Author Topic: Carcassonne  (Read 510 times)


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« on: July 10, 2022, 16:49:41 »
Carcassonne is a game that we've been playing for nearly 20 years and is still a great one. The rules have changed slightly over the years, with different scoring rules for farmers between how we originally learned and official rules in versions 1, 2, and 3, and my wife got confused and frustrated to the point where she didn't want to play for a while. Eventually, I found that the official rules in version 3 were most similar to way we intuitively played initially and she was happy to play again. Many years ago I wrote a review of it on my website, so for anyone unfamiliar with this game, here is my original review.

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I've had Carcassonne for a few months now. Since my birthday in September we've been playing Carcassonne quite often. Although I have developed some good methods in playing, I'm not unbeatable. (I like to think it's because my wife has caught onto my methods.) The game does have a random element that might turn people off - drawing tiles. I like to think of it as a game of odds though, since you can look at the available tile positions and figure whether or not you have a chance at getting the specific tile (or tiles) that you need to complete what you're building.

For those completely unfamiliar with the game, Carcassonne is named after a French city. You are building up the land with roads, cities, cloisters (monasteries), and surrounding farmland. You draw a tile on your turn and match it up with tiles that currently exist on the table - roads with roads, cities with cities, and fields with fields.

After placing a tile you have the option to place one of your 7 followers on that tile, possibly as a knight (in the city), a thief (on the road), a monk (in a cloister), or as a farmer (in the field). The knights, thieves, and monks have the potential of returning back to you in order to score during the game and for placing again. Farmers, on the other hand, are permanently placed until the end of the game. Farmers are the biggest gamble for points because if you place them too early they could potentially cost you some quick points and if you try to place them too late in the game you might not find a suitable space to get the big points.

Only one follower is allowed to be placed in any one area, so normally if you don't get in first you won't get it at all. Fortunately, for some players, you may find a way to place your follower in an area that is not connected to anything else yet and then throughout the course of the game you may connect them. In that case, whichever player has more followers in an area gets all the points for it. If there is a tie both players get the same points when that area is scored.

In the end of the game, after every tile has been placed, the players will score any areas that haven't been scored yet (for less points than if the areas had been completed) and then the farms will be scored. The player with the most points wins.

As many times as I've played this game with family and friends, I still haven't gotten bored of it. Carcassonne has actually replaced The Settlers Of Catan for us in some ways. Overall, I highly recommend this to anyone interested in a solid strategy game that is welcoming for families and strategy gamers alike.

Last night we played Carcassonne again for the first time in months, even though it was one of our most played games during 2021. We used The River to start us off, and Beth was the first player. I played 2nd and Isaac was 3rd around the table. We all started going for farmers pretty early in the game, but after putting two farmers in myself, Isaac had 4 farmers on the table and it looked like I was going to be cut out of any benefits there, so I switched up my strategy to focus on everything other the farmers. I got lots of points with the Knights, even completing a city with Beth, a few Monks, and had "The Longest Road" (I joked that I was going for "The Largest Army" next) which earned 10 points for me in the end. In my earlier view of my farmers, I totally missed that they weren't completely cut out of the points and in the end Isaac and I tied for the largest farm land, but he was 1-point ahead of me going into that. It was a high scoring game for us, and still very close - Isaac won with 103, I had 102, and Beth had 95 points.
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