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Subject: Which expansions are good for 6 players? rss

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Jonathan Davis
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I'm trying to introduce some folks who are non boardgamers to boardgames, and Carcassonne seems like a good place to start since it's quite simple (match the pictures!) to at least get into and is one of the few games I've played that can handle 6 players.

There are a million expansions, and I'm wondering if any of them are 'must haves' or enhance the game if there are 6 players.

I've identified the inns and cathedrals expansion as the one that has the (gray?) meeples for the 6th player so I'll be getting that one of course.

If there are 6 players, is the river recommended to give more freedom in laying down your first tile?
 
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Derek Thompson
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Obviously you want I&C, but honestly, I don't see the need for any extras. The builder for T&B would probably clog the flow of the game with players taking double-turns, and the other expansions are just not that good. I could see adding the River, but nothing else, really.
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Luis Olcese
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The problem is that, without expansions, every player will place just 12 tiles. You need to increase this number using any expansion. Besides that, I don't recommend playing it with more than 4 persons, there is absolutely no strategy involved with many people playing (For me, 2 is the best number).
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Michael Jordal
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I like the tower for some conflict and to try and remove crazy farmers.
 
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Susie_Cat
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davisjh wrote:
I'm trying to introduce some folks who are non boardgamers to boardgames, and Carcassonne seems like a good place to start since it's quite simple (match the pictures!) to at least get into and is one of the few games I've played that can handle 6 players.


I know it's heresy on a Carcassonne forum, but to introduce that many I would go for Bohnanza, or maybe No Thanks! or perhaps For Sale...

I'm with the others, Carcassonne with 6 players doesn't appeal at all.

Susie_Cat.
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If you like more conflict and messing with each other, I would recommend Princess & Dragon.

We once played a 6 player game that included Inns & Cathedral and Princess & Dragon (and another one or two expansions, can't remember). At one point, a quite large city that 2 people were fighting over had a cathedral placed in it to make it more difficult to finish. Well, as it got closer to being finished, some other players kept trying to creep in, while the rest kept putting large pieces on it to keep it from being finished. The ones inside kept using princess tiles and the dragon itself to remove the other player's meeples from the city, in order to give themselves majority control.

It was an absolutely hectic game, but it was a blast, and had the largest scoring city in any game we have played since. It came down to two people being tied for control in the city with 2 meeples a piece, the rest were slowly wiped out. One more corner was needed. My wife (who is one of the two city dwellers) draws a corner to end it, but it also has a princess symbol on it. Which means, she kicked out one of the other player's meeples, and at the end, scored the entire city herself. Thanks to the cathedral bonus and a bunch of pennants, that city alone was worth a whopping 129 points! Needless to say, she ended up winning.
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Steve B
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DoomTurtle wrote:
If you like more conflict and messing with each other, I would recommend Princess & Dragon.


thumbsup

One expansion I've kind of permanently added to my base game is Carcassonne: The Mini Expansion. 12 new tiles (10 if you remove the river tiles it gives you) to add that help get people out of some impossible looking situations in the game.
 
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Gerald McDaniel
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We include River, River II, Inns and Cathedrals, and Traders and Builders in all our 6-player games. Can't imagine playing it without them, now that we are accustomed to them.
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J C Lawrence
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None. Carcassonne is best as a two player game , with or without any number of expansions.
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Tobias Lundberg
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clearclaw wrote:
None. Carcassonne is best as a two player game , with or without any number of expansions.


This is true for most expansions, but not for a select few. The Count comes to mind. I would prefer more players with Tower and P&D as well. The Castle is still the best two player experience Carcassonne can offer, if you go with two-points markets.

If you are going to play six players C, you need more expansions than I&C. I would say that the best is two base sets (one of which can be the newish Wheel base set).

Edit: Typo.
 
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Brett
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I love Carcassonne but 6 players in to many. Try breaking them in with 3 or 4 player games of Carcassonne. You should also play with the river tiles. They prevent farms from getting big and farms tend to get overlooked by beginners. Also MeeplePeeple.com has meeples, mega-meeples, builders and pigs in additional colors.
 
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Seth Pinter
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Don't listen to the people who can't plan for others actions and therefore call it random. It plays fine with 6-players as long as you aren't expecting a game where others can't influence you. While it is a different game than with 2 people, I've had plenty of good games and still generally win or get second. I don't believe there is no strategy or I wouldn't typically win. My cousin who is also an avid player can give me a run for my money and occasionally win. For those who are looking for a chess like experience of course it doesn't fit their desires.

As for expansions, I say use whatever you want so long as you have enough tiles. You figure 30-seconds per tile (which is actually long by my standards), with 6 people and 20 tiles each would give you 120 tiles and a 1-hour game.

Generally with 6 I play with most of the tiles from the Big Box 2, but tend not to play with all the rules expansions and selectively choose the rules we are using. We generally play with all the rules from I&C, T&B, and then the cult, abbey, and mayor specific rules and maybe one or two other rules depending on who is there. It keeps the game simpler and flowing fast (so no carts or remembering to give out points for the fairy).

Carcassonne: Expansion 5 – Abbey & Mayor is a really good expansion because it gives you the "wild card" tile which lets you fill in tough holes. It also splits mega cities if you have a choke point.
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Susie_Cat
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nordlead wrote:
Don't listen to the people who can't plan for others actions and therefore call it random. It plays fine with 6-players as long as you aren't expecting a game where others can't influence you.


That's not the reason I wouldn't play it with 6 players at all (I happen to enjoy a good game of Apples to Apples, so random is not a problem!). With 6 there's too much downtime and a lack of tiles; 6 player takes the same amount of time as two player, but you only lay 1/6th of the number of tiles. For beginners there are games you can play with 6 that have more interaction and involvement and for more experienced players, there are other games that would be better suited to the number of players.

Hence, I wouldn't play it with 6 unless there was a crowd of others who wanted to. But whatever floats your boat...

Susie_Cat.

EDIT: I can't count - that should be 1/3 the number of tiles...
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Mathijs Booden
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davisjh wrote:
I'm trying to introduce some folks who are non boardgamers to boardgames


Given they are non-gamers I would argue against including any of the expansions. The game should be complex enough in itself. Playing with the basic set will give them the opportunity to familiarize with the basic tiles and the four basic ways to score. Laying just twelve tiles each is probably a good thing too.

As you say you'll need the gray dudes. I'd include those and perhaps some non-weird tiles from the expansion, leave the inns, cathedrals, weird tiles and the big meeples out, and test the waters with that.

Remember they are non-gamers. They're already out of their comfort zone. Nothing like an overwhelming feeling of not-getting-it to scare the uninitiated away. Keep it simple.
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Seth Pinter
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Susie_Cat wrote:
That's not the reason I wouldn't play it with 6 players at all (I happen to enjoy a good game of Apples to Apples, so random is not a problem!). With 6 there's too much downtime and a lack of tiles; 6 player takes the same amount of time as two player, but you only lay 1/6th of the number of tiles.


While you do lay less tiles, it should take at most 2.5 minutes between turns. If you pick up one tile ahead of time, you should be able to play as soon as it is your turn, speeding up the time between turns (to as little as a minute). While it isn't party game speed, it easily keeps you engaged and is faster than most Euro's.
 
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Susie_Cat
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nordlead wrote:
Susie_Cat wrote:
That's not the reason I wouldn't play it with 6 players at all (I happen to enjoy a good game of Apples to Apples, so random is not a problem!). With 6 there's too much downtime and a lack of tiles; 6 player takes the same amount of time as two player, but you only lay 1/6th of the number of tiles.


While you do lay less tiles, it should take at most 2.5 minutes between turns. If you pick up one tile ahead of time, you should be able to play as soon as it is your turn, speeding up the time between turns (to as little as a minute). While it isn't party game speed, it easily keeps you engaged and is faster than most Euro's.


True, but the downtime compared to 2 player just seems to take ages. And beginner are more likely to be in tune with party games, so they may also feel the time drag, when really, there's no need. At least with a game like Bohnanza you get to join in the negotiation at the end of every turn, or with No Thanks! you can bid or pass.

Susie_Cat.
 
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Laurence Parsons
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We played 6 players for years with just I&C and King & Scout (didn't even have the river). More recently we've added T&B for variety, but if you are introducing this to non-gamers, then just I&C will keep them interested for a long while.
Don't worry about the downtime unless you have a "no table talk" rule. We don't and almost every piece is "advised" or "pursuaded"; so everyone is involved every turn. We also pick up a new tile just after laying the old one, so we have a minute or so to plan the next move. It moves fast enough, and we've got through games in under 30 minutes, although 60 is nearer the mark.
Treat Carc as a 6-player social game, with everyone chipping in their advice, and you have a great game for new gamers.
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Gerald McDaniel
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freduk wrote:
We played 6 players for years with just I&C and King & Scout (didn't even have the river). More recently we've added T&B for variety, but if you are introducing this to non-gamers, then just I&C will keep them interested for a long while.
Don't worry about the downtime unless you have a "no table talk" rule. We don't and almost every piece is "advised" or "pursuaded"; so everyone is involved every turn. We also pick up a new tile just after laying the old one, so we have a minute or so to plan the next move. It moves fast enough, and we've got through games in under 30 minutes, although 60 is nearer the mark.
Treat Carc as a 6-player social game, with everyone chipping in their advice, and you have a great game for new gamers.


Exactly right. This is the way we play it (always with 6 family members). Down time is unimportant, with all the table talk and "free advice."
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Todd
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lolcese wrote:
The problem is that, without expansions, every player will place just 12 tiles. You need to increase this number using any expansion. Besides that, I don't recommend playing it with more than 4 persons, there is absolutely no strategy involved with many people playing (For me, 2 is the best number).


You may not want the games to last that long, people loose intrest if they have to cope with AP from too many different tiles.

I say get I&C and use the grey meeples with just the core tiles and keep is simple, don't get people started stealing right away that also can cause AP trying to plan to far ahead for new players
Save the expansions for later games after they get a better grip on the game.
I think the river I and II is a good one for six players it cuts the farms down, I think using the thief from the thief and the king (longest road gets 10 points at games end) is a good way to allow people another way to score buy using roads, many people tend to ignore the roads if they can but the king gives extra points to the player with the biggest city when they already scored a lot of points from that city
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Klaus Brune
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Well, as others have said about the non-gamer issue and the need for a larger tile pool, perhaps the ideal "add on" would be a second base set?

That said, the least favorite expansion in my collection (Carcassonne: Expansion 3 – The Princess & The Dragon) also happens to be a good add-on for a larger number of players because it increases things you can do when it's not your turn.

For the same reason, I like Carcassonne: Expansion 8 – Bridges, Castles and Bazaars because the bazaars add an auction element... when you draw one, more tiles get laid out and there's a bidding round where you have to pay points off your score to claim a tile.

That becomes especially interesting when combined with P&D - how badly do you want that tile that gives you the chance to move the dragon? Or that teleporter that will let you move a meeple to that large unoccupied city where the dragon gobbled up the knight who stayed there.
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