The Tower

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Tower C2 Box Cover.png

General info and comments

Expansion symbol

The Tower was released for the New Edition by Hans im Glück in 2016. The 1st. Edition was originally released in 2006. The tiles of the first German editions had no expansion symbol.

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:

  • Towers

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.

Contents

  • 18 Land tiles with a tower foundation
  • 30 Tower floors (in one neutral color)
Tile with a tower foundation
Tower floor
  • 1 Tile Tower as tile dispenser
Tile tower

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.

Tower C2 Tile Feature Bridge.png Special case: The bridge on this title continues the road, but does not split the city. There are 4 fields as well.

Rules

Preparation

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.

The tower

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. [1]
float

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).

Example 1: You place a tower floor. You capture the blue meeple found on tile 4.

Placing the second level in a tower would give you access to 9 tiles from which to capture a meeple (see example below).

Example 2: You placed the second tower floor. You may now capture one of the following: the green meeple (1), the blue meeple (6), the black meeple (9), or alternately, take back your own (8).

Consequently, each floor added to a tower extends its reach by 4 tiles (one tile in each direction). [2] This reach goes beyond empty spaces on the board and over all towers. There can be any number of floors in an open tower.

Question: Can a shorter tower capture the meeple from a taller tower, or does the tower need to be equal or greater in height?

Answer: The height of the tower only determines the range of the ‘attack’ and has no other function.

PLACING A MEEPLE ON A TOWER

float
When you place one of your meeples on a tower, that tower is now closed and no more floors may be added to it. [3] 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

float
Whenever you and another player have a meeple belonging to the other, you exchange them immediately. [4] 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.

Other expansions

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.

Buying back captured figures always costs 3 points, regardless of which type of figure is being bought back.
  • Exp. 2 - Traders and Builders: Prisoner buy-back only happens once in a turn, even if it a double-turn.

Question: How often does prisoner buy-back occur in a “double turn” (e.g. just once, like fairy scoring, or twice, as part of a repeated step)?

Answer: It happens once per turn. The double-turn is [truly] only a single 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.
  • 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)

House Rules

  • 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)

Tile distribution

Total Tiles: 18

Tower C2 Tile A.jpg x1
 
Tower C2 Tile B.jpg x1
 
Tower C2 Tile C.jpg x1
(W)
Tower C2 Tile D.jpg x1
 
Tower C2 Tile E.jpg x1
(G)
Tower C2 Tile F.jpg x1
(P)
Tower C2 Tile G.jpg x1
 
Tower C2 Tile H.jpg x1
 
Tower C2 Tile I.jpg x1
(G)
Tower C2 Tile J.jpg x1
 
Tower C2 Tile K.jpg x2
(F;D)
Tower C2 Tile L.jpg x1
 
Tower C2 Tile M.jpg x1
 
Tower C2 Tile N.jpg x1
(H)
Tower C2 Tile O.jpg x1
(H)
Tower C2 Tile P.jpg x1
(W)
Tower C2 Tile Q.jpg x1
 

Some of the tiles have a small illustration on them. The letters in brackets show which illustration is on each tile:

Base Game C2 Feature Garden.jpg
G | Garden
Base Game C2 Feature Farmhouse.jpg
F | Farmhouse
Base Game C2 Feature Water Tower.jpg
W | Water Tower
Base Game C2 Feature Highwayman.jpg
H | Highwayman
Base Game C2 Feature Pigs.jpg
P | Pigs
Base Game C2 Feature Donkeys.jpg
D | Donkeys


Footnotes

For Icons licensing and explanation please visit Icons page.

  1. Icon Open Book.png 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.
  2. Icon World Black.png 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.
  3. Icon Open Book.png 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)
  4. Icon World Black.png No negotiation is necessary or allowed. The exchange is automatic! - as clarified in the RGG edition of the Big Box.