The second article in the Carcassonne series will give you a few insights about the many available expansions that you can get for it.
For the sanity of the reader, and most probably for my own, I will mostly cover some of the large expansions, since there are at least 12 sets you can add to your base game… Every one of them with new tiles and new pieces that will make your game even more enjoyable than it already is!
So, keep on reading to see what kind of new plans you can manage to create.
First of all, we have to give a good thumbs up to the fact that every expansion is compatible with each other. You will start with 71 tiles from the base game and 40 followers to be able to play up to 5 people. If you add one expansion (Traders & Builders for example), you have just added 24 new tiles along with new pieces that are used by the features of that particular expansion and if you continue adding expansions like Inns & Cathedrals, The Princess & the Dragon, and The Tower you will end up with 137 tiles and the ability to play with a sixth player… That is almost the double of turns you had from the base name, without even yet thinking about using the special features of all THOSE other expansions!
Large vs Small
Expansions can be considered basically in two sizes… Small ones add few features to your game, or maybe some special tiles so you can go little by little tweaking your game and improving the landscape of your new randomly generated kingdom.
Large expansions usually include some features that might greatly affect the way you are used to play Carcassonne, adding some very interesting features that have absolutely nothing to do with how the game was first conceived like a catapult, with which you can actually toss things around when the game demands it, but please, keep it out from the reach of children.
So, let’s go to what is important… Expansion details!
Includes: 18 tiles, large followers and pieces for a sixth player.
The real purpose of this expansion is to add those so needed pieces to play with a sixth person. It also includes Inns, which are structures you can use with your roads and thieves in order to get more points when you finish a segment, and Cathedrals which will greatly improve the points of your cities when you are able to keep it from being taken by another player.
Includes: 24 tiles, pigs and builder figures and goods tokens.
This expansion will add a complete new factor when speaking about points and cities. The tiles included in this box will give you the chance to collect different goods (cloth, grain or wine) when completing cities. At the end of the game, the player with most of the same kind of good will get 10 extra points while leaving the others with nothing at all.
As for the pig and builder, you can use them to provide more points with your farms (pig) or to improve the speed at which you build your cities!
Includes: 30 tiles, a fairy and dragon figures.
If you taught the game was competitive before, wait until you add this expansions to your set. In this expansion you will have the chance to play tiles with princesses, by which you can actually move followers from other players making them leave their cities (stupid knights looking to rescue princesses…) or “eat” their followers by playing dragon tiles which will make the dragon appear and move through six different terrains taking any follower in its path.
With this one you also add some magic elements to the game thanks to gates that allow you to claim unoccupied tile in the game or play a fairy with which you may protect some of your unfortunate followers.
Includes: 18 tiles and 30 tower pieces.
What is a city without… towers! With this expansion you will be able to add a 3D depth to your kingdom by placing towers to use as cells for your enemies followers and then exchange them for your own when someone else has done the same to you.
While taller the tower, more is the range available for you to “capture” those mischievous followers trying to sneak around your city…
Includes: 12 Tiles, a wooden catapult and catapult tokens.
Did you want to have the chance to siege the cities of your enemies? Then, this expansion is NOT for you!
What you will get in this set, is the chance of starting different fairs which will let the players play with the catapult to perform different actions depending on the token chosen by the one who started the fair. If you launch the token correctly, you will be able to remove followers, swap followers, or get points for shooting at other players… yes, other players!
Includes: 8 tiles and 1 dice.
With this small expansion, you have the ability to actually send one of your followers flying over the field based on the dice and the tile being played.
Includes: 8 tiles and 8 ferries.
With this expansion in your set, you will be able to play tiles which have lakes on it, and with those lakes you can place a ferry. What this does, is that you can change the pattern of a road to your advantage (or to the disadvantage of your opponent) by moving the ferry that has already been placed by following the rules of the expansion.
The Mage & the Witch
Includes: 8 tiles, 1 violet mage figure and 1 orange witch figure.
This expansion allows you to play two different figures in order to add (mage) or subtract (witch) points from the feature being built.
As you could already see, there is more than meets the eye when speaking of Carcassonne. There are many more expansions (both large and small) that I didn’t speak about here that can still improve your game.
I believe it is nice that a game as simple as this can get the level of depth that you actually feel like having… so go ahead and give it a try to those nasty princesses that keep taking your knights out of their posts!