Isolation Day 30 Game: Carcassonne

Carcassonne is a competitive yet collaborative game where players build up a 2D region using modular tiles to get points as the game goes on as well as at the end.

Players take turns flipping tiles from a communal deck (or various decks for easier access) one at a time and adding them to the landscape, placing them wherever they’re allowed to be and are logical–city pieces connect to city pieces, roads to roads or fields to fields–which all players can make suggestions for to the active player for optimal placement.

As landscape is placed, players may, if the placement allows it re: connected but occupied tiles, place one of their seven follower pieces onto the city, road, cloister or field piece. When cities and roads are completed, or cloisters fully surrounded by other tiles, the player gets points immediately and gets their follower piece back in their reserve, for potential placement again. If the players choose to put a piece in a field, it stays there until the end of the game to help when final points are added up. Placing these “farmer” field pieces is therefore risky because they don’t come back into your reserve to be placed again through the game, but judicious placement of them can pay off at the end by earning you sometimes big points that can make the difference. In this specific game, for instance, my daughter and I were way ahead of my wife as we went into the final point totaling, but because of my wife’s placement of pieces in various fields, she ended up with a huge jump in points and won the game.

As per usual with modular piece games, where each revealed card or tile can be laid down in any number of places (or can sometimes be placed in any location at all, like with Tsuro), no two games played are quite alike, which helps make for a high replay value.

The final scoring of the game can be a bit tricky depending on the layout of the final landscape–how the fields are connected together, and to completed cities, and what player has how many followers on those fields, are all variables–but not so much that it takes away excessively from the fun of playing. (Having said that, there’s an official app for the game available, as well, which is super handy in that it does all the scoring for you.)

I suspect it won’t be long before we play Carcassonne again. And if the kiddo likes it enough, then perhaps including one of the expansions we have for it…