When comparing Carcassonne vs 7 Wonders, the Slant community recommends 7 Wonders for most people. In the question“What are the best board games?” 7 Wonders is ranked 6th while Carcassonne is ranked 14th. The most important reason people chose 7 Wonders is:
No matter the player's skill level, 7 Wonders makes for an easy to learn and play game.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Easy to learn for beginners
The rules are pretty basic for Carcassonne, with first time players being able to grasp its concepts quite quickly, making Carcassonne a great gateway game.
Every turn the player draws one tile from the pile. They then must place the tile adjacent to a tile that has already been placed in a way that the edges match. There are four types of terrain on the tiles – roads, cities, monasteries, and grassland. After the tile is placed the player can choose to put a player figure, a.k.a. a meeple, on the tile to potentially score points.
If a meeple is placed on a road, then the player will score one point for every road tile until the road ends in an intersection or a city. If the meeple is placed on a city, the player will receive two points for every city tile until the city is fully walled off. If the player chooses to place the meeple in a monastery, then they will receive one point per tile until the monastery is fully surrounded by tiles. Lastly, if the meeple is placed on grassland, then it’ll only score points at the very end of the game, giving three points for every city in the field. The player with the most points wins.
Pro Detailed with polish
The board game pieces are highly detailed and colorful, be it lush grassland, a fortified medieval castle, or a monastery in the middle of nowhere. The game is themed after southern France in the medieval ages and the actual fortified city of Carcassonne and the landscape around it. There is definitely some forethought put into the polish of this game that makes much of it intuitive and a pleasure to look at.
On a more practical note, the back of the tile with which the game starts is in a separate color, so it is easier to find when starting the game.
Pro Simple, but allows for lots of thinking if you want
The game is very accessible to beginners, but it allows for quite a bit of strategic play when you get more familiar with the concept. You can either go for long-term strategies with farms, or for quick point-grabs; you can build your own cities in peace or try to mess with your opponent whenever possible. A lot of tactics come in the form of cutthroat play – trapping other players’ meeples, stealing cities, and getting to share points.
Moreover, the last turns of the game can also influence the outcome a lot – players receive some points for unfinished creations as well.
Pro Quick to play
In a regular expansion-less game of Carcassonne it can take 30 – 45 minutes to blast through the approximately 70 tiles.
The gameplay is dynamic, and everyone’s constantly engaged, managing their meeples and calculating which part of the board is worth fighting over. Even the kids stay engaged since the winner is usually not obvious untile the very end.
Because of the simple rules Carcassonne is very easy to get back into even after big breaks and it’s great to teach to other people. This means that the people you play with can change without any problems and you can play the game with anyone – children, your parents, your friends, or your partner.
Pro Near-endless replayability
Carcassonne will pretty much never feel dull, there are so many possibilities and variables in the game not only because of the randomness, but also because of the simplicity and the variation count.
Carcassonne is going to be a different game every time because of the tiles you and your opponents draw and where you choose to place them. There are over 70 tiles in the base set, which amounts to a lot of possible combinations.
Carcassonne has been around for a while, and this has led to the release of many expansions throughout the years. Each of these provides more tiles, rules, and other variables to the game.
Lastly, you can even introduce many variations that’ll change up the game without owning any expansions, for example, instead of drawing one tile and placing it every turn, have the players manage a hand of four tiles.
Pro Easy to learn
No matter the player's skill level, 7 Wonders makes for an easy to learn and play game.
Pro Player scalable
7 Wonders easily adjusts to support anywhere from 2-7 players, making it great for both small and large groups.
Pro All players play until the end
Points aren't added up until the end of the game, so even if you are losing badly, you won't be ejected from the game or forced to sit out. Everyone can participate for the full duration.
Pro Requires planning and strategy
When choosing your card for play that round, you may pick a card that will benefit you directly (such as one that will give you a building upgrade or money), or you can simply pick a card that you know your opponent wants to prevent them from bringing it into play.
Additionally, if you want to play a card that requires resources you don't have, you can "borrow" resources from your opponent. In exchange for using their resources to play your card, you give them valuable currency to use later. You'll have to weigh whether it's worth giving them currency to use their resources knowing it could come back to hurt you later.
This constant trade off of helping and hindering creates some interesting situations among players where you have to determine what the best possible long term move will be while also considering the moves of those around you.
Pro Stays exciting thanks to 3 different card decks
Each of the three ages has its own unique deck of cards. Each time you pass into a new age, a brand new set of cards come into play. These new cards build on the progress you made in the previous age. For example, resources earned in the first age can be used to build new buildings in the other ages. This helps gameplay feel exciting and fresh as the game progresses, with lots of new options becoming available for expanding your city.
Pro Highly replayable
There's always an opportunity to try something new every game
Each player has their own game board which represents one of the Seven Wonders of the World. These boards clearly lay out the production resource and benefits of each Wonder. You can also choose to play the game using the board's A side or B side. Whichever side you choose drastically changes how that particular Wonder can play certain cards.
Additionally, since this a card game with resources and other variables, no two play sessions will ever be alike. Cards will always be dealt and played in a random order, and how you play these cards will vary based on your Wonder and your personal resources/currency situation.
Pro Super quick gaming sessions
This is an excellent choice for a quick gaming session, as most games only take around 30 minutes. This remains true even if there are seven players.
Con May be a little light for hardcore boardgame players
The game itself is not very deep in design or play, which may be a turn off for the more hardcore of boardgame players though can be good for newcomers.
Con Small official scoreboard
The official scoreboard that comes with the base game only stacks up to 50 points, but proper games of Carcassonne go way past that mark – a game without any expansions can easily reach over 100 points. If you add expansions to the equation, then the points can stack up even past 400, but some expansions feature scoring tokens that help resolve this issue.
Con Highly random
As is typical for a game with a drawing mechanic, almost every action in the game is influenced by whatever tile is drawn and where a player has chosen to place it, so it’ll benefit him the most. The randomness is enhanced by the fact that the players only draw one tile at a time, so you must take what you get.
Con Risk of accidental tile moving
If the game is not played on a flat surface or if you accidentally apply more force to the tile when you're placing it adjacent to another, then everything can shift, which can be annoying to fix.
Con Most player interaction is limited
Most player interactions can only be conducted with the people directly sitting next to you. This can include passing cards, borrowing resources from your neighbors, etc. These kinds of actions can only be taken with the person to your immediate right or left. As a result, it sometimes feels like some of the players (especially those across the table) have no direct impact on each other, especially in larger games.
Con Iconography can be tough to learn
There are many different symbols to learn and keep track of, and this is the source of most learning woes for newer players.
Con Mistakes compound over time
In 7 Wonders you can really hurt yourself in the early game. Mistakes tend to be overly punishing and may be difficult to fully recover from. A long term strategy is necessary from turn one onward if you want to succeed.