I do love a bit of history and even my eight year old son loves castles and stories of knights and medieval times. Over the last few weeks we’ve been learning to play Carcassonne which has suited us down to the ground. We’d received the game as part of the Asmodee UK Blogger Board Game Club.
Carcassonne is a board game aimed at players aged 7 years and over, and can be played with 2-5 players at any one time. Game play typically takes around 30-35 minutes. The set we received also includes a mini expansion set so we can extend play potential in the months ahead, which is always a bonus in my mind.
The game comes with a scoring board, 40 meeples playing pieces in 5 different colours, 5 abbot playing pieces in 5 colours, 84 land tiles and 12 river tiles. The abbot playing pieces and river tiles are used in the extended version of the game and as we’ve only recently started learning to play Carcassonne, we’ve discarding these pieces for the time being.
Learning to play Carcassonne you take turns placing tiles to construct a landscape of roads, cities, monasteries and fields. As the landscape expands you introduce your meeples playing pieces as highwaymen (you can imagine how well that idea when down with an eight year old), knights, monks and farmers (in the extended edition of the game). Earning points as you go but also at the end of the game, to decide on the winner.
We’ve had a lot of fun getting to grips with the basics of this game and I can see it’s appeal lasting for years to come. My son, especially has picked up on the idea of building his own little world and as well as playing the proper game, he’s also ‘borrowed’ the tiles to make up his own kingdom in small world play.
Learning to play Carcassonne takes a few turns to understanding when each type of meeple comes into play and how you can each score points to move your piece along the scoring board. I won’t go into all that in this post, but suffice to say, that as you play the game, it all starts to make more sense. It’s quite useful to not have to worry about rivers, abbots and farmers at this point and just concentrate on the basics of the game.
You need to think strategically about where you place each tile and what type of character your meeple will be, as the kingdom evolves. My son really liked taking ownership of the roads as a highwayman until he realised he could get more points for being a knight and completing a city. He’s not daft at all.
Every time we’ve played the game of Carcassonne, it’s been a bit different as different tiles are placed differently to make a totally different kingdom. I was a bit concerned that the game would end up being too big for our kitchen table, but it hasn’t at all.
We’ve all enjoyed the fact that this game is ever-changing and will evolve as my son gets older and as we add the additional elements to the game.
My son and I have played shorter versions of the game as a quick after school activity by just not using all the tiles. It’s helped him understand the rules, and unwind after a busy day of learning at school.
All in all we give Carcassonne a big thumbs up and we will enjoying getting to grips with the full version in the months ahead.
For full details of this game and the full range of games that Asmodee UK offer, visit their website. I’ve included my Amazon Affiliate link for Carcassonne below.
disclosure: we were sent this game as part of the Asmodee UK Blogger Board Game Club, our thoughts remain our own honest opinions.