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  • Writer's pictureDawn Dalton

These are a Few of My Favorite Games: Carcassonne

A game I never tire of is Carcassonne. It's a classic for a reason and was one of my first Euro-style board games I learned to play.

The premise is simple: every turn you draw a new tile, place it on the board, deploy your meeples on the new tile, and score points.

While simple, there is a lot of strategy involved. Not only in where you place your tile, but how you deploy you meeple. Do you go for the quick points or play the long game? Or a combination of the two?

Long game strategy is to get as many of your meeples out as farmers. These don't score until the end of the game, so they can't be used for anything else. Also, you can't add farmer meeples to the board if the land connects with another tile which already has a farmer on it. But if you lay the tile just right, you can connect the lands later.

Meeples may also be placed as knights (in cities), thieves (on roads), or monks (in cloisters). These placements are key to gaining points during the game as they are scored as they are completed. Once the cloister, road, or city is completed, you gain back your meeple so you can deploy them later.

One of the things I like about Carcassonne is there is a very definitive end to the game. When you run out of tiles, or a tile cannot be placed at all, the game is done and you score final points. All incomplete cities, cloisters, and roads earn one point per tile segment in it. Farmers score based on how many completed cities their lands border. This is where good meeple management comes into play and you can go from last place to first in the blink of an eye.

No two games ever play out exactly the same. With the tiles being shuffled between games, they don't come out in the same order from game to game.

If you've played multiple times and the game is feeling stale, there are expansions and variant rules to refresh the game for future play.

What games do you consider a staple in your game library?

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