Carcassonne: Abbey and Mayor - Board Game Box Shot

Carcassonne: Abbey and Mayor

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With this expansion, the players have new possibilities of strengthening their influence in the area around Carcassonne. Now traveling merchants transport their goods to surrounding cities and monasteries. The cities in the surrounding countryside can increase to a size large enough to elect their own mayors. Simple farmers build large and wealthy farms and the church tries to strengthen their influence by establishing abbeys.

Abbey and Mayor is not a complete game, but must be played with Carcassonne.

User Reviews (3)

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7
Paladin
Herald
Advanced Reviewer
BoardGaming.com Bronze Supporter
6
44 of 47 gamers found this helpful
“Carcassonne: the Surfeit”

“Abbey and Mayor” adds only 12 new standard terrain tiles to the game of Carcassonne. Some of them are clever (like the tunnel tile), some of them are interesting (like the town tile with two shields) and some are a little crazy (like the town crossing ones). But this expansion is not about tiles, it’s about new mechanics – and it adds a lot of new rules.

* Abbeys: the abbey tiles are basically wildcards that can be placed on any empty square surrounded by terrain tiles. They serve as cloisters and they terminate all the features they touch. Each player gets one. They make the game easier and may be used to rescue followers from blockaded structures.

* Mayors: They are followers that can be placed only in towns having their strength equal to the number of shields in that town. I’m not a fan of big meeples and at the first place, and I’m also not a fan of mayors. In fact they are “tups” that reduce tactical options when fighting for the majority in a town.

* Trolleys: These followers can move along the road to an adjacent unfinished unclaimed structure when their one is finished. Effective use of them require a good planning. Similarly to builders from an earlier expansion they are vulnerable to getting stuck, however having them in a dead end is not as devastating as it is in the case of a builder.

* Barns: They allow to score farmers during the game. Well, this is a substantial change! A part of the original Carcassonne strategy is the balance between early and late placing of farmers as they remain on the board until the end of the game. With barns early farming is much more tempting.

All in all there is a lot of changes. And additions. Take them or leave them…

Personally I feel a kind of surfeit here. I play with abbeys and trolleys leaving mayors and barns (along with their rules) in the box.

 
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10
United Kingdom
Professional Reviewer
Crab Clan - Legend of the Five Rings
Book Lover
7
31 of 35 gamers found this helpful
“Carcassonne's anti-"Anti-Farmer" Expansion”

Carcassonne: Abbey & Mayor is the fifth expansion for Carcassonne, the Spiel des Jahres award winning game based on the Roman and Medieval architecture of the town of the same name in South Western France. Players take turns to place tiles to recreate this architecture, building cities, cloisters, farms, and roads, and claiming with their followers or “meeples” (as they have become known) to score points. The previous expansions have added meeples for a sixth player, numerous new means of scoring, several attempts to diffuse the core game’s one weakness (that by careful placing of Farmer meeples, a player will invariably win the game), and given the players lots of new tiles to place. Carcassonne is an area control game in which the areas are built in a jigsaw puzzle fashion that many find appealing.

Carcassonne: Abbey & Mayor continues the game’s medieval theme. Now wealthy merchants ship goods along the roads between the cities and the cloisters, whilst cities can grow large enough to elect their own Mayors. Farmers build larger and wealthier farms, whilst the church strengthens its position and prestige by building Abbeys. If this expansion has its own theme, it is that of growing wealth and prosperity reflected in the increased influence a player can bring to bear with its new rules.

As with previous expansions, the components of Abbey & Mayor are of an excellent quality. The wooden Barn, Mayor, and Wagon figures, one for each player, come in standard six colors and are easily to identify. The 12 new ordinary tiles give slight variations upon tiles in previous expansions and will be welcome additions. The rules sheet is easy to read and illustrated with plenty of examples. At game’s start, the ordinary tiles go into the stacks to be drawn and played, whilst the players each receive one Abbey tile, and one Barn, Mayor, and Wagon figure.

The first of the expansion’s new additions is the Abbey, a new tile depicting this building enclosed entirely by a red tiled wall. It can only be placed into an empty space surrounded by the four tiles on its orthogonal sides, but does not have to match these surrounding tiles. If such a space does not exist, it cannot be placed. The placing player can also place a meeple on the Abbey and when it is completed, it scores as a Cloister. The primary effect of placing an Abbey is to complete and score the features it touches on those four sides, the result being that it can complete several difficult to finish features at once. This can also be used as a blocking move to prevent features from growing too large and another player from scoring them. The secondary effect is aesthetic, simply filling in an ugly hole in the map.

The Mayor is the first of three new playing pieces, this one looking a larger, fat pantalooned meeple. He can only be placed in a city with no other meeples, but works with the pennants on city tiles, counting for as many followers in the city as there are pennants when the city is completed and scored. This makes him very effective in larger cities which will have more pennants and thus increase his influence over who has more followers for scoring purposes.

The second new piece is the Barn, which is only played onto a new junction created by four field tiles. It immediately forces the farm to be scored as if it were the end of the game, the farmer meeples being returned to their respective players. Further, the Barn prevents any more Farmers from being placed on its field and it forces other Farms to be scored if they are connected to the field it is in. At game’s end, the Barn is scored just like a normal farm, although the points awarded for each city is connected to, are not as much. Where previous expansions have diffused the scoring potential for the Farmer, the Barn goes some way to restore this imbalance, not only by returning Farmers in play to their respective players, but also by the fact that the Barn scores a farm twice! This could be too powerful, but considering the difficulty of building these large farms, it is not as powerful as it might have been.

The last new piece is the Wagon, which is placed as normal on an incomplete city, cloister, or road, but unlike other pieces, it can move. When the feature the Wagon is on is completed and scored, the Wagon can either be returned to a player’s hand, or it can be moved to a connected, but incomplete feature. The Wagon thus allows a player to keep a piece on the board and continue scoring from it.

The four additions in Carcassonne: Abbey & Mayor are situational — they only come into play when certain situations arise on a player’s turn. The Abbey fills in a hole, the Mayor is placed in an empty city, the Barn on a field junction, and the Wagon on an incomplete feature. When they do come into play, each in its own way is quite powerful, the Barn more so, which restores much of the balance if and when it can come into play. In addition, these additions are not as fiddly as those of the previous expansions — The Princess & The Dragon and The Tower, nor do they run counter to the core game’s medieval theme. Overall, Carcassonne: Abbey & Mayor gives the players powerful new options that will happily sit alongside the core game and its first two expansions, making it the expansion to have after Inns & Cathedrals and Traders & Builders.

 
Player Avatar
8
Count / Countess
Senior
Went to Gen Con 2012
I play black
10
30 of 38 gamers found this helpful
“One of the better expansions”

This expansion adds barns, abbeys and mayors.

Barns are basically uber-farmers. The rules for placing them are a bit complicated, but they make farming more lucrative.

Each player is given one abbey tile, which basically works as a wildcard, completing the things around it. All 4 sides of an empty space must be filled before you can place your abbey tile.

The real win for this expansion is the mayor. It’s a new meeple with a huge bottom. It is placed like any other meeple, but only on cities. On its own, it’s worth no meeple, BUT every shield in the completed city counts as one meeple for the player with a mayor in the city. See my strategy tip for this.

 

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