Bruce's Carcassonne Variants & Wonderments

Musings and explorations related to my favorite board game.

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Variant #32: Cosmic Orienteers (A Wind Roses Variant)

Bruce Kothmann
United States
Pennsylvania
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Definition (What?)
Use the Wind Roses start tile and include the other 5 Wind Roses tiles in the queue with all other tiles. The compass roses represent "stars" in the night sky (inspiration drawn from @Decar's Astronomer's expansion on Carcassonne Central).
Phase 1 (Tile Placement): No changes--place the tile as usual.
Phase 2 (Placing a Meeple): Instead of any other "moving wood" action, the player may deploy a meeple as an orienteer on the compass symbol of the tile just placed
Phase 3 (Scoring): The orienteer always scores immediately on the turn it was placed and is immediately returned to the player. There are two parts to the score:
i. The orienteer earns +1 point for each star in it's constellation. A star is in the same constellation as another star if the star is in-line with the other star, either horizontally, vertically or diagonally, regardless of which way the compass symbols on the stars poiint.
ii. The orienteer earns +2 points for each direction that the current compass points that aligns with at least one star. For orange roses, there are 3 such directions; for the blue rose, there are 8.
Final Scoring: None.
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Sun Apr 17, 2022 7:41 pm
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Variant #31: Breachers (A Besiegers Variant)

Bruce Kothmann
United States
Pennsylvania
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Definition (What?)
Include the Besieger's tiles in the queue with all other tiles.
Phase 1 (Tile Placement): No changes--place the tile as usual.
Phase 2 (Placing a Meeple): Instead of any other "moving wood" action, the player may move a farmer from the field that borders the "breach" in a city wall into an incomplete city. The meeple must be placed on an unoccupied tile without a pennant, and becomes a knight in the city.
Phase 3 (Scoring): No changes.
Final Scoring: No changes.
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Sun Apr 17, 2022 6:43 pm
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Variant #30: High Fliers (A Dice-Free Flying Machines Variant)

Bruce Kothmann
United States
Pennsylvania
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Definition (What?)
Include the 8 tiles from the Flying Machines mini expansion in the queue with all other tiles. The special 6-sided die is not used.
Phase 1 (Tile Placement): No changes--place the tile as usual.
Phase 2 (Placing a Meeple): Instead of any other "moving wood" action, the player may take either of two new actions: (i) place a meeple as a pilot on the flying mound of a flying machines tile; or (ii) allow one of the player's previously placed pilots to fly, in the direction shown on the tile, to any unoccupied tile with an incomplete non-farm feature, on which the pilot lands and occupies the feature. A pilot may only fly if there is a place to land.
Phase 3 (Scoring): If a road that includes a tile with a flying mound is completed (regardless of whether anyone scores points for the road), or if a flying mound on a tile with no road is entirely surrounded (like completing a monastery), any pilot remaining on that mound is removed.
Final Scoring: Pilots on flying mounds at the end of the game earn no points.
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Wed Apr 13, 2022 4:15 pm
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Variant #29: Small Fortune (A Wheel of Fortune Variant)

Bruce Kothmann
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Pennsylvania
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Definition (What?)
Use the Wheel of Fortune base game tiles, but don't use the big wheel start tile at all. When a completed feature contains tiles with the numerical wheel icon, the score is increased by the number of points on the tiles.
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Tue Apr 12, 2022 2:43 pm
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Variant #28: Over-Seers & Under-Takers (A Hills Variant)

Bruce Kothmann
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Pennsylvania
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From gallery of kothmann

Definition (What?)
Include the 8 Hills tiles from Expansion #9 in the queue with all other tiles.
Phase 1 (Tile Placement): Each hill tile is placed with a second tile beneath it, as in the official rules but the active player may look at the tile, without showing it to the other players, before burying it.
Phase 2 (Placing a Meeple): Instead of any other "moving wood" action, a player may take either of 2 actions: (i) place a meeple on the hill as an "Over-seer & Under-taker"; or (ii) return one of the player's previously placed meeples from a hill, and at the same time remove the tile beneath that hill for use on an extra turn after Phase 3 of the current turn. A player may not make the second play twice in a row (same prohibition on consecutive extra turns as the Builder of Expansion #2).
Phase 3 (Scoring): A meeple on a hill earns points for all completed but unoccupied roads and/or cities on the tile. The meeple on the hill is not returned after scoring any such feature: it may only be returned by the player taking action (ii) in Phase 2.
Final Scoring: The meeple on the hill is removed and does not affect scoring at the end of the game.
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Mon Apr 11, 2022 4:49 pm
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Variant #27: Wary Wyrm (A Dragon Variant)

Bruce Kothmann
United States
Pennsylvania
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From gallery of kothmann

Definition (What?)
Add the 12 Dragon tiles to the queue. Place the dragon figure next to the landscape; in this variant, the dragon is a bit timid, so we call it the "wary wyrm". The wyrm interacts only with "vulnerable meeples", which are regular meeples that occupy an incomplete non-farm feature with no other meeples. The volcanoes do not interact with the wyrm in this variant.

As in the official rules, new actions happen at the end of Phase 2, after "moving wood" is complete, but before Phase 3, scoring.
Phase 1 (Tile Placement): No changes.
Phase 2 (Placing a Meeple): After "moving wood" is complete, take the following actions, in order:
i. If the meeple sharing a tile with the wyrm is no longer vulnerable, either because the feature was completed or because another meeple joined the feature, the active player must identify the vulnerable meeple on the landscape that would score the most points if the feature it occupies were scored as complete in its current state (see Note 1) and move the wyrm to the same tile as this vulnerable meeple.
ii. Otherwise, if the just-placed tile has a dragon icon, the wyrm devours the vulnerable meeple, which is returned to that player's meeple supply, and the active player takes the same wyrm relocation action described above.
Phase 3 (Scoring): No changes.
Final Scoring: Before final scoring, the wyrm devours the vulnerable meeple on the tile it occupies and then the wyrm is set aside.
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Fri Apr 8, 2022 4:31 am
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Variant #26: Flash Points (A Volcano Variant)

Bruce Kothmann
United States
Pennsylvania
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Definition (What?)
Include the 6 tiles from Expansion #3 in the queue with all other tiles. It is also useful to have 6 "active volcano" tokens to help players keep track of the volcanoes that might erupt.

Phase 1 (Tile Placement): Place all tiles as usual. If using volcano markers, add one to each volcano tile after it is placed. If an active volcano is completely surrounded (all 8 neighboring tiles are placed), the volcano immediately erupts, and all meeples on the tile and the 8 neighboring tiles are removed and returned to the respective players. The volcano is now dormant, so the active volcano marker is removed.
Phase 2 (Placing a Meeple): Unlike official rules, meeples may be placed on volcano tiles when the volcano is placed. On any turn, instead of any other "moving wood" action, a player may move a farmer to any unoccupied tile in the same field.
Phase 3 (Scoring): Any meeple on the volcano tile or the 8 surrounding tiles of an active volcano earns +3 points when scoring for a completed feature.
Final Scoring: Active volcanos have no effect on final scoring, but, because of the nutrient-rich volcanic soil, farms earn +3 points for each erupted (now dormant) volcano in the field.
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Tue Apr 5, 2022 9:49 pm
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Variant #25: Royal Garrisons (A Princess Variant)

Bruce Kothmann
United States
Pennsylvania
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From gallery of kothmann

Definition (What?)
Include the 6 princess tiles from Expansion #3 in the queue with all other tiles. A "royal city" is any city with at least one princess tile.
Phase 1 (Tile Placement): No changes--place the tile as usual.
Phase 2 (Placing a Meeple): The restriction on deploying a knight to a tile in an occupied city is lifted if the city is an incomplete royal city, and the tile just placed reduced the number of open edges in the city (see Note 1).
Phase 3 (Scoring): No changes—the city scores as usual.
Final Scoring: No changes—the city scores as usual.
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Sun Apr 3, 2022 7:30 pm
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Variant #24: Roadsigns (A C1 Signposts Adaptation)

Bruce Kothmann
United States
Pennsylvania
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From gallery of kothmann

Definition (What?)
• Setup: Next to the landscape, as a shared supply, place 5 of each of 4 types of roadsign tokens: Left, Right, Straight, Stop.
Phase 1 (Tile Placement): After the tile is placed as usual, the following steps are taken:
i. token removal: If the tile was placed such that a previously placed token is now incompatible with the actual direction of the road, the player MUST remove that token, returning it to the shared supply.
ii. Token placement: If tokens are available, the player MUST place one token of their choice from the shared supply onto each open road edge on the tile that connects by a road segment on that tile to another road edge on that tile.
Phase 2 (Placing a Meeple): No changes.
Phase 3 (Scoring): When a completed road is scored, the only remaining roadsigns will be accurate, and the player(s) controlling the road earn an additional 2 points for each such sign token. The roadsign tokens remain in place until the end of the game.
End of Game Scoring: All roadsign tokens on open edges are removed. The only remaining sign tokens will then be accurate, and the player(s) controlling each road earn an additional 1 point for each such roadsign token.
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Wed Mar 23, 2022 4:26 pm
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Variant #23: Alien Abduction (A Crop Circle Variant)

Bruce Kothmann
United States
Pennsylvania
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Definition (What?)
Designate an area next to the landscape as the abduction zone. Add the crop circle tiles to the tile queue. Phases 1, 2, and 3 of the turn all happen as usual, just as in official Crop Circle rules. The special "Phase 4" rules are replaced with the following:
Phase 4 (special actions): Each player in turn, starting with the player on the active player’s left, may choose no action or either of the following actions:
i. Abduct one of their own meeples from a feature of the type determined by the crop circle pattern on the tile just placed. The meeple is placed in the abduction zone.
ii. Return one of their own meeples from the abduction zone to an unoccupied tile on an incomplete feature of the type determined by the crop circle pattern on the tile just placed. If the meeple is to be returned to a city, the city segment must not have a pennant. The meeple may be placed in the feature regardless of whether that feature is occupied or not.
Final Scoring: Meeples in the abduction zone at the end of the game have no effect on final scoring.
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Sun Mar 20, 2022 8:14 pm
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