We were playing Carcassonne last night using the expansions Wheel of Fortune and Abbey & Mayor. A situation came up where a player had his mayor on a large unfinished city with several pennants and the wheel landed on taxes.

When taxes occurs, should the mayor be counted as multiple knights (as many as there are pennants), a single knight, or no knights?

Relevant rules:

Deploying Followers

The Mayor


In my interpretation, "when a city containing a mayor is scored (but at no other times, e.g. taxes) the mayor is counted as..." with the (but at no other times) implied would mean that the mayor has no effect during taxes and is treated as though it is not present. However, arguably the taxes is a sort of "scoring the city" (though I see it more as scoring the knights).

In my opponents interpretation, any follower (be it the wagon, mayor, big follower, or ordinary meeple) when played in a city would be considered a knight from then on until removed from the board (or in the case of the mayor as multiple knights).

We allowed the mayor to count as a number of separate knights equal to the number of pennants (banners) in order to let play resume, which caused some very high points. At the time, there were seven banners and only the mayor present in the city in question for a total of 7 knights x (7 banners + 7 knights) = 98 points. The irony I suppose is that although my opponent scored massive points for the first taxes, I turned the tables on him by scoring massive number of points on the next two times taxes came up using the same ruling. Still, 100+ points for taxes while the other wheel of fortune tiles scoring an average of 8 or so points seems absurd.

2 Answers 2


The annotated rules FAQ version 7.4 (and presumably for some versions prior) does answer this question directly and matches the conclusion that @freekvd did above. The current and recent versions can be found at boardgamegeek.

(from page 111 of Carcassonne Standard CAR ver. 7.4)


Every player receives points for his knights.[331] For each knight, the player earns 1 point for each pennant in the city plus 1 point for each of his knights in the city.

[331] Any follower that is placed in a city, including the mayor or wagon, is considered to be a knight.

That particular rule is a reiteration of one that appears on page 60:

(from page 60 of Carcassonne Standard CAR ver. 7.4)

[154] Any follower, including the mayor, that is placed in a city is considered to be a knight.

And finally page 61:

(from page 61 of Carcassonne Standard CAR ver. 7.4)

The strength of the mayor is the same as the number of pennants in the city.

These rules (among others) together imply in particular that the wording of the original rules I cited in my question should instead read "The mayor has the strength of a number of followers..." as opposed to "The mayor is counted as a number of followers..." in order to avoid confusion.

When scoring taxes, since a mayor is counted as a knight (singular), in the situation described in the original question (a mayor alone in an incomplete city with seven banners), the player will score 8 points for taxes.


The mayor counts as only one follower for all purposes other than the final scoring of a city.

The answer seems to hinge on the definition of scoring, so I went and looked that up. The whole section is about scoring roads, cities and monasteries. All very specific about traditional scoring, so not very relevant to your case. Then, it ends with this:

After scoring a road, a city or a monastery – and only then – the followers used in the scoring are returned to their player's supply.

I don't think both of you thought to do this. It's in clear contrast with what you're supposed to do when the wheel of fortune hits taxes. If taxes would count as scoring, both players would have to remove all of their knights after taxes.

Therefore I don't think taxes count as scoring, and so the mayor does not count as a multiple of knights during taxes.

Whether or not the mayor should count as a follower at all, is hard to ascertain by the regular rules. Fortunately, this question has been asked often enough that it's included in the annotated rules FAQ (Footnote 118 on page 42):

Question: What is the status of the mayor, the barn and the wagon? Are they followers or 'special figures' like the builder and the pig?
Answer: Ah… that old chestnut! The mayor is a follower, subject to the usual rules of deployment and affects the majority. The barn is a special figure, although it can also be counted as a follower. As far as the wagon is concerned, I'm a little uncertain, but I'd nevertheless count it as a follower.

  • Thank you for the link to the CAR 4.1. I was unaware of its existence and it helped me find the current versions of the CAR (v7.4 is a whopping 339 pages long). It appears to be an invaluable resource, especially as the number of expansions in our collection keeps rising that will certainly come in handy next time something needs clarification. We will very likely be printing this and putting it on the shelf next to our other large printed rulebooks.
    – JMoravitz
    Jul 27, 2015 at 16:37
  • @JMoravitz I was not aware that this was an old version. Your own answer seems to cover everything, why not select that as a winning answer instead?
    – freekvd
    Jul 27, 2015 at 16:41
  • I'll do that then, unable to immediately, though it was still your answer which led me to mine. But you are correct, it would be better for future readers with the same question as me..
    – JMoravitz
    Jul 27, 2015 at 16:49

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