$10.00
Recommend
22 
 Thumb up
 Hide
8 Posts

Carcassonne» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Six Meeple Review - Carcassonne - Tile and Meeple Goodness rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Bill Kunes
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb

Welcome to my Six Meeple Review of the very popular tile laying gateway game Carcassonne. At the time of this review it has seen 44 appearances at our table.

To subscribe to the series, check out my Six Meeple Reviews Geeklist



I use a modified critical review method based on the Six Thinking Hats Method developed by Dr. Edward de Bono to engage the brain in a number of distinct ways when evaluating a particular subject from various perspectives. A different color Meeple represents each distinct view point employed to provide a few brief thoughts regarding my experience with the game.

Just the Facts

Carcassonne is a medieval tile laying game where players alternate turns placing randomly drawn tiles to develop an expanding playing area. Each tile includes a combination of fields, roads, cities, and cloisters. Larger fields, longer roads, bigger cities, and surrounded cloisters produce VP which are tracked on a scoring track.


Upon placing a tile players have the option to deploy an available follower (affectionately referred to as meeples) on the placed tile to claim:
* a field (e.g. black in picture above) with the meeple now referred to as a farmer
* a road (e.g. yellow meeple) with a thief who steals from weary travelers
* a city (e.g. red meeple) with a knight charged with protecting its inhabitants
* a cloister (e.g. blue meeple) with a monk

The players claim points during the game for completed roads and cities they control or when their cloisters are completely surrounded by other tiles. After scoring players reclaim their follower(s) and may then reuse them.

Farmers, on the other hand, remain put after placement and are not scored until the end of the game at which point the players receive points for each completed city serviced by the fields they control.

Incomplete roads, cities, and cloisters are also scored at the end of the game. The winner is the player with the most points.

Gut Reaction

When getting into the hobby this was one of those popular games nearly everyone was recommending, especially for those new to designer board games. It was enough to fuel my interest. We have thoroughly enjoyed it from the very beginning often wishing there were more tiles to play.

We mostly play this with 2-3p. We found the included River expansion a fun way to get the game started. We love to see the picturesque countryside that unfolds as the tiles are played. Mix in a variety of expansion combinations and you have a plethora of game scenarios to play.

Pessimistic Blemishes

Some people find the game a bit bland or lacking in depth and strategy, rather it is mostly luck. True that you have no control over which tiles you draw, but we view part of the challenge of the game to be what you can do with the options you are given. Who best capitalizes the expansion of their developments while limiting opponents’ options with the choices presented them? The random draw may be "luck" but the player is not left without choices, with some being better than others.

Lots of people complain about the confusion with scoring fields, which is actually quite simple to do by familiarizing yourself with how roads, water, cities, and missing tiles contribute to field boundaries. I’m not sure why there is so much confusion???

Optimistic Bright Spots

* Replay ability
* Reasonable price
* Easy to learn
* Meeples
* Lots of additional expansions are available to add more players, tiles, and twists

Creative Opportunities

Many people who enjoy this game buy a number of the growing number of expansions available on the market. You may even go so far as to buy additional colored meeples (I got mine from MeepleSource.com). I bought purple for my wife, orange for my daughter, and I thought it would be fun to throw in some "naked" meeples. There are all kinds, including various camouflage ones or even stickers you can buy to place on your meeples. As you accumulate a variety of tiles and bits you may go so far as to search out an alternative storage accessory to help you organize all those goodies (I used a Plano 3700).

What Next?

One of the most common questions I read on the geek is which expansion should I get? Inns & Cathedrals and Traders & Builders are the most recommended choices. There are a variety of others expansions or stand alone Carcassonne choices to satisfy all kinds of Carcassonne cravings.


Inns & Cathedrals introduces an extra point per road tile if you complete a road you control with an inn (small house next to a small pond) situated along its route. But, if you fail to complete the road you get zero points. Similarly, cathedral tiles must be completed surrounded by other city tiles to form a completed city for which the player will be rewarded with additional points for each city tile and pennant, but like the inns, incomplete cities containing a cathedral result in zero points. Essentially this expansion introduces some risk and reward decisions to the game play.

In Carcassonne players may contest control of fields, cities, and roads by placing tiles to merge controlled areas with other players. When this occurs, the player with the most followers in the area in question wins the points or in the event of a tie the points are shared equally. This expansion introduces a larger meeple in each color which gives added weight (+1) when resolving contested developments making its placement a more strategic decision.

You also get some nice 50/100 scoring tiles, gray meeples to add a sixth player.


Traders & Builders introduces a variety of new twists with meeple builders, meeple pigs, and new tiles incenting players to help complete cities in order to gain bonus chits which offer bonus VP at the end of the game.

During the game if a player places a tile that expands a city or extends a road they have the option of placing their builder on that tile (assuming it is available) which then allows them to place a second tile on future turns when ever they further add to that city or road. Once the city or road is completed both your follower and builder are removed and can be reused.

Similarly, when you place a tile that is connected to a field where you have a presence, you may place your pig which will yield additional points for each completed city serviced by the farm, assuming you maintain majority control of that field. Unlike the builder, however, once you place your pig it grazes there for the duration of the game.



We love Carcassonne. My wife is a sucker for those cute, tiny (mini-)expansions boxes, which add a few tiles, a wooden bit or two, and new twists to the mix, whenever we happen upon them when browsing through game stores we encounter.

We do not lay tiles as often as we did a year ago due to sharing our time across more games. But it is still fun to bring Carcassonne to the table for an occasional lunch game, or to introduce friends to this gem when the opportunity presents itself.

meeple Keep playing...

UPDATE: corrected rule for Builder usage.
17 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bill Kunes
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Todd, thanks for your kind reviews. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

I'm not the greatest writer in the world, but I am committed to being more concise in articulating my thoughts as clearly as possible. Likewise, I am striving to take better quality pictures to further illustrate those thoughts with each review.

FYI, my edit was to add my first geeklist, which includes links to past reviews. I plan on adding more as well time permitting.

(UPDATE: Mercy, I often type too fast for my own good missing typos and other incidentals. Doh!)
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Allen Herring
United States
San Antonio
Texas
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I agree, great review.

I especially appreciated your rebuttle about the game being primarily luck. Carcassone relies no more on luck than Poker. And yet no one complains about that game.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ryan Tullis
United States
Orlando
Florida
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Wonderful review. Carcassonne is one of my favorite games in my collection. I think the "luck" aspect of tile draws exists, but part of good play is mitigating that luck and taking calculated risks.

I really like your format. Especially the "What's next." I've been wondering what expansion to get next after the base game, and your review might be that last push I needed to decide on Inns and Cathedrals as the first expansion.

Thanks for the review!
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mark L
United Kingdom
Belfast
Northern Ireland
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Great review! Clear, detailed enough without being bogged down in minutiae of what happens in the game, and I agree with you completely that farm scoring really isn't that complicated and I don't understand why people have a problem with it!

One small correction:
bkunes wrote:
During the game if a player places a tile that extends a road they control they have the option of placing their builder on that tile (assuming it is available) which then allows them to place a second tile on future turns where they further extend their road.


In fact, the builder can be applied to roads or cities, and you only need to have a meeple on the feature; you don't need to control it. (Not that such details are vital in a review, of course, but it's better to avoid any potential confusion IMO.)

But I love your six meeple system! It really makes the review very clear and easy to read. For a game I didn't already know I'd have liked some more detail on the "optimistic bright spots", though: a simple bullet point list isn't all that informative.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bill Kunes
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Carcassonne » Forums » Reviews
Re: Six Meeple Review - Carcassonne - Tile and Meeple Goodness
xipuloxx wrote:

One small correction:
bkunes wrote:
During the game if a player places a tile that extends a road they control they have the option of placing their builder on that tile (assuming it is available) which then allows them to place a second tile on future turns where they further extend their road.


In fact, the builder can be applied to roads or cities, and you only need to have a meeple on the feature; you don't need to control it. (Not that such details are vital in a review, of course, but it's better to avoid any potential confusion IMO.)

Thanks, Mark. I did not know that! I am thinking of starting a Geeklist with all of the missed rules I've learned about after playing various numerous games for a while.

It's embarrassing how often this happens.
blushwhistle
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
mike m
United States
Palisades Park
New Jersey
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
nice review - yes, it's a bit old, but i'm catching up

my family and i never really enjoyed this game.

but then i happened to get the phone app (bec it was free one day), and I could finally see the fun in it. Taking a cut-throat strategy, you can screw with the builds and plans of the computer competitors, planting dead-end tiles and trapping their meeples uselessly. Played this way, there's fun strategy (can i play this tile both to screw with the opponent and also benefit myself?); without that, it's just a simple point-generating puzzle.

I don't really like to play too cutthroat, esp with my family. But computer opponents - eh, they'll get over it.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.