Base Game - Test
General info and comments
Carcassonne, the world-famous French city, is known for its imposing fortifications erected during Antiquity and the Middle Ages. This fortress, surrounded by magnificent walls, still stands today as one of the most unique French cities. In this game, players must develop the area around Carcassonne. They place their meeples onto roads and into cities, monasteries, and fields. Only those who make the most judicious placements will gain the points required to win the game.
Copies printed in the period 2014-2016 have the darker city backgrounds.
Info on farmers rules
Farmers are considered a part of the base game for most Carcassonne players. They are also used in every official tournament as they are commonly not considered an expansion. In the new edition of Carcassonne farmers were separated as a supplement to ease access to the game for new players and smooth learning curve. WikiCarpedia follows this streamlined approach. For the sake of other expansions and the rest of the WikiCarpedia, farmers are considered a part of the base game.
In any case, you may choose to play initially with the rules on this page and, after a few games, start playing with the fields and the farmers in order to increase your strategic possibilities.
You can find farmers rules here.
Components and setup
Following part will explain initial setup and introduce components of the game.
The backs of all the tiles are the same, but the START TILE has a darker colored back, so you can recognize it easily.
Begin setup by placing the start tile (the one with a dark back) in the middle of the table.  Shuffle the remaining tiles and set them as different facedown stacks that are easily accessible to all players.   [V 3]
Then comes the scoreboard, which you set to the side of your playing surface (table, floor, etc.).
Start by distributing 7 meeples of the color of their choice to each player. These meeples constitute each player’s personal supply. Each player takes seven meeples of their chosen color to form their supply. Place each player's eighth meeple on the 0 space on the scoreboard. These will be used to track each player's score throughout the game.
Overview and goal of the game
In Carcassonne, players take turns placing tiles and expanding the landscape of roads, cities, monasteries and fields, one tile at a time. Players may place their meeples on the individual features of tiles as well (roads, cities, monasteries, and fields), where they will become highwaymen, knights and monks. Points are earned throughout the game, and the player with the highest score at the end is the winner!
A game of Carcassonne is played in clockwise order. Starting with the youngest player,   the current player does the following actions in the order listed below, after which it is the next player's turn, and so on and so forth. First, we'll give you a brief description of the actions you have to do during one of your turns. These actions will be detailed as we present the roads, the cities, and finally the monasteries. So what are these actions?
We’ve already seen the most important parts of the game. Now, we will further expand on those actions by showing you how they apply to the other features, namely the cities and the monasteries:
We have already seen most of the rules for Carcassonne. There are only a few points left to see, but first, here is a summary of what we’ve seen so far:
Game end and final scoring
The game ends immediately after the turn of the player who placed the last tile.  Then, players proceed to a final scoring, after which the winner will be known.
Once the game is over, all meeples still in play are scored:
- Each incomplete road is worth 1 point per tile, just like during the game.
- Each incomplete city is worth 1 point per tile and 1 point per coat of arms, which is only half the points.
- Each incomplete monastery is worth 1 point plus 1 point per adjacent tile, just like during the game.
Once the final score is known, the winner is the player with the most points.
Many meeples on the same road
Many meeples in the same city
Use a meeple, score a feature, and get the meeple back [V 7]
You can place a meeple in a feature you just completed, immediately score it, and then return the meeple to your supply.
To do so, follow these steps:
2. Place a meeple as a highwayman, knight, or monk on the feature you just completed.
3. Score the completed road, city, or monastery and return the meeple to your supply.
Use of a table
A number of questions have been asked about rules related to the play area itself, including what happens when the edge of the area is reached, or if a table has to be used for play. The following clarifications are from Georg Wild from HiG (5/2013):
- The edge of the table is the limit for the game if, as stated in the rules, a table is used.
- The rules state that the starting tile is placed in the middle of the table. If all of the tiles are shifted to allow more room, the starting tile would no longer be in the middle. So in principle, total shifting of the tiles is not allowed. Additionally, with a manual shift of all of the tiles, the tiles and figures on the field can slip, which could lead to incorrect positioning of tiles or figures.
- Addition of a second table is possible if one of an appropriate height is added to the first table. If a table is extended (as with an additional panel), make sure that the tiles and figures on the playing field do not slip.
- Playing on the floor: The rules technically do not allow this, because the rules state that the first tile is placed in the middle of the table. Playing on the floor is not forbidden, however, if use of a table is not feasible. If the floor is used, tiles must be placed so all tiles are visible to all players. Tiles cannot be placed under the sofa, cabinet/shelf, etc.
- It is important generally, that all the players in the round agree how to play:
- Table - Standard
- Table - with "total shifting" of tiles
- Table - with extension
- Continue to play fairly and not intentionally unfair to other players.
Rules differences with Big Box 6
There are some small differences in the rules of the standalone and the Big Box 6 version of the base game rules:
- The standalone base game introduces all the elements contained in the box, including the river tiles and the abbots, so new players may get to know all the elements from the very beginning, even if not used in the base game and put aside initially.
- The Big Box 6 base game contains a lots of elements for various expansions, so the previous approach is not followed. Instead:
- The base game avoids introducing any elements not directly used, such as, river tiles, abbot meeples, and so on.
- The base game however introduces elements from a later expansion (Exp. 1 - Inns & Cathedrals): the meeples for the 6th player and the point tiles. This is done for practical reasons while not altering the essence of the game itself.
The following table summarizes the main differences.
|Topic||Standalone||Big Box 6||Comments|
|Tile count||84 tiles (72 + 12 tiles)||72 tiles||The standalone base game considers the 12 tiles of The River in the initial description. These tiles are not used in the base game.|
|River tiles||Introduced at the beginning of the rules||Not introduced until The River mini expansion||The standalone base game introduces the river tiles in the initial description although the rules are explained separately. All these tiles feature a river segment and have a dark back, so they can be separated easily.
Check the rules here.
|Graphical elements on tiles||This clarification is included: "Other graphical elements such as houses, people, or animals have no impact on the game."||The clarification is omitted||The base game may not use a few elements found on the tiles but some of them are considered in later expansions, as explained here.|
|Meeple sets||5 sets of 8 meeples, each in different colors: yellow, red, green, blue, and black||6 sets of 8 meeples, each in different colors: yellow, red, green, blue, black, and pink||Big Box 6 includes a meeple set for a 6th player in the base game, that normally is part of Exp. 1 - Inns & Cathedrals. The base game plays nice with up to 5 players; a 6th player would require to add extra tiles since the game would be too short. This approach simplifies the unfolding of the Big Box 6 rules.|
|Abbot meeples||Introduced at the beginning of the rules||Not introduced until The Abbot mini expansion||The standalone game considers the abbot meeples of The Abbot in the initial description although the rules are explained separately. These meeples are not used in the base game and will be removed from the game.
Check the rules here.
|Point tiles with 50 and 100 sides||Not considered||Covered in the base game rules||The standalone base game rules instruct players to lay down their scoring meeple if their scoring goes above 50 points. However, Big Box 6 includes 8 point tiles to keep track of scorings above 50 points. Those tiles are part of Exp. 1 - Inns & Cathedrals, which standalone version contains 6 of them. This approach simplifies the unfolding of the Big Box 6 rules.
Here is a summary of rules regarding point tiles:
Check the usage rules here.
|Clarification "Use a meeple, score a feature, and get the meeple back"||Not included||Added in this version||Big Box 6 includes this clarification omitted in the base game that addresses this special case with full detail of the sequence of actions.
Check the clarification here.
- The rules of the base game indicate 84 tiles, since they consider also the 12 tiles of The River mini expansion. These tiles are not considered here as they are not part of the base game rules. [WICA.0201.0001]
- The Big Box 6 rules omit this sentence. [WICA.0201.0001]
The Big Box 6 rules also consider 8 POINT TILES although they are not part of the original base game. There are 6 of them included in Exp. 1 - Inns & Cathedrals:
"Set aside the eight POINT TILES with 50 and 100 sides. You will need them later for scoring." [WICA.0201.0001]
- The Big Box 6 includes the sixth player, in pink color, as part of the base game and not at Exp. 1 - Inns and Cathedrals. This makes the rules clearer. [WICA.0201.0001]
The base game indicated there are also 5 abbots, but this is omitted later in the Big Box 6 rules.
The usage of abbots is described in The Abbot mini expansion page, including 1 in each of the same colors. If you are not playing with The Abbot, put those meeples back into the box. Abbots are not important from the base game point of view. [WICA.0201.0001]
The Big Box 6 rules also consider the POINT TILES, normally included in Exp. 1 - Inns & Cathedrals. In this case, This note about laying down the scoring meeple is replaced by the following instructions:
"Whenever your scoring meeple reaches or passes the 0 space, take a point tile, and place it in front of you with the 50 side face-up, flipping the tile to the 100 side if you reach or pass the 0 space again. Continue to take and flip point tiles as necessary if you reach or pass the 0 space additional times." Check the following section describing the use of Point tiles in full. [WICA.0201.0001]
- This clarification section was added in the Big Box 6 rules. [WICA.0201.0001 / CAR.022]
Interactions with expansions
This section contains some considerations when playing with expansions. Some concepts described in the rules of the base game may require some clarifications due to several factors:
- Expansions may override or extend the concepts described incorporating some nuances to be considered.
- Expansions may add more options to those available in the base game.
Let's review some of the concepts that some expansions may alter:
1. Placing a tile
2. Placing a meeple
3. Scoring a feature
End of the game
- The players decide who starts the game by any method they choose—such as by rolling three meeples. The first player to ‘roll’ a standing meeple decides who plays first. (Thanks to Joff.)
- To determine the first player; each player draws a tile from the bag, the player that drew the tile with the most roads (0 to 4) plays first, if there is a tie for most roads, a draw-off takes place. This is repeated until someone wins. (Thanks to michael.)
- Take your next tile at the end of your turn, to give you time to think about placement and avoid analysis paralysis.
- Play with a three-tile hand. The abbey counts as part of your hand. Play your turn, including the builder, and then draw back up to three tiles. These tiles could be visible to all or hidden to the other players (Thanks to DavidP and youtch.)
- When playing with a bag for the tiles, the original starting tile may be put into the bag, and unplayable tiles can be put back into the bag rather than set to one side. (Thanks to dwhitworth.)
- Trees (bushes) on roads do not end the road—only houses do (when the road forks). This makes road building a lot more dynamic. (Thanks to Tobias.)
- When a tile is the only tile which can currently complete a structure, other players can offer to ‘buy’ it by offering points, trades counter, abbey, and so on. (Thanks to Deatheux.)
- If you place a tile that fills a hole in the playing field by touching something on all four adjacent sides, you get another turn. This helps motivate people to finish the board even if they do not get an advantage from the placement. (Does not apply to the abbey tile). (Thanks to viberunner.)
- Incomplete features at the end of the game do not score points at the end of the game. (Thanks to metoth.)
- The edge of the table limits the playing area. Thus, a player may not place a tile past the edge of the table or move the playing area to place a tile that would have been past the edge of the table. (Thanks to metoth for prompting this one, and to SkullOne for pointing out that this is an official rule from Hunters and Gatherers.)
- Table borders COMPLETE features as an abbey would. (Thanks to PreGy.)
- Use colored dice instead of meeples on the scoring track. Start out with the 6 showing on top. When the marker completes one lap, turn it to the number 1 to indicate it has completed one lap. This shows at a glance which player is on what lap and who's ahead. On the 100 space track it’s even easier to determine someone’s score at a glance. (Thanks to Carcking.)
Total Tiles: 72
One of the tiles marked with "(S)" -tile number four- is the starting tile (with a dark back).
Several tiles have a small illustration on them. The letters in brackets show which illustration is on each tile:
Note: The small illustrations of a cowshed, a pigsty and a donkey stable are collectively referred to as sheds or stables.
For Icons explanation and licensing please visit Icons page.
- Some of these graphical elements have no impact considering the base game rules. Several of them are used in some expansions, such as The Abbot or The Markets of Leipzig or The Tollkeepers. [WICA.0201.0001]
- See notes on section Use of a table. (5/2013) [WICA.0201.0001 / CAR.004]
- Tiles can also be placed into a sack or game box and drawn randomly. [WICA.0201.0001 / CAR.005]
Later expansions add various options for drawing tiles:
- Exp. 2 - Traders & Builders: Includes a cloth bag to place the tiles in it.
- Exp. 4 - The Tower: Includes a cardboard tower serving as a tile dispenser.
- The ZMG rules of the base game mention the "first player" without explaining how it is decided. However, the Big Box 6 rules are re-aligned with the HiG rules and indicate the first player is the youngest one. [WICA.0201.0001]
- It is common practice to choose starting player at random. More on this in house rules section. [WICA.0201.0001 / CAR.006]
- A newly placed land tile must fit the adjacent terrain on all edges! During placement it is not enough to look for only one side that fits. [WICA.0201.0001 / CAR.009]
- A village is a little set of red roofed buildings surrounding the crossroad. [WICA.0201.0001]
- If drawing tiles out of a bag, a tile that cannot be placed could be returned to the bag for later use. [WICA.0201.0001 / CAR.011]
- This list is valid in general terms and should be considered open ended. Some expansions incorporate additional features that may end a road, such as groups of trees and bushes, cottages, lakes, various types of ecclesiastical buildings, castles, etc. [WICA.0201.0001]
- Note that a coat of arms only affects the city segment it is in, not the whole tile (if there is more than one segment on a single tile). [WICA.0201.0001 / CAR.020]
- This may be true for the base game but some expansions include tiles with monasteries in various configurations not always complying with this statement. Monasteries tend to be in the center of a tile unless other features sharing the tile compete for the same space. Likewise, monasteries tend to be surrounded by fields but, in a few cases, we can find monasteries within cities. [WICA.0201.0001]
- Monasteries can be placed directly next to each other, or corner to corner. It is not necessary for there to be eight other (non-monastery) tiles neighbouring a monastery. A monastery stands in the middle of a field segment and other segments can be placed next to it. In contrast to roads, cities, and fields, it is not possible to connect to a monastery. [WICA.0201.0001 / CAR.008]
Some expansions allow you to place a tile in your supply instead of drawing one:
- An Abbey tile (Exp. 5 - Abbey & Mayor)
- A Halfling tile (Halflings)
- A German castle tile (Castles in Germany)
Alternatively, if legal, the player could place the Abbey tile (Exp. 5 - Abbey & Mayor) instead of drawing another tile. (1/2013)
[WICA.0201.0001 / CAR.010]
This clarification would apply to other tiles available in the player's supply from later expansions: [WICA.0201.0001]
- When two meeples of one color are occupying the same road, city, or field, you do not score double in these cases. The number of meeples (or in Exp. 1 - Exp. 1 - Inns & Cathedrals the size of the meeples) has no effect on the points that a player earns from a road, city, monastery, or field. Two knights do not double the points. The number of meeples is only important in establishing who has the majority. [WICA.0201.0001 / CAR.021]
In the base game, the player or players with the most meeples on a feature have the majority and score it. It is assumed that each meeple has a majority vote of 1. Later expansions add new meeple types and some of them have different majority votes:
- Base Game: Normal meeple (1 vote)
- Base Game - The Abbot: Abbot (1 vote)
- Exp. 1 - Inns & Cathedrals: Large meeple (2 votes)
- Exp. 5 - Abbey & Mayor: Wagon (1 vote)
- Exp. 5 - Abbey & Mayor: Mayor (1 vote per coat of arms in the city)
- Exp. 10 - Under the Big Top: Ringmaster (1 vote)
- The Phantom: Phantom (1 vote)
- Exp. 9 - Hills & Sheep: Hill (If there is a tie, tied players with at least one meeple on a hill are considered to have control)
- The Land Surveyors: The Citizen's Jury scoring tile (All players in a city share the majority no matter their votes)
- The majority is applicable to the scoring of all features even monasteries. Monasteries can normally be occupied by one meeple, but expansions like Exp. 6 - Count, King and Robber or Mini #1 - The Flier (Flying Machines) allow you to deploy more than one meeple to a monastery. [WICA.0201.0001]
- Note that, according to the RGG Big Box 3 rules, the last land tile placed could be an Abbey tile (see Exp. 5 - Abbey & Mayor). According to these most recent rules, "If one or more players have not yet placed their Abbey tiles when the last landscape tile is drawn and placed, they may now do so, if possible, in clockwise order starting from the left of the person who placed the last tile. Then, the game ends." This is a reversal of a previous FAQ, which used the statement, "The game is over when the last face-down land tile has been played." This older statement was to specifically prevent players from placing any abbey tiles which they may still have in their hand after the last ‘normal’ land tile (from the stack, the bag, or the tower) had been played. [WICA.0201.0001 / CAR.028]
- Rules do not include tiebreakers, that is, rules explaining a situation when few players share the same score. In this case, they are all considered winners. [WICA.0201.0001]
- Note that features are considered to be complete as soon as the tile is placed, although meeple placement and scoring only occur afterwards. This is important when playing with magic portals (Exp. 3 - The Princess & the Dragon) or flying machines (Mini #1 - The Flier (Flying Machines)). [WICA.0201.0001 / CAR.022]