Glasgow 2024 Rookies Guide to Games: Carcassonne

Oh my.

Photo of the game box, featuring a depiction of two characters in medieval dress looking out at the pointed blue turrets of a castle. In the background rises the many different towers of the keep, with green fields and blue sky beyond. The words 'Carcassonne' sit at the top of the box in golden letters.

It’s that game.

When I mentioned to people that I wanted to do a board games review blog series, EVERYONE said I needed to try Carcassonne. Which, subsequently, made me super excited to play it and very nervous to review it. Apparently, it has won many an award and even has a world championship that runs every year. Exciting, but very daunting, and I asked myself: what could I, a relative newbie to board games—and extreme newbie to reviewing—be able to add to this that hasn’t already been said? 

For those of you who don’t know, Carcassonne is a tile-placing game, named after a walled city in France, where the players take turns to lay tiles and take control of key features. I played the basic edition with the river starter, so these features included roads, monasteries, and cities. There are many expansions out there that allow for more varied things to concur. And by many, I mean over ten different and unique expansions. As a player, you control seven “meeples” and place them on the tiles to control features, which, when complete, score you points. 

Photo of the game board; many different square tiles placed next to one another to create a scene of green fields, castle perimeters, and blue rivers.

I found Carcassonne to be a genuinely relaxing game. My partner and I played it on a wonderful Glasgow evening—wet, cold, and windy; perfect for playing board games. Delicately placing tiles in what ended up being a beautiful green countryside with a long river, half-completed cities, and long, winding, endless roads. It was really peaceful. I did sort of forget that I was meant to be competing for points; I kept trying to convince my partner to place tiles based entirely on how pretty they would be. Needless to say, I lost. But I had so much fun making patterns.

If you’re looking for a game that is relaxing and chill, something you can have a drink and a conversation over, this is such a perfect game. I’m sure there are deep tactical layers to this game that require true skill to learn and master, but honestly, I’m just really enjoying placing the tiles. 

Good, relaxing games. Please try.

This article was brought to you by Alex Wren, Social Media Area Head in Promotions for Glasgow 2024. Alex lives in the Glasgow area and is currently doing a PhD in Biomedical Engineering. When she isn’t being our fabulous overlady of social media, she enjoys cosplay, running, and playing Dungeons & Dragons, video games, and board games. The Rookie’s Guide to Games Series is her excuse to try new games and expand her collection. You can find more posts from the series, HERE.

The 82nd Worldcon will take place in Glasgow, August 8–12, 2024. We can’t wait to welcome you to Glasgow and the SEC/Armadillo for a Worldcon for Our Futures.