This is the Carcassonne vs Azul game comparison showdown. These are two iconic Spiel des Jahres winning board games so you know you are in good hands. Both games have to deal with putting down tiles but the similarities end there. Carcassonne is a worker management tile laying game. Azul is an abstract strategy pattern building game. We dive deep into both. Learn a little about the games then check out our Carcassonne vs Azul notes and final verdict.
ABOUT THE GAMES
About Carcassonne (2000): This may be one of the easiest games to learn and play which is probably why so many people use it as a gateway game (something you start with to get people into the hobby). The board starts with one tile and turn after turn players draw a tile and lay it somewhere on the map that makes sense. Then you choose whether or not to claim something you just started with you limited workers.
FOR MORE: Carcassonne Page | How To Play Carcassonne | Carcassonne Review | Games Like Carcassonne | Buy Carcassonne on Amazon
About Azul (2017): The game is about helping the king decorate with Portuguese tiles. Azul is a well crafted set collection and pattern building game. You draft sets of tiles against other players in order to create strategic clusters that are going to get you big points. You need to strategically fill rows with groupings of colors in order to move them into your final square grid in order to score.
FOR MORE: Azul Page | How To Play Azul | Azul Review | Games Like Azul | Buy Azul on Amazon
CARCASSONNE VS AZUL ANALYSIS
Theme: Carcassonne is from the older ancient medieval times of castles and knights. Azul is much more modern but still classic in that you are helping an ancient king of Portugal to design a great hall with beautiful Portuguese tiles. The theme does not play a role in either game, but there is just enough to make it interesting.
Gameplay: In Carcassonne vs Azul the gameplay is pretty different. Carcassonne is very light on the intensity scale while Azul is more of a medium. With Carcassonne you have to act very in the moment and deal with what you are given. That lack of foresight keeps things light. Azul takes thinking at least 4 turns ahead and some head hurting math at times.
Mechanics: Carcassonne is a worker management and tile placement game. Azul is an abstract strategy drafting game about building strategic clusters of patterns. In both games, you are taking on many individual things that are going to give you victory points, with the high score winning. There are no similar mechanics across both Carcassonne vs Azul.
Time Commitment: Carcassonne sure feels quicker because the scoring in between rounds of Azul can drag on but they are both going to run around 3 quarters of an hour.
Player Count: In Carcassonne vs Azul you certainly have more options with Carcassonne. Both can handle 2 – 4 players, but Carcassonne is able to handle that ever elusive 5 player count well.
Cost: Both of these games run at about the same price point. You are getting a solid price, these games both keep it on the conservative side and are packed with plenty of value. Carcassonne has tons of expansions, like the most of any game, an obscene amount. In Azul, there are other stand alone games, but no expansions so getting the base game out there is not as important.
Verdict For the Shelf: In the battle of Carcassonne vs Azul, the verdict is Carcassonne (60% of the time) and Azul (40% of the time). These games are too different to compare, they really satisfy very different needs. The math in Azul can weight it down a bit and make it a little less of a winner every time like Carcassonne is. Both of these are top tier games that will treat you great. And they are different enough where you could easily buy both.
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