Both Kingdomino and Carcassonne are tile-based, kingdom-themed board games. However, these two games have different gameplay. In fact, they are different enough to offer different kinds of experience, so it is okay to buy both games. In this article, you can learn more about the differences between Kingdomino vs Carcassonne and how these games are played.
Continue reading the discussion below to learn further about:
- The gameplay and rules of each game
- The gameplay experience of Kingdomino vs Carcassonne
- The suitable audience and average game duration of each game
- The available expansions for Kingdomino and Carcassonne
- Which board game that is generally better and more recommended
How to play Kingdomino
Kingdomino is a board game for 2 – 4 players. This game borrows some elements from the traditional domino game, hence the name “Kingdomino”. In this game, the players take turns to choose tiles and use those tiles to build their kingdoms. The standard gameplay requires you to build a five-by-five kingdom, but the two-player variant allows a larger seven-by-seven kingdom. See also: Kingdomino vs Queendomino.
At the beginning of Kingdomino , each player needs to take a starting tile, which has a square shape, along with a castle. They put the starting tile face-up and place the castle on it. Then, all the domino-like tiles are shuffled and placed inside the box to form the draw pile. Remove some tiles randomly according to the number of players.
To decide the turn order of the first round, pick a number of tiles from the draw pile according to the number of players. Put those tiles face-up in a line. Shuffle the kings thoroughly, then place them one by one on those tiles. Next, pick more tiles from the draw pile to form a new line.
Now, the player whose king is on the first tile may take the first turn. On your turn, you need to pick the tile that your king is currently standing on and add that tile into your kingdom. Then, you must choose one of the tiles on the new line by placing your king on it.
There is a rule that you need to follow when adding a tile into your kingdom. You see, each tile in Kingdomino has two ends with different terrain types. When placing a tile into your kingdom, one of the tile’s ends must connect to a matching terrain type of an existing tile. If you get a tile that can’t fit into your kingdom, the tile must be discarded. So, plan your tile placement carefully to avoid getting stuck.
Once you have picked a tile and placed your king on the new line, the turn goes to the next player in the old line. When all players have taken their turns, the next round can start. Pick more tiles to form another new, empty line. The first turn goes to the king on the first tile on the current line.
The game ends when the draw pile has been depleted. Now, you count the points that you get from your properties. A property is two or more tiles that are connected through a matching terrain type. The score of a property is counted by multiplying the number of tiles that form the property with the number of crowns in it. If the property doesn’t have any crown, it doesn’t give any point. The player with the highest points wins.
How to play Carcassonne
Carcassonne is a board game for 2 – 5 players. It is somewhat similar to Kingdomino because it also utilizes domino-like tiles that need to be placed by matching their terrain types. It also features a medieval landscape with kingdoms. However, the gameplay is quite different. In this game, the players expand one map together, but they also need to claim the properties on the map strategically.
At the start of the game, shuffle the tiles and pick one randomly. Place the tile face-up on the center of the table, making it the initial terrain. Then, choose a player to take the first turn. The players will take turns to pick new tiles and place them on the table.
On your turn, pick a tile from the top of the draw pile. Then, place it on the board to expand the map. However, just like in Kingdomino, Carcassonne also requires you to place the tile by matching a terrain feature with an existing one on the map.
For example, if the new tile has a road on it, you need to place it adjacent to an existing tile that also has a road (the roads must connect). Or, if the tile has a green field, it can be placed next to an existing green field.
After placing the tile, you may end your turn or claim a property. A property is formed by tiles that have a similar, connected feature. For example, a property can be a road, a cloister, a city, or a field. You claim a property by placing a “meeple” or follower on it. You may get a certain benefit after claiming a property, depending on the type of the property.
A property that has been claimed can’t be claimed by another player. However, a property can be “shared” by multiple players. This happens when two separate properties that have been claimed by different players are connected by a new tile. A shared property will give full points to all the players in it.
There is an in-game scoring mechanism that will give you immediate points once the claimed property is completed (no longer has any edge from which it may be expanded). When a claimed property is finished, the followers in it are returned to their owners. At the end of the game, the players may also get points from certain properties that they own. The player with the highest points wins.
Kingdomino vs Carcassonne: Gameplay Experience
Kingdomino has been specifically designed to be a family-friendly game. It is quite simple and easy to understand. Children won’t find any difficulty to play the game. New players won’t take long to learn the game, and most people should be able to hop into the game right away.
The game feels simple and light, so the game is suitable for people who don’t like heavy or complex strategy games and for people who just want to have some fun together. That said, Kingdomino still has decent depth, so the more avid gamers will still enjoy the game’s strategy aspect. You need to choose the tiles carefully because it will also affect the turn order for the next round. Then, your tile placement also matters.
Carcassonne is also a great family game. It does not have any mature theme, and the gameplay is not too complex. However, compared to Kingdomino, Carcassonne is indeed a little bit more complicated due to having more mechanics for the meeples and scoring. The game is also suitable for children, but they will need more time to understand the rules.
Overall, Carcassonne is also relatively simple and light. It is often considered as one of the best entry-level board games, suitable for people who are new in the world of board games. Compared to Kingdomino, Carcassonne has more depth. The game requires medium to high levels of strategy. You need to think about which property that can benefit you the most, and if you are doing well, how to avoid sharing a good property with the other players.
Kingdomino vs Carcassonne: Audience and Duration
Kingdomino is recommended for ages 8 years old and up. As mentioned above, the game is quite simple, so children can play it easily without any problem. The game is great for families. It still has some depth to make an interesting game for adults, and it is also suitable for playing with a group of friends.
The game of Kingdomino is quite fast. One game takes about 15 – 20 minutes on average. So, it is a fine choice if you just want to spend the time while waiting for the food to get warmed.
Carcassonne, interestingly, is recommended for ages 7 years old and up. Technically, the game is indeed suitable for children. But you need to spend more time and effort to teach children about the gameplay and rules. Nevertheless, the game is great for adults and families, too.
On average, one game of Carcassonne takes about 35 minutes to complete. It tends to be a long game because you usually need to wait for a few rounds before you can determine which property to claim. It is a great choice for a game night with your friends.
Kingdomino vs Carcassonne: Available Expansions
So far, Kingdomino does not have any expansion. There is a spin-off game called Queendomino, which adds new elements like knights and dragons into the game. However, mixing Kingdomino and Queendomino is not really recommended because some of the new elements can be too overpowered. Fortunately, the base game of Kingdomino alone already has great replayability.
On the other hand, Carcassonne has various full expansions and mini expansions. A full expansion will add many new elements and significantly increase the length of the game. Some of the latest full expansions are Inns and Cathedrals, Traders and Builders, and The Tower. Meanwhile, a mini expansion will add fewer elements; some examples are The Phantom, The Festival, and The School.
Kingdomino vs Carcassonne
|Key features||- Each player needs to pick tiles to form a five-by-five kingdom - Dynamic turn order - Simple and easy to understand - Good depth, medium levels of strategy - No expansion available||- The players expand the map together in order to claim properties - Fixed turn order - More complicated due to having more mechanics - Great depth, medium to high levels of strategy - Various full and mini expansions|
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Both Kingdomino and Carcassonne are great games. Kingdomino is recommended if you prefer a simple and light game. On the other hand, Carcassonne is more recommended if you want a game with more depth and strategy. Carcassonne also has many expansion options to add new elements and make a new gameplay experience.