Klaus-Jurgen Wrede

Z-Man Games announces a fresh new take on the classic Carcassonne game: Carcassonne: Safari.    Instead of building the French countryside surrounding Carcassonne, players will build the wilderness of Africa with savannahs, bush, animal paths, baobab trees, and watering holes, all teaming with wildlife.  The wildlife is key to scoring in Carcassonne: Safari.  Unlike traditional Carcassonne, scored points are not based on size or length of a controlled area.  Instead, scored points are based on the number of different animals in the scoring area. A safari is certainly more interesting with a larger variety of animals.  Bonus points are scored for each bird in a scored area.  Boabab trees, like the cloisters in the original Carcassonne game, need to be surrounded before being completed. However, boabab trees do not score any points.  Instead, they provide the player controlling the baobab tree animal tokens when placed and additional animal tokens when completed.  Players can use the animal tokens to increase the scoring of bushes and paths by discarding a token to increase the number of animal types scored in the area by one.  Animal tokens can also be used to create watering holes.  Every player can contribute to any watering hole by adding their animal token to the watering hole as long as it contains a different animal than one already there. Scoring encourages the completion of watering hole because each new tile placed to expand the watering hole scores an increasing number of points. Lastly, this game features two ranger vehicles that reside just adjacent to the safari tiles.  Players may move the ranger vehicles as part of their move.  Placing a tile beneath a ranger vehicle scores additional bonus points.  Carcassonne: Safari is the fourth game in the Carcassonne Around the World series which already features Carcassonne: Amazonas, Carcassonne: Gold Rush, and Carcassonne: South Seas.  Carcassonne: Safari is available for pre-order now and will be released in late 2018.  Go to Z-Man Games to learn more about Carcassonne: Safari.

 

Nintendo Switch is not currently a haven for playing modern board games, with available options topping out with titles like Othello and Monopoly. Yet, the hybridization of being able to play both at home and on the go with a Nintendo Switch could be a game changer with the right titles…

Enter Carcassonne – Asmodee Digital announced that it will be bring the fan-favorite Klaus-Jürgen Wrede game Carcassonne to the Switch platform during the winter quarter of this year, and while Carcassonne is already available digitally, the Switch platform has advantages that many gamers will find appealing over a phone app or Steam-based computer game. For one thing, the Switch screen is much bigger than an average cell phone, and physical Switch physical games are easy to trade or share. Also, players on the whole are more likely to play local couch co-op on a TV screen via a console, rather than on PC.

For those unfamiliar with the game from 2000 that started all of this excitement, check out its BGG page, but here is the quickest summation: Carcassonne is an easy to play, hard to master tile-laying game for 2-5  players in which over the course of 30 minutes or so you will be making decisions on to best control and influence the outcomes of different areas of tiles. Placing on the road as a robber, or cloistered away as a monk are two of the roles players can assign their people (called meeples) to in order to score the most points across the southern France landscape and claim victory!

But the Nintendo Switch and designer board game pairing likely does not start and end with Carcassonne…

quoting Pierre Ortolan, CEO of Asmodee Digital,

“Carcassonne is the first Asmodee Digital title of many to follow on Nintendo’s platforms.” 

Thus leading one to believe that Asmodee Digital would likely bring over the other titles that have already been crafted digitally on other platforms, such as: fellow gateway game Ticket to Ride, award-winning Terraforming Mars, and recent mega-hit Scythe. With these titles stemming from a single developer, it would already be a solid foothold for modern board games on a current generation video game console, and it would be easy to envision makers of other digital board game implementations also porting over their creations, such as: Alhambra, Kingdom Builder, Splendor, or Small World.

As a fan of digital board gaming, watching the video on Paste Magazine’s article got my meeple heart beating hard to lay down some farmers for the win.

 

Queen Games has collaborated with nine celebrated game designers to create a new Limited Designers’ Edition of Alhambra that can only be purchased through their Kickstarter campaign going on right now.

The Alhambra Designers’ Edition has all new art for the box cover, the game board, the tiles, and the cards. The new addition also includes a tile dispenser tower in matching artwork.

There are nine expansions available with the Alhambra Designers’ Edition.  Different pledge levels in the Kickstarter campaign offer supporters an increasing number of expansions with their base game.

You may have heard of a few of the designers who have contributed to the Alhambra Designers’ Edition: Klaus-Jürgen Wrede (Carcassonne); Stefan Feld (The Castles of Burgundy); Emanuele Ornella (Oltre Mare); Michael Schacht (Zooloretto); Mike Elliott (Thunderstone); Rüdiger Dorn (Istanbul); Marco Ruskowski & Marcel Süßelbeck (Fresco); Dirk Henn (Shogun); Michael Rieneck (The Pillars of the Earth). The list of famous designers contributing expansions for the Alhambra Designers’ Edition is an embarrassment of riches.

For those who already own Alhambra and are not interested in purchasing another base game, the Kickstarter campaign does include an option to just purchase the expansions created by these designers.

For those who want an ultimate version, there is the Mega Box edition which includes all nine designer expansions with the new designer base game as well as all previously published expansions and bigger tiles.

Like all Kickstarter campaigns, there are stretch goals. For the Designers’ Edition, the stretch goals appropriately include fan designed expansions.  Fans can submit expansion ideas, up to three of which will be developed and produced as part of the Alhambra Designers’ Edition.  Ideas for the submission can be sent to fanexpansion@palast-von-alhambra.de.

To learn more about the Alhambra Designers’ Edition and the specific expansions designed by each of the designers, see the Alhambra Designers’ Edition Kickstarter Campaign which runs until May 25, 2018 and is expected to deliver in March 2019.

Z-Man Games has announced plans to release an updated version of the The Count, King and Robber expansion for Carcassonne. Originally released in 2007, the new edition of this expansion will feature artwork compatible with the artwork that was updated in the 2014 edition of Carcassonne. The 6th Carcassonne expansion is scheduled for a May 2018 release.

New characters and starting points provide a fresh start for the classic tile-laying game. Choose to begin your adventure with the grand city itself, Carcassonne. Or wander along the edges of a new, winding river. Combine the new river tiles with those from the base game for a more complex river design.

The Count, King and Robber expand the world of Carcassonne with three new characters manipulating the game and how points are scored. The king tile will grant bonus points to whoever holds control of the largest city. Players seeking to explore distant parts of the Carcassonne kingdom will be rewarded for clan,ing bonus points for controlling the longest road with the robber.

The Count controls a new city in Carcassonne which contains for districts: the castle, market, cathedral, and blacksmith. The count will start in the castle but by adding a follower to the city players can move the count to new districts. The count’s location can free trapped followers while also blocking other followers from moving.

Heretics introduce a new mechanic to the game. Players will be able to build shrines to disrupt a monetary. If a shrine is placed next to an occupied monastery a challenge will occur. Players will need to race to complete their feature to be the one scoring points.

The River II adds twelve tiles with river features on each tile. The river tiles are placed first to create a variable starting setup to the game, after which the game continues as normal.

Previous small expansions

Before being released in 2007 as a box set, the expansions included in this collection were only available as small stand alone expansions. Both the 2007 and 2018 versions of The King, Count, and Robber include the following small expansions:

About Carcassonne

Carcassonne is a tile-placement game, designed by Klaus-Jürgen Wrede, in which players take turns drawing and placing tiles to build the French world of Carcassonne. Each basic tile can include features from a city, a road, a cloister, grassland or some combination thereof, and the tile needs to be placed adjacent to tiles that have already been played. Once a tile has been placed, the player then decides whether or not to place one of their meeples on one of the areas represented on it: on the city as a knight, on the road as a robber, on a cloister as a monk, or on the grass as a farmer. When that area the meeple is on is complete, that meeple scores points for its owner.

Carcassonne won multiple awards in 2001, including the coveted 2001 Spiel des Jahres.

carcassonne redesign

Z-Man Games released a teaser on Twitter with pictures showing the box covers for the first two expansions for the current edition of Carcassonne: Inns & Cathedrals and Traders & Builders.

The classic game was re-released in 2014 with new art and revised rules; these new expansions will allow buyers of that edition to take advantage of some of the game’s great expansion history while keeping a consistent look across their collections.