I recently received a copy of Carcassonne for the holidays, and have enjoyed it so far. My print, however, doesn't include the mini-expansion River I, and it seems like a neat little mechanic insofar as what I've found. However, it's out of print, so I can't obtain it without quite a bit of markup and expense. The River II, though, is readily available through Amazon, but I don't know if it's playable without the original River, and even if it is, if it's worth buying without the original to supplement it. So, this question boils down into two parts:

  1. Does The River II require The River I?
  2. If not, does not having The River I make The River II less enjoyable to a significant extent?

2 Answers 2


The River II does not require the River I in any way. I don't believe there is any official way to play with both of them together. IMHO The River I is a poor expansion by itself, in my play experience with it whoever goes first plays a farmer and whole shoreline on both sides of the river is one big connected farm giving that player a strong advantage. The River II fixes this issue by having roads and a city that cross the river, as well as one lake abutting a city, giving strong potential for multiple farms. All-in-all, River II is a good replacement for River I.

I've adopted some house rules that someone on here (maybe @Aramis?) suggested in a comment for using both River I and II: make river of random length by starting with a spring and not separating out the lakes and other spring tiles. The river is not allowed to have 2 springs without lakes, but keeps going until someone draws a lake to end it. This would produce very short rivers with just one expansion, but would work equally well with 2 copies of River II as with I and II.

  • I've played with one spring, two lakess, and all the river pieces from I and II mixed together, but certainly agree II is fine by itself, and much better than I. Dec 27, 2011 at 5:51
  • In paragraph 1 you say that the River I is a poor expansion, can you expand upon that to say why?
    – Pat Ludwig
    Dec 27, 2011 at 13:22
  • Great edit! Got my +1
    – Pat Ludwig
    Dec 28, 2011 at 7:32

I really like what TheCodingMonkeys (Carcassonne IOS app devs) said in a recent interview: " Historically it’s probably better to think about it as the improved river than as a separate expansion altogether." I'm pretty sure the River II is the right one for your situation.

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