Carcassonne can now be played with just one person or as a co-op board game, as German publisher Hans im Glück releases official solo and co-op rules for the hit beginner board game.
Carcassonne’s solo board game rules see a single player - or several players working together as a team, making it a co-op board game instead - alternate between three stacks of tiles and meeple colours.
Tiles are placed using the same rules as the multiplayer game, connecting up roads, fields and cities. Once a tile is placed, a meeple of the current colour must be placed to claim a feature on the tile - with the exception that meeples can never be placed as farmers to claim fields.
Completed features - fully enclosed cities, finished roads and monasteries - score points for one of the meeples on that feature, of the player’s choice. At the end of the game, triggered by one set of meeples running out, the player (or team) scores the amount of points equal to their lowest-scoring colour, making balancing the three colours necessary to score high.
The solo board game mode can be adjusted in difficulty by adding more meeples of each colour or even introducing another colour to the mix, with Hans im Glück adding that Carcassonne’s various expansions are also compatible with the variant.
Carcassonne was created in 2000 by Klaus-Jürgen Wrede and published in German by Hans im Glück; the English version was handled first by Dominion maker Rio Grande, and is now controlled by Pandemic studio Z-Man Games. It scooped the German Game of the Year prize, the Spiel des Jahres, in 2001 and is still widely considered one of the best board games for newcomers to the hobby.
The solo board game rules can be downloaded for free from Hans im Glück’s website, with the publisher indicating it had released the single-player variant in response to the ongoing global period of self-isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The digital board game app for Carcassonne previously featured solo play against computer opponents.
The publisher also released solo rules for recent release Hadara, with the single-player mode for last year’s civilisation-building board game introducing an AI player to compete against.
If you want to play with the original rules though, don't forget to check out our guide on how to play Carcassonne.