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Subject: The diffrent expansions - strategic or chaotic rss

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Tal R
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My family and I started to play carcassone a year ago and we dcided that we want to buy an expansion or two.
Which expansions do you think add to the depth of the game and which expansions just add more chaos?

Please help (a detailed explanation will be really appreciated)
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Mark L
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Inns & Cathedrals is the best expansion IMO. It doesn't change things fundamentally, but adds new tactical options, makes the roads worth bothering with and just generally makes the game much more interesting. The base game now feels "flat" to me without it, so I always include it.

Traders & Builders is next best. It changes the game a little more, but again adds tactical options, including giving you a reason to finish other people's cities.

The others are much more patchy and there are lots of them, both small and large!

The Phantom is my favourite of the small expansions, again adding extra tactical options (and cute transparent meeples!).

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Jacek Wieszaczewski
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If you want just two: Inns and Cathedrals + The Phantom. Hands down two best expansions.

Other things I like: The Tower (only if you like strong conflict), Traders and Builders, Ferries.
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Jarek Szczepanik
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My top expansions:

Inns & Cathedrals + Traders & Builders (those two expansions together work better tan each of them separately and are the best expansions ever; they make the game very exciting), the Phantom (a simple but ingenious expansion), the Ferries (can cause battles over roads which are generally underestimated), the Goldmines (one more resource to compete for), the Mage & Witch (you can use it either as a help for kids or to make your opponent cry), the Cult, the Siege (both have a substantial spite factor; Siege & Cult are unfortunately difficult to get recently). Abbeys & Mayor is a decent expansion as well (interesting tiles).

Stay away from the Catapult (aka the Chaos Dispenser). The Tower can be interesting but it's not a good idea for family gaming. Besides it distracts you too much from the main goal. Bridges Castles & Bazaars are also chaotic to some degree. Although many people love it, I'm not a fan of Princess & Dragon (it's also chaotic for me). The Robbers as well as the Messages add much more chaos than strategy. I especially don't like the crowd on the scoring board (three meeples for each player - that's even more than crowd for me!). The Flier is no different - meeples flying over the board - that reminds me of the horror of of the Catapult.

If I were you I would start with I&C + T&B + Phantom. If you like it, you can try out more expansions later.
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Dave C
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Remember that the greatness of the Carcassonne expansions is their measure: we pick and choose parts for our basic game...

We only use the abbey tiles from Carcassonne: Expansion 5 – Abbey & Mayor, we use all of Carcassonne: Expansion 1 – Inns & Cathedrals, and we use the mage and witch (mini expansion) as activating only with the tiles from Carcassonne: Expansion 6 – Count, King & Robber. That is our regular game. Fun. period.

There are more various combinations of expansions to Carcassonne than there are neutrinos in the universe.
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Tal R
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What do you think about the river expansion
 
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Tal R
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The river expansion
What do you think about the river expansion?
 
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Jarek Szczepanik
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It's not the worst expansion. It looks good and helps to divide farms. However, it has some drawbacks too. It's easy to block city/road building along the river, because you frequently draw city, bridge, city, bridge tiles when expanding the river. Finishing a city clashed between two roads crossing the river can be really painful. So be prepared to have some holes next to the water when you play with the river what can be a little annoying for puzzle addicts. I somehow prefer River II over River I (I think it's because of the fork). Nonetheless, I like to include it from time to time.

P.S. It can be difficult to combine the River with The City of Carcassonne from The Count expansion (you have to build away from the city).
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Manuel Berger
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I bought the big box which includes the smaller expansions, and I like them very much!
They are small enough not to change much in the game, but they are big enough to add some fresh feeling to this old great game

I also like the river very much, but only because it makes the map look so good! it doesn't add to much to the game, since the tiles are used at the beginning only.

In order to make the game more strategic, we like to have always 1 extra tile in "the hand" so a big part of the luck is converted to strategy.
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Greg Cornell
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My family was like yours. We played the game for about a year, then started adding expansions. We added only Inns & Cathedrals, then Traders and Builders, one at a time. We got to know the first expansion well before we added the other one - maybe 8 months later.

By adding those 2 expansions we went from that quick little game to a full Euro with multiple paths to victory and some really good scoring variations. We never removed the expansions from the base game once they were added and we always play with both expansions now. I don't have any plans to expand that original game any further.

We proceeded to buy Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers, and Carcassonne: The Castle. Those are stand-alone games that give us new experiences with the same theme that we love about the original.
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Mark L
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Svartisen wrote:
It's not the worst expansion. It looks good and helps to divide farms. However, it has some drawbacks too. It's easy to block city/road building along the river, because you frequently draw city, bridge, city, bridge tiles when expanding the river. Finishing a city clashed between two roads crossing the river can be really painful. So be prepared to have some holes next to the water when you play with the river what can be a little annoying for puzzle addicts. I somehow prefer River II over River I (I think it's because of the fork). Nonetheless, I like to include it from time to time.

Basically, exactly this.
 
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Nick Shaw
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I like it occasionally, to open up the board at start of play, which is especially nice when using just the base tileset. Unlike others, I find that it doesn't help divide farms, but can lead to one massive farm (around either spring or lake tiles, or both). But it adds variety.

I think River II is slightly better with its river-fork, but I don't own that so haven't played it very much.

Combines fine with other expansions (I&C, T&B and A&M specifically I've played it with) but does make the play area quite a *lot* bigger when using all those expansions too.
 
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L H
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As has been stated above, I&C and T&B are the best strategic expansions. The Phantom is a must have also.

I personally like A&M mostly because of the mayor and not the abbey. He adds an interesting twist on who wins large cities.

I like the bridges and castles in BC&B but I usually play it without the bazaars as I don't like the auction mechanic.

P&D is a fun diversion which adds a little bit of chaos but not egregiously so. It becomes much easier to avoid the dragon when there are lots of tiles on the board.

Of the new mini expansions, my favorite is the Ferries. This adds a real interesting twist on finishing roads over and over...

Another great, but small, expansion is The Siege. It comes with The Cult in Cult Siege, & Creativity. The Siege diminishes the value of cities under siege while increasing the value of the farms on which they sit. The Cult provides a way to nullify the point value of an adjoining cloister and steal those points for yourself.

The Tower is just not enjoyable. The Catapult is insipid. Th Plague is AGGRAVATING at best!
 
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