Just got my copy of Carcassonne: The City today, so the wife and I had to sit down and give it a whirl. We have the original Carcassonne with all the expansions and Carcassonne: The Castle. This version is the ultimate. The wooden box, cloth bags, and hefty walls and towers are great.
The first phase of the game was interesting. Tile placement is similar to Carcassonne: The Castle. The richest source of points appears to be the markets, which are quite plentiful. My wife and I ended up joining a huge suburb area, and cancelled each other out.
The second phase was neat. My wife got to place the city gate, and since it was a two player game, four walls were placed each time. She got the first several wall placements, and got a couple of nice tower scores. We each placed a guard in this phase, grabbing some rows rich in historic buildings.
When the third (final) phase of the game began, the wall placement was furious (8 walls are placed each time in a two player game). We vied for the last few markets, hemmed each other in, and got all of our leftover men on the walls by game end.
We had the funky ending where we placed the last tile (triggering game end, after a last wall building round). It ended up that the walls exactly met up when the last wall was played. It seemed odd to place a final tower, so we ruled that the tile placer (my wife) should score the length of wall between the existing towers (9 points). [I see here on the Geek that we should have placed that last tower where the walls joined, so she would have gotten only 7 points].
Now we did final scoring (the Stewards and the Guards). In the end, I had 188 and my wife had 201. My only complaint was that with all the nice stuff in the box, they left out a few 50/100 score tiles.