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Possibly the BEST tile-laying family strategy gamers game ever, CARCASSONNE has been blessed with many Expansions (at least 10 that I have heard of) and a few Stand-Alone Editions.

This page is our opinions on the Expansions we have here at Games Gazette. Our views are our own based on playing the base game using each expansion and then playing again and again with first 2 expansions being used, playing so that we used one and another then dropping one and added the next, then dropping the second and reintroducing the first one dropped etc etc until we had played every possible combination. This naturally took a lot of time, and therefore these opinions have taken longer than intended to arrive online. Now that they are here, we hope that they may help you decide which expansions to look out for. All of the expansions been reproduced in new packaging, covers etc, in the last few years. I have shown the two boxes for #2 as it is probably our most favourite, especially as it slips neatly into every combination of Base Game plus Expansion/s we tried. At the end of this page - it is a long scrolling page by the way - is a fairly comprehensive list of just about all there is for Carcassonne the board game.

Some of the expansions contain draw-string bags for keeping the tiles safe, for the others I have made sure all pieces and tiles are placed in zip-loc bags.

 

 

 

INNS & CATHEDRALS: expansion set 1

So the first thing about this expansion is that it includes a new set of Meeples to add another player to the game making it a 6-Player game; these extra pieces are especially for lovers of the colour Pink and boy do they stand out, as do the Extra-Large Meeples which are placed as a 'single' follower but then while the game is going on they eat and drink their weight in grain and wine (found in the Trader & Builder set with which they are good to play alongside with and the Base set) so that by scoring they count as TWO normal followers, at least for Roads (to be honest they are so fat by this time they find it hard to straddle the roads), Cities, Cloister, in or not in a City and Farms.

My rules for this expansion are from the BIG BOX edition of the game and not a direct translation of the German rules booklet that comes with the game, thus my interpretation of using this on its own (with the base set - it isn't a stand-alone game) is only based on the brief notes found online about the Inns & Cathedrals expansion, and they are very, very brief.

The back page of these rules has a picture-list of the tiles in the box, two of solo Cloisters and one of each other tile type (which I am not going to list here - there is a long enough list of Carcassonne games at the end of this page to want to include any more lists.

INNS & CATHEDRALS, at least using these brief Big Box rules, is a good expansion to add in with almost any other expansion.

 

 

TRADERS & BUILDERS the 2nd Expansion

The new Tile Count is 24: The new additions are Wine (Barrels) x 9, Grain x 6, Cloth x 5, Empty x 4. The Player Pieces are:6 wooden Farmers and 6 wooden Piglets.
There are Tokens (aka Chits) to match every Tile except the empty tiles. 

When a City is completed, the player who played the last piece to finish it (the City) gains 1 Goods Chit from the Supply next to the board for each Resource icon/Goods symbol showing in the entire City - note that it is the player who places the tile that completes the City and is not decided by the player with the most Knights in the City.

Traders & Builders is good to add to the Basic game but does hold up play if you include it with other expansions as well, in fact the holding up or lengthening of play is pretty much a regular occurrence when adding any more than one expansion at the same time. We have tried with three and four, even five expansions added to the basic game and to be perfectly honest it is a blooming nightmare, a sprawl that gets out of control quickly and that once chaos has set in the game is lost as far as fun goes. There are some interesting combinations amongst the tiles but you are bound to get as many arguments about the such subjects as the legitimacy of playing a tile and which additional rule should take precedence.

Serious gamers should however enjoy the challenge of the Basic game + Traders & Builders + Inns & Cathedrals.

 
 
 

PRINCESS & the DRAGON 3rd expansion

The PRINCESS & the DRAGON brings with it 30 new landscape tiles: Cloister (1) Cloister in City (1) Tunnel (1)  Volcano (6)  Princess (6)  Magic Portal (6) Dragon (7) City with Shield (1) and Village (1)
There is also one Wooden Dragon (Red) and one sad looking Fairy figure (sorry but it either looks like it could maybe, perhaps, just be a Wizard, but it's more like that little 'Star' that used to dance around in the Gas Adverts like a small blue flame.
The Volcanoes allow the Dragon to be movedand land on another Volcano space, the Dragon stops once the last Volcano tile has been laid. The Princess has been known to be so admired that one soldier will leave his post and go home.
Not my favourite expansion, a bit too fussy and not particularly adding much fun to the game. The Tunnel is a good idea and perhaps should have been used more, perhaps in the main game and definitely in some of the later expansions.

  

 

 

SHEEP & HILLS  expansion #09

This version caused numerous arguments to begin with here at GGO because some of the tiles end where walls should neet at an 'almost' point but instead end at the edge of the tile making it look like extra walled areas can be placed legally against the 'pointy edge' and continue the same field. In fact the whole set, each tile stamped with the shadowy imprint of a Sheep (the Circus has a Big Top, Inns & Cathedrals has a Meeple and the Princees & Dragon has a Fairy), is a little off-kilter as the roads do not always align correctly.

These minor irreverences do not need to cloud your playing of the game and SHEEP & HILLS, if you accept that the mis-alignment is just accidental and that the walls really do end at the edge of the tiles, is a good set to play with the Basic set and is enjoyable with the base set and the Traders & Builders mixed, making a three set game. After playing, it is best to sort out the tiles, by their imprints or lack of such, before putting the game away - it doesn't take that long to sort when you end the game, but if you wait and cram it all into one box then the next time you go to play you could have a good wait while sorting the tiles back into the boxes.

With the 16 Sheep Tokens and the 2 Wolf Tokens we were all quite surprised that there were no Sheepdog Tokens or Doggie Meeples. The Meeples are Shepherds (sorry I can't help it but every time I see them with one arm raised they remind me of the Status Quo 'Hello!' LP cover.

 

 

CARCASSONNE: the CIRCUS  10th expansion
This is a comparatively mall expansion which we have found is best played with just the Basic Set and then only occasionally. We found it adds unnecessary breaks in play for scoring whenever a Circus Tent (Big Top) tile is played. Each time one of the dozen Circus Tent tiles is placed a random animal token is placed face-down on the tent and the Big Top mini is moved from its current position onto the animal tile. After the first Tent tile has been played the Big Top will be moved off of an animal token. That token is now flipped over and all meeples positioned on its tile or in the surrounding 8 tiles score the value of the animal token.
Played with the Basic Game it works okay but if you try playing using it with one or more other expansions it cl;ogs the flow of the game and expands the playing time by quite a lot of extra additional looooong minutes.

 

CARCASSONNE: The CASTLE  (Carcassonne: Die Burg, 2003) 2-Players

This is not an expansion, in fact it is the building of the City within the Castle Walls. The score-track is set around the walls and as they players create parts of the city they score points and these are marked on the running track on the Castle Walls. Some parts of the walls give out bonuses which are a splendid twist to the regular scoring. Speaking of which, having the largest contiguous area of tiles that is incomplete actually also gets you a Bonus score.

There is also a beautiful version made of wood. Like the regualr version it is only for 2 players, but it is so nice to see the City being built in shiny wooden 3D. It might be expensive to buy now in some of the 'collectors' stores and shops but eBay and Sue Ryder have it at more than ridiculously super prices; from £6.00 upwards.

 

CARCASSONNE: NEW WORLD (Carcassonne: Mayflower, 2008)

When the last tile from the supply has been placed (or discarded) the game ends. Unlike many games, incomplete tracks and mountains score now, but not as well as they might have if completed during the game. This means that there is never a lost cause and that placing the last tile can always be beneficial if played to its best advantage. Our games are always fairly close. There is the odd, very occasional, game where someone strikes it lucky, but generally only a few points are the difference, and these games usually roll around the final scoring.

Everything about CARCASSONNE GOLD RUSH screams quality. It also suggests that after many years of designing the same game over and again (same meat different gravy as my mum would have said) a much better game has emerged. I would happily recommend Carcassonne Gold Rush to any and all board games players, be they hard core or family oriented. Some games "have it all" and Carcassonne Gold Rush is one of those games. It has Luck, Thought, Skill, Random, Clever Play plus Long Term and Short Term strategies. It is an extremely fine game that reflects what the Carcassonne game series is all about. 

CARCASSONNE: GOLD RUSH (Carcassonne: Goldrausch, 2014) 

In Carcassonne Gold Rush there are many options for players despite there only being three actions they can take per turn. The most interesting and possibly game winning action being when the player draws a Town tile. Towns have a number of exit routes, noted by railway lines. The player who places the Town may place a cowboy (Meeple) on the town in which case they will score immediate points when all exits from the town are completed, ie the tracks reach a junction, station or other town. This can result in a fair few points as the score is 3pts for each completed exit, that's up to 12 points depending on the Town. If the player has also taken control of the tracks (by placing cowboys astride them) then this can be extremely lucrative, points-wise.

When the last tile from the supply has been placed (or discarded) the game ends. Unlike many games, incomplete tracks and mountains score now, but not as well as they might have if completed during the game. This means that there is never a lost cause and that placing the last tile can always be beneficial if played to its best advantage. Our games are always fairly close. There is the odd, very occasional, game where someone strikes it lucky, but generally only a few points are the difference, and these games usually roll around the final scoring.

Everything about CARCASSONNE GOLD RUSH screams quality. It also suggests that after many years of designing the same game over and again (same meat different gravy as my mum would have said) a much better game has emerged. I would happily recommend Carcassonne Gold Rush to any and all board games players, be they hard core or family oriented. Some games "have it all" and Carcassonne Gold Rush is one of those games. It has Luck, Thought, Skill, Random, Clever Play plus Long Term and Short Term strategies. It is an extremely fine game that reflects what the Carcassonne game series is all about. 

CARCASSONNE: STAR WARS (Carcassonne: Star Wars, 2015) 

Carcassonne: Star Wars combines the visual excitement of Star Wars with the  adventiurous boardgame Carcassonne.

In many ways it is a simplified version, almost a child/family edition, using many of the basic rules but with some minor naming differences: Trading Routes instead of Roads, Robbers by Merchants, Asteroid Fields replace Cities, Explorers instead of Knights, Planets instead of Cloisters and Conquerers instead of Monks.
There are Empire, Rebel Alliance and Bounty Hunter factions which provide scoring bonuses regardless of what faction your Meeples belong to. In typical Knizia manner, though this is still a Klaus-Jürgen Wrede game, majority control is determined by die roll, the highest result on a single die, not the accumulated total deciding the winner; one die per Meeple involved in the conflict - LARGE Meeples count as plus one Meeples as do Faction symbols but overall only 3 Bonus dice may be accumulated per affray.

This is a really good way to play Carcassonne especially if you haven't played any of the high fantasy/medieval versions - it's also great if you have played any of the boxed versions with/without expansions. Unfortunately you don't get to cross 3D light-sabres or blow up any planets or world killers but you do have a lot of fun in the Star Wars atmosphere that is brilliantly created in this game.

CARCASSONNE: Android Digital Edition  PC & Phone

Play is fast and the "easy" AI is smarter than average, it rarely makes any sort of mistake in placing, often preferring to put a tile in a "safe" position rather than play it where it might be of use to you later. In both digital versions you begin with no cards in your hand, and never get to hold any, and six Meeples. Once all of your Meeples are on the board you can only get them back by completing the scoring area or road you have placed them in. It is imperative to get your Meeples into play but there is a delicate balance between grabbing the odd few points for placing them and picking them up again in the same turn, which you can do if you complete a road or plains (or, at certain times, any area to be fair), and positioning them on the board so that they score large amounts on the final tally - large areas of City buildings bringing in the majority of points.

As a fan of CARCASSONNE I was a little dubious about how it would play digitally and I have to say that any doubts I had were ill-founded; it plays very well and is bright, colourful and enjoyable. I would happily suggest that other fans of this boardgame get themselves a digital copy, probably for the phone rather than the PC because it is a great game to carry around with you, especially if yuou have a long car or train journey - I didn't mention plane journeys because there is usually either a good film to watch onboard or the Captain keeps telling you to switch off electricals incase you crash the plane and we certainly don't  want that to happen no matter how good CARCASSONNE digital is.

TRY TO REMEMBER THEM ALL: I cannot comment on many of these as I haven't even seen a lot of them, let alone played them (even I cannot play every game, though I try my best and hardest to) but if you are planning on collecting the full set here's as many as I can find. Some are in very small boxes and usually contain a small number of tiles and so I have been told, on rare occasion another one or two wooden pieces (you'll have to check the validity of that information). Right here we go, eyes down and look in!!

"Inns and Cathedrals" ("Wirtshäuser und Kathedralen", 2002)(2015 New Edition)
"Traders and Builders" ("Händler und Baumeister", 2003)(2015 New Edition)
"The Princess and the Dragon" ("Burgfräulein und Drache", 2005)(2016 New Edition)
"The Tower" ("Der Turm", March 2006)(2016 New Edition)  Carcassonne Minis (2012) 

Carcassonne — The Flying Machines (Carcassonne — Die Fluggeräte)
Carcassonne — The Messengers (Carcassonne — Die Depeschen)
Carcassonne — The Ferries (Carcassonne — Die Fähren)
Carcassonne — The Gold Mines (Carcassonne — Die Goldminen)
Carcassonne — Mage & Witch (Carcassonne — Magier & Hexe)
Carcassonne — The Robbers (Carcassonne — Die Räuber)
Carcassonne — Corn Circles II (Carcassonne – Die Kornkreise)
Carcassonne — The Watchtower (Carcassonne — Die Wachtürme, 2014)
Carcassonne — The Fruit-bearing Trees (Carcassonne — Die Obstbäume, 2018)  

"Abbey and Mayor" ("Abtei und Bürgermeister", October 2007)(2016 New Edition)
"Count, King & Robber" ("Graf, König und Konsorten", 2008)(2017 New Edition)
"The Catapult" ("Das Katapult", 2008)
"Bridges, Castles & Bazaars" ("Brücken, Burgen und Basare", February 2010)(2018 New Edition)   
"Hills & Sheep" ("Schafe und Hügel", June 2014)(2018 New Edition)
"Under the Big Top" ("Manege Frei", March 2017)  (aka 'Circus edition')

Carcassonne — The River (Carcassonne — Der Fluss, 2001)
Carcassonne – King and Scout (Carcassonne – König und Späher, 2003)
Carcassonne – The Cathars (Carcassonne – Die Katharer, 2004)
The Count of Carcassonne (Der Graf von Carcassonne, 2004)
Carcassonne — The River II (Der Fluss II, November 2005)
Carcassonne – The Mini-Expansion (Winter 2006) 
Carcassonne – The Cult (Carcassonne – Die Kultstätte, 2007) 
Carcassonne — Tunnel (Carcassonne – Der Tunnel, 2009) 
Car cassonne – Crop Circles (Carcassonne – Die Kornkreise, 2010)
Carcassonne – The Plague (Carcassonne – Die Pest, 2010)
Carcassonne — The School (Carcassonne — Die Schule, 2011) 
Carcassonne — The Festival (Carcassonne — Das Fest, 2011) (2016 New Edition - 15th Anniversary)
Carcassonne — The Phantom (Carcassonne — Das Gefolge, 2011) 

Travel Carcassonne 2007
Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers (Carcassonne: Die Jäger und Sammler, 2002)
Carcassonne: The Castle (Carcassonne: Die Burg, 2003)
Carcassonne: The City (Carcassonne: Die Stadt, 2004)
Carcassonne: The Discovery (Carcassonne: Neues Land, 2005)

New World: A Carcassonne Game (Carcassonne: Mayflower, 2008) 
My First Carcassonne (Die Kinder von Carcassonne, 2009)

Cardcassonne (2009)
Carcassonne: The Dice Game, 2011 

Carcassonne: Winter Edition (2012)
Carcassonne: South Seas (Carcassonne: Südsee, 2013)
Carcassonne: Gold Rush (Carcassonne: Goldrausch, 2014)
Carcassonne: Over Hill and Dale (Carcassonne: Über Stock und Stein, 2015) 
Carcassonne: Star Wars (Carcassonne: Star Wars, 2015) 
Carcassonne: Amazonas (2016)

Carcassonne Big Box 1
Carcassonne Cult, Siege, and Creativity (2008) 
Carcassonne Big Box 2 (2008, 2009) 
Carcassonne Big Box 3 (2010, 2011)
Carcassonne 10th anniversary edition (2011)
Carcassonne Big Box 4 (2012)
Carcassonne Big Box 5 (2014)
Carcassonne Big Box 6 (2017) 

 
© Chris Baylis 2011-2015