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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 21 November 2012
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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on 22 December 2012
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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on 14 January 2014
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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on 16 July 2013
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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on 3 January 2013
We played this in France with our French grandchildren and decided we must get it for our English family. We played it a lot over Christmas. It's an ideal game for family from age 5 (my youngest grandson) to 85. It is interesting enough for adults whilst being simple enough for youngish children. It generally takes about an hour, which is an ideal time for a board game, avoiding the Monopoly syndrome of matches being abandoned half way through. The game keeps moving along at a good pace so never gets boring. No arguments and lots of fun.
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on 6 April 2015
If you are just getting into boardgaming, then this is the game for you. If you are playing with your wife, then this is the game for you (actually get lost cities first).
However, without the expansions, this game really doesn't measure up to some more modern games (I hesitate to say Splendor, but it's an example). The game is very simple, and the artwork is dated. But if you have the expansions (the more, the merrier), which a lot of gamers who got the original do, then this game is an essential game in any well-rounded collection, and a lot of fun to play.
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on 30 December 2012
I bought this game for the grandchildren to play when they visited at Xmas but it proved to be too complicated to be met and played as a new game. Don't get me wrong - there's nothing wrong with the game but you certainly need someone who has played it before - I could describe it as a strategic interlocking puzzle with a scoring system that needs studying. Having said that I certainly don't regret buying it but we didn't play it at Xmas. Despite it being close to Christmas this purchase arrived within 24h
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on 15 January 2014
I saw this game mentioned by another reviewer and went and had a look. Liked what I saw and thought it would be a bit of fun for Christmas. The outcome was that we played many hours over the Festive period to the point we hardly put the TV on!!
A good strategy game which makes you think. One out come almost immediately was the purchase of Extensions 1 and 2 and will shortly be followed by number 3. The quality of the game ids good and should withstand many games being played.
One of the outcomes is that I am now on the lookout for other games to entertain family and friends. Carcassone will travel with us to our holiday home in France and we may have some fun with French friends. I recommend this game.
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on 5 August 2014
Excellent game that the whole family like to play but to get the full gaming experience you will need to invest in a couple of expansion packs (particularly Inns and Cathedrals) as this introduces a much better scoring mechanism to the game and a balance that is missing from the base game (eg no penalty for incomplete roads and no major incentive to complete cities until Inns and Cathedrals is introduced)
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on 18 June 2015
This is a great game for children and adults. Every time you play it is different and with the extension packs it just gets better. Good game for strategy and although the instructions seems complicated my 7 and 9 year old grasped it very quickly. It's their favourite game
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