Make a jigsaw anyway you want, place Meeples and score points to win. Very straight forward and open worker placement game with clear and defined mechanics.
What do you get?
In the base game of Carcassonne you get lots of Meeples, tons of board tiles and the score board.
How does it work?
Carcassonne is so simple it can be played with children as young as 8. You place your Meeples after placing a tile, and then you go to score the road, castle or green. Is it complete? If so, score it and take your Meeple back. If it is not complete you have the satisfaction of knowing that that area is going to grow and gain you more points. Beware however, as you can run out of Meeples to place and then you are in danger of your opponents running ahead.
Is it any good?
Carcassonne is a game from 2001. In board game years that is somewhere near the beginning of time. It’s impressive how long its stood the test of time.
The tactical element comes in with should you or should you not place a Meeple on this part of the board. Each piece normally gives you a couple options on placement and obviously as this is a tile based ever expanding jigsaw board there are unlimited options for placement and what can happen in the future. Of course, there is a large element of luck too as you scramble to hopefully get that last city edge to close it off. It’s worth mentioning too that the jig saw landscapes have to match any joining pieces. It’s not uncommon a tactic for your opponent to make an awkward shape surrounding your Meeple in the hope that you never draw the correct tile meaning you never finish the piece and in the end it scores less than you had hoped.
But the tactics are only so deep. Normally routed in your own game of questing and putting puzzle pieces that will benefit you most.
Carcassonne is a good stocking filler. It has an issue with requiring a large table space that makes it less friendly than say “That’s my Fish”. The replayability is there for sure as it’s a very easy game to pick up and teach. I’ve played with all the expansions and honestly, they don’t add much to the game but try to amend several situations with additional options or ways you can bully opponents.
As a game, its fine but in my family it has limited play time.