Carcassonne FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions and Further Clarifications

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See the River FAQ for details of The River and The River II.


General Questions


Inns & Cathedrals

Traders & Builders

The Princess & The Dragon

The King & The Scout

The Count

The Cathars

The Tower

Some Strange Tiles


Please note that questions regarding combinations of expansion sets could be answered under any of the relevant headings. 


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General Questions

Q: I have memorised all the tiles.  Am I allowed to play a tile when I know that by doing so I am creating a space which can never be filled, either because the required tile doesn't exist or because all the possible tiles have already been played?


A: Yes, that is permitted. But be aware that, if by doing so, you have prevented your opponents from finishing a road, cloister or city (especially a Cathedral city!), they may seek revenge!



Q: If I play a tile which completes an empty city, must I place a knight in it? Or am I allowed to place a farmer instead?


A: As long as the farm is vacant you can place a farmer in it.  No-one will score for the city.  But you can only play one follower, so you can't place both a knight and a farmer on the same turn.


Exception: if you are using the Count then you or any other player could also bring a knight out of Carcassonne City to score for the city.





Q: When I play a tile which completes a city and I get a knight back, can I, on the same turn, place that knight on the same tile as a farmer or thief?


A: No! The sequence is:


So you don't get the follower back early enough to play it on that turn.  The first time you can use the follower is on your next turn.  The same applies to roads and cloisters.




Q: In the situation where I have a knight in each of two cities which are close to each other, if a tile is played which joins the city (but doesn't complete it) can I take one of the two knights back into my supply?


A: No.  Both knights must remain in the city!  Followers are only returned to your supply when the city is completed and scored. You can't choose to vacate an incomplete area.  The same applies to roads which join without completing.


It also of course applies to farmers since they are never returned to your supply.


Exceptions: being eaten by the Dragon, seduced by the Princess, captured by a Tower or fleeing a Cathar city to a cloister are all ways of getting your followers back from any area.





Q: Can I get two followers onto the same tile?


A: The basic rules don't provide any way of doing this, but it is not prohibited.  A magic portal allows you to place a follower on any legal feature; Carcassonne City allows you to move followers to any feature being scored; and you can place a follower on any unoccupied Tower.  All of these make it possible to get multiple followers on the same tile, and in the case of Carcassonne City you can even have multiple followers in a cloister (just while it is scored) – this could be a reason for placing a large follower into a cloister.


Usually there‘s only one monk in a cloister, with the Count you can have the whole Vatican staff in there!




Examples of shared tiles: pig and farmer on same tile; Tower-locker and thief on same tile (when the tile has both a tower space and a road); monk and knight on same tile (when the tile has a cloister inside a city); etc.




Q: How do I get two followers in the same city, farm or road?


A: You can never get two followers (from the same player or from different players) into any city, farm or road by enlarging an occupied area with your tile and placing a follower on it – that area is already occupied and you can't place anyone in an occupied area. 


You CAN get two followers into an area by placing your follower into a separate area close by and then on a subsequent move placing a tile which joins the two areas.


These two roads are being joined to make one road.


This picture shows two separate cities; touching at the corner does not join them.  Whether or not they will join depends on which tile is played next.





This one separates them:                           This one joins them: 



Hint: If you want to join a farm which has a farmer already, look for a space behind a city on the edge of that farm where you can start a new farm and then join it up later.  Yellow and Green are in separate farms, which can easily be joined.




Exception: If you are using the Count then you can move a follower from Carcassonne City to an occupied area (even an occupied cloister), just for the scoring, then they are all returned to your supply.



Q: If I have two followers in the same city, road, farm or cloister do I get double points? 

(You can get two followers into a cloister if you are using the Count.)


A: No.  These two yellow knights score only 6 points in total (not 12!).






These red and yellow knights score 6 points EACH.




Q: If I have a large follower from the Expansion Set in a city, road, farm or cloister do I get double points? 


A: No. The number and size of followers is only used for determining the majority.


For each city, road, farm or cloister:

Step 1: Determine which player or players have the majority.

Step 2: Allocate the standard points for that city, road or farm to each player with the majority.  Each player gets the full number of points, once.



Q: If one of my city or road tiles has two segments on it, do I get a point for each segment? 


A: No, you get a point for each tile.  This city scores 8 points. 





This road scores 4 points.







Q: Can I place two cloisters side by side or corner to corner, or must they always have 8 other small cards around them?


A: Yes.  Each cloister stands in its own field already; you can place another cloister in its own field as close to the first cloister as you like.  Religious conflict does not come into the play of Carcassonne!





Q: If a farm is completed by surrounding it with roads and cities then can I score it and get my farmer back?


A: No, farms are scored at the end of the game. Once a farmer, always a farmer! (Unless you get eaten by a dragon!)



Q: Does a farm have to be completed by surrounding it with roads and cities in order to get a score?


A: No, all farms are scored no matter what state they are in – the cities must be complete, not the farms.



Q: Does a farm have to surround a city to get points for that city? 


A: No, it only has to touch it.



Q: How do I know which cities are in my farm? 


A: The cities that will give your farmer points are the ones that the farmer can walk to on the green without crossing a road, river or city. Note that road bridges count as roads and city bridges count as city walls – all bridges separate farms even if it looks as though you could walk under the bridge.



Q: When I place a cloister tile, may I place a farmer in the field around the cloister?


A: Yes. As long as it is a legal play a farmer may be place on any green area, no matter what else is on the tile or how small the area is.


This cloister will then remain vacant for the remainder of the game, unless you use a magic portal or bring a monk out from Carcassonne City (with the Count expansion set).



Q: Since the farms in this diagram are not connected, does red score once or twice for the cities?


A: With the new rules, each farm is treated completely independently. For the top left farm red scores 6 points.  For the larger farm, red and blue share the majority and each one scores 6 points.  So red gets 12 points in total.




Q: If at the end of the game one of my farmers is completely enclosed by roads, what score does he get?


A: Absolutely nothing.  He gets 3 points per complete city touching his farm.  He has zero farms so he gets zero points, and he still has to stay in the field until the end of the game.  Of course he may be very upset with whoever enclosed him, and seek revenge!




Q: Can I place a farmer in the field in the centre of the tile with four city segments and score for these 4 cities?


A: Yes, this field behaves exactly like all other fields.  The farmer has a farm consisting of one small field and holds undisputed majority there (unless you are using the Count!).  However you will only score for completed cities, and of course all the segments could be joined together into one large city, severely limiting the benefit!



Inns & Cathdrals

Q: May I place a cathedral tile on someone else's city?


A: Yes.  This can be a good tactical play near the end of the game if it prevents your opponent from completing a large city – they will score nothing for the city unless they finish it.  The same applies to adding an inn to a road.



Traders & Builders

Q: In Traders & Builders, what happens, if several players in a city with Trade Goods share the majority?


A: That is irrelevant.  It is not the player who owns the city that gets the Trade Goods; it is the player who places the tile that completes the city, even if that player does not have any knights in the city.  The same applies to the King and the Robber Baron.




Q: Can a builder or pig be placed in an area which already has a builder or pig?


A: Yes, as long as you have a knight, thief or farmer in that area, as appropriate, you can add a builder or pig, regardless of what other followers any other player has in the area.



The Princess & The Dragon

Q: If I play a dragon tile, but don't place a follower on it, can I move the Fairy before the Dragon starts moving.


A: Yes.  This can be a major advantage!



Q: If I complete an area that I already own and don't place a man, can I move the Fairy to my existing follower and score the 3 Fairy points on the same turn?


A: Yes, moving the Fairy takes places before scoring.



Q: If playing a dragon tile completes an area, is it scored before the Dragon moves?


A: No.  The Dragon is moved before the scoring.  If your followers are eaten then they don't contribute to the scoring.



Q: If the Dragon eats my knight, but I still have a builder in a completed city, can I score for that city?


A: No.  Builders don't contribute to the determining of the majority.



Q: If I place a volcano card, can I move the Fairy?


A: No.  You are rewarded with the ability to move the Fairy when you forgo placing a follower. Since you cannot place a follower on a volcano card you are not giving anything up, so you can't move the Fairy. The same applies if you use a princess to remove a knight from a city.  On such a turn you would not be able to place a follower as well, so you can't choose to move the Fairy instead.


The only exception to this is if you place a tile which you would normally be allowed to place a follower on, but where all the areas are already occupied.  In this case, even though you can not legally place a follower you may move the Fairy.



Q: Can the Dragon eat builders and pigs?


A: Yes.  Dragons need a balanced diet – they will eat anything they can!



Q: If I play a princess tile can I remove a builder, or can I only remove a knight?


A: Yes, you can remove a builder, he is a follower too. The player who places the princess tile chooses which follower he will remove.



Q: If I play a princess tile can I remove a large follower?


A: Yes, however, as he is a Paladin amongst knights, he can better resist the Princess.  He can therefore only be removed when there are no other knights or builders in the city.



Q: What happens to a builder if the Dragon or a Princess removes all the associated knights?


A: The builder stays and continues building. Knights are for owning cities; builders are for getting extra turns.  If you add another city tile to the city, even with no knight in the city, your builder will get you an extra turn.  The builder stays in the city until the city is complete, or until he is removed by the Dragon, a Princess or a Tower.



Q: What happens to the pig, if the Dragon eats the associated farmer?


A: Then it is a very sad pig, all alone in its farm. It scores nothing by itself.  If you get more farmers back into the farm and attain the majority again, then the pig will count as normal.  Otherwise it is stuck there providing no benefit until the end of the game, unless you can get the Dragon to eat it too, or get someone to take it prisoner with a Tower.



Q: Can the Dragon enter Carcassonne City and eat the Count or any other the followers in that city.


A: No, Carcassonne City is safe. The Dragon may not enter it.



Q: If there is a completed area that no-one scored for, for example a cloister that was never occupied, or a city where the all the knights were eaten by the Dragon before they would score, then can I use a magic portal to teleport in there and claim the score?


A: No. The rules state that you cannot teleport into a completed area.  This applies even if no-one scored for it.



Q: If we are using the Count, can I use a magic portal to teleport into Carcassonne City or onto one of the field, road or city segments on the edges of the Carcassonne City tiles?


A: No. The magic portal only allows followers to be deployed to tiles that can be legally occupied according to the usual rules, as if the player had just placed the tile in question.  Carcassonne City tiles can only be occupied by following the specific rules that apply to them.



Q: Can I use a magic portal to place a follower onto the tile where the dragon is?


A: No, the dragon feasts on all followers on the tile. His appetite is insatiable.  This is the reason why a player isn‘t allowed to place a follower when placing a volcano-tile.



Q:  Can I use a magic portal to place a follower onto a volcano-tile?


A: If the Dragon has left the tile: Yes.



Q: If I have more than one follower on a tile (one could have been added to a tower, or teleported into a different feature on the same tile by a magic portal), then does the dragon eat them all if she visits that tile?


A: Yes.  It is a big dragon!


The King & The Scout

Q: Who receives the King, the player with the largest city or the player with the most valuable city?


A: The player who completes the largest city. The size of the city is determined solely by how many tiles are in it. Pennants, Cathdedrals and scores are completely irrelevant, even if a smaller city gets a bigger score, it doesn't affect who gets the King. The same applies to roads and the Robber Baron – the Robber Baron goes to the player who completes the longest road, measured in tiles, not the most valuable road.


Tip: It can be difficult during play to remember the current sizes of the largest city and longest road.  So that you don't have to keep recounting, you can use any marker to note the size of the King by placing it on the appropriate place on the scoring track, and use another one for the Robber Baron.


The Count

Q: How do the followers who are in Carcassonne City get scored?


A: Not at all!  There is no scoring in Carcassonne City itself. However the followers that are in Carcassonne City can influence the majority determination for an area being scored by coming out of Carcassonne City to that area.



Q: Can a follower from Carcassonne City be placed in a completed, vacant area?


A: Yes.  Whenever any city, road or cloister is completed, whether there is anyone in it or not, followers may be moved from the appropriate part of Carcassonne City to that area.  Of course, in normal circumstances, an empty area is unlikely to be particularly valuable, but this option may serve as a useful way of getting followers out of Carcassonne City and back into your supply.



Q: What is the sequence of play for followers in Carcassonne City at the end of the game?


A: In principle very similar to the sequence during the game. First remove any followers who are in the same quarter as the Count – they are unable to contribute to the scoring. Then, starting with the player to the left of the player who played the last tile, each player who has any followers in Carcassonne City must move one follower from Carcassonne City to an appropriate area on the playing field. A follower may be placed in an incomplete area since these are scored as well at the end of the game.


Continue going around all the players until there are no followers left in Carcassonne City – whoever had the most followers in Carcassonne City (excluding those stuck with the Count) will be the last to move a follower out of Carcassonne City.



Q: If I complete a city where I do not have a knight, and therefore will not profit from it, can I place a follower into Carcassonne City and then during the valuation take one of my other followers out of Carcassonne City and place it in the city?


A: Definitely not!  The valuation comes before you get to place a follower into Carcassonne City, so if you have brought a follower out and profited from doing so, you are no longer eligible to place a follower into Carcassonne City. The same applies to roads and cloisters.



Q:If you are using the Count, do farmers score for Carcassonne City?


A: Yes – it is a city.



Q: If you are using the Count does the King score for Carcassonne City?


Q: Yes – it is a city.



Q: Escaping from a Cathar city and deploying to Carcassonne City both happen at the end of the turn. But which comes first?  Can I escape and deploy the same follower straight into Carcassonne City on the same turn?


A: Yes, in the same way that a follower who is eaten by the dragon or seduced by the princess goes into your supply and can be used at the end of the same turn to deploy to Carcassonne City.  The follower is available so you can use it.


The Tower

Q: The rules say that a follower placed on a tower to lock it must stay there until the end of the game.  Does that mean that I can't use a tower block to capture a follower who is on a tower?


A: No.  You can capture a follower who is locking a tower by using another tower.  The rules also state that farmers must stay in their farms until the end of the game, but they can also be captured by towers.


Note: capturing a follower who was locking a tower unlocks it and makes it available for further building and capturing.




Q: Can the pig, builder, large follower, fairy, dragon, count or followers in Carcassonne City be captured using a tower?


A: Pig, builder and large follower – yes, they are followers.  The rest – no, they are not followers except for the ones in Carcassonne City, and they are protected by the City and have to follow its rules.



Q: How do I recover captured followers, pigs, builders and large followers?  Are they worth different values?


A: It doesn‘t matter if a follower is thin or fat, he is still a follower... even if he is a pig!


The rules refer to "followers" in general, so they are counted equally.  If player A has one of player B's followers and player B captures one of player A's followers, then they exchange them regardless of what they are (even large follower for ordinary follower or pig!).  If you want to buy one back it costs the standard up 3 and down 3 points regardless of what it is.


The only complication arises if player A has more than one of player B's followers.  In this case player B is allowed to choose which one they want back.



Q: Can I capture my own followers with a tower block?


A: No.  The rules state that only opponents' followers can be captured.



Q: Can I place a follower on a tile I have just placed if it has a tower space on it?


A: Yes, there is nothing in the rules to prevent this. It is of course probably very risky unless your opponents don't have any Towers left to use against you.


Note: You can't place a follower directly onto the tower space on the tile to try to block it.  You are not allowed to place a follower on the tower space until it has at least one tower block on it.



Q: If I add a city tile which has a tower space to a city where I have a builder, can I place a tower block onto the tower space on that turn, and then lock the tower with a follower on my extra turn, or place a second tower block?


A: Yes, these are two separate turns so you can lock the tower before the next player gets a chance to attack you with it, or build the tower to a height of two.



Q: If there is a follower (either mine or someone else's) on another feature on a tile with a tower space and some tower blocks, can I place a follower on the Tower to lock it.


Q: Yes, there is no rule that prevents two people from being at one tile, it was just impossible to achieve in the basic game.  Magic portals and towers now allow multiple followers to be on the same tile, and the Count allows as many as you like for the scoring of an element.



Q: Can I place a tower block if I place a volcano tile.


A: No. Placing a tower block is done instead of placing a follower.  When you place a volcano tile you get to place the dragon on it and can not move a follower, so you can't place a tower block either.



Q: If pigs and builders are followers, can they be placed on towers to lock them?


A: Yes.  They are followers, so, strange as it may seem, you can use them to lock towers if you are desperate!



Q: Can the dragon eat a follower who is locking a tower?


A: Yes, dragons can fly!


Note: eating a follower who was locking a tower unlocks it and makes it available for further building and capturing.



Q: If I place a follower on a tower can I move the fairy?


A: No – only one action of this nature is allowed each turn.  It‘s just another alternative to "placing a follower“ and since you‘re only allowed to place one follower, you may only choose one alternative.



Q: Can I move the fairy to a tile where I have a follower locking a tile?


A: Yes, the fairy can be moved to any tile where you have a follower, regardless of where the follower is on that tile.



Q: If I have a fairy on the same tile as a follower who is locking a tower, does she protect him from the dragon?


A: Yes, the fairy protects all followers on the tile.



Q: Can the fairy protect my followers from capture by a tower?


A: No.  The fairy only has powers against dragons.



Q: There are some tower spaces inside cities.  Can a Princess seduce a follower who is locking a tower which is inside a city?


A: No.  The tower is a separate feature from the city.  The follower is considered to be in the tower, not in the city.



Q: if I have a follower locking a tower which is on a city tile, and the city has a Cathar tile in it, can the follower escape from the tower to an adjacent cloister?


A: No.    The tower is a separate feature from the city.  The follower is considered to be in the tower, not in the city.



Q: If I place a dragon-tile and add a block to a tower on the same turn, what happens first: can I capture a follower with the tower first, or does the dragon move first?


A: Prisoners are taken first; placing a tower block is an alternative to deploying a follower, so occurs before dragon movement.


Some Strange Tiles

Some of theses are explicitly stated in the rules, some are not.  They are all presented here for clarity.


Q: Looks like I can walk under this bridge, so it is two farms or four?


A: Four.  All bridges, whether road bridges or city bridges, act as boundaries for farms.






Q: How many roads are on this tile?


A: Two.  This is an intersection.  The short paths from the city gates to the intersection do not count as roads.






Q: How many roads are on this tile?


A: One.  Though it touches the city, it is one connected road, since there is no visible separation and no crossing.





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