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79 of 80 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Caracassonne fun - with The Rivers pack too
Now basic Carcassonne has been around for over 10 years and is a fab game for all ages (well from 7 or 8 y.o. upwards). It is possibly one of the best "non mainstream" games out there right now (up there with Ticket to Ride Europe/Nordic and Forbidden Island/Pandemic). There are plenty of Carcassonne reviews elsewhere so I won't bore you with a repeat of them. One thing...
Published on 21 Nov 2012 by Adrian

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10 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Surely Over-Hyped?
I received this as a Xmas present and have since received the Inns & Cathedrals and Builders and Tradesmen expansion packs. My partner and I are backgammon addicts and both in our early sixties, so perhaps not the usual age profile for Carcassonne but we have an honourable background in games-playing. I've also visited the enchanting Cite of Carcassonne twice...
Published 11 months ago by Lionel Wall


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79 of 80 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Caracassonne fun - with The Rivers pack too, 21 Nov 2012
By 
Adrian "adrianjfrost" (Sheffield, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
= Durability:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:3.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Carcassonne Board Game (Toy)
Now basic Carcassonne has been around for over 10 years and is a fab game for all ages (well from 7 or 8 y.o. upwards). It is possibly one of the best "non mainstream" games out there right now (up there with Ticket to Ride Europe/Nordic and Forbidden Island/Pandemic). There are plenty of Carcassonne reviews elsewhere so I won't bore you with a repeat of them. One thing worth doing, if the game is new to you, is to watch a youtube tutorial before you play, there are 1 or 2 videos that explain the rules really well.

If you look carefully at the front of this particular Carcassonne box you will see it says "includes the Rivers" over the arch of the Castle. This means you are getting the latest 2012 Z-Man edition with 12 extra River Tiles, worth seeking out over the 'basic' game in my view. Although in late 2012 it isn't clear if the games without Rivers tiles are old stock or if there are now actually 2 variants of Carcassonne (The current Rio Grande version does not seem to have The River as far as I know).

So the good thing about this Carcassonne set (compared to the near identical looking blue box for pre-2012 Carcassonne) is the 12 River Tiles, which give you an expansion set - and so offers more variety of play right from the off. Once you get used to Carcassonne with the River, or you decide you want another expansion, then 'Inns and Cathedrals' is a really good next expansion which amends the rules a little and adds a 6th player (and can often be found for under a tenner).

One thing to be aware of, Carcassonne and the expansion sets have been available for many years and while they are all pretty much compatible, the colours can vary slightly. This can be more noticeable on the back of the tiles (this matters because most people stack the tiles face down while playing). If you find this does bother you then a tile bag is an easy solution. The (pricier) 'Traders and Builders' expansion even comes with a tile bag for that very purpose. As of late 2012 you will find Z-Man and Rio Grande expansions for Carcassonne, they (should) both contain the same stuff
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We rarely play anything else, 14 Jan 2014
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= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:3.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: Carcassonne Board Game (Toy)
Carcassonne is a truly wonderful game. Players take it in turns to place tiles and claim features such as cities, roads, cloisters and farms by choosing whether to deploy a follower from their supply each time they place a tile. Points are awarded when claimed features are completed depending on the size and type of feature, and any followers that occupied it are returned to their owners so that they can be reused elsewhere. The game continues as such until all tiles have been placed and a unique landscape has developed as a result.

It sounds simple and it is, but it can become very tactical and competitive once you've played a few games. Farms are slightly more complicated than any of the other features but it doesn't take long to get used to them and if your games of Carcassonne are anything like mine they'll usually have descended into an all-out war for control of the most valuable farm by the end!

With a bit of knowledge of the number and configuration of available tiles it's possible to make your opponents features impossible to complete if the required tile either doesn't exist or has already been placed elsewhere. This means their follower becomes trapped and this reduces their scoring potential for the rest of the game (spouses don't like this in my experience!) It's also possible to place tiles such that features owned by different players are joined together and become a single road/ city. If more than one player has a follower in such a feature then the player with the majority of followers takes the full amount of points for that feature when the feature is closed regardless of who originally claimed it. So stealing potentially lucrative features is another great tactic and something else to consider.

To describe Carcassonne merely as a good "gateway" game is to deny it the credit it so rightly deserves. I'm partly guilty of this as I saw it this way at first and "moved on" to some of the other games that I had become aware of since realising that there's more to board games than Monopoly and Risk. I enjoyed most of them well enough, but continually returned to Carcassonne as I found it to be far more enjoyable than anything else I'd played. Clearly the fact that tiles are drawn at random means that there is an element of luck in this game. The best players however are the ones who can lay their tiles and deploy their followers in such a way that they're able to use whatever tile they draw to score points or other improve their position.

Furthermore, it's worth remembering that the basic game can be significantly expanded using any of the numerous (about 30) expansions available for it. As other reviewers have mentioned, Inns & Cathedrals and Traders & Builders are generally considered to be the best although games can start getting somewhat more complicated when played with several expansions at once. The River (included in this box) is also a great starting point for those new to Carcassonne as it enlarges the starting area from one tile to 12 and thus provides players with a wider choice when it comes to placing their tiles.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Game of the year for a reason, 22 Dec 2012
By 
Trevor James (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:3.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Carcassonne Board Game (Toy)
Easy to learn but deceptively simple. Carcassonne is a great 'gateway' game that introduces players who have only known games like Monopoly to a whole new world of gaming. Probably one of the best aspects of this game is the wide appeal. You can play with your wife/husband, a younger member of the family, your parents, friends and colleagues, and the best thing is that even new players can win since there is some luck involved in which tiles you draw. Don't fall into the trap of thinking it's all luck though! The better players will win more in the long run and just when you think you've learnt all there is you can look online and discover a new strategy you hadn't thought of before. Overall, much better than watching derivative TV after dinner. The only negative thing I would say is that at the time of writing you can pick up the 10 year anniversary edition, which has a nicer presentation and a rule variant, for cheaper.

Btw, if you're interested in learning the rules of the game there are some excellent video tutorials on the internet as well as strategy guides for the more serious players.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars competitive spirit!, 9 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Carcassonne Board Game (Toy)
The whole family enjoys this game but not much team work as it makes my children very competitive.
Quick and fun. Could be made easier for younger children but my 8 year old manages well.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Carcassonne board game, 16 July 2013
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This review is from: Carcassonne Board Game (Toy)
A great game for two, although even better with three or four. Each game takes about an hour. The rules aren't that clear as there are often scenarios that provoke debate on the scoring. Will probably get some more 'add-on' parts now we've got the hang of it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars My experience of Carcassonne, 13 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Carcassonne Board Game (Toy)
Step 1: Watched it on TableTop - wasn't that impressed

Step 2: Eventually bought the game due to positive reviews on here

Step 3: Played a few games, thought it was "ok", the scoring is interesting/odd at first, but it kept my interest

Step 4: Decided to buy two expansions for the game (1st and 2nd expansions)

Step 5: This game is awesome and I want to get it onto the table every time we play

This game started slowly and then grew on me the more I played it. Which is probably why it is such a popular game. It seems to have a lot of staying power in the long-run. Recommend it, although the farming scoring will seem confusing at first, but eventually it all becomes familiar. I've given it 4 stars purely because I felt the two expansions made this game much more interesting for me, which adds expense to the total cost. Nevertheless I think highly of this game and both expansion 1 and 2 add very nicely to the game.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who knew tiles could be so much fun?, 31 May 2013
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This review is from: Carcassonne Board Game (Toy)
Named for the walled medieval city in southern france, this game is great for players of all ages. You will take turns in placing randomly selected tiles to create the landscape of medieval france. Roads, cities, farms, abbeys all develop and grow as the game progresses.

You win points by placing your followers (wooden pieces called meeples) on tiles and developing the features. Followers on roads become highwaymen while those placed in cities become knights. When the road or city is completed you win points based on the number of tiles your feature encompasses. You can also place monks in the abbey or farmers out in the field to serve the cities.

Gameplay is simple but getting the edge over your opponents takes luck and strategy. Great game.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spotting the Difference i.e. with or without Rivers I, 25 Jan 2013
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:5.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: Carcassonne Board Game (Toy)
To get the version with The River I (well worth having and no longer possible to buy separately now anyway), you need to purchase the new version by Zman Games (not the old by Rio Grande although their very old versions did include The River I too). The box and artwork is largely the same, the only differences being that Zman's logo replaces Rio Grande's at the bottom of the front of the box, 'Includes The River' is stencilled into the arch entering town and the thief next to the knight on the Rio Grande box has been replaced by a shifty-looking lady, the thief himself having been minimised to hide in the bushes to the left.

Well worth purchasing this game - initially seems expensive for what you get but very resilient and addictive, with plenty of add-ons available and playable at different levels (seriously or idly over a chat) and with very young children as well as adults alone.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Game, 2 Jan 2013
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It's a great game. Takes a run through to get to grips with it, but after that it's great fun.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic game, 30 Dec 2012
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Carcassonne Board Game (Toy)
Was given this game as a christmas present by my husband (who really wanted it himself)and it was one of the best presents I got. The rules were simple and quick to pick up and we have played it constantly over the holidays - in fact having to stop to eat was a bit of a nuisance. We have already ordered the first expansion pack.

The best part is that you learn strategies as you go along which keeps you wanting more. There is an element of luck, as the tiles are picked up randomly, so novices can play along with more experienced players.

I can wholeheartedly recommend this game to anyone.
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Carcassonne Board Game
Carcassonne Board Game by Z-Man Games
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