Now, I am as big a Carcassonne fan as the next guy, but it’s just possible that the game has already seen its fill of useful and attractive expansions (there have been around 15 separate expansions of one sort or another).
However, it appears that if something ain’t broke then there is no reason to fix it, and the expansions just keep coming. And now we have Carcassonne: Das Schicksalsrad (which translates as ‘Wheel of Fate’) which looks like fun, and is hopefully more entertaining than the faintly ludicrous and relatively poorly received Carcassonne: Catapult which was published last year. I am something of a Carcassonne completist, but even I baulked at forking out my hard-earned cash for the springy wooden tongs and few extra tiles in the Catapult box.
Without having sight of the rules it’s impossible to know for sure how this expansion plays out, but it looks as though a new 4×4 board is placed in the middle of the layout and creates a new starting block for the tile laying. It seems likely that in certain circumstances during the game players will have the opportunity to commit a meeple to a position on the wheel rather than place one into the layout. A selection of new tiles is mixed in with the existing stock, including some with new wheel symbols showing a numeral (1, 2 or 3 by the looks of it) which presumably, when drawn, trigger the movement of the pink pig around the central wheel.
As with other expansions, these new elements will doubtless require a complex set of corollaries to existing rules to allow all the different expansions to be integrated successfully, but that’s all just part of the fun. Given the array of different game mechanisms and scoring opportunities introduced with each new expansion there is the possibility of mild hysteria setting in when trying to play with all of them, and that’s all part of the fun too.
You don’t have to be mad to play ‘mega-Carcassonne’, but it helps.