The Lost Tiles of Carcassonne

Carcassonne, Klaus-Jürgen Wrede,
Hans im Glück/ Rio Grande Games, 2000.
Article by Dan Becker, 2001/09/21.

Carcassonne cover
Courtesy of
Funagain Games
Carcassonne is an excellent tile laying game by Klaus-Jürgen Wrede with artwork by Doris Matthaus. The game won the Spiel des Jahres (Game of the Year) award for 2000, and there are many board gamers who love the game. In a short 45 minute session, 2 to 5 gamers can have a battle for roads, cloisters, cities, and farms.

This article discusses some of the prototype tiles that did not make it into the final product. Fans of Carcassonne may print these tile graphics onto adhesive paper and attach the images to spare Carcassonne tiles. The tiles may be used as variants to the original game. Perhaps these images may serve as a catalyst for other gamers to produce alternative tile sets as well.

Blank Tile The Blank tile appears to be an omission from the game. It can be used to link any of its 4 farm edges into one giant megafarm. However, it appears that the blank tile is not needed in the game since the 4 roadless cloister tiles can also be used to link 4 farm edges. The roadless cloister also provides the dilemma of placing a meeple in either the farm or the cloister. On the other hand, some players think the cloister meeple is a given, and that the cloister tile is too strong. Therefore, the blank tile, although somewhat less useful than the cloister, is given here as a useful alternative addition to the game.

The Toxic Waste tile is similar to the blank tile in that it has four farm edges and can be used to link together farms. However, the skull and cross bones symbol in the center can be used for all sorts of gaming options. For instance, one meaning of the skull would be to forbid the placement of meeples on this tile. In this case the tile is used solely to link farms. In a more deadly version, the skull could mean that the attached farms have been contaminated. In this case all farmers working on the attached farm die and no one scores for the farm. This would be an extremely powerful and game imbalancing use of the tile. Perhaps luck would even out if you played with 5 or 6 of these tiles in the mix, but this would lead to a deadly game of Carcassonne.

The Single tile city and the Single tile city with road are variations of the cloisters. Like the cloisters, these tiles would be useful for making larger farms. They also would be useful for attaching to a farm that you control and thus give you 4 more points. Of course there is the option to place a meeple in the tiny town for a quick score of 1 point.

The Cloister with 2 roads and Cloister with 4 roads are more variations on the existing Cloister with 1 road tile. Why did I not include the Cloister with 3 roads variation? These tiles can fit in places where the existing cloisters cannot. They also are useful for capping and ending road networks. There's not much novelty in these variations, but they are useful to expand the play options of the game.

The Double Cloister tile can be used as some sort of special tile. I'm a bit hazy on the usefulness of this addition. Perhaps it can be the "cloister capital", scoring 1 point for each subsequent cloister played. Or perhaps it can be the "devil's cloister", scoring 1 point for each open tile space surrounding its devilish existence.

The Donut Road tile is invented just for laughs. We always got a chuckle when someone formed a multiple tile circular road. This is that idea carried to the extreme. As is with the multiple tile circular road, you can always ask the player "are you going to place a farmer in there?" Ha, ha, I love Carcassonne humor. The Toxic Donut Road tile is a similar idea. Perhaps the skull can serve as a reminder to new players, "Warning, do not place a meeple here. It will score you no points." Both versions are given for your edification.

The Holey City tile is another flight of fancy. Apparently, placing a meeple on the road or the farm of this tile would be a limiting scoring opportunity. However, a farmer could potentially score 4 points for completing the surrounding city which can be done with a minimum of 4 cap tiles. This same capped city would score 10 points if your meeple were to be placed in the city so I don't know if the hole is all that useful. In our game group, we call a farmer trapped between two city walls The Cask of Carcassonne. This is a reference to the The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe in which a drunken Fortunado is trapped in the wall by his enemy Montressor. Similarly, the Holey City tile is the ultimate meeple prison.

Finally I include the Carcassonne Crossdresser tile. This tile is useful for any Carcassonne expansion rules in which you want to include cross-dressers. Perhaps the cross-dressers would prevent all adjacent farmers from farming since they are busy dressing or saying "What the heck?" Perhaps the cross-dressers would foil highway thieves and other bad men as did Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis in Some Like It Hot with Marylin Monroe. Sure, the original game has no rules provisions for cross-dressers, but perhaps that's just what the game needs to make it better. Then again, I've been know to say a few things that make no sense. Nevertheless, I hope you enjoy these tiles and they are useful to expand your play of the fantastic game Carcassonne or they spur your imagination on to come up with some tile ideas of your own.

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Last modified: Sunday, 28-Apr-2019 13:57:05 MST.