October 30, 2009

Carcassonne: Wheel of Fortune

The new Wheel of Fortune [Amazon, Funagain] stand alone expansion aims to add a bit more luck to your base line Carcassonne experience, without being one of those flashy, game breaking additions that shoots pieces through flaming hoops across the room and calls it 'fun for all ages'. (We're looking at you Catapult expansion).

Instead of gimmics, the new Wheel of Fortune piece frequently lets you score some points based on the current state of the game. Knights might be periodically scoring points based on the cities they occupy, and farmers might be netting players points even before the end game. It all depends on when and where the dancing pig lands on the new 4x4 starter piece containing the wheel.

What gets the pig moving is dots marked on the new base set of pieces, which replace the standard Carcassonne set. Whenever a piece with a mark is pulled, the Pig marker on the Wheel of Fate will rotate around. Different things happen wherever he lands, like the aforementioned knight and farmer scorings. Players might also score points based on the number of unappropriated meeples in their bank, or they might even be forced to remove a meeple from play if the pig lands on the dreaded Pest (ie: plague) fortune slice.

Interesting enough, and it doesn't feel forced on us like recently expansions. Rio Grande Game might have been running out of Carcassonne ideas over the last few years, but this one seems solid.

Here are the official details:

For years, knights, monks, farmers and builders have been undisturbed in their. But now a mysterious Wheel of Fortune changes the course of events in Carcassonne.

The plague sends followers back home, famines must be fought. The players also receive additional points from knights, which collect taxes. Whoever is in the right place at the right moment, moves his destiny in the right direction.

For everyone who knows the original Carcassonne game, the start is especially easy, because the Wheel of Fortune comes with just a few easy rules added to make a whole new game experience. Furthermore, the material of Wheel of Fortune can combine with the original Carcassonne and all the available extensions for even greater adventure.

Wheel of Fate is both a full replacement for the base game of Carcassonne and an expansion to the original base game. It includes 72 tiles, consisting of 63 tiles released in the original base game, 6 from Inns & Cathedrals, 1 from Traders & Builders and 2 from King & Scout. It also includes a special replacement start tile which depicts the Wheel of Fortune, a new mechanic unique to this edition of the game. The new start tile is the size of 16 tiles, arranged in a 4x4 square and is built using some of the tiles removed from the base game.

Carcassonne Wheel of Fortune is now shipping from Amazon and Funagain Games.

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Posted by Critical Gamers Staff at October 30, 2009 3:40 PM

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