Carcassonne: King & Scout
English language edition of Carcassonne: König & Späher
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Carcassonne: King and Scout is two expansions in one for both the original Carcassonne and Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers. With seven tiles for the original game, this expansion allows players to gain both the King and the Robber Baron - the former giving points to the player with the largest city, and the latter to the player with the most roads. The remaining five tiles are new, unique combinations that fit well with the original game. The five tiles included for the Hunters and Gatherers version are randomly dealt out at the beginning, allowing each player a special tile that can be played once a game. This small expansion is a terrific stocking stuffer!
For $4, you get a lot for your value.
King: The addition of the King and Robber make Carcassone maps more complete and satisfying without upsetting the point system. Instead of long roads and large cities sitting unfinished, all players will compete to finish projects. This way everyone benefits, but of course, someone will benefit more. Like Traders and Builders, there is a reward for finishing other projects. This continues this same logic.
You also get some extra pieces. The 'bridge' piece which allows two seperate cities to cross over each other is wonderful for ending (or starting) fueds on shared cities. The other pieces fit some necessary combinations not in other sets.
Scout: Hunters & Gatherers is solid stand-alone but this expansions adds variety. Your new pieces will give you special abilities, some seemingly more powerful than others, but it all depends on how you play them. You'll get a renewed zest for the game by adding these pieces. Just these five pieces add a world of complexity, making each game different.
Carcassonne, with its two expansions, was already my favorite game, so I approached the new expansion with some trepidation. My first look was not optimistic--5 new tiles which didn't add anything new to the game, only added a few extra turns. What surprised me was the use of the Robber which, by rewarding the player with the longest road, added new balance to the game by increasing the value of the road, and forcing players to choose between ending a road and taking the points and getting your man back, and extending the road (which increases the likelihood of a defensive attack), hoping to end up with the bonus. What was most surprising was how many completed roads there are, when you look at all those 2-piece roads that got completed incidentally when players were doing something else. The first time I played, the Robber was worth 18 points--nearly the same value as two of the trade goods! I do agree somewhat with the other reviewer who complained that the King might be too strong since the player who completes the biggest city is probably going to win anyway. But I think that's only really true if the city is a large triple score. One option would be just to play with the Robber, and not the King if it looked like that was consistently happening.
All in all a great addition to an already great game.
I bought this modest expansion for the original Carcassone game so I can only speak for the seven tiles used for that title.
They are great! It adds some tiles that have been missing for a while and add some nice twists like the piece that bridges between two castles. Both the King and Robber Barron tiles make it fun to compete for who can finish the longest road or build the grandest castle. Highly recommended.