How Carcassonne Works

Expansions, Oh My!

So you've played Carcassonne and you're totally enthralled. You've collected tons of points during the game, you've hoarded points for the end game and you've memorized tiles so you know exactly what's left in the pile by the end. You've cleaned the cloister floor with everyone you've played.

If you think you've already exhausted all that Carcassonne has to offer, then you're as clueless as a meeple without a tile. Because while we've just covered the most basic game of Carcassonne, there are still a whopping 19 expansions that you can add to spice things up.

Expansions often include new tiles, meeples, pieces and rules. They're not standalone games; they're simply additions to the most basic game. You can add more than one at a time if you really want to make things interesting (or have hours and hours to kill).

Here's a list of some of the most popular expansions and what they offer:

  • Inns and Cathedrals: This expansion adds tiles with inns and cathedrals, which give you extra points if placed in a city or cloister. There's also a sixth player option.
  • Traders and Builders: Hold on to your hat because this expansion includes a builder (who earns the player another turn if wielded properly) and a pig (which adds points to a farm). There are also tiles displaying goods; players receive points at the end for amassing the most.
  • The Princess and the Dragon: Things get crazy in Carcassonne! New tiles include options for putting meeples on tiles that have already been played, new ways to remove meeples from the board and a protection tile for meeples. Fantasy, indeed!

Mini-expansions (Carcassonne: The River or Die Katharer) are also available. These generally just include a few extra tiles that allow for a new feature and scoring opportunities, as opposed to the larger expansions with rule changes.

If you've conquered Carcassonne analog, consider the many versions that are now offered digitally. Xbox has a version of the game (including expansions) that can be played on Xbox or Xbox Live, and there's also one for Windows. If you want to play Carcassonne digitally with friends, there's a Facebook platform for the game, as well as a smartphone app ($9.99) that allows multiplayer setup (or computer players if your friends have had it with your Carcassonne obsession).

Not had enough yet? Place your meeple below to lay claim to loads more information about Carcassonne, as well as other brainy board games.

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