when placed on a city, a farmer on grassland, and a monk on a sanctuary.
The thief, monk, and knight stay on the board till their respective areas are completed, at this point, they get the victory points and are then returned to the player to be used on subsequent turns.
Cities are completed when they are surrounded by walls, and no gaps are there inside the city. Knights score 2 points per city tile or 4 points if the city tile shows a shield.
The roads are complete when they have a start and end location represented by either a city or a village or when the roads connect to themselves, forming a loop. The thief scores 1 point for every tile that makes up the road.
That’s interesting, what’s more?
When a sanctuary is surrounded by 8 other tiles, the monk gets 9 victory points.
Farmers work a little differently to the thief, monk, and knight, as these three stays on the board till the end of the game and contribute to the final scores. The area control aspect of Carcassonne is made up by the farmers.
Just like other meeples, only 1 farmer can be placed on the connected grasslands at any time. A field may consist of any number of continued grassland spaces that aren’t separated by cities or roads. Each completed city that a farmer has connected to scores 3 victory points at the end of the game.
The game continues in this manner till all the tiles have been used. Every player adds to the same growing map, and at any time, only 1 meeple can be added to any section of landscape. But the dilemma comes when the meeples are placed on the tiles.
As every player gets a limited number of meeples and they can soon run short. The monk, thief, and knight cannot be returned until the area is completed, and the farmers stay on the board till the end of the game.
A player can get quick points by completing cities, roads, and cloisters, or they can go for a long term strategy with the farmers. Though just 1 meeple can be placed on a location at a time, smart placement of tiles can help players to compete for points at the same location.
The same goes for the thief and farmer. The competition between farmers can be serious as big points can be won by having the most farmers in a field, especially when the field is connected to many castles.
A BOARD GAME WORTH PLAYING
Carcassonne, though, is a simple game with minimal components, it still offers some strategic and tough decisions which balance short term victory points with the victory points at the end of the game.
In every turn, the player gets just one tile, which has to be placed to optimise each move. The game is exciting enough to be played again and again.
Though the tiles are the same, they create a unique pattern every time the game is played, as they are picked randomly each time.
What’s included with Carcassonne?
- 72 Land tiles
- 12 River tiles
- 40 followers in 5 colours
- 5 abbots in 5 colours
- 1 scoreboard
- 1 rulebook
- 1 supplementary sheet