Best Board Games #6: Carcassonne

Playing board games together is one of our family’s favorite past times.   This is the an article in a series of top 10 best family board games. <–You can see the entire list with all the details there.

Top 10 Board Games named by Kids Activities Blog for family game night
Our #6 pick of best family board games is Carcassonne!

This is the best family board games list so far:

Top 10 Board Games for Families:

10. Streetcar

9.   Empire Builder

8.   Monopoly

7.   Railways of the World

carcasonne board game box6.   Best Family Game: Carcassonne

Buy the Carcassonne Board Game Here:

Board Game Designer: Klaus-Jurgen Wrede

Publisher: Rio Grande Games

Players: 2 “ 5 (up to 6 with expansions)

Time: 30 min.

Age: 8+

Fun to Age Ratio: 9

Type: City Building

Strategy——x—Luck

Carcassonne is a light strategy game of tile laying and token placement.   This game is very accessible by a wide variety of ages.   It plays fast and the decision making is minimal.

Your table acts as a blank slate onto which the board is built by players one tile at a time.   The board grows into a landscape which includes roads, cities, fields and cloisters.   Players earn points by placing tokens ( followers ) on the growing board.   The larger the token-occupied space grows, whether a city, field or road, the more points earned.   Once a city or road space is completed and cannot be made any larger, the token is returned to the player and may be re-used.   This mechanism creates a short-term versus long-term dynamic; the longer a token sits in a non-completed space, the greater chance you have of earning more points.   But if you’re not recycling tokens, you run the risk of having none to play on new emerging roads and cities.   Tokens placed on fields are not returned and are only scored at the end of the game, so field placement should be used sparingly.   Tokens can also be placed on a cloister, which scores points based on how many adjacent tiles are placed.   If all eight surrounding spaces become occupied by tiles, the token is returned to the player.

carcassonne board game boardThe beauty of the game is not just the intriguing decisions that are created with each tile placement, but also in the growing landscape that begins to resemble a puzzle.   Tiles have to be placed so they communicate correctly with all adjacent tiles, so as the game progresses some spaces will not accommodate any remaining tile.   This very often results in stranded followers that you won’t get back before game end.

Carcassonne has been extremely popular since its introduction in 2000 and is an excellent gateway game for people new to board games.   While it is a great game with a unique tile-laying mechanism, I do find some of the scoring methods a little tedious and headache inducing.   But it’s nothing you can’t weed through with a little patience and Tylenol.   There are a ton of expansions and stand alone spin-offs available, which enhance the games re-playability.   

Excellent iPhone/iPod/iPad editions are available.

WHAT WAS THE BEST FAMILY GAME ON OUR LIST?

Check out all the details on the family game Acquire as our top pick for best family games to play on family game night!

#2 Settlers of Catan

#3 Ticket to Ride

#4 Elasund

#5 Puerto Rico

MORE BOARD GAME FUN FROM KIDS ACTIVITIES BLOG

What is your family’s favorite board game to play together?

4 Comments

  1. Oh, Carcassonne is one of our favorites! When my husband and I were first introduced to it, we were crazy about it but could not locate a copy to buy for ourselves. (I think it might not have not have been released in English yet.) Anyway, I ended up painting an entire set of tiles for us to play with. We still use them and always refer to my hand painted version as “The Collectors Edition”. 🙂

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