Carcassonne: The City:
In my honest opinion (IMHO), nothing beats the original Carcassonne. It’s beautiful, simple, straight forward and frankly a lot of fun. That’s not to say that I don’t enjoy all the little extras that they’ve added over the years. I like the River, the little extra scoring options, but there is something special about the original that just hasn’t been captured by all the new things.
Such is the case with Carcassonne: They City. There are lots of additional ways to score, markets, towers, walls, and the like. The box is wow, the pieces are wow, but it just doesn’t have the simplicity that I fell in love with.
Don’t get me wrong, it was a great game, lots more ways to hose your neighbor, ways to score and lots and lots of wooden pieces and if you’re a fan of Carcassonne, you know you’re going to get a copy anyway, so you might as well go head and order a copy now.
The setup is unique in that the tiles are sorted into 3 piles of 30, 25 and 20. All players draw from the same pile, once the first one is exhausted (the 30 tile pile), then players move into the second one.
This is when things break away from the traditional type scoring of Carcassonne. Once a player triggers any sort of scoring, it’s time to place walls. Each player extends the wall by one piece and has an opportunity to place a guard on the wall. The way this scoring works is that for every blue building in their row that they over look they score two points; for every named building (historic) they score 3 points. So if you get the right row you can score a lot of points. Additionally whoever triggered the scoring gets to place a tower piece; for every wall segment between this tower and the last they score a point.
Once players move to the 3rd pile, each player gets to place TWO wall segments instead of one.
The game ends when either all the tile are placed, the walls are within 5 spaces of each other, or I believe all the wall pieces have been placed.
Typical end game scoring ensues.
Since all of us were old hacks at Carcassonne we jumped right in and motored along. An alarming trend was seen early on, the YELLOW man was everywhere (Jon controlled yellow) and GREEN was sprouting in the strangest of places (Mark). Ellen (RED) and myself (BLUE) seemed to be just plotting along.
Towards the end game it just got ugly, I was lapped by both Jon and Mark and Ellen wasn’t too far behind. When we got to the final scoring it wasn’t even a contest. Jon broke 100 with Mark close on his heels. I managed to break 50 and Ellen ended up somewhere in the 60s or 70s. I was totally slaughtered but it was fun.
While we were playing Brian showed up. Apparently he thought Game Night was off, his wife knew better and apparently all but through him out of the house to go and play with us.
At this point we decided it was time to break out Pitch Car.