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Carcassonne: Expansion 4 – The Tower» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Carcassonne: The Tower - A Mini Review rss

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Dr. Dam
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May 2018 be all you dreamed it would be and be all that you dreamed...
All of my reviews aim to offer a brief overview that allows people to get a good feel for what the game may offer them. I feel that other reviews can be sought if detailed game mechanics is what you are after.

The 4th major expansion to the original Carcassonne, The Tower offers Carcassonne another edge that makes the play just that little more aggressive.

The Tower comes with 18 new tiles and these depict roads, fields, cities and a cloister. However each of these tiles also features a square tower icon. The game then offers each player a number of wooden tile pieces representing towers. The number of towers each player receives depends on the number of players, but a total of 30 come with the game.

The Tower follows all of the standard Carcassonne rules (see Carcassonne reviews) with a twist. Whenever a new tile is drawn the players have an option. They can place a follower like usual or they can forgo this option and place a tower piece on any tower icon or on top of other towers already in play on the board. If a tower is placed the active player has the opportunity to capture an opponent’s follower. The height of the tower determines how far a tower can reach to take a follower prisoner. Placing the first tower allows a capture of only one square away from the tower (or the tower tile itself). However a tower 6 high allows a follower to be up to 6 squares away. Captures can only be in a straight line from the tower tile (vertical or horizontal).

This now means that players must carefully consider where they place new tiles as placing them in line with a tower tile is not all that safe. Farmers and cloisters are far more difficult to keep in play and some players will welcome this fact as it can limit the importance of cloisters which are controlled by the luck of the pull. Of course strategic players that carefully place farms may get frustrated by having their farmers captured.

The final option open to players when they place a tile is to place a follower on top of any tower (towers are shaped so that followers stand neatly on top). Doing so closes a tower so it cannot be used to capture any more followers, thus allowing for defensive play. Once a player is out of towers they cannot place any more.

If a player captures an opponent’s follower and that player has one of their followers then both players must exchange prisoners. In addition a player can pay another player to return a follower. This costs the player three points and these points are given to the player holding the prisoner.

The Final Word

The Tower is an interesting expansion that certainly changes the game and how it is played. Whilst good on its own, The Tower becomes even more intriguing when used with other expansions in the series. Imagine capturing Super Followers (Inns and Cathedrals) or capturing followers on resource cities (Traders and Builders). Even more frightening is the thought of taking prisoners and having a dragon roam the land (Princess & Dragon). It should be noted that The Tower also comes with a sturdy 3D Tower that can hold tiles for drawing during the game. This is a welcome addition as the bag provided in Traders & Builders gets very full when all the expansions are thrown in. The Tower is another quality expansion to the franchise but not necessarily a must buy.
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