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I played a game of Carcassonne last night with some friends, using amongst other expansions, the river.

Their "house rule" was that both the river Source and Lake tiles do NOT wrap around: on each tile there was a corner that they designated a boundary between one pasture and the next. I'm pretty sure that in my edition of the rules it specifies that these tiles DO wrap. But I'm not a rules lawyer, I'm perfectly happy to play a variant, as long as it's clearly stated from the outset!

They had another rule for playing with the river, though, and in this case I realize I have no idea whether it's "official" or not: neither the Source or the Lake tiles counted as a "turn", so in both cases no meeple could be placed, and the player whose turn it was drew another tile.

Does anyone know for sure whether the Source and Lake tiles "count" for the purposes of taking a turn? (I can't even remember whether the starting tile from the basic game "counts", right now...)

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up vote 12 down vote accepted

Lance is right on the starting tile -- according to the rules (emphasis mine):

Remove the special starting tile from the game. Instead, begin the game by laying the spring that starts the river. Set aside the lake tile and shuffle the remaining 10 river tiles face down and draw from these before drawing from the tiles from the normal game. These tiles are played and followers may be played as in the normal game with one exception: a river tile may not be placed so that the river makes a "U" turn. Followers may not be placed on rivers. Once these 10 river tiles have been played, the next player plays the lake and then play continues with the normal tiles.

In regards to the Source and Lake, we've always played that they connect in all directions. The following links seem to back this up:

According to the PDF rules from ModernJive:

The statement from Hans im Glück is "Officially, the farm goes around the spring. So it is a connected farm. I personally prefer to use it as a division, since otherwise, despite the river, there is still only one large farm."

And then from Carcassonne Central is this (although the confirmation link in the thread is no longer valid):

Yes, officially the farm does go around the spring.

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It's worth noting that in the River II Expansion, which replaced the original River expansion, the One Giant Farm issue is addressed by having several river tiles that break up the farm. Also see this question. –  Gregor Oct 20 '12 at 22:17

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