Carcassonne – A Basic Review

A basic review of Carcassonne and some starting tips!
Carcassonne Board Game Box

It was back around Christmas time that I first learned about Carcassonne. Being an avid lover of games, I was surprised I had let this game slip under my radar, especially since I thoroughly enjoy Catan. So I wrote it down on my Christmas list. Lo and behold it was gifted to me during one of our gift exchanges, and I was able to explore the game that had peaked my interest.

Learning Carcassonne

Carcassonne Being Played

Learning Carcassonne can seem very overwhelming at first. As I read through the instructions, I did my best to retain every piece of information I could, and I still had some things wrong! I’ve found it best to teach people the basic concept of the game and get started. That concept is to use your meeples to compete features and earn points.

Suggested Learning Strategy

Carcassonne is a game that is best learned by simply playing the game. I’d suggest starting off easy and adding difficulty as you learn.

  • Tiles – Start off using the single starter title instead of the river starting tiles.
  • Rules (Features) – I’d suggest just focusing on scoring points from road, city, and monastery features. Introduce farms at a later point
  • Meeples – Start with just the standard Meeples, leave the Abbot in the bag or use it as a scorekeeper (for an extra Meeple!)

As you progress in knowledge add a new rule and see how it changes the game. The beauty of Carcassonne is that you can exclude and add rules as you wish to make a round more challenging or easier. This is especially important in later expansions!

One of the greatest things about Carcassonne, is that it’s also very easy to learn. We’ve taught our nieces and nephew to play the game when we were in Oklahoma, and the youngest was around seven years old at the time.

Final Thoughts

Carcassonne is definitely a basic level game to start. I do remember when we first started playing, we thought you could place a Meeple on any unoccupied feature…we quickly learned that that was not the case!

As you add different expansions it can definitely become a complicated and ruthless game. I have played most of the Z-Man Games expansions so far, and I hope to go into depth on these expansions here shortly. 

The first two expansions I would recommend are Expansion 1: Inns and Cathedrals, and Expansion 2: Traders and Builders


I’m planning on rewriting this entire article with a more in-depth review, after I finish my article on Catan! I realize this is lacking a lot of content and don’t feel that it’s fair to those that have read this!