Carcassonne Inns & Cathedrals review
One of the first board game expansions that we bought was Carcassonne Inns & Cathedrals. It stands to reason since Carcassonne was one of the first games we got as our kids got old enough to start enjoying playing more board games.
But we wouldn’t have bought Inns & Cathedrals if we didn’t enjoy the original game to begin with. Carcassonne is a fantastic board game for families because it’s simple to learn and play with a good balance of luck and strategy. And it’s fun to have a hand in building a cool looking countryside that’s different every time you play.
What’s the draw?
While Inns & Cathedrals doesn’t add a ton to Carcassonne, it does add a number of elements that we’ve really enjoyed. One of the things that made this a great first expansion for us is that it adds items for a 6th player. And in a family of 6, having a 6th player option is fantastic.
The other thing we really like is that the basics of Carcassonne stay solidly in tact while adding new ways to score points. And both ways to score new points are right in the title – Inns and Cathedrals.
An Inn on the Lake is found on 6 of the new tiles and allows for completed roads to score 2 points for each road segment rather than the normal 1 point per segment. Getting double points for a completed road is much more valuable than before. However, there’s a catch. If the road never gets completed, then that road will score 0 points.
Likewise, Cathedrals are found on 2 of the new tiles and they are placed in cities along the way. If a completed city has 1 or more cathedrals in it, then each city segment and pennant will score 3 points for the controlling player rather than the standard 2 points per segment. Again, this is a fantastic way to up the ante on scoring. But the catch is the same, if the city isn’t completed, then the city scores a big fat 0.
Both of these elements add a cool twist to the game because they’re worth more while at the same time introducing a gamble to it. A cathedral requires all 4 sides to touch other city segments, so a city with a cathedral will inevitably be larger and as such can score a ton of points.
But it also means that players controlling growing cities with a cathedral will have a bigger battle on their hands. Some players may want in on the action and other players will try to open the city up so much as to force it remain un-completed by game end. This way the controlling player won’t get any points for it.
Great battles ensue.
Another cool element that was added to Carcassonne with the Inns & Cathedrals expansion is the addition of the large meeple. This meeple/follower counts as 2 followers when determining control of an area (city, road, farm). It’s another great way to increase the decisions and tension.
And because the scoring has been elevated, Carcassonne Inns & Cathedrals also includes point tiles. These point tiles have a 50 on one side and 100 on the other. So as players lap the score track (which they will), they take a point tile to remember that they’d gone around once or twice (or more).
We love the new ways to score, new decisions to be made, 6th player pieces, and the 18 new land tiles to grow the countryside even further.
Overall, Carcassonne Inns & Cathedrals is a great expansion for Carcassonne and we highly recommend it. I don’t think we’ve played Carcassonne without this expansion since we got it.
Summary of Added Components:
- 18 new land tiles (6 with Inns, 2 with Cathedrals)
- 8 grey followers for a 6th player
- 6 point tiles (50/100)
- 6 large followers/meeples