Carcassonne Rules

A clever tile-laying game by Klaus-Jürgen Wrede
for 2 to 5 players aged 7 and up

Carcassonne, the world-famous French city, known for its imposing fortifications erected during the Antiquity and the Middle Ages. This fortress, surrounded by magnificent walls, still stands today as one of the most unique French cities. In this game, players must develop the area around Carcassonne. They will place their followers onto roads and into cities, monasteries, and fields. Only those who make the most judicious placements will gain the points required to win the game.


Welcome to the Carcassonne universe! This rule book was conceived to allow you to learn to play the game as fast as possible. After reading it, you will be able to explain and play the game. You are going to take your first step into
the universe of the modern classic that is Carcassonne.

To begin, we need to set up the game, something that only takes a few brief moments. We will also take this opportunity to present the components:

Twelve (12) of these tiles show a river.

These are explained in the supplementary rules. Other graphical elements such as houses, people, or animals have no impact on the game.

Every tile shares the same back, with the exception of the start tile and the twelve River tiles. The back of those tiles is darker, making them easy to set them aside. The river tiles have a trench on them that can be felt.

Regular back Dark back(printed with a different color plastic and a shape cut)

Place the start tile (the one with the different back and the shape cut out) in the middle of the table. Shuffle the remaining tiles and set them as different facedown stacks that are easily accessible to all players.

A couple of facedown stacks Start tile

Then comes the scoreboard, which you set to the side of your playing surface (table, floor, etc.).

Finally, we have the meeples. You will find in the box 40 regular meeples, including 8 meeples in each of these colors: yellow, red, green, blue, and black. In addition, there are also 5 abbots, including 1 in each of the same colors.

Start by distributing 7 meeples of the color of their choice to each player (don’t forget to give yourself some as well). These meeples constitute each player’s personal supply. 

Then, each of you takes the remaining meeple in their color and sets it on space 0 of the scoreboard. Return to the box any unused meeples and, for your first game, the abbots.

Determine a first player (for example, the youngest).


Before diving into the explanation of this game, you should know what the goal is in Carcassonne.

One after the other, players will place tiles. This is how, one tile at a time, a landscape of roads, cities, monasteries, and fields will be created and expanded. You may place your meeples on these tiles, where they will become highwaymen, knights, monks, and farmers and hopefully allow you to score as many points as possible. Points are not only earned during the game, but also at the very end. After the final scoring the player with the highest score is proclaimed the winner. And now, we are ready to begin!


A game of Carcassonne is played in clockwise order. Starting with the first player, the current player does the following actions in the order listed below, after which it is the next player’s turn, and so on and so forth.

First, we’ll give you a brief description of the actions you have to do during one of your turns. These actions will be detailed as we present the roads, the cities, and finally the monasteries.

Placing a tile:
The player must draw exactly 1 Land tile from a stack and place it faceup
to continue the landscape. You must place it in such a way that it continues the existing landscape (the tiles already in play).

Placing a meeple:

The player may place a meeple from her supply onto the tile she has just placed on any of the open features.

Scoring a feature:
The player must score any feature completed by their tile placement

The first feature we will discuss is the road

The roads

1. Roads are raised paths on tiles.

2. Placing a meeple as a highwayman

After placing the tile, you may place a meeple as a highwayman on one of that tile’s road segments, but only if the road is unoccupied by another highwayman.

For example, if a road is not yet completed(going from one fixed point to another), no scoring occurs (see action 3) and play moves on to the next player.

If another player draws a tile that he places to continue the landscape. He may not place a meeple on the claimed road since if your highwayman is already present on that road. Instead, the can play on any unoccupied feature such as placing the meeple as a knight on the city segment of the new tile.

3. Scoring a road

When both ends of a road are closed, that road is completed and scored. The end of a road is closed when it meets a village, a city, a monastery, or it loops onto itself by meeting the other end.

Even if it is your opponent that placed the tile, this still completes your road.

How many points do you score?

When scoring a road, each tile of that road grants you 1 point. For example, a road that is made out of 3 tiles, would score 3 points.

It is now time to note your score. Adjust the score according to how you are keeping track.

If more than one player has a highwayman on the road scoring goes as follows.

-If there is a tie in the number, all players receive all the points

-If one player has more meeples on the road than the other player(s) then only the player with the most meeples scores.

Once a feature is completed, any meeples on that feature are returned to their respective owners.

The cities

Cities have stripes on them and are surrounded by walls

1. placing a tile

As usual, you draw a tile that you use to continue the landscape. For example, a city segment must be connected to an open city.

2. Placing a meeple as a knight

If there is not already a meeple in a city, you may place one as a knight.

3. Scoring a City

A city is completed when it is surrounded by walls and there are no gaps inside the city.

Each tile in a completed city is worth 2 points.
In addition, each star is worth 2 more points.

As usual, any meeples that were in the scored feature return to your supply.

Ties are resolved as before.

The monastery

1. Placing a tile

Monasteries printed as a cross.
When placing such a tile, you must, as usual, make sure that it continues the landscape.

2. Placing a meeple as a monk

You can place a meeple on a monastery as a monk from your supply. 

A monastery is always in the middle of a tile. 

3. Scoring a monastery

A monastery is completed when it is surrounded by tiles on all 8 sides. During scoring, the monastery is worth 1 point per tile that completes it (including the
monastery itself).

And voilà! We have already seen most of the rules for Carcassonne. There are only a few points left to see, but first, here is a summary of what we’ve seen so far:


1. Placing a tile
ƒ You must place your drawn tile in such a way that it continues the landscape and the illustration.
ƒ In some very rare cases, it may be impossible to place the tile. In those cases, simply return the tile to the box and draw a new one.

2. Placing a meeple

ƒ You may place a meeple on the tile you’ve just placed.
ƒ You may not place a meeple in a feature where there already is at least one other meeple

3. Scoring a feature

ƒ A road is completed when both ends lead to a village, a city, a monastery, or the road forms a loop.
Each tile in a completed road is worth 1 point.

ƒ A city is completed when it is surrounded by walls and there are no holes inside the city. Each tile in the completed city is worth 2 points. Each star in the completed city is worth an extra 2 points.

ƒ A monastery is completed when it is surrounded by 8 tiles. Each of the monastery’s tiles (the 8 surrounding tiles and the one with the monastery itself) is worth 1 point.

ƒ Scoring always occurs at the end of a player’s turn. At that moment, each player with a meeple in a scored
feature earns points.
ƒ After each scoring, return to your supply the scored meeples.

ƒ If there are multiple meeples in a single scored feature, the player with the most meeples is awarded full points and all other players receive nothing. When more than one player have the most meeples in a scored feature, the tied
players all score full points.

Many meeples in the same feature

If you place a tile between two existing tiles, both with a meeple on them it is possible that the two features(each with a meeple) will be combined to create a single feature with 2 or more meeples on it.


The game ends immediately after the turn of the player who placed the last tile. Then, players proceed to a final scoring, after which the winner will be known to all!
Once the game is over, all meeples still in play are scored:
ƒ Each incomplete road is worth 1 point per tile, just like during the game.
ƒ Each incomplete city is worth 1 point per tile and 1 point per coat of arms, which is only half the points.
ƒ Each incomplete monastery is worth 1 point plus 1 point per adjacent tile, just like during the game.

ƒ Each field is worth 3 points per adjacent completed city.
This is how farmers are scored, which is only shown here to present all the aspect of the final scoring. Farmers are presented in the supplementary rules. We recommend playing a few games before introducing farmers and fields.

The farms

1. Placing a tile

As you are now used to, you must place your tile in such a way that it continues the landscape and illustration. Fields always refer to the green spaces found in the landscape of Carcassonne.
On the tile shown to the right, there are three field segments.

2. Placing a meeple as a farmer

A farmer is a meeple that you place “upside down” in a
field segment.
“Upside down?” Yes. Unlike highwaymen, knights, and monks that are all placed standing up, farmers are placed upside down on a tile because they are only scored at the end of the game. Consequently, they are not returned to your
supply after scoring. Laying farmers upside down ensures that you remember to leave them on the board.

As always, you can only place your farmer if there are no other farmers in the field.

The fields of Carcassonne are divided by roads and cities. 

3. scoring farms

As mentioned previously, farmers are not scored during the game and, consequently, they do not return to your supply.
So place your farmers wisely.

Unlike other features, it is not the field tiles that are counted, but the number of completed cities that border a field. Each completed city that touches a field adds 3 points to the value of that field. All fields touched by a city will see their value increased by 3 points.

Incomplete cities do not increase the value of farms.

Here is a summary of the most important rules concerning farmers:
ƒ Farmers are placed “upside down” on the board.
ƒ Farmers are only scored during the final scoring.
ƒ Each completed city adjacent to a field you occupy gives you 3 points.
ƒ As is the case with roads and cities, there may be more than one farmer in the same field.
ƒ Once again, the same scoring rules apply to farmers. Only the player with the most farmers in a fields scores the points for that field. In case of a tie, the tied players each score full points.

The River

The River is the first mini expansion you will discover in the Carcassonne universe.
It embellishes the landscape while also varying the starting situation.


The River is comprised of 12 River tiles with a dark back that replace the start tile. River tiles have a trench in them that can be felt.

When playing with The River, return the start tile to the box.


Set aside the “source” and “lake” tiles. The remaining River tiles are
shuffled and stacked facedown. Finally, slide the lake tile under that stack and set the source tile as the starting point.


Starting with the first player and continuing clockwise one after the other, players place tiles as usual (including the possibility of placing a meeple), with the exception that they must draw tiles from the River tile stack. You must continue drawing from the River stack until it runs out of tiles.
As usual, you must continue the illustration. Furthermore, you must continue the river illustration, and the river cannot turn twice in the same direction because this would create a u-turn.

You may place meeples along the river following the normal rules.

The Abbot

The Abbot is the second mini expansion presented in this box.
It introduces gardens, which you may have already noticed on the tiles, and abbots.

Components and setup

This mini expansion includes 5 abbots in the player colors.
Each player receives the abbot in their color. They are differently shaped meeples.


1. Placing a tile
When you place a tile with a monastery or a garden(red square shaped areas on tiles, follow the normal rules.

2. Placing a meeple OR your abbot

When placing a tile with a monastery or a garden, you may place either a meeple or your abbot.

The meeple is placed as usual whereas the abbot must be placed on the monastery or garden you’ve just placed.

3. Scoring an abbot
If the monastery or garden occupied by your abbot is surrounded by eight tiles, you score 9 points just like during a regular monastery scoring. As you can see,
gardens are scored exactly like monastery, with the exception that only an abbot may be placed on them.

The abbot also has another special ability. On your turn during action 2 (Placing a meeple), if you decide not to place a meeple, you are allowed to take back your abbot.

If you do so, you score as many points as the abbot is worth at that time, exactly like an end game monastery final scoring.

During final scoring, abbots are scoring in the same manner.

You are now truly ready to embark on the grand voyages that the Carcassonne universe has in stores for you! 

More expansions can be found here: See you soon!