I'm a big fan of Carcassonne and have a most of the expansions available in my language. One of the only expansions I don't play, at all, is The Tower. In my opinion, the ability to remove followers is too powerful and only incites retaliation. The cost of blocking this tower is too high, since you're losing one of your followers for the remainder of the game.

When I look at reviews on the game, most people feel the same. I'm wondering if there are ways to work around these restrictions. Right now I'm just using the tiles without using the tower pieces.

How does everyone deal with this? Is there a way to counterweight the towers' impact?

6 Answers 6


We rarely play with either the Tower or the Dragon, mostly because neither my wife or I like having to worry about 'randomly' losing our Meeple like that. and of course the fact that to stop the tower, you have to sacrifice another piece.

But your question got me thinking, so my idea is to add extra Meeple to each player. I have two whole sets of Meeple, but you could add them in depending on the number of people playing.

There are 18 tiles with tower places so if playing a 2 person game, add 6-7 extra Meeple, 6 person game 2-3. The closer you want it to be toward game design the fewer extra Meeple you add in.

2 players = 6-7 extra Meeple
3 players = 5-6
4 players = 4-5
5 players = 3-4
6 players = 2-3 

Well, we had the same problem and solved that making the tower only as a point generation rule. What we did was, the player play the tower base tile and if he/she will, can put only in the tower foundation turn a tower piece and a meeple, the meeple can't leave the board, only once by turn the player can rise one of his / hers towers, at the end of the game, as many floors have the tower, the player have points by tiles up-down-right-left to the tower tile, by example, at the end of the game a tower will have 5 floors, but are 6 tiles up, 3 down, 5 left and 4 right, that tower punctuation is 5+3+5+4 = 17 points to the player final score.



I found a bunch of house rules in this document, some of which could be used to weaken The Tower:

  • Towers cannot capture over empty tiles. (Thanks to viberunner)
  • A single-storey tower can only capture a follower on its own tile. Each additional storey adds an additional tile of range in each direction – the rate of increasing range is the same as the normal rules, but the starting point is less powerful (the “No Surprises” rule). (Thanks to keyofnight)

We scrapped the official Tower rules and instead use the following:

  1. Whenever a player doesn't place a follower, builder, or pig, they may place a tower piece on any tower or foundation.
  2. Each tower piece added to a city tile is the equivalent of a shield (e.g. a 3 high tower on a city would add 3 points if uncompleted at the end, or 6 points if completed).
  3. Whenever a player doesn't place a follower, builder, pig, or tower piece, they may place a follower on any unclaimed tower to claim it.

    a. A claimed tower can't be made any higher.

    b. A claimed tower in a city that you own (i.e. have the most followers in) is protected, in that you still count each tower piece as specified above.

    c. A claimed tower in a city that you don't own, ceases to count towards the scoring of anyone (this adds some nice tension—the taller/valuable you make a tower in your city, the more likely your opponent will claim it!).

  4. When a city is completed, the tower pieces remain on the board but if there's a follower on top of it, that's returned to the player.

The kids and I think the above works really well, however, we're still testing what to do with the foundations on a road, cloister, or in the one in the middle of field… currently we are using the same rules as the city tiles.

For example, a 4 high tower on a road would add 4 points to the road, regardless of whether or not it's completed (unless you're playing with inns, in which case it would be 0 points if uncompleted or 8 points if completed). Likewise, a tower on a cloister would add 1 point for each tower piece added. We treat the one in the middle of the field as not doing anything, although I guess you could build a tower on it to waste tower pieces if you really wanted to.

I'd be interested to hear how the above work for you, and if you think of any improvements to them.


Here are some house rules that can solve this problem:

  • To build a tower, you have to skip your turn altogether and not even draw a tile.

  • Towers cannot reach higher than a certain height.

  • Add an extra meeple.

These are just my ideas and they are not found in any rule book.


Allow players to destroy any tower that is 3 or higher this gives the ability to use the tower but not abuse the tower. Leave the broken tower on its tile to show it can no longer be used. This action would be made instead of placing a meeple. But set the minimum hight befor the game starts so everyone knows. But allow the tower to be as tall as anyone can build it.

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