Friday, July 30, 2010

Family Friday - Carcassonne

Time for another family board game! This week we had the opportunity to play Carcassonne with friends and I was reminded what a great family game it is. It is easy to learn, there is no reading required, and although a younger child may not "get" some of the deeper strategy, they can play, and have a good time. But, I think I'm getting ahead of myself!
Carcassonne is a tile laying game - so there is no "board" you create it as you go. Players take turns drawing tiles and attaching them to the tiles already played to create or extend cities, roads, farms and cloisters.

When you play a tile, you have the opportunity to "claim" any of the above mentioned items (farm, cloister, road, or cities) that will eventually earn points. Since the person who has the most points at end game wins - well, that's a good thing! Each player has a finite number of "meeples" (the colored wood people in the photo) they can play. When a road, city, or cloister is complete - that player scores their points and their meeple is returned to it's owner, and is able to be played again. As you can see from the tiles - the sides are either city, road or grass/farmland, so it is pretty easy to see where you can/can't play a tile.

I do realize this has been a pretty quick overview of the game - but honestly, there are a lot of tutorials, reviews out there - (check out YouTube!) But I do want to let you know a bit of the Chewy families take on a couple of particulars with the game.

Farmers - A lot of the time when we are playing with people new to this style of game, we skip the farmer rule. When playing with the chewy kid - we usually leave out the farmers as well. When he has his strategy down with the roads, cities and cloisters down (as they are easier to "see") we'll probably add it back in.

Expansions - This game has A LOT of expansions available to change/plus the game if it is getting "stale" I guess. In our family, we have discovered less is more. We might play with one or two of the smaller expansions, but for the most part, after one MARATHON game, we mostly play the base game.

Number of players - One thing that works very well for us with this game is that it plays very well with anywhere from 2-5 players - so we can play as just the grown-ups, with the chewy kid, or with friends. Strategy is also different in each of these scenarios, so that helps keep it fresh.

Time to play - It's not a horribly long game to play (as long as you don't use a whole bunch of expansions!) and experiences players can play a game in about 45 minutes to an hour. If you use a bag to draw the tiles from - set up and clean up are easy as well.

I hope you consider giving this game a try if you are looking for a new/unique style of game for the family.

After you enjoy the video of a "30 second game" Consider leaving a comment. Have you played Carcassonne? Comments if you have? Do you do any adaptations to make it more family friendly, or for any other reasons?

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