A Splendid Time Was Had By All

A SPLENDID TIME WAS HAD BY ALL…

…playing Carcassonne.

Our company (or little sub part of it) had a picnic recently. I decided it might be a fun time to introduce a “Euro-style” board game and see if anyone would be willing to play.  My choice was Carcassonne.

It’s such an easy game to learn; it’s a small box; it’s highly addictive. Oh yea, it’s lots of fun. Our family owns all the expansion packs I know of, but I decided that the “basic game” was the right way to go for introductions. The morning before the picnic I divided the game tiles and ended up with a cloth bag full of only the original game pieces. All set to go.

It was a hit. Overall all we played two games. The first one with 5 players, and the second one with three. In the initial game the scoring went exactly like most modern German strategy board games: We didn’t know for certain who was going to win until near the very end. In our first game we had one monster city being built and quite a bit of competition to “own” it. There were other smaller cities but when it was completed the dominant owner ended up moving way out ahead and won the game. It was risky since the last 3 tiles played were exactly the right ones needed.

You can purchase the game at local game hobby shops (sometimes comic book shops) and even at Toys R Us. I saw a copy at a local TRU recently and was amazed it was there. Maybe Rio Grande Games is test marketing at TRU. You can also purchase on-line of course.

To learn more about the game, I recommend Board Game Geek. Here’s the game entry . Carcassonne has been around for a number of years, but it’s still an excellent and well played game. Some of the serious hard-core gamers I’m certain have outgrown it but I recommend this as a “gateway” game to show people who think Monopoly and Scrabble is all there is.