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Subject: How does it feel to play Carcassonne? rss

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Will Bachman
United States
Bluffdale
Utah
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This review discusses the first edition of Carcassonne. To the best of my knowledge, the new printing features updated artwork only.

You begin with a single square on the table showing the edge of a nearby city. A road leads to either side and grasslands lie opposite the walls of the town. You and up to four other friends will take turns drawing cardboard tiles and placing them on the table. You'll play your tile adjacent to pieces already on the table, matching the artwork on all sides, laying claim to its features and collecting points along the way.

Doing so will reveal more of the French city of Carcassonne, and perhaps a little about your friends as well. Some will be content to focus on their favorite areas (or just those right in front of them) and seeing them through to completion. The aggressive among you will want to force their design in the building of incomplete structures, taking over where other craftsman left off and claiming a share of the rewards, if not all of them.

In the end, you'll be left with a beautifully designed map on the table, with a few empty spaces remaining sadly unexplored. A quick tally of the points and your avatar continues along a winding path to victory. The winner receives their congratulations, and a few ask questions about the farmers and the value of their contributions. But soon after, you will undoubtedly return to the land of Carcassonne, ready to claim your stake in the region once more.

Carcassonne is a game played best with two players, where the zero-sum nature of it makes every denial of points just as valuable as the scoring of one's own. That doesn't make it a bad experience for more players. More players result in more waiting and a more frequently changing state of the map, making a fantastic game merely great. The turns are quick, and the whole of it takes little more than thirty to forty minutes, enough to satisfy while also leaving you wanting more. It's all a relatively simple affair, and luck can be fickle on who she favors. The best player will usually win, but not always, and the play engages even those who fall well behind. An excellent game for anyone.


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mar daros
United States
Iowa
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I LIKE Carcassonne. My only disappointment is I recently started grabbing expansions and add-ons, promos, etc. Found out many expansions are either no longer in print or if found, are outrageous prices. The rule books can be a bit confusing....Still - I LIKE Carcassonne. meeple
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Julien K
Japan
Kyoto
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Seems funny to me that so many people say that 2p Carcassonne is their favorite way of playing the game. It's actually my least favorite. I don't like much the zero-sum nature it has then, and I usually prefer games where it's better to score your own points than to denial your opponent's.

I highly prefer playing it multiplayer (3 or 4, not more), where with the right play, you can have alliances and betrayals as players have meeples in the same city or the same field and are co-operating (up to a point) to making it better and bigger, while left-out player(s) fight against it.

Anyway, that's my 2c. Love to see that people still review this 15 year old game though.
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Will Bachman
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I shared this with my wife before posting and her response was, “you think this is better with two players?” Considering she is my second player, it took me by surprise. She likes it best with three players, to reduce the amount of direct confrontation. I agree with your points as well. I’ve been part of many alliances and have betrayed, or been betrayed, countless times. I believe it’s a testament to the game that it feels so different with various player counts, rather than just adding more downtime.

Thanks for your 2 cents! I really just felt like writing one day. I know the world doesn’t need more Carcassonne reviews, but it was fun to put down my thoughts on my favorite game.
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Michal Sasinski
Poland
Wrocław
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People either love it or hate it. IMO this is because Carcassonne is in fact abstract game. You could simplify the graphics to just colored shapes and it would not lost its flavor.

+1 for multiplayer game from me. This is where politics come in place and game starts to shine.
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Brendan Slade
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2 players is much more cutthroat and competitive. More players generally makes the game more relaxed and easy to gang up on anyone who is doing too well for their own good.
 
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