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Patrick Reynolds
United States
Vermontville
Michigan
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Carcassone is a game I have enjoyed since I doscovered it last year. It's simple gameplay and deep strategy made it an instant favorite of pretty much anyone I introduced to it. By the time I bought the game, the base set included the freebie add-on 'The River,' and I have since bought both full expansions - 'Inns & Cathedrals' and 'Builders & Traders.' Each expansion has changed the basic game, making it more complex and adding deeper strategy. 'King & Scout,' although it adds only 7 tiles to the game, follows the tradition of previous expansions.

The interesting thing about 'King & Scout' is that it expands both Carcassone and Carcassone: Hunters & Gatherers, giving the latter game its first expansion.

The new tiles for Carcassone fill in some holes and add a couple of interesting features. Particularly, the city tile that contains 2 city sections, one running north/south and the other running east/west, and another tile containing both a city section and a monastary. Both of these tiles add something that was not in the game before. The remaining 3 new game tiles are city/road combos that make finishing cities a bit easier. Finally, there are 2 new scoring tiles, the King and the Thief. These tiles are fluid during the game, changing hands depending on which player has built the largest city and the longest road, respectively. In this respect, they work a lot like the 'Longest Road' and 'Largest Army' cards in Settlers. At the end of the game, the player with the King scores an additional point for every completed city on the map, while the player with the Thief scores 1 point for every completed road. This adds even more importance to the endgame scoring system of Carcassone, something that most players either love or hate. With the 'goods' scoring from the previous expansion, endgame victories are now even more likely, as a player who controls the most goods and has the King and Thief stands to bulk up on a lot of points after the last tile has been placed.

Over in Hunters & Gatherers, there are 5 new tiles that substantially change the game. Each of these tiles are shuffled and dealt to players BEFORE the game begins. 4 of these are special playable tiles on which a follower or hut MUST be placed, where it remains for the entire game. These tiles grant unique scoring opportunities to the controlling player. Players may choose to place these tiles during their turn instead of the normal procedure of drawing a tile. A final tile, the Shaman, allows the controlling player to 'bury' his tile at the bottom of the pile and redraw once per turn. These 5 tiles add an enormous amount of strategy to Carcassone's 'little sister' game, and set it on the path to becoming just as complex and engaging as its bigger brother.
 
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Shannon Appelcline
United States
Berkeley
California
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Re:User Review
pkreynolds (#23561),

It's the Scout, one of those playable tiles, which lets you redraw a tile as you note. The Shaman lets you reclaim a meeple from the board.
 
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