OBJECTIVE OF CARCASSONNE: Have the lowest value hand.

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2-5 players

MATERIALS: 72 land tiles, 40 followers, 1 score tracker

TYPE OF GAME: tile-laying

AUDIENCE: 10 years & up


Carcassonne is a board game in the German-style which utilizes tile laying. It was designed by Klaus-Jürgen Wrede and published in 2000 by the German game company, Hans im Glück, and later by Rio Grande Games in 2012.

The game’s namesake refers to the medieval town Carcassonne, located in southern France, which is known for it’s fortifying city walls. The game has numerous expansions and spin-offs, however, only the basic game is outlined below.

During Carcassonne, players take turns laying tiles. As the game unfolds, player’s will have built a spread of roads, cities, rolling prairie, and cloisters. Using these tiles, players can deploy their pieces and collect points using them. The player with the highest final score wins.


The game Carcassonne includes 72 land tiles: one starting tile (black tile), and tiles which depict road, bits of field, and city cloister.

There are also 40 pieces or followers in the box in five different colors. These pieces can be designated as a thief, monk, farmer, or a knight. One of a player’s pieces is used for their scoring markers. The game also includes a scoring track.


The starting tile is placed face-up in the center of the playing table. The tiles that remain should be shuffled thoroughly while face-down. Place them in multiple face-down stacks for easy accessibility. Put the score track near an edge of the table.

Players take 8 pieces of their color and should place one of them on the score tracker. Their seven remaining pieces are left in front of them until play begins.

The youngest player gets to pick who will play first.


Players take alternating turns, starting with the chosen player and moving to the left. During a turn, players must do the following in order:

  1. Draw and lay new tile,
  2. Release a follower on that tile,
  3. Score possible roads, cities, and cloisters that have been completed.

Laying Tiles

Draw a tile from one of the face-down stacks. Examine it and show other players (other players may advise on ‘proper’ placement), and lay it on the table. Follow the rules below for laying tiles:

New tiles must be placed so that one edge of the tiles aligns with and/or matches the edge of the old tile net to it. Tiles may not be placed next to each other willy-nilly and must be placed together in logical consequence. Roads must match with roads, fields with fields.

If a tile cannot be placed because it doesn’t align with any tiles on the table, while this is rare, discard the tile and draw a new one.

Deploying Pieces

Once you place a tile, you can place one of your followers on that tile. The following rules apply.

  1. Players can deploy only one of their followers in a turn
  2. Players can use only their pieces, no one else’s.
  3. The piece must be placed on the new tile.
  4. Players must decide which follower and where to place it, use the images below as a guideline.

You cannot place pieces on parts of tiles which are connected with a tile which already has a piece on it, it does not matter who the owner of said piece is. For example, if one player’s piece is in the city section of a tile you cannot place your piece on the city section of it’s connecting tile (since it is one city section). However, you can place the piece in the field of the said connecting piece.

After a player has placed all their pieces, they continue to place tiles on their turns. Pieces are returned after cities, roads, and cloisters are scored.



A road is completed once it connects at both ends to a city, cloister, or itself (in a loop). A player who has a thief on a finished road score a point per tile which contributes to the road.


A city is finished once it is surrounded entirely by walls and there are no gaps. Players who have knights placed on completed cities earn 2 points per tile contributing to the city. Tiles with shields on it earn a bonus 2 points. However, if a city is made by only two tiles it earns only 2 points (not 4).

It may occur that a finished road or city has more than 1 piece on it (from different players). Using clever placement, players may create this unlikely situation. If this happens, the player with the most thieves (on roads) or knights (in cities), takes all the points. If they tie, they both score the full points.


Cloisters are finished once they have tiles surrounding it on all four sides. Cloisters are depicted on a single tile. A player with a monk on a completed cloister takes 9 points.

Returning pieces

Once a road, city, or cloister has been scored, then the pieces on said tiles are returned back to their owner. These pieces may be re-used later in the game as a thief, knight, monk, and farmer as needed.


Fields that are connected and enclosed are farms. They are not scored during the game but after it has been completed. Only farmers may be placed on farms.

Farmers remain on the table until the game is completed, they are scored at the end. Below is an example of finished farms:


Once the last tile has been placed, the game finishes. Final scoring begins.

Incomplete cities, roads, and cloisters are scored. For each incomplete feature, which a player has a piece on, they score 1 point per tile in the unfinished road or city. Shields earn one point each. An incomplete cloister with a monk earns 1 point per tile around the cloister tile. and 1 point for the cloister tile.


Farmers earn points if they supply to a city. Completed cities bordering a farm are supplied to. They are used in the scoring of farmers. For every city a farmer supplies, the player who owns the farmer earns 4 points per city, no matter the size of city or farm.


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