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Subject: Which version of Carcassonne should I buy? rss

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Danny
United States
Dist of Columbia
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I'm thinking about buying Carcassonne and was wondering if I would be okay with the base set (I've been eyeing that 10-year Anniversary Edition at $18) or if I will quickly grow tired of that and want expansions (in which case I would probably hold off and buy a big box when I have some more money). I'm a sucker for components and really like the translucent meeples, but if I'm going to need a couple expansions to really improve the longevity of the game then it makes sense for me to buy big box 2 ($56) or 3 ($48). Let me know what you think! Thanks.
 
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Derek Thompson
United States
Marion
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Depends on the player for longevity with the base game, but the 3rd big box is the best set of expansions IMO...
 
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You may want to start researching the expansions now and decide if there are any you would want. If there is just one or two you have your eye on, it would probably be more cost effective to just buy the base game (or anniversary edition) and the couple expansions.

If this is a game you think you will be playing often enough to want to change the gameplay a lot, than a big box will definitely save you money in the long run over buying all of the included expansions separately.

A lot of people are content with just Inns & Cathedrals and Traders & Builders. I thought I would be content with what was included in Big Box 2, but I eventually had to get them all (even the much disliked Catapult expansions, and the alternate base game, Wheel of Fortune).

Some of the expansions will add a lot of direct conflict, others add a few modifications to the regular game, some add new meeple types, or terrain features that change the way you can earn points. There is a lot of variety, so you should definitely check them out and try to decide whether it will be base game plus 1 or 2 more, or if you will want to go beyond that and start out with the big box.
 
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The Compulsive Completist
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If it is a decision between the standard core game and the anniversary edition get the anniversary edition. That way you get the meeple shaped score board. If you will end up getting many of the expansions then look toward th ebig box.
 
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ketchupgun
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Toronto
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We played alot of Carc...then we got I&C and T&B and we haven't felt the need to change the game ever again...it's REALLY satisfying with just those two exp.

We also own River II and The Count....but I have yet to even open them (and I've owned them for several years now).

Carc+I&C+T&B is our go to game that comes out every time there is a family get together and on every vacation (it all fits in the I&C box + a notepad for scoring).

To change things up, we also play with different variants, esp the one where everyone keeps a hand of 3 tiles. We just started thinking about a Trade Machanic, where you could trade some of your in hand tiles with other players and make deals (ala Cosmic Encounter or Civ) ... but that would turn a fun game into a gang-up-a-thon...which I'm not opposed to.

So that would be my suggestion.
 
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Brad Johnson
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Crystal Lake
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Personally, I'm more of a purist. The various expansions were sort of interesting at first, but ultimately, it just seemed to me like they complicated the game for no real benefit. In the end, my favorite is Hunters & Gatherers, which I think has the cleanest ruleset, unpolluted by unnecessary add-ons. This is the only version that we still occasionally pull out to play when we feel like an easy, low-stress filler.
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Gabriele Pezzato
Italy
Padova
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aldaryn wrote:
Depends on the player for longevity with the base game, but the 3rd big box is the best set of expansions IMO...

Seconded. You can also add some more expansions later (I added the Tower and King, Count and Cult)
 
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L H
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Lehi
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I started with the Big Box 2. We really enjoy playing with I&C as it is in nearly every game we play. Most of the time we also add in T&B and/or A&M. About 1 in every five games we use one or both of the River expansions. Really, the only time we ever play just the base game anymore is to introduce a new player to the game. We also like BC&B, except for the bazaars. The auction mechanic just isn't Carcassonne. Obviously, I have added some expansions to the Big Box 2 and will continue to do so until I have all of them, even though some of them will rarely if ever get played.meeple
 
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Wolfram Troeder
Germany
Bruchkoebel
Hessen
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Boardgaming is not a matter of life or death...
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My "Carcassonne the City" pensioned all my other Carcassonnes.
 
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Bryan Jensen
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Layton
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tempus42 wrote:
Personally, I'm more of a purist. The various expansions were sort of interesting at first, but ultimately, it just seemed to me like they complicated the game for no real benefit. In the end, my favorite is Hunters & Gatherers, which I think has the cleanest ruleset, unpolluted by unnecessary add-ons. This is the only version that we still occasionally pull out to play when we feel like an easy, low-stress filler.


Carc:H&G has some novel twists on base Carcassonne - you can claim ownership of a whole river ("road") system as well as fish ("thief") a portion of the river. Forests ("cities") score a little higher on completion since it's per segment rather than per tile, but, unlike base Carc, don't grant points at the end of the game if left incomplete. Forests can also contain gold to give you a bonus tile. Sometimes it is worth completing an opponent's forest (and letting them score) in order to steal their bonus tile; oftentimes it's even more delicious to leave them stranded as, like said, incomplete Forest ("cities") don't score at the end of the game. I think the Hunters ("farms") are a little more interesting in scoring, and visually enjoyable what with having animals you hunt (mammoths, bulls and deer) as well as animals that eat your rewards (sabertooth tigers).

There are more tiles in H&G (79 + 12 bonus vs. 72), plus add that you get fewer tribe members ("followers") -- 5 vs 7 -- and you have slightly tighter decision-making over the core "roles" your followers can perform. However, with H&G you also get two fishing huts; but unlike tribe members the "job" they perform is fixed.

I'm tempted to buy the new Anniversary Edition of base Carcassonne because I like the new production values as well as enjoy the base game. But I've been content, game collection-wise, up till now to get my Carc fix with H&G because it is a more robust self-contained design.
 
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Philip Pack
Canada
Nanaimo
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If you don't get a Big Box with the expansions... and if your copy doesn't automatically come with it, do your self a favour and get The River expansion. I really don't like playing without it, especially with more than 2 players.

The expansion I picked beyond that was Inns and Cathedrals, doesn't add too much to the game, just a simple double or nothing rule for special tiles.
 
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Diz Hooper
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I strongly recommend just getting Hunters and Gatherers and forgetting about all of the expansions you see for the regular Carcassonne set.

When I first started out with board games, I picked up most of the expansions that were out at the time. However, as the expansions piled up, it became more of a chore to play it. What to leave in? What to leave out? Sorting all the pieces so you could make those decision easily. It just made playing Carcassonne a lot more work than a game of this weight should be.

Keep it simple with Hunters and Gatherers and eliminate the stress.
 
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Dustin Hermann
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I had to make the same decision on whether to get the big box or the special 10th edition. I decided to go with the 10th edition as the safer bet. If I the game ended up being a big hit and could use some expansion that's when I will start getting some. I've gotten some games and expansions along with them and hardly play them anymore making it a bad investment.
 
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Chris Hawks
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Apple Valley
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I'm also much more a fan of the standalone spin-offs than the original game: The Discovery is easily my favorite, but Hunters and Gatherers and The City are also good.
 
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Sapo Hipnotico
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I was pretty much in the same position as the thread starter.
I'm planning to use carcasone as bait for my non gamer friends, once they are hooked I think Ill pull agricola, puerto rico, caylus... instead of adding stuff to caracassone. When reading about caracssone what I found best in the game is the clever and clean rule set and gameplay, all add ons seam to put unnecessary weight to what seams to be a very self contained game.
I will probably buy the cute commemorative edition.
 
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If you have an Ipod Touch, Iphone, Ipad, and/or OSX computer, I would recommend the iOS version of Carcassonne. Includes a nifty solitaire version too (though you can recreate it with the physical board game too). River II and Inns & Cathedrals is expected to become available. but not until late July/Early August

http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/655201/carcassonne-for-ios-g...
 
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Mike S.
Netherlands
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If you want a regular Carcassonne, I'd go for the wheel instead the other 2 you were proposing.
 
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Hobie
United States
Philadelphia
Pennsylvania
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So...why do they have these overtext things anyway?
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Big Box + Games Quarterly Expansion (in stock at Cool Stuff Inc) is all the Carc you will ever need.

Our number one go-to game.
 
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Andreas
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I know I might have the german perspective with german prices. But I think its an obvious choice between two things like mentioned before:
a) You want the base and only the base game. Then You might look into the new anniversary edition as its much nicer. A bit more expensive but still Carcassonne is one of the cheapest eurogames around
b) You want to expand. Then its wise to get the cheapest Big Box as this will give You 5 expansions for the price of 2.

Does Your family or Your group like the game? If Yes then its option b). If You think Carc gets only occasionally played then a).
 
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