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Carcassonne: Count, King & Robber
List Price: $17.99
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from 17 customer reviews
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English language edition with River tiles Funagain Games does not stock this edition of this title, usually because it's out of print.
English language edition, no River tiles Funagain Games does not stock this edition of this title, usually because it's out of print.
This sixth expansion for Carcassonne presents players with 4 mini-expansions. The Count of Carcassonne helps players take over sections that are under another player’s control. The River 2 creates an interesting beginning by presenting a winding river that splits into two. The King and the Robber award the player who completes the largest city and the one who completes the longest road. Finally, the Heretics & Shrines tiles introduce heretics who challenge monks, trying to score those precious points.
Players: 2 - 6
Time: 30 - 45 minutes
Ages: 8 and up
Est. time to learn: Under 5 minutes
Weight: 330 grams
Language Requirements: Game components are language-independent. Manufacturer's rules are printed in English. This is an international edition or domestic edition of an imported item.
Average Rating: 3.9 in 17 reviews
I enjoy this addition because it seems to curtail the power of farmers especially in a two player game. The river breaks up the farmers' territory. Essential no. Fun and useful yes.
We bought two of these rivers, plus we have the original river. We love them. The way we do it, the starting board ends up looking very different from one game to another.
Here is what we do. Put one spring (starting point) out, the remaining springs to the side, and everything else in the bag or upside down. Draw and place pieces one at a time alternating players as the rules state. When someone draws an end, they place it and they also place the next spring. You keep going until all the placed rivers have ends. Sometimes this is only 2 river tiles for each river you own, sometimes it ends up being every river tile you own.
Note the rivers starting and end pieces tend to combine farms. To avoid having one sprawling farm (which can make that losing farmers a bit grumpy) we use the tiles (but not rules) from the Count's expansion set. Then require that each river starts with a road from the count's city seperating it from the start of any other river.
Carcassonne - River 2 is a nice little addition to a great game. It makes the starting plays of the game longer, but allows a great many more potential moves to make. When I play we take the "springs" from the original and River 2 and put them back to back. Then if an end is drawn we close off one of the rivers. If the second end comes before the spring, the person holds it and plays it the next possible time. I would recommend this expansion to anyone who wants to have a little fun at the beginning of Carcassonne.
Anybody reading this review probably already has this expansion. BUT, if you don't and you've already played Carcasonne a million times, this is definitely a great expanision, and much better than playing with the "King and Scout" variation.
Basically, the Count of Carcasonne converts Carcasonne into a much more interactive game...it adds a new layer of strategy that takes some time to feel out. It's also interesting conjunction with Traders and Builders, because now there's two reasons to finish someone else's city/road/etc...
And like the best Carcasonne pieces, the City just looks nice.
No need to think about this one, given the price. If for some reason you don't like it then just throw it in the garbage, because it's not like you paid a lot for it. In other words, no risk.
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.
We tried this expansion set with the enclosed rules and with an assortment of our own made up rules. In the end we usually use the tiles without the rules just to prevent the whole countryside from turning into one big farm. (At our house, one big farm = an angry spouse.) To better accomplish multiple farms, we suggest you also require the start of each river you have (we have three) lies next to the big city and with at least one road entering the city between it and the next river start.
Here is a second idea if you are playing with someone who doesn't like the negative aspects of this expansion set. Score an extra point (or two) every time you place one of your 'guys' on a feature matching the count's location (sort of a goverment tax incentive). Then when you finish someone elses feature, you get the added bonus of moving the count's location based on what you want to work on.
The Count of Carcassonne comes in a small box, containing twelve tiles and a wooden purple “count” figure. The expansion is a small one with some interesting changes to the game - some of the most interesting of the series. I’m not a big fan of the way the game was packaged, but I did understand why they did it.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea behind the expansion, and the city the tiles form makes a tremendous centerpiece for the game. It is possible that it adds a bit too much “fiddliness” for some people, but I didn’t mind at all. Will I play it with Carcassonne fanatics, myself included? Of course! But for the average person with whom I play Carcassonne, it’s probably best just to ignore this expansion unless they need “more” added to the game. Besides, it adds some nastiness to the game that, while present in the base game, is just a bit out of touch here for many people.
The twelve tiles are put together to form the city of Carcassonne. The tiles are numbered for the puzzle-challenged folk, and I wondered why they used tiles at all - why not a board? I suppose it was for the packaging, but it means that setup is that much longer. I personally superglued all of mine together; they still fit easily in the base game box, and it’s a snap to set up. The twelve tiles have the city in the interior, with the outer ten tiles also having other features, such as roads and cities; so the whole thing acts as one giant start tile. (The river can still be used effectively). The city is divided up into four quarters - the Castle, cathedral, market, and blacksmith). The Count figure is placed in the castle quarter, and then game play begins - using the city as one gigantic start tile.
Game play occurs as normal, with one notable exception. Whenever a player places a tile that scores points for another player - and none for themselves - they may add one of the meeples to Carcassonne. They may place the meeple in any of the four quarters of the city, and they may also move the count to any of the four quarters they like. Each quarter of the city matches a feature on the board (the Castle - cities; the cathedral - cloisters; the market - farms; and the blacksmith - roads).
Whenever a feature is scored in the future, players have the option (before the scoring occurs) to move their followers from the matching quarter in Carcassonne to the scoring feature. Meeples that are in the same quarter as the Count may not move. This is the only way to use the meeples in Carcassonne, but it certainly can be done to a devastating effect. We affectionately call these meeples “paratroopers”, as they seem to appear out of nowhere.
The strategy that this adds to the game is wonderful. Now players have yet another reason to finish off other player’s features, as they get to place paratrooper meeples in the city. One must be careful when building a large city or road, because another player might come along and share in the points - or even take them all for themselves. This really makes the “Geeples” (giant meeples) even more potent. As paratroopers, they are extremely dangerous and effective. Fortunately, players can stop this by making sure that the Count is in the right section of the city, tying up the meeples who are most dangerous to them.
As you can see, this expansion adds a lot of confrontation to the game. Since the game was fairly mild to begin with, I don’t mind this at all. In a two-player game, this expansion adds a good bit of depth. In a multi-player game, the expansion adds a bit of nastiness that some people might want to avoid. I personally enjoy it, and think that - bang for the buck - this is probably the most I’ve gotten for my money from a Carcassonne expansion. However, the “attack” feeling the expansion gives may turn off some players. Whether or not to get this expansion depends on how confrontational you want Carcassonne to be.
“Real men play board games.”
This is a tiny little box containing not ne but two separate expansions. The first is for the original Carcassonne game and can be played with or without its several expansions. It includes a few new land tiles for inclusion as well as the new King and Robber tiles. These are awarded to the players who have completed the largest castle and the longest road, respectively. Should the balance of power shift before game's end, the tiles go to the current leader in each of the two categories. At game's end, the holders of these tiles get one extra point for, again respectively, the total of completed castles and roads.
With so many ways of earning points in this game, this does not seem unbalanced to me. It just gives the players a couple more things to consider when expanding. All in all, a worthy little expansion.
The second set of tiles is for the Huters and Gatherers edition, and includes some special role tiles which are handed out randomly to the players before the start of the game. Thes include some fairly powerful abilities as well as a couple one-shot abilities that are placed as alnd tiles. This expansion does not seem as well considered as the King expansion, but could be used for handicapping players by giving a more powerful role tile to a new player. Not as good or elegant as the other included expansion, but still not bad at all, and one can't beat the price!
First, the Hunters and Gatherers expansion:
You get 5 new tiles: the Shaman, the Scout, Hunter on the Bridge, Dug-out, and Agriculture. Each of these tiles is dealt out randomly, one to each player, at the begining of the game. They can be used at any time during the game, instead of drawing a tile as normal.
The Shamen may be the most powerful tile. It is placed face up in front of the player and allows them to, once a turn, remove one of their tribe members from an unfinished forest, meadow, or river. Great for getting out of the unfinishable locations or an overpowered meadow. This game gives you limited resources and, so this is a big advantage.
The Scout is also arguably the most powerful tile. It allows the player to refuse the first tile they draw, opting to draw a different tile and shuffle the first one into the stack. This is useable with the bonus tiles, as well. A huge advantage.
The Hunter on the Bridge allows the players to hunter the meadows on both sides of the bridged river. This also counts as an extra man for the player placing this tile.
The Dug-out counts as a fisherman for the player placing this tile. Once the river/lake system is complete, that player scores points equal to the largest (most fish) lake in the system. The tile also counts as a fisherman at the end of the game. Essentially, this is an extra man and a double scoring opprotunity if you close your lake system.
The Agriculture tile is placed in an open meadow and counts as a man. Instead of hunting the meadow, the player counts all of the tiles in the meadow as farmland, scoring one point for each at the end of the game. Hunters can join in later and hunt this meadow, as well, with no affect on this scoring.
Now the Caraccasone expansion:
You get 5 new tiles that get mixed into the general supply. These add a little spice, similar to previous expansions.
The big additions are the King and the Robber Baron tiles. These stay on the table in front of the player with the largest city and the largest road. As a bigger city or a longer road is finished, the ownership of these tiles may change. The player who has completed the largest city or road at the end of the game gets a scoring bonus. The King gives you 1 point for each completed city on the board. The Robber Baron gives you 1 point for each completed road.
The only reason I don't give this 5 stars is that the additions can make for lop-sided games (if you complete the largest city, you alrady have a lot of points) and that the rules aren't perfectly clear. It isn't hard to figure out, but it took playing once to 'get it'. You also need both games (Carcassone and Hunters and Gatherers) to get the full use out of these tiles. We own both and all of the Carcassone expansions, so we love them.
This expansion pack adds an interesting dimension to the game, as noted by other reviewers. We found the rules somewhat ambiguous, however. Not a big deal, if you're prepared to fill in the missing parts.
1. You can add one of your followers to the city when "a player places a tile that causes at least one of his opponents to score at least 1 point..." Is that scoring a point IMMEDIATELY or just increasing the score the player WILL have. Stated another way, do you have to finish off a city/road/cloister in order to add a follower to the city. This is the way we play it, on the theory that it should be pretty hard to add a following to the city.
2. It's not at all clear how to score fields at the end of the game. It became very clear in our first game that if we simply went around the table once, one person would have a significant advantage. We ultimately decided to score fields one at a time. For each one, if anyone was interested in moving followers from the city to the field, everyone so interested would indicate how many AT THE SAME TIME. I think this worked well.
I don't see any big difference between this and the original River. The one good thing about it is that it has more roads, thus encouraging more "sectorization" of the land. (The original river tended to generate one big area of super-valuable land that could completely overturn the game at the end, depending on who controlled it.)
So don't get me wrong, it's a useful addition and if you are a big fan of Carcassonne, for $5 you can't go wrong. But it doesn't hugely impact the play of the game.
Carcassonne: King and Scout is one of the only expansions I’ve gotten that is for two different games: the original Carcassonne and Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers. The expansion is simply twelve tiles that come in a very small box - five for H&G, and seven for the original game.
The “Scout” part of the expansion - all five tiles - are taken and shuffled face down, with each player drawing one of them. (Two tiles each in a two-player game.) Each tile has a special ability:
- Farmer’s Hut - This tile is placed in a meadow and scores one point for each tile that makes up that meadow for the player. (The player must place a hut on the tile). This one is okay, but I haven’t seen it do much good during the game.
- Dugout Canoe - This tile gives the player control over the river system in which it is placed. The player scores points for the larger lake in every river connected to that system. I found this tile fairly weak, and only worthwhile if a player decides to build their river system up, which can be hard in a multi-player game.
- Hunter on a Footbridge: This tile basically allows a player to place a hunter that straddles two meadows, allowing them to score both. This tile I found fairly weak - it’s not nearly as good as the others, unless the player gets an optimal placement with it, which is rare.
- Scout: This is the best tile of the five. It allows the player who has played it to redraw tiles for the rest of the game, but they must take the redraw. I see no reason why a player who has this doesn’t play it the first chance they get. The ability to redraw tiles is HUGE, and far outweighs the measly points the other tiles give out.
- Shaman: This tile is almost as good as the Scout. Instead of being played as part of the board, like the other four, it is simply placed in front of the player. This tile allows the player to take back followers from incomplete rivers and forests. This is a useful thing, especially when you have many of your followers tied up and are unable to put them where you want to.
The “King” part of the expansion is much more interesting - for the original Carcassonne. Five of the seven tiles are simply different combinations of city/road/abbey but are very nice additions. My favorite is a tile that has two cities crossing over one another; it’s a neat twist to throw down on some cities.
More importantly, however, are the “King” and the “Robber Knight” tiles. Both of them function the same way, with the “King” associated with cities and the “Robber Knight” with roads. Whenever a player plays a tile that completes the first city or road, they take the associated tile, placing it in front of them. Later on in the game, other players may take these tiles if they play a tile that completes a feature that is larger than any other (i.e. complete the longest road up to that point). At the end of the game, the player with the “King” scores one point for every completed city on the board; the player with the “Robber Knight” scores one point for every completed road on the board. A few people have criticized these as game-breaking, but I really think they add a lot to the game. If combined with the Builders and Traders set or the Count set, players now have a lot of incentive to finish other player’s cities and roads. If someone is going to score a huge city and there’s not much way to stop them, then why not do it for them, taking the “King” tile in the process?
I think that it’s neat that this expansion covers two games, but frankly I could have lived without the Hunters and Gatherers expansion. I’ve never been a big fan of Hunters and Gatherers to begin with, and these tiles are absolutely unbalanced. I don’t understand why two of them are so much more useful than the other three - and how one of them isn’t added to the board, but the other four are. Fortunately, the “King” expansion is tremendous - adding some great tiles to the mix, and some new ways for players to score. Considering the inexpensive price, I would have to say that while I think the “Scout” part of the expansion is a dud, the rest of it makes the little set worth picking up.
“Real men play board games.”
I have to correct my review of this expansion. I totally misunderstood the rules. I thought the king and robber belonged to the person who 'completed' the biggest city/road, meaning the person who 'owned' the biggest city/road. The correct interpretation is that the king/robber belongs to the person who 'completes'--that is, places the last tile--on the city/road, much like getting the trade goods per the last expansion. Well, I played with the correct rules and I hated them. They reward a person, who by luck, happens to put the last piece on the city/road which may have been developed over many turns, and for this, the lucky player gets 15-20 points, way out of proportion to the play. When you realize that you struggle throughout the game to get a majority in one trade good, which is worth 10 points, you begin to see how ridiculous the new rule is. To make matters worse, if you happen to have been lucky to get the robber early in the game, you spend the rest of the game defending it. That means that not only will you be killing our opponent's roads, but your own also, since you don't want to build a road longer than the one you own on the chance (50/50 with two players 25/75 with four players) that someone else will get the robber away from you. This puts a distinctly negative cast on your options, and is altogether unpleasant. It changes the entire flow of the game rather than enhancing it, as all good exansions should do.
But all is not lost. I play a house rule which discards the king, since it is really too powerful. The robber is awarded to the player who owns the longest road. That not only rewards the players who makes the effort to construct a long road (or who steals a road by clever play), but also allows continued offensive and defensive play throughout the game. With this house rule, the game has significantly improved. It was with this understanding that I gave the expansion 5 stars. I've downgraded it to 3 stars because it's not what the authors intended. Play it both ways and see which one you prefer!
Here is another of the multitude of expansions for Carcassonne. This is actually one of the minor expansion sets, in that it merely adds new tiles for Carcassonne, however for Hunters And Gatherers, it adds some very powerful, perhaps even over-powering cards. The Carcassonne tiles aren't anything special, and if you got this before the new "identifying watermarks" that all new Carcassonne expansion tiles get, you'll never be able to find them in your base game. The 5 tiles for Hunters And Gatherers are offered as "bonus" tiles to each player at game set up, in lieu of drawing a normal tile the player can lay this down, each one has a different "super power" offering that player a bonus. It's an inexpensive thing, you won't hurt your budget to get this, but if you don't have both games, it probably isn't worth your while. 1 start for the Carcassonne tiles, and 1 star for Hunters And Gatherers tiles 2 stars altogether woo woo!!!!
Remember you can't play the TILES unless you're playing the game!!!!
That is essentially what this expansion does, it adds an element of war to this otherwise benign city building game.
This is one of the minor expansions, I call it minor as it came in a small roughly landscape tile sized box, and only had 12 tiles and the lone Count meeple. Basically what this is, is a starting tile/spine. Normally you start Carcassonne with the start tile, if you don't have the river. If you have The River, and/or The River II you start with that, which is essentially a starting spine. Same concept for this except you are building the "suburbs" which will surround the main city, where the Count hangs out. You play the game as normal, and try to score points. If however you cause another player to score points (and score nothing yourself) you get to put a meeple in the city walls. You can place him on the market, on the castle, on the cathedral, or in town. Meeples on these features can "paratroop" into other features that are about to be scored. You can drop in on a farm (market), castle (castle), cloister (cathedral) or road (town). You may place your meeple in there at anytime, provided you do not place a normal meeple that turn. These meeples can ignore the normal placement rules, meaning I can drop a guy in on your 33 tile "3 point castle" and not have to "sneak in". This is an overwhelmingly powerful expansion, and I can't speak for everyone, but I'm sure if you have this one, you've probably only played it once, ok maybe twice, but certainly not more than thrice. I think that's the literal truth, we used this expansion about 3 times and then abandoned it. The tiles aren't even good enough to use as regular game tiles, so it's truly not worthwhile, then again it's only a few bucks out of your pocket so it won't hurt your budget if you wind up hating it. 1 star for effort 0 stars for usefulness. If the 12 tiles could be doubled up as regular landscape tiles that might be worth something, but the game is cheap so what's it going to hurt?
Oh and don't forget, you can't pass GO if you're not in the game!!!!