The complete Carcassonne
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Since Carcassonne jumped the catapult/sharkeeple a few months back, I think I'm finally in a safe position to put together this geeklist. The idea is to collect together all the Carcassonne variants (with expansions!) and collect people's ratings and comments which are scattered across a dozen game pages.

After the Catapult, I suspect even the die hard expansion buyers are pretty likely to ignore the next big Carcassonne thing, so I shouldn't have much more work to do.

So, without further delay, what do you feel are the best Carcassonne games, and what are your must-have expansions for them (if any). Thumbs for your favourites, vote on the polls and let me know if I've missed anything with a comment or geekmail.

Most of the standalone games appear near the bottom of the list.

Winner: The winner of the poll competition is Gnomekin who receives 3.25GG.

Other sets of BGG polls on the essential game expansions can be found here
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1. Board Game: Carcassonne [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:181] [Average Rating:7.42 Unranked]
Board Game: Carcassonne
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First published in 2000, an instant sensation, 2001 SdJ, almost (farmers!) a perfect gateway game, certainly a good second game. Plays well with 2 or with a few more and the wellspring of an unending series of expansions.

So, what do you think of this one?

Poll: Carcassonne
Is this game a worthy member of the Carcassonne family?

      590 answers
Poll created by thepackrat

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2. Board Game: Carcassonne: The River [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
Board Game: Carcassonne: The River
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Board Game: Carcassonne: The River


The first small-box expansion, the River adds an alternate set of starting tiles to replace Carcassonne's single tile. The players lay down the river tiles in order to create a winding river with cities and roads along it.

This can have the nice effect of breaking up some of the megafields that the original game is prone to.

Modern editions of Carcassonne include the River but players still need to decide whether to use it.

My review

Poll: Carcassonne: The River
1. Is this an essential expansion for its parent game?

2. Does this expansion combine well with other expansions?

      525 answers
Poll created by thepackrat

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3. Board Game: Carcassonne: Expansion 1 – Inns & Cathedrals [Average Rating:7.62 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.62 Unranked]
Board Game: Carcassonne: Expansion 1 – Inns & Cathedrals
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Board Game: Carcassonne: Expansion 1 – Inns & Cathedrals


The first large-box expansion for Carcassonne and one of my personal favourites. Apart from some even-more-convoluted tiles, this expansion adds Cathedral tiles which make a city worthless if unfinished or double points if finished, and Inns which increase the value of roads they lie on.

To help liven the game up, each player receives a super-meeple which counts as two meeples in majority competitions.

Poll: Carcassonne: Inns & Cathedrals
1. Is this an essential expansion for its parent game?

2. Does this expansion combine well with other expansions?

3. Is this an essential expansion for its parent game?

      458 answers
Poll created by thepackrat

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4. Board Game: Carcassonne: Expansion 2 – Traders & Builders [Average Rating:7.61 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.61 Unranked]
Board Game: Carcassonne: Expansion 2 – Traders & Builders
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Board Game: Carcassonne: Expansion 2 – Traders & Builders


The second big-box expansion. This includes a couple of new things. First, a collection of even more complicated bridge and city tiles. For farmers, a pig meeple can enhance farm scoring, players can place a builder meeple that allows them to add extra tiles to a road or city they are constructing.

Finally, some of the city tiles come with trade-good symbols that are collected at city-scoring time. Extra points come from majorities in each of the trade goods.

Poll: Carcassonne: Traders & Builders
1. Is this an essential expansion for its parent game?
2. Does this expansion combine well with other expansions?

      378 answers
Poll created by thepackrat

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5. Board Game: Carcassonne: King & Scout [Average Rating:6.60 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.60 Unranked]
Board Game: Carcassonne: King & Scout
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Board Game: Carcassonne: King & Scout


The second mini-expansion for Carcassonne. This was unique in that it contained two different expansions. King was for regular Carcassonne and Scout was an expansion for the newly released Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers.

This item is only about the King expansion for regular Carcassonne. It included some landscape tiles and two bonus tiles which were given to the person who completed (not scores from!) the longest road (Robber) and largest city (King) and granted a few points at the end of the game. These tiles can be taken by someone else completing a longer road or larger city.

Poll: Carcassonne: King and Scout (king only!)
1. Is this an essential expansion for its parent game?

2. Does this expansion combine well with other expansions?

      271 answers
Poll created by thepackrat

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6. Board Game: Carcassonne: The Count of Carcassonne [Average Rating:5.95 Unranked] [Average Rating:5.95 Unranked]
Board Game: Carcassonne: The Count of Carcassonne
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Board Game: Carcassonne: The Count of Carcassonne


Another small box expansion followed in 2004. The count added some slightly complex underpinnings to the game as the Count figure (purple, slightly vampirish) moved around the castle that formed the new starting point for Carcassonne.

The mechanic allows players who complete features that don't score for them to place meeples in one of the city areas. These meeples can later be added at completion to features of the matching type, possibly stealing scoring opportunities.

Poll: Carcassonne: The Count
1. Is this an essential expansion for its parent game?

2. Does this expansion combine well with other expansions?

      249 answers
Poll created by thepackrat

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7. Board Game: Carcassonne: The River II [Average Rating:7.18 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.18 Unranked]
Board Game: Carcassonne: The River II
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Board Game: Carcassonne: The River II


Another small-box expansion. This is simply another set of river tiles that form an alternate starting set. The really new parts are inclusion of a volcano (for Princess and Dragon) and a fork in the river than can result in much more interesting layouts.

This can be played on its own or with the original River for an even more exciting starting water feature.

My review

Poll: Carcassonne: The River II
1. Is this an essential expansion for its parent game?

2. Does this expansion combine well with other expansions?

      270 answers
Poll created by thepackrat

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8. Board Game: Carcassonne: Expansion 3 – The Princess & The Dragon [Average Rating:6.76 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.76 Unranked]
Board Game: Carcassonne: Expansion 3 – The Princess & The Dragon
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Board Game: Carcassonne: Expansion 3 – The Princess & The Dragon


The big-box expansion for 2005. The Princess and the Dragon adds both a magical fantasy theme to what was actually a fun but prosaic city building game and introduces a much greater take that! element to it.

The expansion comes with a bunch of extra tiles, a dragon and a fairy and several components.

The minor tile expansions are magic portals which allow a meeple placed on the tile to teleport into any unfinished feature on the board. The princess city tiles (with a figure of a princess on it) when placed in a city allow any figure to be kicked out.

The two extra figures are the fairy (godmother). A player can chose to move the fairy to protect one of their existing meeples instead of placing a new one. This gives the player points on future turns or if they complete the feature around a protected meeple.

Finally the dragon> Whenever a volcano tile is played, the dragon figure flies across to land on it. The dragon then moves along six tiles horizontally or vertically without retracing its path. Each player takes it in turn to move the dragon one step, and if the dragon comes across any meeples on the board, they're eaten and returned to their owning player.

Poll: Carcassonne: Princess & Dragon
1. Is this an essential expansion for its parent game?

2. Does this expansion combine well with other expansions?

      264 answers
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9. Board Game: Carcassonne: Die Katharer [Average Rating:6.93 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.93 Unranked]
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Board Game: Carcassonne: Die Katharer


This mini expansion was included in Spielbox magazine. It's identical in function to the four siege tiles in Carcassonne: Cult, Siege & Creativity, but has different art. There are reports that this art is clearer.

Poll: Carcassonne: Die Katharer
1. Is this an essential expansion for the parent game?
2. Does this expansion combine well with other expansions

      56 answers
Poll created by thepackrat

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10. Board Game: Carcassonne: Expansion 4 – The Tower [Average Rating:6.57 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.57 Unranked]
Board Game: Carcassonne: Expansion 4 – The Tower
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Board Game: Carcassonne: Expansion 4 – The Tower


A big box expansion adding even more opportunities to hostile play, this time fitting within the theme of the game.

This expansion adds tower pieces and tiles with tower foundations. Instead of placing a meeple on a player tile, players can choose to start building a tower on any placed foundation, add a layer to an existing tower, or place a meeple on top of any tower blocking it from other players.

Building towers allows your opponent's meeples to be captured. Each level of a tower allows a meeple that many tiles away (horizonally or vertically) to be removed from the board (scoring nothing) and held for a ransom of 3 points!

Poll: Carcassonne: The Tower
1. Is this an essential expansion for its parent game?

2. Does this expansion combine well with other expansions?

      204 answers
Poll created by thepackrat

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11. Board Game: Carcassonne: Promo Tiles [Average Rating:7.31 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.31 Unranked]
Board Game: Carcassonne: Promo Tiles
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Board Game: Carcassonne: Promo Tiles


This expansion was included in Games Quarterly magazine and also distributed by Rio Grande games. It include 12 additional tiles with a variety of new and unusual features including combinations of cities and roads.

Poll: Carcassonne: The Mini Expansion
1. Is this an essential expansion for the parent game?

2. Does this expansion combine well with other expansions

      77 answers
Poll created by thepackrat

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12. Board Game: Carcassonne: Expansion 5 – Abbey & Mayor [Average Rating:7.12 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.12 Unranked]
Board Game: Carcassonne: Expansion 5 – Abbey & Mayor
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Board Game: Carcassonne: Expansion 5 – Abbey & Mayor


The 5th big-box expansion, this contains quite a few different small expansions but doesn't change the mechanics of the game too much.

There are the usual handful of interesting shaped standard city and landscape tiles and the new Abbey tiles which can be placed into any enclosed hole in the tiles completing it and can even score as a cloister.

Board Game: Carcassonne: Expansion 5 – Abbey & Mayor


There are also three new pieces including the Mayor (a meeple with enormous trousers) that in a city has a strength equal to the number of pennants, a wagon that when scored in a feature can roll to any adjacent open feature, and barns which can be placed in fields to make farmer scoring immediate.

Poll: Carcassonne: Abbey & Mayor
1. Is this an essential expansion for its parent game?

2. Does this expansion combine well with other expansions?

      190 answers
Poll created by thepackrat

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13. Board Game: Carcassonne: Cult, Siege & Creativity [Average Rating:6.77 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.77 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.77 Unranked]
Board Game: Carcassonne: Cult, Siege & Creativity
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Board Game: Carcassonne: Cult, Siege & Creativity


This small-box expansion bundles tiles previously appearing as Die Kathars as well as the Cult tiles from the differently boxed HiG expansion to Carc. There are also blank tiles (with the correct backs) that players can use to create custom tiles.

The siege tiles allow an attack on an uncompleted city. They depict a besieging force that makes a city score less but increases the payoff to farmers supplying the city. Cloisters adjacent to besieged cities also allow meeples to be smuggled out and back into your supply.

The cult tiles depict small pagan shrines. These tiles can be played normally with meeples on the road or city features, but if they are played adjacent to a cloister, the cult can be manned and challenge the cloister. If the cult is completed (surrounded by tiles) before the cloister, then only the cult scores and the cloister scores nothing. Similarly if the cloister manages to win.

Poll: Carcassonne: Cult, Siege and Creativity
1. Is this an essential expansion for its parent game?

2. Does this expansion combine well with other expansions?

      137 answers
Poll created by thepackrat


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14. Board Game: Carcassonne: Expansion 7 – The Catapult [Average Rating:4.83 Unranked] [Average Rating:4.83 Unranked]
Board Game: Carcassonne: Expansion 7 – The Catapult
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Board Game: Carcassonne: Expansion 7 – The Catapult


Finally, the expansion that made me decide things were complete and that I should immediately stop buying more Carc stuff. The Catapult.

In this expansion players are provided by a wooden springy ruler catapult thing which they can use to fire chits up and onto the laid out tiles trying to land them on particular types of tiles. Or they can just hit each other over the head with it. Who knows.

Poll: Carcassonne: The Catapult
1. Is this an essential expansion for its parent game?

2. Does this expansion combine well with other expansions?

      200 answers
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15. Board Game: Carcassonne: The Castle [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:593]
Board Game: Carcassonne: The Castle
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Board Game: Carcassonne: The Castle


This is a slightly different game based around Carcassonne and meeple placement, but the tiles are strictly contained within a large castle wall that forms the score track. Placement is relaxed and only paths need to be lined up, players compete to have the biggest house and castle and to control market areas. In addition, special bonus chips that grant special scoring powers (ie scoring one incomplete feature) are left on the scoring track and can only be picked up by scoring exactly the right amount to land on them.

This is a nice game, but ordinary Carc is pretty happy with 2 players as well.

Poll: Carcassonne: The Castle
Is this game a worthy member of the Carcassonne family?

      172 answers
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16. Board Game: Carcassonne: The City [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:680]
Board Game: Carcassonne: The City
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Board Game: Carcassonne: The City


Sort of like a deluxe Carcassonne without expansions, The City comes in a big wooden box and has extra wooden components. Players start by building a city out from the city gate. These are pretty standard tiles except there are three types of markets (used in scoring) and only road placement really matters.

The real heart of the scoring is the wooden wall that gradually gets built up around the city whenever a feature is completed and scored. Players can place wall segments which act to block off features maybe triggering more scoring. They can also place one of their limited supply of towers which give as many points as the distance to the previously placed tower.

Finally, when building walls, players can choose to put meeples up on the walls on guard. Guarding meeples gain points for important or unique civic buildings that lie on a direct line with the guard. This can make tile placement agonising if you draw one with a 3-point building.

This adds enough twists to the game to make it something quite new and interesting while retaining many of the standard mechanics.

Poll: Carcassonne: The City
Is this game a worthy member of the Carcassonne family?

      138 answers
Poll created by thepackrat

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17. Board Game: Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers [Average Rating:7.13 Overall Rank:491]
Board Game: Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers
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A slightly simplified Carcassonne with a pre-city theme, originally suggested for children, but preferred by quite a few people.

In this, players build up a prehistoric landscape and send out hunter gatherers to get food from the land. Most of the tiles have specific valuable types of animals or game on them making the game a little more detailed while removing more complex scoring rules.

Poll: Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers
Is this game a worthy member of the Carcassonne family?

      195 answers
Poll created by thepackrat

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18. Board Game: Carcassonne: King & Scout [Average Rating:6.60 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.60 Unranked]
Board Game: Carcassonne: King & Scout
Bruce Murphy
Australia
Pyrmont
NSW
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Board Game: Carcassonne: King & Scout


Finally, the scout part of this expansion. This includes scout tiles which apart from being playable let players bury a drawn tile at the bottom of the stack and redraw. The Shaman tile allows a meeple to be reclaimed from the board.

Poll: Carcassonne: King & Scout (scout only)
Is this an essential expansion for its parent game?

      99 answers
Poll created by thepackrat

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19. Board Game: Carcassonne: The Discovery [Average Rating:6.49 Overall Rank:2223]
Board Game: Carcassonne: The Discovery
Bruce Murphy
Australia
Pyrmont
NSW
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Board Game: Carcassonne: The Discovery


This was a simpler Carc game based around discovering and claiming new lands outside of Carcassonne. The most interesting thing is optional scoring which allows people to leave meeples in a region hoping that it will become more valuable later in the game or remove them for partial points earlier.

Poll: Carcassonne: The Discovery
Is this game a worthy member of the Carcassonne family?

      110 answers
Poll created by thepackrat

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20. Board Game: New World: A Carcassonne Game [Average Rating:6.48 Overall Rank:2213]
Board Game: New World: A Carcassonne Game
Bruce Murphy
Australia
Pyrmont
NSW
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Board Game: New World: A Carcassonne Game


The latest standalone game in the series. Mirroring the development of the north-east of the not-then United States, players gradually build up fields and roads and towns to the west. This game includes a unique mechanic in a pair of surveyors that are moved whenever a feature is scored. Any meeples closer to the coastline than the surveyors when they move are removed and return to the players without points.

Poll: New World: A Carcassonne Game
Is this game a worthy member of the Carcassonne family?

      99 answers
Poll created by thepackrat

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21. Board Game: Carcassonne Junior [Average Rating:6.69 Overall Rank:1480]
Board Game: Carcassonne Junior
Bruce Murphy
Australia
Pyrmont
NSW
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Board Game: Carcassonne Junior


Not much known about this one yet. A very simple children's game with Carcassonne mechanics. Every tile matches and the object it to make a way through the paths and collect up all the escaped animals.

Added for completeness.

Poll: Kinder von Carcassonne
Is this game a worthy member of the Carcassonne family?

      98 answers
Poll created by thepackrat

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22. Board Game: The Ark of the Covenant [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:1655]
Board Game: The Ark of the Covenant
Bruce Murphy
Australia
Pyrmont
NSW
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Board Game: The Ark of the Covenant


A slightly different Carcassonne variant that's a pretty naked grab at picking up some of the US market for religiously themed games. At least the desert colour scheme is pretty novel (if a little eye-watering).

Combines a couple of mechanics from base game and expansions (Oases increasing road values) and adds a one-time prophet for each player which can double the value of one feature. Also has a simplified field scoring depending on sheep and wolves enclosed which resembles Hunters and Gatherers.

Poll: Carcassonne: Ark of the Covenant
Is this game a worthy member of the Carcassonne family?
      40 answers
Poll created by thepackrat

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