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New Buy – Board Game – Carcassonne: Big Box

January 5, 2013

Today I purchased myself a belated Christmas present. I wanted to get my hands on a never before played board game to add to my modest  collection and I think I found what I was looking for. After doing hours of reading and research into the world of board games, I created a short list and then finally picked a winner.  It had to tick off all or most of the squares on my list of requests, that includes:

  • Something at least for 4 player. – This game is 2-6
  • Something that is not too long to play. –  With experience you can play the game in half an hour, but if you are like me and also like epic games, the expansions add many more dimensions and can stretch the game for much longer.
  • Something that is not too difficult to learn for new players.  – I read the rules before purchasing it and even played an on-line game. It is relatively easy to pick up, but still complex enough to add variety and keep you entertained.
  • A central board that players all interact on. – I nearly purchased another game, but what made me hesitate was the lack of a central board. This game is in a way unique in that you start out without a board, the main object of the game is to construct the board through the use of tiles. The second facet of my request is the interaction. From what I read this game allows players to “screw” each other, but also work together to benefit each other.
  • Strategic/ Tactical. – Remember when you planned your next move, discussing your options with other players and then decided on the strategy to win in the popular kids game Snakes & Ladders? Don’t remember? Well that’s because Snakes & Ladders doesn’t have any of that, its a pure chance game in which you are at the mercy of the dice and the board pictures. A good game allows you to have options in deciding how to play, it allows you to form a strategy and be pragmatic with things that come your way while playing. This game appears to have a that element. There is still the element of chance, but you have options in how you direct your hand which satisfies me.

I settled on:  ‘Carcassonne’. A  tile-based German-style board game (Germans are renown for creating complex strategic games) that has won the prestigious Spiel des Jahres prize in 2001. There are many expansions and spin-offs of this game. Instead of dipping my toe in the water and getting the base board I did a full throttle plunge into the deep end and  purchased The Big Box, which is the base game as well as five, yep five expansion packs.

The Expansions include”

Inns & Cathedrals, Traders and Builders, Abbey & Mayor, Princess & Dragon and Bridges, Castles, & Bazaars.

I will give it a go tonight with some friends.

Here are all the pieces that came with the game.

Carcassonne Big Box

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