Is Carcassonne a good board game?

I could have the opportunity to snatch a second hand copy of Carcassonne, the board game, for 10 pounds. I am tempted, because the game could be a good excuse to invite people over for a beer, some crisps and good fun - yet I don’t know much of the game itself apart from the fact that it’s from Germany and that most experts swear by it.
I am hoping in a game that is relatively easy to learn; I wouldn’t want my friends remembering with horror of spending hours trying to understand the rules.
What’s your opinion about it?

By the way, I originally thought to post this in IMHO, but I changed my mind because it is about a board game. Mods, feel free to move it if you think it should not belong here! :slight_smile:

I own Carcassonne as well as the expansions Traders & Builders and Inns & Cathedrals. It is a fantastic game that’s easy to learn and fun to play. You can’t go wrong with this game if you just want a good night of casual game fun.

How to Play

When it is your turn you draw a tile from a common pool and place it on the table. Then you take one of your men and lay him on the tile. He can either be a farmer in the field, a robber on the road, or a knight in the city. Once you’ve completed a road or a city you score points. A farmer doesn’t get to score points until the end of the game. The rules make a lot more sense then my crummy description. Check out for complete Carcassonne rules.


It’s a good game that’s easy to learn, except that scoring the farmers at the end is a pain in the ass. Even with the “simplified” newer version.

It’s a great game, and you won’t regret getting it. Although 10 pounds seems a bit pricey. last I checked had it for $13. But if you’re only buying one game, once you add in shipping and whatnot it might get back up there. (I don’t even know if they ship to the UK.) But the point being, you should be able to get it new for less than 10 pounds if you find a good game shop. Since the English version is made by Rio Grande games in the US (I think), it might be cheaper to get the original German version. There’s no reading involved in the game and you can get the English rules from, as MGibson said.

For the farmer rules, if you just pick one version and stick with it, people will get it after one or two plays. Just be careful about switching, or playing with people who learned different versions of the farmer rules. If you’re teaching new players, any of the 3 different versions should be equally usable.

Carcasonne rocks. Most first-time players get the hang of the rules after just a few turns have passed.

However, developing an efficient farmer stategy is a challenge even for advanced players. The way that this works out with the people I play with is that some folks just enjoy the simpler elements of the game, while the more advanced players devote a greater share of their efforts to the Farmer Battle. The players who are focusing on cities, roads and monastaries shoot ahead on the score track, but when the end of the game arrives, it’s usually the best farmer who wins.

So the game can be fun for players at several different levels, but if anyone in your group is the type of person who thinks “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing,” and they aren’t willing or able to learn the deeper strategy, they may find the game frustrating.