This is the Carcassonne vs Isle of Skye game comparison showdown. It makes sense to put these two side-by-side, Isle of Skye takes the tile placement and improvement completing of Carcassonne but it adds a more complex economic system and secret bidding system of top of it. We dive deep into both. Learn a little about then games then check out our Carcassonne vs Isle of Skye 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
About Isle of Skye (2015): Players are chieftains of famous clans and want to build their kingdoms to score as many points as possible. Each game is different and leads to different tactics and strategies, but having enough money and managing it correctly is key. Every turn, each player places two area tiles in front of them and sets the selling price for the tiles. Setting a high price is great, but only so long as someone actually pays the price because if no one opts to buy, then the seller must buy the tiles at the price they previously requested.
FOR MORE: Buy Isle of Skye
CARCASSONNE VS ISLE OF SKYE ANALYSIS
Theme: In Carcassonne vs Isle of Skye, both games are set in the backdrop of the castle and knight set medieval period but then verge from there. Isle of Skye has much more going on in theme because there are many more things going on in the game. It is the same road and castle connections as Carcassonne, but there are many additional animals, geographic placements and economic gains to be worked in. Isle of Skye certainly seems richer.
Gameplay: Where these two games are exactly the same is in placing down improvement tiles and doing so by connecting to something like a feature on your tile that already exists on the board. Carcassonne is just that mixed with making tough predictions about what structure you will finish. Isle of Skye is that but mixed with choosing from many roads to victory through economic development and scoring strategies. In Carcassonne vs Isle of Sky, the former is very light and easy, while the latter is more intense and thought provoking. Not really comparable.
Mechanics: In Carcassonne, you have a set number of workers (or “meeples”) to place on an improvement (road, castle, cathedral) you jut put down. You have a limited number of these and the whole thing is how are you going to use them efficiently. Isle of Skye has the same tile placement but to get tiles you need to bid money for them secretly, with you opponent able to outbid you. To get this machine going, you need to make some key investments.
Time Commitment: Just the way both games work, Isle of Skye needs more time to play out. That being said, they built the score and round system to keep things fast and tight and it shows. Both of these games should run you under 40 minutes.
Player Count: Both games run 2 – 5 players. How those games go and play out are completely different and not really comparable but at least you know that number of people are definitely covered.
Cost: For Carcassonne vs Isle of Skye both of these games have been around for a while and they are light on components. They are generally always at a solid price point but as always, keep an eye out for price drops, especially on Isle of Skye.
Verdict For the Shelf: In the battle of Carcassonne vs Isle of Skye, the verdict is Carcassonne (70% of the time) and Isle of Skye (30% of the time). Carcassonne may be the easiest to play satisfying strategy game ever created, it is for everyone and has great player count options. Isle of Skye may be a more fun game, but only in specific situations to specific people. Whenever you have more intense games with lots going on, that is where it ultimately comes down to taste. Isle of Skye has interesting ever-changing win conditions and a money bidding system that makes it feel like a mix of Sheriff of Nottingham and Kingdom Builder while using Carcassonne tiles to do it if that sounds like it is for you.
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