A board game based on the act of forming the board of play with tiles, Carcassonne was created by Klaus-Jurgen Wrede and published by Hans in Gluck for German players and by Rio Grande Games and Z-Man Games for North American players. Carcassonne won Game of the Year Awards in Germany with the Spiel des Jahres and Deutscher Spiele Pres in 2001. Carcassonne is named after a fortified town in Southern France. The original game was designed for 2 to 5 players and normally takes 30 to 90 minutes to play.
The original game of Carcassonne contains 72 land tiles (including 1 starting tile that has a different back) which depict city, road and field segments and cloisters. The 12 river tiles that are also included are not used in a basic game. Carcassonne also contains 40 followers (Meeple Tokens) in 5 colors (blue, red, yellow, green and black), which can be used in 4 different roles. These followers are used as scoring markers for players to use on the 1 scoring track. You will also find a rule booklet and a summary sheet.
The starting tile is placed in the middle of the table. The other land tiles are then shuffled face-down and are stacked in several face-down stacks to allow easy access for all players. The scoring track is placed at one side of the table so that room is made for land tiles to be placed. Players will take 8 followers of their respective color and will place one as his or her scoring marker on the track. The other 7 followers will be used as supply for the players.
How to Play Carcassonne
Land tiles will be placed by players turn by turn. As the playing field develops the roads, cities, fields and cloisters will emerge and grow. Players can deploy their followers on these tiles to earn points. Scoring points occurs both during the game and at the end of the game. Play goes in clockwise order. On a turn a player performs the following actions in this order;
- The player must draw and place a new land tile on the table.
- The player can deploy 1 follower from the supply to the land tile that he or she just placed.
- If by placement that a segment gets completed, then the player can score points from a completed segment. After this the player’s turn ends and play goes to the next player.
Placing Land Tiles
When determining whether or not to play a land tile a player can show it to the other players, who are allowed to advise the player on what to do with the tile. The new land tile must be placed with at least edge being adjacent as well as abudding to one previously placed tile. A new tile cannot just be placed to touch another tile from corner to corner. Therefore all road, city, and field segments on the new tile continue to develop and then complete without making a mess. Cloisters are always complete on just one tile.
There are simple rules to follow when deploying followers on tiles. Only 1 follower can be deployed per turn, coming from a player’s supply. This follower must be deployed on the tile that has just been placed on the table. It also matters where a player places a follower since the follower can play 4 different roles. If a follower is placed in the city part of a tile, it will serve as a Knight. If a follower is placed on a road, then it will serve as a Thief. If a follower is placed on its side in the field, then it will serve as a Farmer. If a follower is placed in a cloister, then it will serve as a Monk.
A follower cannot be placed on a segment if it directly connects to a segment on another tile. Only 1 follower can be present in a single segment.
Completed Roads, Cities and Cloisters
A road is completed where segments on both ends connect to a crossing, a city segment, a cloister or if they make up a road that loops. If a follower is a Thief it will score 1 point for each tile that is part of the road loop. A completed road is worth 1 point per tile.
A completed city is surrounded by a city wall that has no gaps and no holes in the city. It is possible for more than 1 follower to occupy a completed city. Completed cities are worth 2 points per tile and another 2 points per pennant. A completed cloister is worth 1 point per tile and another point for each surrounding tile.
Whoever has the most points after the final scoring is tallied by all players will be declared the winner.
The use of strategy in Carcassonne depends on where you place your land tiles. No matter where tiles are played all players have to make the best of the situation that develops. Carcassonne is a fun board game where players can take as many different approaches as they wish to achieve victory. In fact Carcassonne is a game that has many expansion packs that players can use. Three great examples of fun expansion packs would be “The Tower”, “The Catapult” and “Hills and Sheep”. There isn’t a steep learning curve when playing Carcassonne for the first time. Once players get familiar with sound placement of land tiles, the game becomes more exciting as time goes on.