Carcassonne River 1
by The Beast!
(Boardgame Beast HQ)
Carcassonne: The River 1
Der Fluss (The River 1) is a mini-expansion for the original Carcassonne game. We got ours free with a basic box set and most people have probably been exposed to this expansion by stealth like that.
It opens up the board right from the start, so make sure you have a big enough table to play on. Works best with multiple expansions.
There are limitations to how river tiles may be played. You can’t circle back on yourself, each river curve must continue the river away from the center of the board. This creates a deep channel down the table, from which there are lots of new places to build.
The river tiles also include regular features, such as roads and pieces of castle. You replace the original starting tile with a new ‘source of the river’ tile, and build from there.
Whether you like The River or not depends on your style of play — the open start can make early-placed farmers much more powerful.
We use the river maybe one time in five plays. It’s interesting rather than essential.
Note that there is now a more complex version called (duh!) Carcassonne: The River 2.