Carcassonne is a tile-placement game in which the players draw and place a tile with a piece of southern French landscape on it. It is named after the medieval fortified town of Carcassonne in southern France, famed for its city walls.
Carcassonne is considered to be an excellent “gateway game” by many board game players as it is a game that can be used to introduce new players to board games. The rules are simple, no one is ever eliminated, and the play is fast. A typical game, without any expansions, takes about 45 minutes to play. There is a substantial luck component to the game; however, good tactics greatly improve one’s chances of winning
How to Play:
The game board is a medieval landscape built by the players as the game progresses. The game starts with a single terrain tile face up and 71 others shuffled face down for the players to draw from. On each turn a player draws a new terrain tile and places it adjacent to tiles that are already face up. The new tile must be placed in a way that extends features on the tiles it touches: roads must connect to roads, fields to fields, and cities to cities.
After placing each new tile, the placing player may opt to station a piece (called a “follower” or “meeple”) on a feature of that newly placed tile. The placing player may not use a follower to claim any features of the tile that extend or connect features already claimed by another player. However, it is possible for terrain features claimed by opposing players to become “shared” by the subsequent placement of tiles connecting them. For example, two field tiles which each have a follower can become connected into a single field by another terrain tile.
The game ends when the last tile has been placed. At that time, all features (including fields) score points for the players with the most followers on them. The player with the most points wins the game.
During the players’ turns, cities, cloisters, and roads (but not fields) are scored when they are completed—cities and roads when they are completed (i.e. contain no unfinished edges from which they may be expanded), and cloisters when surrounded by eight tiles. At the end of the game, when there are no tiles remaining, all incomplete features are scored. Points are awarded to the players with the most followers in a feature.
If there is a tie for the most followers in any given feature, all of the tied players are awarded the full number of points. In general (see table), points are awarded for the number of tiles covered by a feature; cloisters score for neighboring tiles; and fields score based on the number of connected completed cities.
Once a feature is scored, all of the followers in that feature are returned to their owners.