I have said it many times that the Carcassonne series of games that have been published by both Rio Grande Games & Z-Man Games are probably my favorite series of games ever to play. I own the original Carcassonne Big Box 5 version along with several of the regular & mini expansions. I have also played & reviewed Carcassonne: South Seas. With playing or owning a good chunk of the series I had to purchase Carcassonne: The Discovery & Carcassonne: Gold Rush.

I went into this knowing that the stand alone versions of Carcassonne play a little differently from the original. I just didn’t know how much differently that this would play in terms of scoring over the original.  There is a slight learning curve to playing Carcassonne: The Discovery over any of the others.

Firstly it is a 2-5 player game published in 2005 by Rio Grande Games and it does not have an expansion. Like most games the winner will be decided by the player with the most points at the end of the game.

Just like the other Carcassonne games each player will take a tile & place it on the tabletop. Once a tile is placed it does have to match up with the tile or tiles that it is adjacent to. So a mountain has to match a mountain, sea with the sea, & grasslands. After you place a tile you can do one of two things. Place a follower & score an area with a follower. Unlike the other Carcassonne games that I have played where you can place a follower & score in this version you can just do one or the other. So you may want to try to get into placing followers early.

While playing players will score points for Brigands, Explorers, & Navigators. This is a little different from the original when scoring Knights, Robbers, Monks, & Farmers.

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To score a Brigand in the mountains you will score two points for each city that is on the mountain or in an adjacent grassland to the mountain. Or if the mountain is incomplete you will score one point for each city.

To score an Explorer in the grasslands you will score two points for each grasslands tile that is a completed section. If the grassland is incomplete then you will score one point.

To score a Navigator on the sea you will score one point for each city & each sea tile in a completed section. If the navigator is scored on an incomplete section then you will only score one point for each city.

Now I have only played this as a 2-player version. I really did enjoy how simple but yet complex the scoring was. I believe the game took a bit longer the first time I played it because of scoring. Any game thus after didn’t take near as long. Like I said before, there is a learning curve.

They do give you score summary cards to help you to remember how to score. We kept trying to remember how to do the scoring on our own the first game, that was a mistake for us, so I recommend on keeping the summary cards out.

It is pretty easy in a 2-player game to score higher than 100 points. So I’m gathering that in a 3-5 player game there won’t be many games that will see more than 100 points per player.

If you like Carcassonne & want something different from the original I do recommend grabbing a copy of this game. It has a fresh feel from normal Carcassonne. I thought the scoring at first was a little difficult but all I had to do was change the way I placed my followers & tiles for a better result. In the end I think that scoring became a lot easier than in the original Carcassonne.

I wasn’t too keen on the artwork for the game. But I did end up loving the scoring mechanism & how the game will take 30 minutes or less depending on if you are teaching a new person to play.

The cool thing about Carcassonne: The Discovery is that it can be found most times for anywhere between $20 to $30. And I just recently purchased Carcassonne: Over Hill, Over Dale. Over Hill, Over Dale should be my next Carcassonne review.

Lets discover a new world with Carcassonne: The Discovery & game on!

-Christopher Richter
Twitter: @Boardgaming_FTW

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