Does the dragon eliminate only followers or does it also eliminate builders, pigs, etc?

If the dragon eliminates a follower but leaves the builder in a city, what becomes of him?


2 Answers 2



The dragon eliminates followers, builders and pigs according to the Carcassonne annotated FAQ p37.

Whenever the dragon enters a tile occupied by game figures (followers, builders or pigs), they are all returned to the relevant player

The rules on what happens to a builder or pig when the last follower is removed from a feature have changed since the initial release of the rules. The Carcassonne Big Box contains this rule.

When a player’s last thief, knight, or farmer is removed from a road or city with a builder, or field with a pig, the player takes take his builder or pig, putting it in his supply

Just noticed that the Carcassonne Big Box 3 is available. I checked and the rules are the same in there for this situation.

  • what if the dragon eliminates a follower but you have a builder on another tile in that city. what happens to him?
    – user812
    Jan 29, 2011 at 17:04
  • @debi - edited my answer. Sorry I missed your second question the first time around!
    – Pat Ludwig
    Jan 29, 2011 at 20:37
  • It's also worth noting that, though the barn is a figure, it is (as correctly stated above) not eliminated by the dragon.
    – Aldaron
    Nov 6, 2011 at 17:21

Carcassonne can be quite a bewildering game, in that its ruleset has been subject to repeated revision over the years! There's a good resource here: http://www.carcassonnecentral.com/ which may help to track the changes.

In the old days, builders and pigs counted as "followers" too. Now they are apparently "special figures". But that hasn't granted them any new immunity from being chomped on by dragons!

The "stranded builder" scenario USED to work as follows:

"The builder stays where it is and continues its work, that is, the player can take two turns in the same way as before. It is indeed possible that the city will not belong to anyone, since the builder does not count towards the majority in the city. Then the builder will only be returned to the player when the city is completed, or when it too is eaten by the dragon or removed by a princess."

Similarly, if the dragon left behind a stranded pig by eating a farmer, the pig scored nothing by itself. You had to get a majority of farmers back into the pig's field to make it useful... or else hope it got eaten by the dragon later too!

NOW, as Pat has so rightly stated, the rules have been somewhat simplified: a builder or a pig that is left on the board as a lone operator starts to feel a bit isolated and sheepish, and returns at once to the supply.

Pat therefore has found the correct, up-to-the-minute answer! I leave this answer up since the way the Carcassonne rules have changed over the years is quite interesting - and, of course, if someone doesn't like the new "streamlined" rules there's nothing to stop them from playing with the old ones. (I personally always secretly preferred the 2-points-for-a-2-tile city, though I must confess the easier-to-calculate scoring for farmers came as a big relief.)


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