Carcassonne: Winter Edition brings snow to the familiar Carcassonne setting, with knights still patrolling the cities, farmers still trying to feed the nation, and highwaymen who even travel on roads behind the city walls. Carcassonne: Winter Edition, which plays the same as the Carcassonne base game, includes the same 72 tiles as Carcassonne in addition to twelve new basic tiles.
In this third major expansion for the prize-winning Carcassonne, we move into the realm of fantasy. The land around Carcassonne is being visited by a dragon, making life very difficult for the followers. Brave heroes venture forth to face the danger, but without the aid of the fairies, their chances are not good. In the city, the princess seeks help from the knights, and farmers build secret passages to move about undetected by the dragon. Contents: 30 new tiles with dragon nests, volcanoes, magic gates, and princesses; 1 large wooden dragon; 1 wooden fairy. Contrary to original reports, there are no princess figures in The Princess & the Dragon.
The Discovery is a new stand-alone Carcassonne game. The inhabitants of Carcassonne have discovered a new region far away from their homeland – one that consists of meadows, mountains and seas. The followers, of which each player only has four (with a fifth for the scoring track) get placed as robbers (in the mountains), seafarers (on the seas) or explorers (on the meadows). On a player’s turn, he must place a tile and may then place a follower on it. As in the original game, tiles may only be placed so that identical landscape types match up. A follower may only be placed when no other follower has been placed there yet. When the follower is removed, however, then the size of the region in which the follower is located brings points – regardless of whether the region has been closed off or not, although closed off regions score considerably more points. There’s also an additional rule that lets mountainous regions increase in value, even if they’ve already been completed. This is a distinctly simpler version of Carcassonne than the original. This was the goal during the development of the game. It should have simpler rules, but offer greater strategic depth. What is interesting about the game is that regions aren’t scored automatically any more (when they are closed off), this is a decision left to the player (the removing of the follower). Since the regions can only get more valuable, this ensures many agonizing decisions.
The fifth major expansion to Carcassonne, Abbey & Mayor adds 3 new wooden piece types, 6 abbey tiles, and 12 landscape tiles. The Abbey tiles act as Cloisters but do not have to match adjacent tiles and they complete adjacent features when placed. Mayors can be placed only in cities, with their strength determined by the number of pennants in the city. Barns allow players to score fields during the game rather than just at the end. Wagons are placed on roads, cities, or cloisters, and can move to an adjacent open feature when their current feature is completed.
The Tower is the fourth major expansion for the Carcassonne game. Tower segments are added to the game, as well as some new actions. Instead of placing a Meeple as usual on their turns, players can now either place a tower segment on a tile with a space for a tower, add a tower segment to a tower already standing, or place a Meeple on top of a tower (which “finishes” it). Placing a tower segment allows you to capture other players’ Meeples, so long as they are in view of the tower in an orthogonal direction. If the tower is 1 piece high, they can capture Meeples that are within 1 tile of the tower; if the tower is 2 pieces high, they can capture Meeples within 2 tiles of the tower; etc. Not only do players lose whatever they may have scored with that Meeple, but they also have to pay 3 victory points if they want to free their Meeple.
12 new tiles with a faire symbol are added to the game. When a player draws a faire tile, they place it and then a “catapult round” begins. For the first time, action/dexterity is added to the Carcassonne series. In a catapult round, players attempt to launch special tokens with the wooden catapult. Players have one each of four different kinds of tokens that determine what kind of catapult action is to be taken: Knock out tokens try to remove meeples; Seduction tokens try to swap meeples; Target tokens try to hit the faire tile; Catch tokens must be caught for points.
Carcassonne: the Castle takes place in the city of Carcassone itself. The theme is development of the city within the “castle walls”, which might be more appropriately called the city walls, but Carcassonne: The City was apparently already in development. It is not an expansion, but a stand-alone tile-placement game with the Carcassonne mechanics adapted specially for two players. The goal is to lead the race around the castle wall, which is also the scoring track for the game. There are bonus items on the wall for the first player to reach that point. Play is very similar to Carcassonne but all the tiles must be played within the walls, which often constrains the choices. The followers used for scoring are heralds (on paths), knights (on towers), squires (on houses) and merchants (on courtyards which are more valuable if they have a market). And, the player with the largest “keep” (largest house completed during the game) scores points for the largest contiguous undeveloped area (unplayed tile spaces) at the end of the game. The bonus tiles collected from the walls add twists to the scoring, such as doubling one of a particular scoring structure or scoring one uncompleted structure.
Carcassonne: Wheel of Fortune is both a full replacement for the base game of Carcassonne and an expansion to the original base game. It includes 72 tiles, consisting of 63 tiles released in the original base game, 6 from Inns & Cathedrals, 1 from Traders & Builders and 2 from King & Scout. It also includes a special replacement start tile which depicts the Wheel of Fortune, a new mechanic unique to this edition of the game. The new start tile is the size of 16 tiles, arranged in a 4×4 square and is built using some of the tiles removed from the base game. Nineteen tiles from the game have numbers printed on them allowing players to randomly spin the Wheel of Fate (between 1 and 3 spaces around the wheel). Otherwise, a player may choose to place a follower on the wheel if they decline placing a follower that turn. The results of the Wheel vary depending on which of the sixths of the wheel the pig lands on. Results vary from forcing all players to remove a follower from the board to rewarding the player who moves the pig with three bonus points. There are six outcomes in all. Play of this game does not require ownership of any Carcassonne base game. All expansions are compatible with this game. This game can also be played with the base game as an expansion, using its wagon wheel watermark to differentiate it from the base game.
Carcassonne a beloved tactical tile-laying game – now so portable you can take it wherever you go and play anywhere! Tiles, followers, and rules all fit in a linen bag that serves as the scoring track during the game. Compact, portable, and now it goes wherever you go – Travel Carcassonne!