Recommend
2 
 Thumb up
 Hide
10 Posts

Carcassonne» Forums » General

Subject: A stand-alone game? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Enthusiastic Gamer
msg tools
mbmb
Hi,
Thinking of buying Carcassonne. Due to the ridiculous number of expansions available, methinks this may not be a stand-alone game. Would I be correct in making this assumption?

If so, if I were to just buy one expansion with it, which one would you recommend?

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joe Kundlak
Slovakia
Bratislava
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Carcassone is a stand-alone game and you can play it just fine like that (myself doing it and will do for some time yet, until I get some money for the first expansion - Inns and Cathedrals).

That said, you can either buy it on itself, or with the Inns and Cathedrals expansion, or even with the second one - Traders and Builders. Do not be frightened that you are crippled in some way with just the standalone game. Until you and your players get the correct feel of the strategy and things, some time may flow. And then you can incorporate the first and second expansion (IaC and TaB) with ease.

They both have some new options that you will need to incorporate in your strategies and re-think your play a bit.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Fraser
Australia
Melbourne
flag msg tools
admin
designer
Back in the days when there were less maps we played every map back to back
badge
Ooh a little higher, now a bit to the left, a little more, a little more, just a bit more. Oooh yes, that's the spot!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Once we played Carcassonne with Carcassonne: Expansion 1 – Inns & Cathedrals we have kept the two together permanently. They will never be separated again.

It can be played without, but we just felt it was much better with Carcassonne: Expansion 1 – Inns & Cathedrals, the other expansions are more option in my humble opinion.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joe Kundlak
Slovakia
Bratislava
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I agree, when you join with the expansion you probably wont turn back.

It is only a natural way to start with the basic one and progress further once you learnt the strategies.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
SoCal
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I've played Carcassonne a few times on BSW. Also several times with the Inns & Catherdrals expansions. Less-so with everything else in way of expansions. I'd say get Inns & Catherdrals as the first expansion and go from there, whether or not you wanna get any more expansions. I&C includes a 6th set of meeple bits, as well as a big meeple for all 6 sets. Nice to have. Only other game I know of to get meeples is Aquaretto

The Purists, casual gamers, and community as a whole will be polarized between strict Carc and Carc with some to all of its expansions. Neat thing is, adding the expansions can almost make original Carc into another game entirely. With all these, you can customize the game the way you want, ableit at the cost of buying those expansions.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dennison Milenkaya
United States
Washington
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I say the original is a fine game all on its lonesome. I really enjoy the Inns & Cathedrals expansion, as the Inns and Cathedrals themselves offer new ways to maximize points or to mess with your foes. Moreso, the new configurations of the tiles (border combinations) makes the game more complete.

That said, I still like to go back to the basics every now and then in some fierce 2-player action, especially (occasionally more). This has nothing to do with duration of a game nor the scoring opportunities variance from removing the Inns and Cathedral tiles, but purely for the play style that was employed for the basic game. It is not difficult to memorize certian patterns in the tile configurations for the basic game--adding expansions makes it really hard to count cards!!

There are:
3 tiles with one City boarder with a road bending right;
3 tiles with one City boarder and a road bending left;
3 tiles with one City boarder with a road running straight past it; and
3 tiles with one City boarder and a cross-road

Knowing this, and a few other basic configurations, like there being no single road on a tile unless there are three City borders or there is a Cloister (x2) and three Field borders. Knowing which possible combinations exist makes it possible to leave holes in the board where your opponent wants to finish something or connect a Farmer to a larger Field. It also lets you know your odds of completing a particular project yourself. These are some fairly advanced techniques which more expansions tend to diminish and instead of knowing your odds, you kind of guess and feel your way thru. For this reason, I do like going back to the basic game every now and then.

As you don't even have the game yet, I don't mean to overwhelm you with this detail. Instead, I hope to convince you that the basic Carcassonne, regardless of expansions, is still a great game, even after many, many plays. And don't be dissuaded by any of this either, if you and your friends tend to prefer a light game. Playing without counting tiles makes for a very enjoyable afternoon activity.

For what it's worth, I use two copies of Inns & Cathedrals (with only 2 Cathedral tiles, the amount of one box) and one Traders & Builders. Not that I don't like the Builder tokens, but I feel they change the overall game drastically with being able to take multiple turns in a row and offset the even distribution. My group prefers to avoid combination turns to promote fairness, competition, and risk management, thus we leave the Builder token out and simply use the extra tiles and trade goods from that set. I also have another copy of Carcassonne which I keep separate from all expansions for those times when we are introducing new players or want a more cerebral tile-counting session.

In short, Carcassonne is highly replayable and enjoyable regardless of the level of competition you enjoy. It is well worth the money. And the expansions should be considered completely optional and available if you ever want to add more depth.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Scott McGill
Australia
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I agree.. It's awesome on it's own.

in fact I think the big box, whilst economical is not a great way to buy this game.

Call me a purist, but I like the basic game and after I dunno - 30+ games I still have no urge to expand it. I think I will one day but I don't yet feel like I've explored all of it or got to know it to the point of getting sick of it yet.

I know I'll get some expansions one day, but have no urge to yet.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jesse McGatha
United States
Sammamish
Washington
flag msg tools
admin
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Definitely great out of the box. I agree with the others that Inns & Cathedrals is great, but it does add a fair amount of length to the game (nearly double). I personally also really like Traders & Builders and will play it and the base set together or with Inns & Cathedrals. That said, I could play for years happily with just the base game.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Philip Thomas
United Kingdom
London
London
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
If you are looking for a stand-alone game, Carcassonne: The City is more streamlined and interesting than the original, and doesn't have any expansions. It is more expensive, because you get more wooden bits, but it doesn look pretty when its finished.

(Regular Carcassonne can be played as a stand-alone. There is also Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers. But I like the City best
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Scott Myers
United States
Rochester
New York
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Pyroadept, the basic game plays exceptionally well all alone. Rio Grande Games, in the U.S., released the "Big Box" edition which combines several expansions into one loving box, so if you were thinking of getting a comprehensive (but still only introductory) approach to the game, that might be one pretty good option. But if you simply wanted to get a cheap set and start playing: yes, the base set will work very well. It's a classic which won many awards, fFor a reason.

However, since you are asking about expansions as well, I would say *any* expansions will work very well with the base set. The Abbey and Mayor is currently the most recent expansion, and you might be able to play with just this, fFor example. I posit: there is no one right expansion to use.

I suppose caution should be taken with the Tower; it seems to be difficult to play in smaller games with fFewer players and less tiles, but I believe simply limiting the number of tower blocks a player gets to start should solve that.

An interesting proposition might be to use ONLY some expansions. The original core box comes with rules and meeples, but fFrankly you can get playing pieces fFrom lots of places, and the rules are linked right here on BGG. But that would be an academic approach to acquiring the game.

When I organize a game, I will go around the table asking each player which one rule or expansion they want to use. There's enough to choose fFrom, we almost never play the same combination twice. (It helps that I have every expansion, and a fFew house-rules)
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.