Summary of the game.
If you enjoy competitive games, in which you can use different tactics to achieve your goals, then Carcassonne is going to make a good addition to your collection.
In this title, up to 5 players (or 6 if you use expansions) take turns to play random pieces on the table in order to create each time a different board. These pieces might have different terrains (rivers, cities, roads, fields or cloisters) and then you might use one of your followers to try to take control of what is being built.
As the game progresses, you will fight for control of these different terrains in order to be the top scorer when the pieces for the board are depleted.
One of the funny parts is, when you are playing with more than 2 other players, that you don’t know who you are working for!
A simple round… Or not?
Carcassonne takes advantage of its sturdy cardboard pieces to provide you with many possibilities to play. Depending on how the board has advanced before your turn, you will have to take one piece and find the correct piece to continue building one of the maybe many cities that are still unfinished, or you can complete that long twisted road that will provide you with those extra points needed to win the game or you might even expand that farm that is supplying food to those 6 cities for that endgame boost you might need.
The complicated part is, especially later in the game, that you have to make your move in a way that fits perfectly all neighbour pieces and you have to make sure that you might have enough moves left to finish what you are doing… Basically, think carefully when placing your pieces or you might not be able to finish that 5 section city you were fighting for!
Knight, Thief, Farmer or Monk?
After making your move, you can chose to play one of the nicely crafted wooden followers in different parts of the piece you just played… If you place it in a city it becomes a knight, on a road it becomes a thief and in a field it becomes a farmer.
This adds extra complexity to your strategy, since you have to make sure to balance the usage of your followers to get points from those cities and roads that you and the other players have been building, but be careful with farmers, since those lazy guys will only give you points at the end!
Don’t you invade my thing!
On the competitive side, when you are trying to fight for possession of a structure, other players might try to steal your hard work for themselves! Just make sure that you have more followers than they have and you will be good to go… But be careful on how you try to impose yourself or you might end up losing ground on other fronts.
The perfect choice for…
Carcassonne is a very simple game to learn, but it might be a little difficult to master. If you like to play games where you don’t have to hide your moves and that you can openly fight with your friends, then this is the perfect game for you. And don’t be discouraged if it only allows 5-6 players, if you do a little couple party with this game and you make teams with couples you will be into a pretty entertaining night seeing not only how you can win the game, but also on seeing how they struggle deciding where to place the piece that they just took.
I also believe it is a very good game to play with children, especially if you are trying to make them enter this awesome world of board games, thanks to the different layout you will get from the board each time you play it, and for what I’ve seen, kids love the randomness of building a country from the ground.