Simple to Read Carcassonne Rules

Quick reference and simple to read Carcassonne rules. We cover the essential instructions and directions to get your game started quickly.

Suitable for 2 – 5 players | 30 – 45 mins duration | Recommended age 7+ | Game complexity: LOW Genre: City Building,Medieval,Territory Building Solo game mode: No Co-op: No Online Version: Yes

What is the goal? #

Carcassonne is a tile-placement, territory building game centred around the world-famous French city, known for its fortifications erected during the Middle Ages. 

In this game, players must build the area surrounding Carcassonne.  They will place their followers onto roads and into cities, monasteries, and fields. 

Players take turn to  place tiles. This is how a landscape of roads, cities, monasteries, and fields will be created and expanded. You may place your meeples on these tiles, where they will become highwaymen, knights, monks, and farmers and hopefully allow you to score as many points as possible. Points are also earned at the very end. After the final scoring the player with the highest score is proclaimed the winner. 

Game setup #

Land Tiles #

  • There are 84 land tiles which depict:
    • roads
    • cities 
    • monasteries
Carcassonne land tiles

Land tiles with Rivers #

  • Twelve (12) of these tiles show a river.
  • Other graphical elements such as houses, people, or animals have no impact on the game.
  • Every tile shares the same back, with the exception of the start tile and the twelve River tiles. The back of those tiles is darker, making them easy to set them aside.
Back of Carcassonne tiles
Back of Carcassonne tiles

Placing the Starting Tile #

  • Place the start tile (the one with a dark back) in the middle of the table.
  • Shuffle the remaining tiles and set them as different facedown stacks that are easily accessible to all players.
Carcassonne Starting Tile
Carcassonne Starting Tile

Scoreboard and Meeples #

  • Put to the scoreboard to the side of your playing surface (table, floor, etc.)
  • There are 40 regular meeples (8 meeples in each of these colours: yellow, red, green, blue, and black)
  • There are also 5 abbots (1 in each of the same colours)
  • Each player chooses a colour and gets 7 meeples of the colour
  • These meeples will make each player’s personal supply
  • Each player will take the remaining meeple in their color and sets it
    on space 0 of the scoreboard.
  • Return to the box any unused meeples and, for newcomers, the abbots
  • Select a first player
Carcassonne Score Board
Carcassonne Score Board

Gameplay #

Player take turns in clockwise order. Each player takes the following actions to try to complete and own features (Roads, Cities, Monasteries) on their landscape.

  1. Place a tile
    • The player draws exactly 1 Land tile from a stack
    • The player places it faceup and continues landscape
  2. Place a meeple
    • The player may a meeple from their supply onto the recently placed tile
  3. Score a feature
    • The player must score any feature completed by their tile placement. 

Placing Road Tiles and Scoring Road Features #

Placing a tile #

When drawing a road tile, you must place it such that it continues the existing landscape (the tiles already in play)

Carcassonne 1

Placing a meeple on a road #

  • Once a road tile is placed, you may place a meeple as a highwayman on one of the road\’s segments
  • The road segment must be unoccupied by another highwayman
Carcassonne 2

Scoring a road #

  • A road is completed when both ends are closed. You will then score the road.
  • The end of a road is closed when it meets a village, a city, a
    monastery, or it loops onto itself by meeting the other end
  • If another player places a tile to close a road and it completes
    your road, you will still score points.
  • How many points do you score? When scoring a road, each tile of that road grants you 1 point. Once scored, return the highwayman meeple to your supply
  • Move your meeple on the scoreboard by the number of points
Carcassonne 3

Placing City Tiles and Scoring City Features #

Placing a tile #

  • Tiles are drawn to continue the landscape
  • Illustration of tiles must be continued. For example, a city segment must be connected to an open city.
Carcassonne 4

Placing a meeple as a knight #

  • You can place a meeple as a Knight in the city if there isn’t already one. 
Carcassonne 5

Scoring a city #

  • When you complete a city feature, it must now be scored.
  • A completed city is surrounded by walls and there are no gaps inside the city
  • If you have a meeple in the completed city, you are the player
    to score it
  • Each tile in a completed city is worth 2 points.
    In addition, each knight is worth 2 more points.
    Once scored, the meeple that was in the scored feature (knight) returns to your supply.
Carcassonne 6

Placing Monastery Tiles and Scoring Monastery Features #

Placing a tile #

  • Once a tile is drawn, continue the landscape
  • Monasteries are illustrated in the centre of a tile
Carcassonne 7

Placing a meeple as a monk #

  • You can place a meeple from your supply on a monastery as a monk
Carcassonne 8

Scoring a monastery #

  • A monastery is completed when it is surrounded by tiles.
  • Once completed, you will score the monastery feature.  The feature is worth 1 point per tile that completes it (including the monastery itself).
  • Once completed, as usual, you to take your meeple back.

Multiple meeples in the same feature #

Here are some scenario examples that result in multiple meeples in the same feature.

Scenario 1: Multiple players scoring the same road feature #

  • You draw a road tile and have the option to continue the road. 
  • There is already a highwayman on that road, which means that you may not place yours. 
  • You place your tile, and a highwayman, in a space that is not connected.
Carcassonne 9
  • In following turns, you draw this tile and decide to continue the road with it.
  • Both roads, each with a highwayman, are now connected.
  • The road is completed and both you and the other player score 4 points.
  • Then, you both take your meeple back.
Carcassonne 10

Scenario 2: Controlling a city feature with multiple meeples #

  • You wish to take control of the city away from yellow and place your
    tile as pictured with a knight on it.
  • You are allowed to place a knight there because the city segment is not connected to another city segment with a knight on it.
  • If you succeed in linking your two city segments, your two knights will allow you to take the city from yellow.
Carcassonne 11
  • You place the tile you needed to connect the city segments.
  • Since you now have the most knights in the city, only you get to score the 10 points awarded for completing that city.
  • Then, both you and the other player take back your meeples.
Carcassonne 12

How do you win? #

Once the game is over, all meeples still in play are scored:

  • Each incomplete road is worth 1 point per tile, just like during the game.
  • Each incomplete city is worth 1 point per tile and 1 point per Knight, which is only half the points.
  • Each incomplete monastery is worth 1 point plus 1 point per adjacent tile, just like during the game.
  • Each field is worth 3 points per adjacent completed city.

This is how farmers are scored, which is only shown here to present all the aspect of the final scoring. Farmers are
presented in the supplementary rules. We recommend playing a few games before introducing farmers and fields.

Carcassonne 13
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