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In Carcassonne, the rules (in the Z-Man games edition) imply that your meeple for the turn has to go on the tile you just placed rather than any unclaimed and uncompleted feature on the board ("on that tile"), but they don't specifically forbid the latter interpretation or state it outright (e.g. "only on the tile you just placed")

So when you place a meeple, does it have to be on the tile you played this turn?

Bonus: If you house rule it the other way, what effect would it have on the game?

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    Re "If you house rule it the other way, what effect would it have on the game?", It would completely break the game. For example, you know that large city worth 20 points that was just completed? Every player could start scoring it every single turn. Nay, they would be forced to score it every single turn to avoid losing. – ikegami Aug 18 '18 at 22:53
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    Sorry, unclaimed and uncompleted. Thought that was obvious because you can't (AFAIK) claim a completed feature even on the tile you just played. – deworde Aug 19 '18 at 0:21
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    yup! That's why you never want to spend your last meeple. You want to have it available for use-and-reclaim moves. – ikegami Aug 19 '18 at 0:26
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    @deworde - As to "a thing" - I believe stack exchange should be about asking questions that people haven't been able to answer themselves. If you could have answered it by reading your own set of the rules, you shouldn't be asking it here. From reading your set of the rules, I cannot see any room for interpretation or misunderstanding. If you posted a question saying "here is the exact wording of the rules, I can read it in these two different ways" then that would be a valid question. If you say "my rules aren't clear", and it turns out that if you read them they are clear, it's not valid. – AndyT Aug 22 '18 at 14:44
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    I am updating my answer to include a rules quote and explanation from the Z-Man rules. – GendoIkari Aug 22 '18 at 15:29
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You can only place it on the tile you just placed. From the Rio Grande edition rules:

After the player places a land tile, he may deploy one of his followers, using the following rules:

  • The player may only play 1 follower on a turn.

  • The player must take it from his supply.

  • The player may only deploy it to the tile he just placed.

While the Z-Man edition rules don't have a specifically spelled out restriction; you can go based off of what they do allow you to do:

  1. Placing a meeple: The player may place a meeple from her supply onto the tile she has just placed.

The sections on Highwaymen and Knights say something similar. While the rules don't say "you cannot place a meeple on a different tile", they don't need to, because the rules are there to tell you what things are are allowed to do. You are automatically not allowed to do anything that the rulebook does not give you permission to do.

As an extreme example, the rules don't say that you aren't allowed to take one of your opponent's meeples off the board, but it is assumed that it is not allowed because they don't say you are allowed.

That being said, the Z-Man rulebook just doesn't seem as clear over all. It awkwardly states the rule for placing a tile multiple times; for each of the types of terrain, and then gives the rule about placing a meeple for each one. Under the rule for placing a meeple a a monk, it actually says "You can place a meeple on a monastery as a monk." which fails to mention that it must be on a monastery that you just placed. You need to use the context of how placing meeples in general works to realize that you can't just place a meeple on any monastery.

  • Ah, is that in the boxed rules? – deworde Aug 19 '18 at 0:24
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    It is from the Rio Grande rulebook; third edition. I edited the answer to include a link. – GendoIkari Aug 19 '18 at 0:30
  • Ah, our copy is the English edition from 2016 by Z-man, where none of this is made clear. – deworde Aug 19 '18 at 9:50
  • Yep, that's what I inferred from the rules, but as you say, it's not entirely clear and easy to miss. Thanks! – deworde Aug 23 '18 at 17:58
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You can only place a meeple on a tile you just placed. The Princess & Dragon expansion provides an exception to that rule.

As Gendolkari already quoted, the rules in the vanilla game are clear:

The player may only play 1 follower on a turn.

The player must take it from his supply.

The player may only deploy it to the tile he just placed.

However, in the "Princess & the Dragon" expansion, there are 6 magic portal tiles:

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If you draw one of those, instead of your normal meeple placement, you may place your meeple on any other already placed tile. You follow all the other rules for meeple placement. In addition, you may not "teleport" your meeple into an already scored feature.

Note that a farm is not scored before the end of the game, so even when a farm is completely enclosed and can no longer expand, as long as it's unoccupied, you can place your meeple into it.

From the Princess and Dragon rules:

When a player draws and places a magic portal tile, he may place a follower on this or any previously placed tile. When doing so, he must follow all other placement rules, for example, not on a feature with another follower. In addition, he may not place his follower on an already completed feature.

  • I'm not sure that this answers the question... Carcassonne with Princess and Dragon is a different game than Carcassone. – GendoIkari Aug 22 '18 at 13:35
  • I explicitely answered for both the vanilla game and for the expansion. We don't know whether OP was interested in only vanilla, or was asking generally, and in any case, answering for both will help more future visitors than just answering for vanilla. – Hackworth Aug 22 '18 at 14:58

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