$35.00
Themed Carcassonne Combos
Tina McDuffie
United States
Summerville
South Carolina
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I recently worked up a plan for seven themed Carcassonne games that would together utilize every expansion. Well, almost every expansion I'm only missing 6: German Castles, Darmstadt, Beseigers, Dutch & Belgian Monasteries, the Spiel 2014 Bonus Tile and Wind Rose NSEW.

The goal, The Carcassonne Challenge, was to play all of the Carcassone expansions in a single day. (It was a special gaming event at our store.)

Anyway, I thought I'd share them here in case anyone was interested in trying something similar.

Feel free to add your own thematic combos to this list.



Edit: added expansions I don't have where I would've put them if I had them to the first 7 themes (in parentheses). So, if you're a Complete Carcassonne Completist - congratulations, I'm envious - you can play all the themes and successfully complete the Challenge.
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1. Board Game: Carcassonne: Expansion 2 – Traders & Builders [Average Rating:7.60 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.60 Unranked]
Tina McDuffie
United States
Summerville
South Carolina
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Trade Prospers in Carcassonne

Base: Wheel of Fortune
Traders & Builders
Bazaars
Little Buildings
Mayor with wagon and barn meeples
Goldmines
La Porxada

This combo is centered around trade and commerce. You got your trade goods, tiles coming up for auction, gold being mined, etc. Of course all this activity necessitates wagons and barns. The mayor is front and center. With all the building going on, Little Buildings seemed appropriate, too. Meeples can even trade places (La Porxada).

I was really looking forward to playing this combo. I figured it would probably be a pretty high scoring game. Unfortunatley, our turnout for the event was really low and it didn't get pulled in our random picks of which scenarios to play.
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2. Board Game: Carcassonne: The Princess & the Dragon [Average Rating:6.71 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.71 Unranked]
Tina McDuffie
United States
Summerville
South Carolina
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Once Upon a Time in Carcassonne

Base: 10 Year Anniversary Edition
Princess & the Dragon
Mage & Witch
Catapult
We Go to Carcassonne
Festival
Flier
Phantom
Crop Circles II

My thought here was a silly interactive fairy-tale-themed game: a dragon rampaging through the countryside, a protective fairy, mystical portals, princesses seducing knights out of castles, a helpful mage and a mean witch, things flying through the air, meeples flying around or heading off to the festival to celebrate, phantoms appearing and disappearing, and a witch from a Russian fairy tale that wants to live on the edge. Who could ask for more?

I also considered adding a Crop Circle expansion, but worried there was already too much chaos. Ah, what the hay!
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3. Board Game: Carcassonne: The Tower [Average Rating:6.55 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.55 Unranked]
Tina McDuffie
United States
Summerville
South Carolina
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War Rages in Carcassonne

Base: Carcassonne
Start: Count of Carcassonne
Tower
Cathars
Siege
(Beseigers)
Castles
Robbers
King & Robber Baron
(German Castles)

My thought: well if you've got to go at it, go at it good. Lay Seige to cities, take prisoners, build castles to fortify yourselves... Of course the King will be looking to raise taxes and robbers will take advantage of the situation.
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4. Board Game: Carcassonne: Expansion 1 – Inns & Cathedrals [Average Rating:7.60 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.60 Unranked]
Tina McDuffie
United States
Summerville
South Carolina
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Religion Reigns in Carcassonne

Base: Carcassonne
Inns & Cathedrals
Abbey
German Monasteries
(Dutch & Belgian Monasteries)

Cult
Games Quarterly Mini Exp
River I
Halflings I
(Darmstadt)

My plan was to add the German Monasteries tiles, rather than use them as replacements for the cloisters in the base set. To offset this over abundance of cloisters, I thought it'd be good to supplement with the GQ Mini that just adds tiles, a River and Halflings I (it adds another cloister, too).
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5. Board Game: Carcassonne: The School [Average Rating:6.84 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.84 Unranked]
Tina McDuffie
United States
Summerville
South Carolina
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Education Spreads Through Carcassonne

Base: Carcassonne
Start: School
Ferries
Bridges
Tunnels
Messages

Since the school is a crossroads of sorts, I thought it would be cool to utilize expansions that enhanced and extended road building.

This combination worked really well. I'd definitely play it again.
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6. Board Game: Carcassonne: Hills & Sheep [Average Rating:7.36 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.36 Unranked]
Tina McDuffie
United States
Summerville
South Carolina
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Pastoral Carcassonne

Base: Carcassonne New Edition with Abbot
Hills & Sheep
River II
Crop Circles I
Crop Circles II
Halflings II
Wind Roses - North South
(Wind Roses - North South East West)

(Spiel 2014 Bonus Tile)

With all the busyness of trade, crazy fairy tales, war and religion, I thought our meeples would appreciate a break. A nice relaxing day in the countryside. Well, except for the alien invasion.


To make this work, we placed the River first, then added the Orange Wind Rose. With both Wind Rose expansions, I would use one of the Orange Compass Roses to start after placing the River, then mix in all of the remaining Wind Rose tiles. When a new compass comes out, the orientation - and whether you have to match half or a particular quadrant for your 3-point bonus - changes three times during the game, as the wind changes. You might want to place a token on the current compass to track which applies.

After Play Note:
Two sets of crop circles was brutal. The farmers in particular kept getting wiped out. I guess being out there alone in the countryside made them easy pickings for the aliens. No one ever chose the option of letting all players place a meeple.

Edit: after playing this with both Crop Circles, I decided it was better to move one of them elsewhere.
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7. Board Game: Carcassonne: Winter Edition [Average Rating:7.52 Overall Rank:703]
Tina McDuffie
United States
Summerville
South Carolina
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A Bad Winter in Carcassonne

Base: Carcassonne Winter Edition
Gingerbread Man
Plague

At this point I realized that I hadn't used the Plague mini expansion anywhere. It fits both the war and religion themes, but both already had so much already going on, I figured the Plague would be devastating.

Then I remembered I hadn't used the Winter Edition yet either and Plague in winter seemed even more fitting, so....
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8. Board Game: Carcassonne [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:128] [Average Rating:7.44 Unranked]
Tina McDuffie
United States
Summerville
South Carolina
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Our Typical "Base Set"

Base Set
Inns & Cathedrals
Traders & Builders
Games Quarterly Mini Expansion
River I
Phantom

This is our usual "base set" when we play Carcassonne - though with River II instead of I. Then, if we feel like experimenting, we add something else.

The above 7 combos utilized all of my base sets and expansions. We only got to play two of them during our Carcassonne Challenge - to my disappointment. However, at the end of the day, a couple of guys requested a Carcassonne refresher. We all agreed this combo wouldn't be too terribly much to handle and so were able to knock several more items off our challenge play list.
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