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This set can treated both as an expansion to the Carcassonne game and as an alternate starting set. How does it suit these two roles?
As an expansion it is very big (71 new tiles) and it adds a new starting area – the wheel in a form of 4*4 tile. Unfortunately it is pretty incompatible with both versions “River” expansions (unless you use the “Mini expansion” along with them (as it allows connecting the source of the river to a road).
As an alternate starting set it is OK. But is it really better than the standard version of the starting set? I doubt so. The wheel adds a new mechanics: basically generating random events that benefit or punish all the players for certain deeds (e.g. having followers in certain structures). To be honest – the events are not totally random: by memorizing the frequencies of tiles that cause the wheel rotation a player may prepare somewhat what could possibly happen in the nearest future.
One more mechanics addition: players may put their followers as fortune-tellers on the wheel to score points when the wheel stops pointing at the appropriate meeple. But it should also be taken into account that as more and more expansions are added to the game the wheel spins more and more rarely which makes fortune-tellers not a great investment.
All in all: for the startup I recommend a basic set instead, and for an expansion I can recommend the Wheel to expansions collectors only.
Someday Asagi will be the main character of her very own game.
Thanks for the review. This is one of the only Carcassonne expansions I don't have, and I've been holding off getting it. The 71 new tiles entices me more than the Wheel mechanic to be honest.
Disagree completely with your review.
We use it as an expansion with the base game, and mixed in with most of the other expansions at the same time. However, we took out most of the tiles from the WOF expansion, and only include the actual wheel tiles (the rest are reserved for fan-made expansions).
As for the large wheel tile as a starting point for the game, we have no problem building the river off of it, with no need for the mini-expansion. You just put the spring down beside a field square.
While it doesn't make a big difference to the game, it is a fun expansion when played the way we do, and the fact that the tiles get spread out over the course of the game is actually a bonus than if they just got pulled at the beginning.
With such a negative review, I have to ask: How many times did you actually play with this expansion, Urtur? By the review it seems as if maybe you only tried it once and made snap judgments based on that.
I'd personally give the wheel expansion at least two and a half out of 5 stars and recommend that any Carc. fan try it before pre-judging it based on OP's review.
Purchased Wheel of Fortune because I didn't own the base game. I think it's a superior choice to the plain base game. Don't like the expansion? Don't use it. But I like playing the odds and spicing up Euro's so that you have to react to a little chaos.
I enjoy this expansion having recently purshased for only £22.30. It is definitely superior to the basic game + River I.
The River I doesn't add anything to the remaining game once placed and following the ruling that the farm is allowed to continue around the spring it is all too easy to have only 1 big farm.
The Wheel of Fortune, like the City of Carcassonne in the Count, initally split the game into 3 separate fields. The onus is thus on the players to try to join fields, if they so wish.
The option to add followers to the Wheel of Fortune is a welcome extra option and with 25% of the tiles having an interaction with the Wheel of Fortune it is likely that the wheel will be in play throughout the game.
Finally, the makers have learn't from the earlier base game and expansions and there is a much better spread of tile in Wheel of Fortune than there was in the base game.
This is my first expansion that was made by Rio Grande Games, all the others I have are by Zman Games. The Rio Grande tiles are far superior to those from Zman. I have a number of Zman tiles that are coming apart and have had to be glued back together. pretty poor show since I only got the base game in Feb 2014.