You may have heard about Carcassonne, the medieval fortified town in southern France famous for its impressive outer walls. Every year countless people flock to this historical city to learn about its rich history and explore its many towers. But you don’t have to fly all the way to France for a blast to the medieval past! The city of Carcassonne inspired a tile-based board game of the same name that lets you experience the world of knighthood through building landscapes and fortifying your city.
Build Your City with Carcassonne
Carcassonne uses a game board with a medieval landscape that the players will build piece by piece throughout the games. Turn by turn, each player will draw a new terrain tile as the outer city begins to materialize. Skill and cunning are required if you’re going to complete your cities, cloisters, and roads that earn you those valuable points.
Tiles can only connect to other like tiles—grass to grass, city to city, road to road. Certain tiles are a combination of multiple types of areas, which means that no two completed games are going to look identical. This variety makes Carcassonne feel fresh and new every time you break out the box for a new game.
Score Points From Your Followers
Just because you built a new road or city doesn’t mean it’s yours to keep! You’ll have to claim your land by placing your little followers on a tile once it’s been placed. These little followers are also called “meeples”, and add a cute visual element to the game with little bright red or yellow wooden figures.
Your meeple will differ based on where you place it: knights defend cities, robbers defend the roads, and farmers defend the grass. Once you’ve placed your meeple on a completed area, they’ll score you points and get you one step closer to winning the game.
Scoring points isn’t always so straightforward, however. Just as you have to be quick to place followers before someone else steals your land out from under you, you also have an opportunity to steal from your fellow players. A major part of the fun of Carcassonne is claiming your opponent’s land before they have a chance to.
Carcassonne Expansions and Spinoffs
While Carcassonne was inspired by the medieval French city, the game itself has also inspired a series of expansions and spinoffs. The first expansion adds inns and cathedrals to the mix, making the game more complex for people who are looking for something a little more challenging. With The Princess & The Dragon expansion, Carcassonne transforms into a mythical and mystical game that pits benevolent fairies against fire-breathing dragons in a fight to rescue the princess.
If medieval times don’t go back far enough for you, Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers is a spinoff that will take you back to the time when cavemen painted on walls and wooly mammoths roamed the earth. Or, if you’re looking for something a little out of this world, the Carcassonne: Star Wars spinoff takes you to a land far far away where the evil Empire fights the virtuous Rebel Alliance. If you’ve grown up playing the basic game of Carcassonne, you’ll love the combined sense of nostalgia and fun that comes from one of these countless spinoffs.
Go Back In Time with Carcassonne
Carcassonne is a board game that’s simple enough for ages 7 and up, so it’s definitely something that the entire family can enjoy. Gameplay also usually lasts between 30 to 45 minutes, so it isn’t something that’s going to take up the entire night, either. While the basic game isn’t incredibly complex, the spinoffs offer additional elements that will make the game advanced enough for adults to enjoy playing without the kids.
If you’ve ever felt drawn to the era of knights and chivalry, then Carcassonne is the game for you. The randomness of the tile drawing provides endless possibilities that can take the game in any number of directions. You’ll love the fast paced turns and heartless double crosses of this high stakes tile-based board game. Step into the past and build your medieval French city with Carcassonne!