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Subject: Wondering where to start with board games? Buy Carcassonne! rss

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Pawel
Poland
Valley of Dragons
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My first encounter with Carcassonne was on brettspielwelt.de. I have read the rules once and invited my friend for a few rounds in something else than Scrabble. Only one round was enough to make me (and my friend as well) fall in love with the game. After at least a dozen plays on-line I decided it was time to buy the physical edition, mainly to have something to play with my parents.

The components are really high quality. The chits are quite thick, they won't bend without using a bit of force (though I suggest not to experiment like that) and will take a lot of time and plays to make any mark of use on them. I have the 10th anniversary edition which came with semi-transparent, plastic meeples. It's a personal taste really. Some like wood, some plastic. The colours differ enough from each other, so there's no problem with guessing which meeples belongs to a player and they have no rough edges so they serve their purpose well - that's enough for me. The only drawback is that they won't fit aesthetically with the expansions.

The rules are what makes Carcassonne really stand above other games. The only pre-made board that comes with the game is used only for tracking the players score. The players will be making the main board by themselves throughout the game. You won't know how much fun it is to watch the cities and roads growing on the table until you play the game. And it is just as fun to watch the finished landscape afterwards and often you will regret that you have to "destroy" it. The building process is what gives you points: place a chit, place a meeple, get points for a finished element. I've bought it mainly to play with my parents. After a busy day introducing them to Arkham Horror would only be a way to make them hate boardgames. Carcassonne is easy and entertaining to such point, that I don't need to suggest a round or two - they'll do it for me. Yes, it is random, sometimes the randomness will get in the way of your plans, but there aren't many games that easy that don't involve randomness at all.

The expansions could be a good addition, but I think they aren't needed. I have the River II expansion and it gives the game a little freshness, but playing with every expansion with all the rules, in my opinion, would cripple the experience. Carcassonne is meant to be easy and quick. Anyway it's better to have additional elements and not use them, than another way around Also you get additional and original chits that will allow building even bigger landscapes.

After some time Carcassonne will leave you wanting for something more, something bigger, but despite that you will come back to it very often. It's a great gateway game with no age limits. If you are wondering what board game you should buy at first, Carcassonne will be the best way to start. If you don't have it in your collection, you won't be dissapointed when you buy it. If the only games you and your friends play are heavy and demanding strategy titles, Carcassonne is not for you. But sometimes everybody needs a little break...
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Andy Andersen
United States
Ada
Michigan
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I agree with your commentary. Great way to start playing. My wife and I have probably played this (with a couple of expansions) more than any other game we have.

Thanks
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Brock Poulsen
United States
West Valley City
Utah
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Settlers of Catan was my gateway game, but Carcassonne was the first that really captured my interest and showed me the possibilities of more complex board gaming.

It's also a favorite with the wife, while she despises Settlers.
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Patrick
United States
Saint Louis
Missouri
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My wife had wanted Catan for a while so I got it for her for Valentine's Day. We've played it several times (but with 2p you need to change the rules some). I got Carcassonne (BB3) after playing it a few times on BSW (I also enjoyed the random element to the board) and surprised her with it. We play Carc much more often, short games, lots of variety, plenty of expansions.
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Nick
United Kingdom
Somerset/London
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Was the gateway game for me and the gateway game for my partner as well. She had never seen anything like it, and, although we tend to play meatier fare these days, Carc still hits the table quite often. I have a soft spot for it and will always be thankful that it got my other half interested in board games.
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Scott M.
United States
Winter Springs
Florida
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Ticket to Ride,
Forbidden Island (although intended for younger market, rules are great and game play is exciting)
Elder Sign (little more meaty luck based game, still on the simple side)
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Pawel
Poland
Valley of Dragons
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atraangelis wrote:
Ticket to Ride,
Forbidden Island (although intended for younger market, rules are great and game play is exciting)
Elder Sign (little more meaty luck based game, still on the simple side)


You're right, I almost forgot TTR. Great as a gateway as well I haven't played the other two, I think Elder Sign has a thicker theme, but I'll trust your suggestions

[Your avatar, atraangelis, reminded the little voice in my head, that I NEED Twilight Imperium...]
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Ronnie
United States
Carrollton
Texas
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I think Carcassonne is a good game but when I played it for the first time it did not draw me into the hobby. I played it once and thought that was plenty. I think it may do just the trick for some people though.

For me it was Dominion. Dominion led me to try Carcassonne again and now I dig it.

Thanks for doing the review!
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Aaron
Switzerland
Leysin
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Anything but Terra Mystica!
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