Star Wars Carcassonne combines the exciting adventures of the Star Wars universe with the gameplay of Carcassonne, with the known rules of the game being simplified through clever changes that bring an entirely new feel to the game.
This is similar to Carcassonne but with Roads replaced with Trading Routes and claimed by Merchants instead of Robbers, Cities replaced with Asteroid Fields and claimed by Explorers instead of Knights and Cloisters replaced with Planets and claimed by Conquerers instead of Monks. There is no farming equivalent. Faction symbols (Empire, Rebel Alliance and Bounty Hunters) provide scoring bonuses regardless of what faction your Meeples belong to. Majority control is determined by dice rolling with the highest result rather than the sum determining the winner, although tiebreaks and defeats still provide some points. A player receives dice equal to the number of his Meeples involved in the majority control plus an additional one for using his large Meeple and one for any matching Faction symbols but this is always capped at three dice. One notable change is that Planets can be conquered by placing tiles adjacent to the Planet tile where the player now has the options of placing a Meeple on the adjacent Planet tile or on the tile he placed.
There is also a four player team variant where it is the two Empire colours (black/Darth Vader and white/Storm Troopers) versus the two Rebel Alliance colours (red/Luke Skywalker and green/Yoda). Orange/Boba Fett is not used.
Star Wars Carcassonne is a fun stand alone version of the original Carcassonne tile placement game. You can choose from a selection of beloved characters such as Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader, exploring trading routes (roads), asteroid fields (castles) and planets (churches). You can also battle your opponents for the points.
The components inside the box really compliment the theme of this game. You can play with four different characters:
- Red meeples are Luke Skywalker.
- Green meeples are Yoda.
- Black meeples are Darth Vader.
- Orange meeples are Boba Fett.
Each set of meeples comes with one larger meeple (which gives you extra points) and enough stickers of each of the characters so that every meeple has a sticker on each side. The stickers are highly detailed but can be fiddly placing them on the meeples. There are also spare stickers for each character in the box.
Every player also has a thick card token with a photograph of their character and symbol (Rebel, Empire and Bounty Hunter) as well as the character's name. These are well made, double-sided with great artwork.
In this version of the famous game you have six dice for battles, three red, three green, all of-which are translucent and feel a good weight. The player's scoreboard mimics the artwork of the tiles, helping continue the theme and giving you a fun looking well designed score board.
The tiles have kept their Carcassonne charm while still being immersed in the Star Wars universe. All the tiles have a high finish to them with great looking artwork. All the planets in the game are named after planets in the Star Wars universe, such as Tatooine, Alderaan, Mustafar and Hoth. They changed the roads to trade routes and made them look like trails from a spaceship.
Star Wars Carcassonne starts the same was as the original, you will have the starting tile in the middle of the table and the first player will choose one tile from one of the stacks, then place it so that it continues the scene, trade route to trade route, asteroid belt to asteroid belt and open space to open space.
Then, if you wish, you can place one of your chosen meeples on the route, asteroid or planet. If you were to place the large meeple you have you will get extra points when you complete the route. Each player will take their turn picking a tile, placing it and placing their meeple.
Here is where it gets more interesting, if another player ends up either on the same planet as another player or merges routes in to one, the two players will have to battle for the points. You do this by gaining one dice per each of your small meeples in the battle. You will receive two dice if you have used your larger meeple, then you will receive an additional dice if there is a matching faction symbol but with a max of three dice each.
Everyone in the battle will roll all their dice, pick their highest roll then discard the other dice. The player with the highest roll wins and will receive all the points. If there is a tie each player that ties will receive one point each before re-rolling until there is one winner.
Final Thoughts on Star Wars Carcassonne
I really like this game, it still has all the essence of Carcassonne with the added fun of the new theme. I also think the dueling aspect is a fun mechanism, which just makes it stand out from the original - Although you can go through an entire game without dueling.
All the components are of a high quality, even the box pops out with Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker having a lightsaber battle underneath the words Carcassonne. Even though the box says from seven up, this game was easily picked up by my five-year-old so it’s a great game for young families as well as grown ups.