The Ark of the Covenant

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Introduction [1]

The Ark of the Covenant is a game that was developed by Klaus-Jürgen Wrede, the author of Carcassonne.

The game was published, in 2003, by Überplay Entertainment under their Inspiration Games imprint that marketed games especially for the religious market. A German edition, entitled Die Baumeister des Königs, followed in 2004, published by Diehl Medien.

The Ark of the Covenant is a stand-alone game based on the Carcassonne series, but is not compatible with Carcassonne or any of the other Carcassonne spin-off games.

As of April 2008, Überplay Entertainment has gone out of business. This has made getting hold of The Ark of the Covenant difficult.

The Ark of the Covenant is the more mature version of Carcassonne. It was released over two years after the original Carcassonne, and one year after Hunters and Gatherers was released, and as such it was able to benefit from play testing of both, the result being a more elegant gameplay. Some gamers prefer to play a game of The Ark of the Covenant rather than 'vanilla' [2] Carcassonne for this reason. It is an excellent game for those wanting to play a basic version of Carcassonne without all the expansions. Some fans have affectionately renamed it Arkcassonne or Carc of the Ark.

There have been two rule sets produced for The Ark of the Covenant (2003, 2005). The second edition sought to clarify some issues raised as a consequence of the first edition rule set. The clarifications of the second edition are provided in the annotations of this document. The differences between The Ark of the Covenant and the German release, Die Baumeister des Königs, are also shown in the annotations. The Question and Answer footnotes refer to official responses to the question posed. As The Ark of the Covenant was released first in English, it is the English version that the following sections follow.

WICA Notes

In 2008 The Ark of the Covenant CAR was written from the perspective of the First Edition, with corrections from the later edition included in footnotes. This version has been changed to include the information from the second edition in the main body of the text, with changes from the first edition referenced in the Notes.


No official expansions have been published for this game.

50/100 scoring tiles
  • Fan Expansions for The Ark of the Covenant - A small number of fan produced "print-and-play" expansions have been created which are available from the CarcassonneCentral and CarcassonneForum websites. These expansions may either be "completed" (available as a complete pack of tiles and rules (as applicable - some may only be a set of rules)) or "in development" (partially developed, perhaps some tiles and an outline of rules in a forum discussion thread).
  • 50/100 Scoring Tiles are available to download from CarcassonneCentral


If you prefer to draw tiles from a bag, this custom design is available from Artscow:


The Ark of the Covenant CAR Acknowledgements

  • Klaus-Jürgen Wrede, for taking the 2001 Game of the Year into the Promised Land
  • Überplay Entertainment/Inspiration Games, for publishing it
  • Matthew Harper, for the Carcassonne: Complete Annotated Rules concept
  • Gantry Rogue, for Carcassonne Central
  • Scott, for the Carcassonne: Hunters & Gatherers: Complete Annotated Rules
  • Novelty, for all the advice and assistance
  • Wicke, for proof reading
  • Vladimir Sykora (O.M.S.), for his invaluable help, advice and excellent scans
  • Brian Mola (ColtsFan76) and Bobby Warren (Bobby4th), who both supplied much information
  • The regular posters at Carcassonne Central who gave me the necessary encouragement
  • Oskar Lindqvist for providing the meeple graphics

The Ark of the Covenant CAR Version History

  • 1.2 – Updated Introduction. Added a "Contents" page. Added the "Carcassonne Central" section. Changed the background colour to prevent a problem with legibility when printing in black and white. Justified text. (21 Dec 2008)
  • 1.1 – Corrected some spelling errors found from proof-reading. Annotations completed. Added the "Consolidated Tile Reference" section. First main release. (20 Dec 2008)
  • 1.0 – First draft edition released, without annotations, to allow for comments and suggestions. (14 Dec 2008)

WICA Acknowledgements

  • Jonathan Warren, for The Ark of the Covenant CAR




For Icons explanation and licensing please visit Icons page.

  1. This introduction and other content have been taken from The Ark of the Covenant Complete Annotated Rules (CAR) v1.2 12/2008 which was released on the Carcassonne Central website. Minor changes have been applied during conversion to this wiki version.
  2. 'Vanilla' Carcassonne is a term used by players referring to a game of Carcassonne without any of its various expansions being included.