General info and comments
This is the fourth major expansion for Carcassonne and introduces a new aspect to the game. With this expansion you can build high towers from which you can capture opposing players' meeples, and hold them for ransom or wait for a one-for-one exchange.
New features are:
A Carcassonne expansion is not really a Carcassonne expansion when there are no new tiles, so in the box you also find 18 tiles that represent city segments, road segments and cloisters in new configurations plus the addition of tower foundations which will help create much more than a beautiful landscape.
- 18 Land tiles with a tower foundation
- 30 Tower floors (in one neutral color)
- 1 Tile Tower as tile dispenser
Do not disassemble the Tile Tower when storing the game. During the game, you may take your tiles from the top or the bottom of the tower. However, in order to avoid causing the tower and the tiles to fall, we recommend taking them from the top, especially when there are only a few tiles left in the tower.
New land tiles
The new Land tiles are played just like any other tile. Tower foundations are the only new element introduced on these tiles. There is also a special case, shown below.
|Special case: The bridge on this title continues the road, but does not split the city. There are 4 fields as well.
Shuffle the new Land tiles with the others, and put them all face down in the Tile Tower. You can put the tiles in the left side, the right side, or both: this has no impact on gameplay. Place the Tile Tower within easy reach of all players.
Then, depending on the number of players, give each player the corresponding number of tower floors:
- two players: 10 floors
- three players: 9 floors
- four players: 7 floors
- five players: 6 floors
- six players: 5 floors
Players place these in their supply (with their meeples). Return any unused tower floors to the box.
1. Placing a tile
Tower foundation tiles are placed exactly like those in the base game.
2. Placing a meeple or a tower floor
After placing your tile, you now have 4 actions to choose from:
- You may place one of your meeples on the just-placed tile (following the normal rules).
3 new actions:
- A Place one of your tower floors on a tower foundation space on any placed tile.
- B Place one of your tower floors to any open tower on the board.
- C Place one of your meeples on any open tower. This closes the tower. 
PLACING A TOWER FLOOR AND CAPTURING A MEEPLE
Whenever you place a tower floor, you may immediately take 1 meeple off the board; it can belong to any player, including yourself. The captured meeple is placed in front of you. When "capturing" your own meeple, return it to your supply.
The level where you placed your tower floor determines the tiles from which you may capture a meeple. You may always choose the tile on which you placed your tower floor. From there, for each floor in the tower, you can reach one tile in each of the 4 directions. For example, if the tower floor you placed is the first level, you have access to 5 tiles (see example below).
Placing the second level in a tower would give you access to 9 tiles from which to capture a meeple (see example below).
Consequently, each floor added to a tower extends its reach by 4 tiles (one tile in each direction).  This reach goes beyond empty spaces on the board and over all towers. There can be any number of floors in an open tower.
PLACING A MEEPLE ON A TOWER Your meeple stays there until the end of the game (you may not take it back), or until it is captured (which you may do yourself). Players will usually take this action to protect their meeples on the board.
EXCHANGING PRISONERS The meeples are thus returned to their respective owners. If you or the other player have more than one prisoner belonging to the other, the owner chooses which prisoner to take back.
BUYING BACK PRISONERS
In addition, during your turn you may buy back one of your captured meeples. Pay the player who captured it 3 points (you reduce your score and increase theirs).
If you do not have at least 3 points, you may not buy back a meeple (this would drop your score below 0, which is not allowed). You may use a meeple in the same turn you buy it back.
Many figures now exist within the world of Carcassonne, and some questions may arise when you play with The Tower expansion. Here is a list of the various figures and the actions you may and may not do with them.
- Figures you may place on a tower:
- Figures you may NOT place on a tower:
- Figures you may capture from the board (including your own):
- Buying back captured figures always costs 3 points, regardless of which type of figure is being bought back.
- Figures you may NOT capture from the board:
- Pig (Exp. 2 - Traders and Builders)
- Builder (Exp. 2 - Traders and Builders)
- Barn (Exp. 5 - Abbey and Mayor)
- Meeple in the city of Carcassonne (Exp. 6 - Count, King and Robber)
- Meeple in a castle (Exp. 8 - Bridges, Castles and Bazaars)
- Shepherd (Exp. 9 - Hills & Sheep)
- Meeple on a crown space of the Wheel of Fortune (The Wheel of Fortune)
- Meeple in the city of Leipzig, due to its similarity to the city of Carcassonne (The Markets of Leipzig)
- All neutral figures and tokens
- Fairy (Exp. 3 - The Princess and the Dragon)
- Dragon (Exp. 3 - The Princess and the Dragon)
- Count (Exp. 6 - Count, King and Robber)
- Bridge (Exp. 8 - Bridges, Castles and Bazaars)
- Castle (Exp. 8 - Bridges, Castles and Bazaars)
- Sheep (Exp. 9 - Hills & Sheep)
- Big top (Exp. 10 - Under the Big Top)
- Animal tokens (Exp. 10 - Under the Big Top)
- Big pig on the Wheel of Fortune (The Wheel of Fortune)
- Ferries (Mini #3 - The Ferries)
- Gold ingots (Mini #4 - The Goldmines)
- Mage (Mini #5 - Mage and Witch)
- Witch (Mini #5 - Mage and Witch)
- Fruit tokens (The Fruit-Bearing Trees)
- Little Buildings (Little Buildings)
- Outbreak tokens (Plague, The)
- Flea tokens (Plague, The)
- Teacher (The School)
- Tunnel tokens (The Tunnel)
- Exp. 2 - Traders and Builders: Prisoner buy-back only happens once in a turn, even if it a double-turn.
- Exp. 3 - The Princess and the Dragon:
- The fairy does not protect a meeple from capture by a tower.
- The fairy can be moved to a tile when the only meeple on the tile is on a tower.
- The dragon CAN eat a meeple on a tower.
- A follower on a tower cannot be seduced by a princess, as the tower is not a part of the city; they are two separate areas.
- Exp. 8 - Bridges, Castles and Bazaars: A bridge and a tower may occupy the same tile (if necessary, move the tower slightly to make room).
- The Festival: Removal of the follower on the tower by other mechanics, such as the use of a Festival tile, is also possible. (12/2014)
- Towers cannot capture over empty tiles. (Thanks to viberunner)
- A captured meeple cannot be returned by payment of a ransom (the “Eye for an Eye” rule). (Thanks to keyofnight)
- A single-storey tower can only capture a meeple on its own tile. Each additional storey adds an additional tile of range in each direction – the rate of increasing range is the same as the normal rules, but the starting point is less powerful (the “No Surprises” rule). (Thanks to keyofnight)
- A tower can also capture meeples on tiles diagonal to the tower tile. The distance to the capture tile is considered to be the smallest number of horizontal and vertical moves needed to get there, so a diagonal adjacent to the tower tile is considered to be 2 tiles away. (Thanks to Yi Niu)
Total Tiles: 18
Some of the tiles have a small illustration on them. The letters in brackets show which illustration is on each tile:
For Icons licensing and explanation please visit Icons page.
- A meeple cannot be placed on a tower foundation to prevent a tower being built. Only tower floors can be placed on tower foundations. The tower can only be blocked when it already exists.
- In other words, the range of tiles in each direction away from the tower (not counting the tower tile itself) is equal to the number of tower pieces in the tower.
- This is only true as long as the meeple remains on the tower – it is the meeple's presence on the tower that halts tower growth, not the act of placement. If the meeple is removed by the dragon or another tower, tower pieces can once again be added to the now-vacated tower. (11/2013)
- No negotiation is necessary or allowed. The exchange is automatic! - as clarified in the RGG edition of the Big Box.