Carcassonne: Expansion #10 Under The Big Top Board Game Expansion by Z-Man Games

Carcassonne: Expansion #10 Under The Big Top Board Game Expansion by Z-Man Games

The circus comes to Carcassonne with new meeple types and tiles.

This Expansion Works With:

Expansion Pack

Setup Time
10 Mins
Play Time
30-60 Mins
Players
2 to 6
Age Level
7 and Up
Our Reviews Expansions Guide
$19.00 USD
$19.00 USD
Our Reviews Details Expansions Guide What's in the Box? 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

THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH

The tent has been pitched outside of town and the performers are ready to thrill the crowd with their death-defying stunts. A new world of excitement awaits in Under the Big Top, the tenth expansion for award-winning tile-laying game Carcassonne. Capturing the thrill of the circus, this expansion incorporates twenty new Land tiles and two new follower types into the Carcassonne library. Players can use them to attract people from all over the countryside to view their menagerie of animals or witness their feats of death-defying skill. Just like the daring risks that circus performers take, Under the Big Top gives players plenty of opportunities to score big points—if they can draw in the crowds!

ENTER THE BIG TOP

At the circus, the big top is the main attraction. That’s no exception in Under the Big Top. Much of the expansion focuses on clustering groups of followers around the new tiles with the hope of getting big points when their features are scored. Gather meeples on the Circus tile and its accompanying big top figure or the eight tiles surrounding it and you’ll be rewarded the next time a Circus tile is drawn. Additionally, the circus is so exciting that normal followers are inspired to leave their lives behind and join the show. Stack your meeples into a meeple-pyramid on the Acrobat tiles, impress your friends, and score points once the show is over. Finally, ringmasters behave like normal followers until the circus shows up. When that happens, they score bonus points for being adjacent to Circus and Acrobat tiles when the features they’re on are scored. Under the Big Top brings a whole new layer of excitement to Carcassonne. Who will put on the best show and draw the biggest crowd?

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

  • Rulebook
  • 20 Land Tiles
  • 12 Circus Tiles
  • 8 Acrobat Tiles
  • 16 Animal Tokens
  • 1 Big Top Token
  • 6 Ringmaster Meeples

Customer Reviews

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