Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Expansion 1: Inns & Cathedrals

Is there even a point to write this review? Just buy it and have a nice day!

There is considerable chance that you have this expansion already, because it is part of Big Boxes or often sold bundled with the base game. If you are still reading this let's go through description of this expansion, because there can be only one answer for question "to buy or not to buy" and it has been already given. 
I'll be providing some strategy advises later, so bare with me anyway.

New edition box cover


This expansion delivers set of grey meeples for sixth player, together with six big meeples for all players. Additionally there is set of 18 new tiles.  New features are Inns. next to roads, and cathedrals, found in cities. You can also find "lap tokens", to help with scoring when you make full round on scoring track.

New features and new meeples

New rules

None other expansion integrates into game so seemlesy as this one. Additional rules are so subtle, that you may think at the start that there is no change at all. There's actually a lot going on here.
If you finish road with Inn next to it, you get two point per tile, instead of usual one. When your finished city contains one of two Cathedral tiles it earns you 3 points per tile and pennant, increasing you earnings by 50%. Naturally there is a catch. If you do not manage to finish those features by the end of the game, you get no points at all. This opens a few new tactical possibilities discussed later.

Among the new tiles you can find some completely new combinations. You can find CCRF, CCFR, CRCR and CFRC. This makes blocking a bit more difficult. Of course other tiles also give some new strategic alternatives.

Last but not least, Big Meeple. It allows you to undertake one more development at the same time but above all it counts as two meeples when considering majority in given feature.

New tile types

Strategy tips

  • As I wrote above, blocking is limited and tile counting becomes more difficult, There are tiles that bring new possibilities to building cities, roads and fields. Be sure to browse them before play,
  • Cathedral can boost your city, but it is common practice to add it to opponents mega-city near end of the game, to make it difficult to finish,
  • Building roads becomes much more attractive. You can get 100% more points, while it is no  more difficult to finish them,
  • Be careful with using Big Meeple, you have only one. When you go out with it, there is no doubt, you are going for war.

Final thoughts

There are people that treat this expansion like a inseparable part of the base game. It surely does not bring so many revolutions as following expansions. It does not say "I am a Dragon, give me a princess!", but it is very good start into expansions world.
On the other hand if you love Carcassonne flavor, then you do not have to be afraid that this expansion will ruin it.

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