5 Best Carcassonne Expansions Ranked

If you are a fan of the popular board game Carcassonne, then this is the post for you! Here we will look at 5 expansions that can be added to your existing set. Each expansion adds new rules and pieces so they all have something different to offer.

Best Choice
Carcassonne Traders & Builders
Carcassonne Traders & Builders
Best Carcassonne Expansion
Traders & Builders is a great addition to add additional depth and strategy for experienced players looking for something new.
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How to Play Carcassonne (A Summary)

If you’re a novice player, Carcassonne is an excellent board game to start with. It’s relatively easy to learn and play while still being engaging enough for more advanced gamers. You can read our full review of the original version in this post.

The base set includes many tiles so it will last even large groups multiple games if they don’t want to repeat boards. For a longer playing time though, adding expansions gives players access to new tiles which open up additional strategies and give them something fresh after several rounds.

Gameplay

In Carcassonne, players take turns placing roads and cities on a tile-based board. The goal is to score the most points by completing features such as cities, monasteries, or farms. Completed features gain that player additional points which they can then choose w.here to place their meeple for more scoring potential in future rounds.

Rules and Scoring

The game is played over several rounds with the winner being the player who scores the most points. When placing tiles, players can choose to place their meeple on roads or cities that they have just placed if it fits within those features.

They must decide where best to optimize their score based on future tile placement opportunities and bonus scoring opportunities for completed features nearby.

Each feature has a different number of spaces which are scored at the end of each round by adding up all adjacent elements. Cities gain points for having cloisters placed next to them while farms only need pastures before they start producing extra food for more actions during play.

At the end of each round, players score points for incomplete roads and incomplete cities with farms or monasteries having additional rules applied depending on how many elements are adjacent.

Best Carcassonne Expansions on the Market

ImageProduct 
Best Carcassonne Expansion
Carcassonne Traders & Builders Board Game EXPANSION 2 review
Carcassonne Traders & Builders Board Game EXPANSION 2
  • A large number of components
  • Can be combined with other editions
  • The double-sided game board

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Best for Advanced Players
Carcassonne Inns & Cathedrals Board Game EXPANSION 1 review
Carcassonne Inns & Cathedrals Board Game EXPANSION 1
  • Great quality components
  • New roads, cities, monasteries, tiles
  • The biggest Carcassonne expansion yet

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Best for Board Game Lovers
Carcassonne Bridges, Castles & Bazaars Board Game EXPANSION 8 review
Carcassonne Bridges, Castles & Bazaars Board Game EXPANSION 8
  • Great variety of features
  • Great quality components
  • Includes three different ways to play

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Best for Families
Carcassonne Under the Big Top Board Game EXPANSION 10 review
Carcassonne Under the Big Top Board Game EXPANSION 10
  • Very well made components
  • Easy to play
  • The artwork is simply gorgeous

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Best for All Ages
Carcassonne Count, King & Robber Board Game EXPANSION 6 review
Carcassonne Count, King & Robber Board Game EXPANSION 6
  • Unique characters with different abilities
  • Very affordable & durable components
  • Easy rules that anyone can learn quickly

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1. Carcassonne Traders & Builders – Best Carcassonne Expansion

This expansion adds new rules for specialist titles that give players more options to score points. It also includes a double-sided game board featuring new cities and roads with each side of the map providing something different every time you play it.

Traders & Builders is definitely worth getting if you’re looking to add some extra depth and complexity so beginners should probably start with another version first before trying out this one.

Components

Set Contains:

  • 24 Land Tiles (9 Wine, 6 Grain, 5 Cloth, 4 w/o Goods)
  • 20 Trade Good Tokens (9 Wine, 6 Grain, 5 Cloth)
  • 6 Pig Followers (1 x 6 Colours)
  • 6 Builder Followers (1 x 6 Colours)
  • 1 Cloth Bag
  • Rules Sheet

Gameplay And Features

Traders & Builders is a great addition to add additional depth and strategy for experienced players looking for something new. It’s not really recommended that you use this in the beginning though since it does take some getting used to before feeling comfortable with all of its rules.

The components are high quality here which makes sense when considering everything you’re getting especially if buying multiple expansions at once instead of just one version.

This expansion can be played by itself or combined with another Carcassonne edition so there aren’t any restrictions on what tiles, boards, or features from other games make their way into your sessions either! The flexibility helps keep gameplay fresh even after several rounds which also means more replay value down the road. If you want an expansion that can be used with other versions of Carcassonne then this one is definitely worth checking out.

It’s not recommended for beginners but experienced players looking to add some extra depth and strategy into their game will love what they get here. This expansion provides fewer restrictions than others so tiles, boards, features from other games are all welcome which also helps keep the gameplay fresh after several rounds!

Pros and Cons

Lots of new rules that add depth and complexity
The double-sided game board provides more variety
Can be combined with other editions
A large number of components
Best suited for advanced gamers only

Final Thoughts

Carcassonne Traders & Builders is a great expansion that adds new rules, more depth, and strategy into the mix! The double-sided game board helps to keep things interesting while providing lots of components for the price. It’s not really recommended for beginners but experienced players looking to add some extra elements will love what they get here so this makes an excellent addition if you want something fresh every time you play Carcassonne!

New Playing Features
5
Price
5
Ease of Use
4
Quality and Components
5
Result
4.8
Traders & Builders is definitely worth getting if you're looking to add some extra depth and complexity so beginners should probably start with another version first before trying out this one.

2. Carcassonne Inns & Cathedrals – Best for Advanced Players

Inns and Cathedrals is an expansion for Carcassonne, a tile-based German-style board game in which players develop the area around the medieval town of Carcassonne. The most significant change introduced by this expansion is that there are now 18 land tiles instead of just eight. Another new feature involves meeple followers who no longer count as followers when they move into position on roads or cities but rather score points according to their final location.

Components

Set Contains:

  • 18 Land Tiles
  • 6 Point Tiles (50/100)
  • 8 Grey Followers (6th Player)
  • 6 Large Followers (1 x 6 Colours)
  • Rules Sheet

Gameplay And Features

This game has become a classic, and it’s easy to see why. Players adopt the role of builders creating monasteries and cathedrals in medieval cities using their followers, represented by small wooden people.

There are many expansions available for Carcassonne but this is one of the most popular editions because it introduces some very interesting new elements to change up the gameplay! The 18 tiles included allow for more variety while the inclusion of six-point tiles adds that extra bit of strategy into play since you’ll want to hold onto these during your turns whenever possible!

It’s also worth mentioning that there are now eight grey followers instead of just seven like with the original version which makes things slightly easier when drawing them at random (and less likely you’ll run out).

The new special follower is called “the Bishop” and he allows you to place pieces on any part of the landscape as long as there are no other followers already working in that area which can be very useful! It also changes up your strategy a fair bit because now you’ll need to make use of those six-point tiles whenever possible since this version tends to end a little more quickly. The first person who completes a set number of features (two monasteries, one cathedral, or three abbeys) wins the game so keep an eye on how close everyone else is getting during each round!

Pros and Cons

The biggest Carcassonne expansion yet
New roads, cities, monasteries, tiles
Great quality components
Includes several new features that add complexity
May not be compatible with other versions or expansions right away

Final Thoughts

While this isn’t my favorite addition, I can certainly appreciate how much additional content you’re getting especially if buying multiple editions at once instead of just one version. It’s important to note that it does take some time before feeling comfortable with all these changes so beginners may want to start somewhere else first before picking up Inn & Cathedrals which makes an excellent option for experienced players who want something new and exciting every round.

New Playing Features
5
Price
5
Ease of Use
4
Quality and Components
4
Result
4.5
Carcassonne Inns & Cathedrals is a great expansion that adds new elements and fun gameplay to the original version of this popular board game.

3. Carcassonne Bridges, Castles & Bazaars – Best for Board Game Lovers

This expansion to Carcassonne includes three new ways to play that have been designed by Klaus-Jürgen Wrede, the creator of Carcassonne himself! The first option is a cooperative mode which plays more like a puzzle where everyone works together trying to complete a castle instead of their own individual features.

It’s rare you’ll ever achieve this goal but it certainly makes things interesting and fun especially when using the “families” rules about how many followers can be used per turn since now they’re shared between all players as long as they’re located in one player’s territory! Even after successfully completing castles there are still plenty of other modes available for those who want something even more challenging or strategic.

Components

Set Contains:

  • 12 Land Tiles
  • 12 Wooden Bridge Tokens
  • 12 Wooden Castle Tokens
  • 24 Scoring Counters (for cooperative and individual play)
  • Rule booklet

Gameplay And Features

The second way to play is called “Bridges, Castles and Bazaars” which sees the return of a familiar mechanic from Carcassonne: The River. It’s been changed slightly so that whenever you complete a city instead of just earning points it now creates an additional river tile for everyone else who didn’t contribute anything yet!

This makes things very interesting because if one player keeps coming up short players will want them to win as soon as possible even though they’ll be gaining more followers than their opponents during scoring rounds.

All three games have individual rulesets but Bridges & Castles tend to favor those with fewer followers (which leads into bazaars) while Inns & Cathedrals benefits those who often end up taking a lot of risks! This is a great way to add some additional variety and excitement in a Carcassonne game or just have something new for your friends who may be tired of the original version.

Pros and Cons

Great variety of features that are fun and challenging for everyone
Includes three different ways to play each with their own unique rules
Great quality components that are well made and durable
Individual rulesets are designed very well and work great
Playing time can increase quite a bit with multiple players (60-90 minutes)

Final Thoughts

This is an excellent expansion that I highly recommend to anyone who has Carcassonne but also wants something new and exciting every game. It’s rare for me to get bored of playing this since there are so many different ways you can play while still keeping things fairly fresh even after years of playing the original version! The only reason it doesn’t receive all five stars is that some rulesets tend to favor certain types of people which makes games less fun when one player keeps coming up short compared to everyone else at the table. Other than that, Bridges & Castles is a must-have for any Carcassonne fan!

New Playing Features
5
Price
5
Ease of Use
4
Quality and Components
4
Result
4.5
Carcassonne Bridges, Castles & Bazaars are a great addition to the original game. It's one of those rare expansions that actually adds even more fun for experienced players without complicating things too much for beginners!

4. Carcassonne Under the Big Top – Best for Families

This is the newest game in this series and its one that not only provides plenty of content but also has some very unique features. The first thing you’ll notice are two double-sided boards with each side having different art on them which is something I haven’t seen yet in any other Carcassonne expansions! Every time you play there will be a mix of board pieces so every game will feel fresh due to all the possibilities they create together.

There are even tiles with tents on them that earn you points for completing cities or roads instead of just robbing your opponents like in most games.

This leads to more interesting strategies since road placement can actually work against someone if they don’t make sure their meeple will remain safe!

The main goal in this game is to complete a circus troupe and there are three different ways you can do that: by earning points, having the most followers, or completing sections of your board. You’ll start with five cards which let each player choose one meeple piece and then everyone places them on any open space they want! This means players will need to keep an eye on their opponents throughout the entire round because if someone gets too close it could mean losing all your pieces at once.

The set collection plays a major role here but unlike other versions where everything goes into one pile even when completed sets don’t score right away since only two types get you special abilities instead of just stealing from others.

Components

Set Contains:

  • 1 Rulebook
  • 20 Land Tiles
  • 12 Circus Tiles
  • 8 Acrobat Tiles
  • 16 Animal Tokens
  • 1 Big Top Token
  • 6 Ringmaster Meeples

Gameplay And Features

It takes about 15 minutes to play a single game since it’s so fast paced and easy to learn. The theme is also extremely integrated with the gameplay mechanics which makes every turn feel much more fun! It has some surprisingly complex strategies despite being very beginner friendly so you can have plenty of back-and-forth games without worrying too much about who wins or loses at the end.

This expansion offers plenty of interesting features that are well balanced plus enough variety for everyone playing unless someone gets too far behind in points early on because then they’re out of luck if no one wants to help them catch up.

I’ve always been more drawn to games with unique rulesets because otherwise, Carcassonne would be my favorite but Under the Big Top has earned its place among other top-tier expansions due to how much effort went into every aspect, especially player interaction and fast pace. It doesn’t include anything new in terms of features or mechanics so it can get repetitive if you play too many times within one week since most rounds only last about 15 minutes total at most unless someone gets stuck near their starting point because then they’ll have trouble making progress.

Since there’s no tile placement here players will need to focus more on collecting sets of two because you can score them immediately instead of just getting points at the end like in most other games which was a major turning point for me since it forced everyone to work together much better than usual! I would highly recommend this game if you already play Carcassonne regularly and want something new but don’t mind losing the ability to build your own landscape with tiles.

Pros and Cons

Double-sided boards and tiles add a lot of variety to the game
Unique goals with different ways you can win keep players on their toes
Very well made components that are high quality and durable
Individual rulesets work great together but give plenty of options for customization (which is rare!)
Playing time varies quite a bit depending on how many people you have (90-120 minutes)

Final Thoughts

I would definitely recommend this Carcassonne expansion for people who want something new but still familiar, especially families! There’s nothing complicated here and there’s also a solo mode which is unusual for this type of board game. The artwork as well as the design of all components are simply gorgeous and really make it feel like you’re playing inside a circus tent!

New Playing Features
4
Price
5
Ease of Use
4
Quality and Components
5
Result
4.5
There are many ways to play this one and it's a perfect choice for families since the rules aren't too complicated. There is a bit more luck involved but not so much that it makes things frustrating while adding even more variety to an already fantastic game!

5. Carcassonne Count, King & Robber – Best for All Ages

Good for all ages, this game is easy to learn and the player count can go up to five. The components are sturdy and durable so you don’t have to worry about breaking them easily either! There’s a lot of strategies involved since players will need to plan their movements carefully in order to maximize points or score bonus tiles based on where they land which makes it similar to chess but much more fun because your army actually moves around instead of being stationary.

I would highly recommend this expansion if you want something new yet not too complicated that takes away from what made Carcassonne special in the first place like other expansions tend to do with increased randomness due largely by how many people usually play at once!

Components

Set Contains:

  • 1 Rulebook
  • 12 Land Tiles
  • 5 Landscape Tiles
  • 32 Carcassonne Figures
  • 6 Ringmaster Meeples

Gameplay And Features

The components are high quality and durable, but the board is a bit flimsy which for me isn’t too important since I’m not going to be moving it around all that much. The rulebook helps explain everything very well so you don’t have trouble getting started or picking up mid-game either! There are not as many strategies involved here as in other Carcassonne expansions because there aren’t any extra tiles besides those used for completing your landscape although there is more luck due to how random blocked areas can make it difficult to score big points without having an endpoint next door like usual with this game series.

Pros and Cons

Beautiful artwork that matches the base game perfectly
Unique characters with different abilities
Very affordable & durable components (cards)
Easy rules that anyone can learn quickly
One of the few games where luck plays more of a role than strategy

Final Thoughts

This expansion isn’t as heavy as some of the others but it’s still very fun and challenging, especially when playing against people who also enjoy strategy games. You’ll need a lot of patience because everything takes longer than usual since you have so many tiles and places to choose from so this one is definitely not for impatient gamers or those looking for something fast-paced. There are even rules included in every box which allows up to five players at once so there’s plenty of variety in both the tiles and rules to keep things interesting.

New Playing Features
5
Price
5
Ease of Use
5
Quality and Components
4
Result
4.8
This is definitely recommended for families with children because it helps them develop strategies while having fun instead of being too complicated or frustrating.

Conclusion

Carcassonne is a great game with plenty of expansions to choose from, each offering something different yet still very fun. It’s an excellent choice for families because the rules are pretty simple but there’s enough strategy involved that it doesn’t feel too easy or boring. You will need patience though since everything takes longer than usual so this one isn’t recommended if you’re looking for fast-paced games with not much thought required! Not all of the expansions work well together so I recommend choosing one at a time unless your group prefers lots of variety in what they play which makes Carcassonne perfect when having people over who enjoy various board games & card type activities!

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