Thursday, 19 March 2009

Game Night: The New World, A Carcassonne Game

We played this version of Carcassonne once in October last year (and got a couple of the rules slightly wrong). We decided to give it another spin as Carcassonne is always a fun game in any of it’s versions.


New World: A Carcassonne Game is one of the latest incarnations of Carcassonne. All of the games in this family have the same basic tile laying mechanic, where you slowly build up the landscape and score points by claiming cities, roads and other features in either short term points grabs or long term planned strategies. Each new variation has had a slightly different mechanic, making  them all interesting to play and re-playable in fairly regular rotation.

New World has taken many of the different elements from the other games and brought them together. It still has the basic town and road construction and claiming, but it also add the meadow/animal mechanic from Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers.

New World does change somewhat from the other games in that instead of starting from a single tile in the middle of the table and spreading out from there, it starts from a board that presents the East coast of America, tiles are then laid down to represent the expansion of the settlers as the spread west. Also, to facilitate the advance westward to meeples have been included that represent “surveyors”, these are slowly advanced westward as each player scores points and any of the players meeples that fall behind the surveyors are removed from the board. This certainly changes the dynamic of the game and adds a nice twist to the now familiar formula with Carcassonne.


We did find a few rules that are not explained as well as they could be, but after checking and a experimenting with a little game-play we got over these. Our feeling is that this is probably down to the translation from the original German rules.

We managed to get two games in over the course of the evening, and this is after a fairly late start (around 8.15pm), so clearly once game play becomes more familiar this is going to be quite a quick and fun game.

Between the members of our gaming group we have almost all of the versions of Carcassonne, and this is a welcome addition. Personally I have Hunters and Gatherers and would like to acquire Carcassonne: The City at some point. New World will also now be added to my wish list.

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