Carcassonne Board Game by Z-Man Games

Carcassonne Board Game by Z-Man Games

Carcassonne, the family-friendly tile game where you build a French countryside, is a cozy but competitive board game that you can play in an hour. It’s a great game to start with, and its diverse expansions give you lots of space to grow into.
Base Game

Setup Time
10 Mins
Play Time
30-45 Mins
Players
2 to 8
Age Level
8 and Up
Our Reviews Expansions Guide
$37.00 USD
$37.00 USD
Our Reviews Details Expansions Guide What's in the Box? How To Play Rule Book Reviews and Questions

Carcassonne - A Family Review

Are you looking for a cozy, family-friendly game where you build roads and towns in the French countryside? Oddly specific request, but hey, when you know what you want, you know what you want!

Carcassonne is a game that anybody can learn in a few turns. It takes up about the space a chessboard on the dining room table, so it’s a great game to play on family night or even pack up to take to a cabin. And it’s easy to have fun with—some people might puzzle their way into victory by filling all the unfinished areas and creating a pleasing picture. Other players will weigh the risks and rewards on each turn, carefully strategizing and relying on probability or the luck of the draw.

The coolest thing though? When you get that exact piece you need—whether it scores you 20 points or just fits in the right place—everybody around the table cheers. Or groans, if they needed that piece or space.

Even though it’s a competitive game, each player works together to build something that’s Instagram family game night worthy—a little world, and it’s really sweet when someone helps another player out by giving up a piece.

11yo: I liked the Cloisters.

The box says players should be eight or older, but we’ve found that if you’re helping them out, younger players can easily enjoy this alongside adults. Plus, adults can play it without the kids too—in fact, there’s a competitive scene for Carcassonne.

If your kids hit the age range of the box, they can probably teach themselves the game. Or you can play a few games together so they learn the ropes. After just a few turns, our 9yo and 11yo were pretty confident. They weren’t super strategic yet, but that comes with practice.

9yo: It was great—from a tiny block to an entire country. I love it.

Carcassonne is a fantastic board game that anyone from four to forever can enjoy. It’s got a ton of expansions for people who want to customize their game experience with additional tiles and more complex rules, but out of the box, it’s still a wonderful game to play in an hour.

One final note—be prepared for towers of meeple cheerleaders. But really, who doesn’t enjoy stacking little wooden people?

Helpful Hints

  • Play with the River expansion. It’s optional, but it makes the first few rounds more comfortable.
  • Want a friendlier game with more relaxed point scoring? Don’t use the “Farmers” rules.

Description

Each game of Carcassonne reveals a unique environment as tiles form a landscape of cities, roads, fields, and monasteries. Claim these features with your followers to win the game.

Carcassonne is a tile-laying game where players collectively construct the area around the medieval French city of Carcassonne while competing to place followers on various features and score the most points. First published in 2000, the game's accesible yet deep design has attracted a wide fan base and led to the development of numerous expansions and standalone titles in the Carcassonne line.

One Step at a Time

One Step at a Time

Inspired by the medieval fortress in southern France of the same name, Carcassonne is a tile-laying game in which players fill in the countryside around the fortified city. Players choose from tiles that depict cities, roads, monasteries, and fields; each new tile placed creates an ever-expanding board on which players can then add their followers. Players score points by having followers on features as they're completed. The player who makes the most strategic placements of tiles and followers will score the most points and win the game.

Jacks of All Trades

Jacks of All Trades

Followers can take many different roles in Carcassonne—knights, monks, farmers, or thieves—determined by the type of tile on which they're placed. Each role scores points differently, so you'll need careful planning to make the best use of your followers. For example, thieves are placed on roads and score one point for every tile making up that road. On the other hand, monks are placed in cloisters and score nine points—one for each tile surrounding the monastery—when the last of those nine tiles is placed. You have a limited number of followers and, once placed, you don't get them back until the feature they're on is completed. You'll need to consider whether to go for quick scores of low points that leave you with more available followers, or work toward higher points that commit your followers long-term.

Best Laid Plans

Best Laid Plans

As the map grows, so does the opportunity for players to disrupt each other’s plans. Everyone is adding to the same map and only one follower can be on any given feature at a time—so if you don’t place a follower on something, someone else probably will. Clever placement of tiles and followers can deny other players points—or even steal them away. Whether blocking a city's growth or connecting with your opponent’s road to share the points, Carcassonne provides plenty of ways to use your cunning and outsmart your opponents.

Plan your Way to Victory

Plan your Way to Victory

With its simple yet rich game mechanics and eighty-four tiles that can be configured into numerous combinations, Carcassonne appeals to beginners and veteran gamers alike. This edition is entirely redesigned and modernized, and includes two expansions: The River and The Abbot.

Expansions Buyers Guide

Each Carcassonne expansion is designed to seamlessly integrate with the base game, allowing you to mix and match expansions according to your preferences.

Expanding your Carcassonne board game collection can enhance your gaming experience by introducing new elements and strategies. This buyer's guide will help you understand how each expansion is compatible with the base game and other expansions.

Carcassonne: Inns & Cathedrals (Expansion 1):

  • Compatible with the base game.
  • Enhancements: Adds larger followers and a few new tiles to the base game.

Carcassonne: Traders & Builders (Expansion 2):

  • Compatible with the base game.
  • Enhancements: Introduces trade goods, a builder follower, and new tiles for added complexity.

Carcassonne: The Princess & The Dragon (Expansion 3):

  • Compatible with the base game.
  • Enhancements: Adds a dragon that destroys followers, a fairy that protects them, and special tiles.

Carcassonne: The Tower (Expansion 4):

  • Compatible with the base game.
  • Enhancements: Allows players to build towers and imprison opponents' followers, adding a tactical element.

Carcassonne: Abbey & Mayor (Expansion 5):

  • Compatible with the base game.
  • Enhancements: Introduces abbey tiles and mayors, altering strategies related to fields and cities.

Carcassonne: Count, King & Robber (Expansion 6):

  • Compatible with the base game.
  • Enhancements: Adds new followers, king and robber tokens, and a king's favor mechanic for competitive play.

Carcassonne: The Catapult (Expansion 7):

  • Compatible with the base game.
  • Enhancements: Adds a catapult that is used in special Fair tile events, seduction tokens, target tokens, catch tokens

Carcassonne: Bridges, Castles & Bazaars (Expansion 8):

  • Compatible with the base game.
  • Enhancements: Introduces bridges for road crossings, castles for unique cities, and a bazaar for tile trading.

Carcassonne: Hills & Sheep (Expansion 9):

  • Compatible with the base game.
  • Enhancements: Incorporates sheep herding and grazing for extra points, changing how you approach fields.

Carcassonne: Under the Big Top (Expansion 10): 

  • Compatible with the base game.
  • Enhancements: Introduces circus tents and acrobats, making cities and fields more dynamic.

You can combine different expansions to create a unique gaming experience, tailoring it to the complexity and thematic elements that suit your group's style. Whether you're a seasoned Carcassonne player or just starting, these expansions offer diverse options to enrich your gameplay.

What's in the Box

  • 1 Rulebook
  • 72 Land Tiles
  • 40 Meeples
  • 12 River Tiles
  • 5 Abbots
  • 1 Scoreboard

How to Play

Placeholder-R1qh-lhxy9s

Why Should You Trust GameTheory?

We are obsessed with helping you find your perfect game or puzzle.

Get in Touch