What is it?
Carcassonne: King & Scout is an expansion for two games: It contains seven new tiles for the original Carcassonne, and five tiles for the stand-alone spin-off Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers. Thus, you can only use the complete expansion pack if you own both games (or at least know someone you can give the cards you do not need).
Extra tiles for Carcassonne
This expansion contains five special landscape tiles that connect cities to various other terrain types. In my eyes, this does not warrant buying the expansion at all. The only really new addition, however, is flawed: While it indeed is a good idea to award 10 points each for the longest road and the biggest city of the game, the fact that you still have to remember (or write down) which construction actually awarded the special cards King and Robber Captain to the player holding them makes this expansion look either half-hearted or short-sighted.
Extra tiles for Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers
On the other side, the tiles for Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers are quite an addition to the game. Five new special character cards are introduced:
Shaman: Each turn, the player may remove one of his tribe members from an unfinished river, forest, or meadow and return it to his supply.
Scout: Once in play, each turn, the player may refuse the first tile he draws (incl. bonus tiles). He places the refused tile face down under the stack and draws a new tile, which he must use.
Hunter on bridge: When scoring, the hunter counts in the meadows on both sides of the bridge.
Dug-out: When a river in this river system is completed (by any player), the owner of the dug-out scores as many points as the largest lake on this river has fish.
Agriculture: At the end of the game, the player scores 1 point for each tile in the meadow, regardless of the hunter scoring.
As may be evident from the description above, these character cards (which are drawn at the beginning of the game) can be very powerful. They have the potential to turn the game completely, which makes Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers much more luck-dependent.
Even though I usually play Carcassonne with this expansion, I think it is a blatant attempt to cross-sell the spin-off Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers. I would not have bought this expansion for the sake of the Carcassonne tiles alone -- and neither would I have done so for the five tiles for Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers. The added value is too low for that.
However, if you have both games, or happen to know somebody that you can give the remaining tiles to, feel free to spend your five bucks for this. It will not revolutionize the gameplay in a way that for instance Carcassonne: The Count of Carcassonne has done, but will add a few more funny tiles.
Surya Van Lierde is pure Eurosnoot and proud of it!
If I'm not mistaken the German edition was a free giveaway, so I don't think they're trying to cross sell...
While it is true that the expansion was given away to a few lucky people who attended Spiel '03 - and who managed to be around the Schmidt Spiele stand around the time is was handed out - the expansion was later sold through the normal retailer channels throughtout Germany.