Carcassonne Big Box 3
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- For 2 to 6 players
- Play time of 45 minutes
- Contains the base game, plus the most popular of the expansions: Inns and Cathedrals, Traders and Builders, Princess and Dragon, Abbey and Mayor and Bridges, Castles and Bazaars
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CHOKING HAZARD -- Small parts. Not for children under 3 yrs.
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Carcassonne Big Box #3 includes the basic Carcassonne game, along the following expansions: Inns and Cathedrals, Traders and Builders, Princess and Dragon, Abbey and Mayor, Bridges, and Castles and Bazaars. The box has a box liner designed with spaces for all the components.
From the Manufacturer
This new Big Box contains the base game, plus the most popular of the expansions inns and cathedrals, traders and builders, princess and dragon, abbey and mayor and bridges, castles and bazaars. For 2 to 6 players. Play time of 45 minutes.
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The EXPANSIONS: Say you're playing with a bunch of 5 year-olds that have never played the game before. Just use the basic game and everyone will be able to play and have fun. Now, say those kids are 10 and have played a few times before. Maybe you want to use the basic game plus one or two of the expansions. That adds more cards to the game, a few more complex rules, and the game will be longer and more fun for everyone (since by now playing just the basic game may be a little boring). Now, say you're playing with a group of adults that have played the game countless times. Use the basic game plus all 5 expansions and the game is now going to be very complex, deep, interactive, challenging, fun, and even combative (in a friendly sort of way). The point is that you can pick and choose which expansions you want to play depending on who is playing with you, how much time you have, how complex you want the game to be, what strategies you want to use, etc. And even though I said that the basic game by itself could get "boring", I guarantee that this game in its entirety could never get boring because each game is entirely different and the strategies you use to win will change every single time you play.
This BOX: this is by FAR the most well thought out board game packaging I've ever seen, which is good since it includes the basic game plus 5 optional expansions which you can pick and choose from. Each card has a little water mark on it which indicates which expansion it's part of. The box has a slot for each set of cards, separated by expansion set. So at the end of each game, it's easy to put the game pieces into the appropriate piles of cards, and then put those cards into the appropriate slot in the box. Brilliant!
Our family enjoys the game for a number of reasons:
1. The basic game was easy to learn even for our seven year old and the Inns and Cathedrals expansion did not add any great complexity.
2. Quick to play (average time between 30 and 45 minutes) so it fits into our weekly boardgame rotation.
3. A good mix of planning and randomness that gives our seven year old a solid chance to win. By comparison, we also regularly play Ticket to Ride. Ticket has a bit more emphasis on planning than randomness and, as a result, our seven-year old is not nearly as successful (while still enjoying it).
Overall, an enjoyable addition to our family's board game collection.
This is the definitive tile-laying game, combining area control with worker placement. As the game goes on the map grows, until at the end you're treated to whole province worth of towns, roads, farms, and cloisters. Combined with the array of colorful little "meeples" of various shapes and sizes that are played to earn points, it makes quite a view.
Decisions: 4/5. Each turn you are given one tile to place, and the option of placing a follower on that tile. And yet, each tile might have a potentially large number of placement options. It all comes down to balance and risk assessment: Do I use my last meeple and hope that the city scores soon, or do I throw it on someone else's city just to mess them up?
Artwork: 5/5. Love it. The tiles are charming, and full of tiny little details that add to the experience. And believe it or not, the little wooden meeples do as well. Sure, they could have been cubes or dics, but having cute little guys to place is just perfect.
Replayability: 5/5. I own Big Box 3, which includes five expansions, but I also bought The River 2 (which in my opinion is essential). The game is variable enough on its own, but it really shines when combined with an expansion or two (or three). The fact that you can mix and match expansions via the Big Box means that you get a lot of game for the money.
Awesomeness: 5/5. No matter how you slice it,this game is just plain fun. Each turn is a cliffhanger---where will my opponent put his or her tile? What tile will I get next, and where can it go? Love it!
Bottom line: It's so clever and works so well that it's hard to imagine that this game wasn't always around. It's one of those foundational games that (in my opinion) has helped to expand the board game market as well as the gaming universe. If you've never played it before, you owe it to yourself to try it.