Inns and Cathedrals is the first expansion for Carcassonne, and in my opinion one of the must-have expansions that’s easy for everyone to learn, and allows an additional player to the game. It does require the base Carcassonne game to play
Pro Tip: When introducing expansions, we’ve learned to really just jump in and explain things as they happen in the game. The first game becomes more of a tutorial game, but it works out better for everyone!
Inns and Cathedrals adds two new ways to score, new tiles to match, and enough Meeples for a sixth player. An expansion that can easily become a part of the base game.
In the Box:
- Pink Meeple Set (8 regular and 1 abbot)
- 18 Land Tiles, with 2 cathedrals and 6 inns.
- 6 Large Meeple, one for each color
- 12 River Tiles (undisclosed bonus, not pictured)
Playing the Expansion:
Shuffle the new tiles with the rest of the base game tiles, and start like normal. The expansion itself adds some new strategies with the new features, or if you play six players. But there’s really no additional changes to how a turn is played out.
When your done playing the game, look for the tiles with the shadowed Giant Meeple icons to separate the base tiles from the expansion tiles.
This expansion alone adds several turns to the game, the box suggests 45 mins, which is fairly accurate.
Inns and Cathedrals introduces four new features to the game. Inns, Cathedrals, Large Meeples, and Point Tiles.
There are six Inns, each marked with a red building by a pond. My wife has since dubbed them the “Red Roof” inns whenever they pop up.
Inns really breathe life back into wanting to claim a road, by doubling the points of roads with Inns. If you close out a road with an inn on it, you score two points for each road segment. However, there is also a cost for claiming a road with an Inn. If you fail to close out the road by the end of the game, the entire road is worth 0 points.
There is one Inn in particular (shown above), that has a special rule mentioned in the rule book. This Inn only counts for the roads going left and right, not down.
There are two Cathedrals in the game. Each Cathedral has city on all four sides.
When closing out a Cathedral, each city tile is worth 3 points. If you don’t close out a city with a Cathedral by the end of the game, the entire city is worth 0 points.
It be is also important to remember that a city with a lot of shields could actually be worth less points with a Cathedral than normal. This is not always that frequent however.
Outside of the new tiles, the rest of the game can played as normal. Some of the tiles also introduce new ways to keep fields going, or shut them down, if your a farm/field player.
Large Meeples are an additional Meeple that joins your rank of followers. The benefit of Large Meeples is that they count as double the quantity of a regular Meeple. This is only beneficial when you are fighting for control of a feature, and not when scoring the feature.
When you put a Large Meeple on a city, it counts as two Meeples. If another player only had a regular Meeple in the same city. What this would mean you would own the majority of the city and would get all the points for that city while your opponent would receive nothing.
Point Tiles are a fun little feature added to the game that help you keep track of scores better. You no longer need to put Meeples on their sides when scoring to keep track of how many laps you’ve done! In games with 5-6 players these might be used very rarely, but in 2-4 player games you’ll find this useful!
Inns and Cathedrals is a necessary expansion for groups that often have six players. It isn’t the most exciting expansion out there, but it’s good for stepping in slowly to Carcassonne expansions.