Carcassonne The River mini expansion review

Carcassonne The River board game expansion

A mini game box with just 12 tiles.

Our 3rd, and last, Carcassonne expansion board game review is for the mini-expansion: Carcassonne The River.

And since it’s a mini-expansion, this will be a mini-review because there isn’t a lot to say about it.

However, just because it’s mini doesn’t mean it isn’t great – because we play with the River every time we play!


What does Carcassonne The River add?

Carcassonne The River adds just 12 land tiles to the Carcassonne board game. The distinction however is that each of these 12 tiles have a river flowing through the rest of the terrain – through a field, next to a city, or under a road.

Carcassonne The River board game expansion

The 12 river tiles.

When playing with The River, players begin the game by placing the river tiles. The first tile placed is the spring, where the river begins. Then each player takes turns adding a river tile by connecting the river for a continuous flow to the last river tile – the lake. Along the way, players can play followers/meeples to the river tiles like normal; in fields, in cities, on roads (just can’t place them on the river itself – there are no swimmer or fisherman followers).

Simple enough.

As you can see, the addition of the river as starting tiles doesn’t add any additional rules to the basic game.


Carcassonne The River board game expansion

Doesn’t the countryside look beautiful with a river?

So why do we like Carcassonne The River?

The main reason we play with The River every time is because it opens up the countryside quite a bit. It can also make good sized farms. Because farm areas will extend around the spring and lake, we’ll typically try to play some early farmers to gain an advantage in that part of the game.

One of the big draws to Carcassonne is the fun of building a cool countryside as the game progresses. And let’s face it, having a cool river flowing through the middle of the land creates a more beautified landscape.

Carcassonne The River board game expansion

Easy to store the expansions we have in the original box.

Even though we play with the river tiles every time, we keep those tiles in a separate baggie from the other land tiles. That way, it’s very easy to grab them to start the game, then draw from the bag (that came in the Carcassonne Traders & Builders expansion) the rest of the game.

What do we do with the game boxes from the expansions?
Use them as gift boxes. They’re a great size for wrapping presents. The only catch we’ve found is that we should only wrap our own family presents in them. Because when we give gifts to our friends wrapped in an expansion box, they think we’re giving them a game expansion (of which they don’t have the original) and we have to tell them to open the box to get to their real gift. Kind of awkward.

Not that we’re opposed to giving friends board games as gifts – we’ll just save our expansions boxes for gifts amongst ourselves.

Oh, and because Carcassonne The River is a mini-expansion of only 12 tiles, it’s very inexpensive as well.

Other Carcassonne expansions
We haven’t played any of the other many Carcassonne expansions that have been published, but here’s a list and the year published for a number of the expansions:

Mini Expansions:

There are also a lot of Carcassonne related games with a similar system like Carcassonne Hunters & Gatherers, Carcassonne The Castle, Carcassonne The City, New World: A Carcassonne Game and many more.

And a lot more expansions in German…


Comments: 3

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Can you tell me where I can buy the river expansion. My set came without it and I prefer to play with it. Thanks Judy




    Judy – We bought our copy of Carcassonne The River at a local game store. I’ve checked a few popular online game stores this morning and they don’t have any copies available. I’d suggest contacting your local board game store.




    Sadly, this expansion is out of print since it is included with all the base game versions except for the 10th anniversary edition like I have. (The one shaped like a Meeple) You can either buy it on Ebay/Amazon for around $50, or buy a second copy of the game. It is a lot of fun with the extra tiles, but if you don’t want a large game then you could harvest the rivers and give the rest as a gift to someone. Although you’ll be on their bad side when they decide they want the rivers, too! :p It’s a vicious cycle.




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