Cassie reviews tabletop board game Carcassonne for What Happens in Gaming. Carcassonne has established itself in the tabletop and board gaming world and is an easy game to learn, but tricky to master. The game is named after the fortified town Carcassonne in Southern France. With several board game expansions, mobile and PCs games all part of the Carcassonne franchise the growth and development of the game world is unlikely to slow.
30 – 45 Minutes
A large table or playing space
Name of The Game
Carcassonne is a staple in tabletop/board gaming. It has won the Spiel Des Jahre’s (Game of the Year award. Though you can have up to 5 players -it is one of those rare games that accommodate larger groups that also works well for 2 players.
The gameplay is simple; Each turn you lay a land tile, based on a medieval landscape based on the French town of Carcassonne.
How to Play
The object of the game is to get the most points and win.
The game starts with placing the starting tile which has a dark back. It looks different from the rest of the tiles. Note, if you have the river and abbots’ expansion, you’ll have 12 tiles with dark backs but only one without a river on it. That’s your starting tile.
Lay Out A Scorecard
Put your meeple on the scorecard, the game progresses, and players earn points as they move along the scorecard.
The game we played included the mini-expansion, the river and the abbot expansions.
You take 3 actions
- You must place a tile
- You may place a meeple onto the tile just placed.
- Any feature that’s completed must be scored.
The edges of the tiles must match, they also can’t be placed just anywhere, we aren’t savages. The tiles must be placed next to a previously placed tile, and the sides must match.
You could place a meeple on a tile that you have just placed.
Depending on where it is placed a meeple can be the highwayman on a road.
You can place a meeple on a coat of arms to make a knight if there is not a knight already in the city
Once a city is completed, then you can score it.
Placing a meeple on a monastery makes it… you guessed it…a monk.
Sore any completed feature as soon as it is done. Farmers are scored at the end of the game.
Views of the Game
I won’t go through all the scoring etc. because it is covered within the game. So, although Carcassonne is straight-forward once you know how to play. The decision-making aspect of the game is not overly complicated, but it does involve being somewhat strategic and having to think about how to place meeples for optimum points but also have enough to continue scoring throughout the game.
It comes up high as a suggested game for players new to tabletop-gaming (gateway game). It is so popular that it has over 10 expansions.
I would say that it is one of my favourites and my go-to board game for a chilled-out session, the artwork is beautiful and the endless opportunity for replay.
Reviewed by Cassandra Marcus-Hughes
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