The main stimulus and source for its creation (besides, obviously love for the game) was the impressive Carcassonne Complete Annotated Rules (CAR) document. Development of this document began in 2006, and the most recent version (7.4) was created in 2015 by Christopher Ober and many others. To honour the tremendous work of him and other people for the community you can find below the introduction and credits from the original CAR (Carcassonne Standard CAR ver. 7.4).
We are approaching the midway point of 2015, so it seems like it’s time for another version of the Complete Annotated Rules! There are fewer major changes to the content this time, with one new official mini-expansion (Castles in Germany) and a semi-official one (Russian Promos). However, there are always new clarifications to go through, and you’ll find those here.
Additionally, I have tried to improve the organization of this document a little bit. Previously, the expansions were ordered chronologically. However, that made it tougher for newcomers to the game to find what they were looking for. Now the rules are divided into three sections: (1) the base game, (2) the major expansions, listed in order of expansion number, and (3) the smaller expansions, listed alphabetically. Of course, if you’re reading the pdf and you know what expansion you want, you should just click the hotlink for that expansion in the table of contents.
Further, I have consolidated the listings for several mini-expansions which were previously listed separately (Crop Circles I and II, the various expansions with the siege mechanic). And finally, the mini-expansions making up Count, King, and Robber are now listed under that large expansion rather than separately.
As noted before, a potentially dramatic change for Carcassonne is the release of New Carcassonne, or Carcassonne II (C II). This is essentially a new release of the base game with all new artwork and one new type of follower. Mechanically C II is compatible with the original Carcassonne, as the backs of the tiles are identical, but there is no questioning that the aesthetics of the tile fronts are different. At this point it is still unknown what the existence of C II will mean for future expansion releases. I have included C II in this document in a limited fashion because it can serve as an expansion for the original game if you are willing to overlook the graphical differences. However, I am not including the tiles in the tile guide, as there are minimal differences between the original base game and C II (and I highlight those differences in the respective sections).
As noted before, the continued activity of a new publisher and the existence of an entirely “new” version mean that translation and compilation of rules continues to become messier over time. Different English words are used by different companies (and even in different sets of rules from the same company), so the terminology used in this document may be slightly different than what you have in your rules packets. We at the Carcassonne Complete Annotated Rules (CAR) have tried to maintain consistency throughout the document, and for now this document is sticking to some of the older and more established translations – if you have any questions about terms, be sure to check out the German/English Dictionary section to see the various translation differences that you may see in different versions of the rules.
Additionally, some of the publishers have actually made changes to the contents of the rules in some places, creating headaches for people who have different editions of the game. The CAR represents the final word of Hans im Glück (HiG), the original German publisher, and we encourage use of the rules found here for consistency worldwide. Where we have found them, discrepancies are noted in footnotes, with significant alterations in highlighted in pink.
As always, go ahead and dive into the CAR. I won’t guarantee you instant mastery of the rules of Carcassonne, but you may find answers to questions that you didn’t even know you had.
Christopher Ober (obervet) - 22 May 2015
- Klaus-Jürgen Wrede, for creating such a great game.
- Hans im Glück and Z-Man Games, for publishing it.
- kettlefish, for getting numerous clarifications from HiG and for creating the German-English Dictionary.
- Georg Wild at HiG, for answering all our questions.
- Decar and wamboyil for the English translations of the Castles in Germany expansion
- Decar, MrNumbers, and aenima for translations and tiles for the Russian Promos
- wamboyil for English translations of pretty much everything from 2013 and 2014.
- Daniel Brie, for another new cover.
- Christof Tisch, rules designer at HiG, for helping with School, The, the Minis 1-6(7), and Wind Roses.
- tdriling for vector graphics of all of the figures in the game
- quevy for scans of the tiles from Hills & Sheep
- Matthew Harper, for carrying the CAR for years.
- Christian Hermann, for providing a number of German clarifications (and translations)
- peterjpromnitz for tile scans from the 2012 Mini expansions
- Gantry Rogue, for coming up with the CarcassonneCentral idea in the first place.
- Robin Sussillo, for the getting the ball rolling.
- Roy Levien (Aldaron), for being a rules lawyer.
- Skull One, for his turn summary.
- Whaleyland, for the original updated cover, encouragement, and proofreading.
- Caryntjen, also for work on the cover
- CKorfmann, for repeated reminders and encouragement.
- David Whitworth, for his summary of figure characteristics
- John Sweeney, for hosting a great site and for information about the GQ11.
- Scott, Olon Callaway, André Santos, Patrik Wikström (wicke), Cesar Moreno (NoMasOvejas), Jeff Hoffman (Gamemaster), Gilbert Cerise (chiefouray), Brandon Clarke (bwtcf), Brett Myers (disclaimer), and The Broox for proof-reading.
- Eric Weingarten (Little My), Mike LeDuc (ducker), Andy Tinkham (tinkha), Randy Szabadics (ironmule), and The Broox for information about Rio Grande Games editions.
- Kevin Wood (kvn299), Ken Shin (dvader123), Brian Mola (ColtsFan76), hester, Vladimír Sýkora, and eddebaby for help in earlier versions of the CAR.
Special thanks to the CarcassonneCentral, Carcassonne-Forum, and BoardGameGeek communities in general.