Carcassonne Rules, Questions, FAQs, Clarification.


English Version V2 April 2006 Download as PDF for printing


All the information below was taken from official Carcassonne sources:


Carcassonne's rules are very well written, but some people still have queries. Also, if you add multiple expansion sets the rules can get quite complicated as parts which were not intended to interact with one another may do so in complex or ambiguous ways.


The rules published here were correct and agreed by the publisher in 2006. However, in subsequent printings and rulings (sometimes by different people within the publishing company) they changed some things. For example, some people say that fields are connected under bridges seems way too messy to me my simple rule is that roads separate farms. With so many expansions it will always be difficult to get 100% agreement on everything. So, everyone needs to agree which rules they are using before they start to play.


Most of this is taken from the rule clarification provided at, but of course that is in German. Hopefully the information below will help you understand the rules and prevent any arguments.


Expansion Sets & Components: Find out where to get Dragons, Pigs, Trade Good, Towers, etc.

New Rules: Important: The original German rules have changed.

Sequence of Play: Clarification of the order of events when you have multiple expansion sets.

Scoring Summary: Simple table of all the scoring elements from all the expansion sets.

FAQ: Not sure what the rules mean? Confused by combining multiple expansions? Find all the answers here!

The River & The River II: Explains exactly what is meant by a "U" turn.

The Cathars: The rules, to save you cutting up your Almanac.

Links: Lots more useful places in the world of Carcassonne.

Related Games

As well as all the expansion sets for the original Carcassonne, there are also some separate games in the same family:

  • Carcassonne The Castle
  • Carcassonne The City
  • The Ark of the Covenant
  • Carcassonne Hunters & Gatherers
  • Carcassonne The Discovery


Of these, only Hunters & Gatherers is covered here follow the link for Hunters & Gatherers clarification.


Online Play

If you want to play Carcassonne online try:


For some other great games (Race for the Galaxy, Dominion, Puerto Rico, Stone Age and lots more) try: please use this link when you register so that I get a referral.


For more information about all board games see


If you live in Kent (UK) then come and join us any Sunday evening and play Carcassonne and lots of other great games:

Expansion Sets & Components

Carcassonne has been expanded in many ways since it first appeared. If you don't recognise some of the components in this document then check here to see which set you need to buy to get them.













Blue, Yellow, Green, Red, Black

can be Knights, Thieves, Farmers or Monks


Scoring track


The River

(May come free with your Carcassonne set, otherwise unavailable)






The River II


River Branch

Pig Herd




Inns & Cathedrals




Gray (so six people can now play)

Large Followers (count as two followers when deciding who has the majority)



Points Tiles to keep track of the score when you go round the scoring track more than once

Traders & Builders

Cities with Trade Goods




Tokens: represent the Trade Goods from completed cities.

Cloth Bag: useful if your expansion set tiles have slightly different backs


The Princess & The Dragon


Magic Portals




The Dragon

The Fairy


The Count

Carcassonne City


The Count


The King & The Scout

(The Scout is not for use in Carcassonne.)



The King

The Baron


The Cathars





The Tower

Tower Spaces



Tower Blocks

The Tower (for stacking the tiles)


"Carcassonne The Cathars" is available in The Carcassonne Almanac issue of Spielbox (August 2005), available from



It is important to understand that when the rules refer to "followers" that includes followers, large followers, pigs and builders they are all "followers".


All of the expansion sets listed here are covered in these documents.

New Rules

The basic Carcassonne rules have been modified a number of times, partly as a reaction to feedback from Carcassonne enthusiasts. Hopefully the current rules are simpler, clearer and fairer than the original rules and provide a more balanced game. Please note that the English-language version of the rules that comes in the box has not been updated with any of these changes.

Exception for Small Cities Removed

A completed city which consists of only two segments now scores 2 points for each tile, exactly like every other completed city, giving a total of 4 points (instead of the 2 points in the original rules).

Farm Valuation Simplified

There have been three versions of the farmer scoring in the game of Carcassonne.


A farm is a piece of grassland enclosed by road, city, river or non-existing tiles. A farmer farms all the land he can walk to without leaving "the green" no matter how far away, as long as he doesn't cross a road or a river. He supplies all the cities which his farm touches.


Rio Grande Games (who publish the English-language versions of Carcassonne) have chosen to stay with the original rules, which state that for each completed city the player with the most farmers supplying it gets 4 points. Tied players all get 4 points each. Each city only provides one score.


The current (as of September 2005) rules only give 3 points per city, but each farm adjacent to a city gets full points even if that means one player gets multiple scores thereby. The rules were changed firstly to a 3 points per farm basis, and secondly to allow one player to score more than once for the same city.


So the current rules are:

For each farm, count the number of farmers in that farm. The player with the most farmers in the farm scores for that farm. If multiple players tie for the majority of followers then they all receive the full points. The size of the farm is not relevant. Scoring is based solely on the number of completed cities which the farm touches.


The farm scores 3 points for each completed city adjacent to the farm. A city is adjacent to a farm when any part of the city walls is used to define the boundary of the farm.


A player can score for supplying a city from several sides. If a player has a majority in multiple different farms which border on the same city, then the player scores 3 points for that city for each farm.


Farms are bounded by roads, cities and the edge of the area where the land tiles have been played.


Pigs score 1 extra point per city, so a farm with a pig scores 4 points per city instead of 3.


The pig-herd scores 1 extra point per city for each farmer scoring for the farm with the pig-herd.


Note: All the information below assumes you are using the new rules wherever farm scoring or small cities are referenced. Please make allowances if you are playing by different rules.

Sequence of Play

The first thing to do is to agree exactly which rules you are playing by: New Rules? River Rules?


Each player's turn consists of a number of steps which must be executed in the correct order:


Start or Turn

Step 1:

  • If the Fairy is with one of your followers score 1 point.
  • If you wish to buy back one prisoner, do so now.


Step 2:

  • The player must draw one land tile and place it. An unplayable tile is discarded and a new one is drawn.
  • If the tile completed a city with trade goods the player who placed the tile takes the corresponding trade good tokens.
  • If the tile completed a city larger than any previous city then the player who placed the tile takes the King.
  • If the tile completed a road longer than any previous road then the player who placed the tile takes the Robber Baron.


Step 3:

  • The player may place, move or remove one follower, character or tower block in accordance with the rules.
  • Possible actions are:
    • If the tile placed is a volcano then the Dragon must be placed on it, this ends this step.
    • Place one knight, thief, farmer, monk, pig or builder.
    • Place one tower block.
    • Remove one knight or builder with the aid of a Princess.
    • Place or move the Fairy.
  • You may only do one of these.


Step 4:

  • If you placed a tower block you may remove one enemy follower from the area controlled by the tower.
  • If you do so, and that enemy had one of your followers as a prisoner, exchange prisoners.


Step 5:

  • If the tile placed shows a dragon then the Dragon moves now.
  • Note that the current player could have moved the Fairy in Step 3.
  • Note that scoring has not yet taken place, so if the Dragon eats a follower in a completed area that follower will not count when determining the majority in that area for scoring purposes.


Step 6:

  • If the placed tile completes any cities, roads or cloisters then start the scoring process
  • If you are using the Count, optionally move followers from Carcassonne to the area being scored
  • Determine which players have the majority in each completed area (pigs and builders don't count)
  • Calculate the score for each player (a pig can give one player more points than another)


Step 7:

  • If there is a cloister adjacent to a Cathar tile then the player may return one knight or builder from the besieged city to his supply.


Step 8:

  • If you are using the Count and have met the criteria, optionally place one follower into Carcassonne and optionally move the Count. Followers returned to your supply on this turn, by the action of a dragon, princess, tower or Cathar-escape, are eligible.


Step 9:

  • All followers in scored areas are returned to their owner's supply.

End of Turn


Note: If you are entitled to another turn because of your Builder, or because you placed the volcano-lake tile, then you start again at Step 2. Apart from omitting Step 1, it is a completely separate turn. What you did in your first turn has no effect on what you are allowed to do in your second turn.



Scoring Summary

Scoring Element


When Completed

At End of Game

Road with no Inn on the Lake

Per tile



Road with Inn(s) on the Lake(s)

Per tile



City - no Cathedral - no Cathars

Per Tile and Pennant



City - no Cathedral - Cathars

Per Tile and Pennant



City - Cathedral(s) - no Cathars

Per Tile and Pennant



City - Cathedral(s) - Cathars

Per Tile and Pennant




Per surrounding tile and its own tile



Field without scoring player's Pig and with no Pig Herd

Per completed city bordering Farm



Per completed besieged City



Field with scoring player's Pig, but with no Pig Herd

Per completed City bordering Farm



Per completed besieged City



Field without scoring player's Pig, but with a Pig Herd

Per completed city bordering Farm



Per completed besieged City



Field with scoring player's Pig,

and a Pig Herd

Per completed City bordering Farm



Per completed besieged City




Per completed City in the game



Robber Baron

Per completed Road in the game



Trade Goods

For each type




1 point for having the Fairy with one of your followers at the beginning of your turn.

3 points for having the Fairy with one of your followers when anyone scores for a City, Road, Cloister or Farm that the Fairy is in.




When multiple players share the majority (i.e. they have the same number of followers in the area being scored and no-one else has more) then each of those player gets the full score.




The official Carcassonne Web site is


If you still have questions or want more information check out


Lots more links, articles, forums, etc. are at


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This document was produced by John Sweeney. Please send any comments to


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