The Princess and the Dragon

All in all, this expansion introduces you to the world of fantasy, the land of fairy tales and where knights fight big dragons with the following new features:

6 Volcano tiles 12 Dragon tiles 6 Princess tiles 6 Magic Portal tiles
The Dragon appears The Dragon moves A knight leaves the city A meeple appears

Tunnel: The two road segments that proceed through the tunnel are part of a single connected road. The lower field is not interrupted, and the upper field is not interrupted either.

Monastery in a city: If you choose to place a meeple on this tile, you must choose whether to place it in the city, on the monastery, or in the field. If you wish, you may lay the meeple down on the monastery to differentiate a monk from a knight within the city. The monastery is complete when it is surrounded by tiles, even if the city is still under construction. You may place a monk on this monastery when knights are already present in the city. Likewise, a monk placed on this monastery does not prevent a player from placing a knight in the same city.

English Rules

At the beginning of the game, set the Dragon and fairy meeples to the side – they do not belong to any player.

The Dragon

How the Dragon Moves

Whenever a Volcano tile is placed, the Dragon is moved to that tile. Whenever a Dragon tile is placed, the players take turns moving the dragon 6 spaces *The dragon may not move to a tile that it has already visited this turn. It also may not move to the tile the fairy occupies. Whenever the dragon moves to a tile occupied by one or more meeples, it eats those meeples, which are returned to their respective players.
Dead end: If the dragon is unable to move (it is only adjacent to tiles it has already visited), its movement ends prematurely.
(vertically or horizontally) where the dragon eats all of the meeples on each tile. The Dragon does eat Farmers that are only on one tile, but does not eat Barns which are on the intersection of 4 tiles, and it does not eat a meeple in a Castle which is on the intersection of 2 tiles!

The Dragon then waits on the last tile until another Volcano or Dragon tile is played.

Note: The rules say that if a Dragon tile is drawn before the first Volcano tile is drawn, since the Dragon is not on the board yet, return the Dragon tile randomly back into the tile stack. Since we each have separate stacks, this could be a problem for us, we would know which stack might have an extra Dragon! Since each Dragon tile also has other playable features on it, my thoughts are that we should just place the tile as usual and ignore the Dragon!

The Fairy

The fairy is a neutral figure that belongs to no player. It begins the game in the supply.

On any turn in which you do not place (or move) a meeple, including the placement of a volcano tile, you may assign the fairy to one of your meeples by placing the fairy directly next to it.

When the fairy is standing next to one of your meeples, it can help that meeple in 3 different ways:

  • If the fairy is still assigned to one of your meeples at the start of your next turn, you immediately score 1 point.
  • The dragon may not move to a tile occupied by the fairy. All figures on the fairy's tile are protected from the dragon's hunger.
  • When scoring a feature (city, road, monastery, field, etc.) where the fairy is assigned to one of your meeples, you score 3 points, regardless of whether or not you score points for the scored feature. Your meeple returns to your supply, as normal, but the fairy remains on its tile.

  Who changed the Dragon rules?

Every move in the game of Carcassonne happens in 3 phases:
1. Place a tile, 2. Place a meeple and 3. Score a feature

The printed rules for the Expansion 3: The Princess and the Dragon clearly defines the movement of the Dragon as phase 1b. If you draw a Dragon tile:

  • 1. You place your tile.
  • 1b. The dragon moves and eats the meeples on 6 tiles.
  • 2. You place a meeple or move the Fairy.
  • 3. You score any completed features.

Under the standard rules, each player’s decision to not place a meeple on their turn so they can move the Fairy to protect one of their meeples from the Dragon was a strategic decision.

For some unknown reason, the WikiCarPedia website decided to change moving the dragon from phase 1b to phase 2b which changes the order of play to: If you draw a Dragon tile

  • 1. You place your tile.
  • 2. You place a meeple or move the Fairy.
  • 2b. The dragon moves and eats the meeples on 6 tiles.
  • 3. You score any completed features.

Under the modified rules, the Fairy strategy is hardly worth consideration because the player who draws the Dragon tile has full control of where the Fairy is before the Dragon moves.

1. Placing a Dragon Tile

We made forum posts on both the Carcassonne Central and Board Game Geek forums to try to find out the official rules, and the responses were all over the place, so here are the rules that we will follow for our game nights.

The Order of Play from WikiCarPedia says:

Step 1A: Begin Turn

There are no particular actions for this step.

Step 1B: Draw a Tile

  1. Randomly draw a tile.
  2. Show the tile to all players.

Step 1C: Place the Tile

  1. Place the tile. If the placement is illegal, you must discard the tile and go back to Step 1B.
  2. Note: any tile-based feature that is finished is considered complete at this time.

And the 2016 English printed rules for Expansion 3 includes the lable

If the movement of the Dragon happens within Step 1B: Draw a Tile no one can take any advantage of the movement. It is literally happening randomly between the moves of two players. The player who actually drew the tile doesn't even get to Step 1C: Place the Tile until after the Dragon has moved. The ONLY advantage that the player who draws the Dragon Tile has is that they will make the first move of the Dragon which they can use to move away from their meeples or towards the meeples of their opponents!

This will leave the strategy of when does a player sacrifice placing a meeple for the advantage of moving the Fairy to either protect one of their own features or un-protect one of the other player's features completely untouched. Some of the posts on both forums wanted the player who draws the Dragon Tile to move the Fairy before the Dragon moves, which completely undermines that strategy.

So bottom line, on our game nights the Dragon will move as soon as a player looks at the drawn dragon tile and before they place it on the board! After the Dragon Moves, the tile will be placed as if it were just a normal tile!

- - OR - -

That was a reasonable interpretation of how the current printed rules could be interpreted. But there was a lot of talk on the forums about C1 vs so I started looking for any mention of what the rules were back in 2005 when expansion 3 was originally released. Here is a website that gives a reasonable interpretation of those original rules:

The Dragon

A player who places a dragon tile may deploy a follower or move the fairy as usual. 127 128 Then (before scoring) the game is interrupted 129 - the dragon is on the move!

127. This is a clarification, in accordance with the FAQ. The original rules made no mention of the fairy. The dragon tile may be placed, no follower deployed, and the fairy moved to protect a follower, before the dragon actually moves.

128. Question: If you place a dragon tile and add a piece to a tower, what happens first: follower capture by the tower, or dragon movement? Answer: Prisoners are taken first; placing a tower piece is an alternative to deploying a follower, so occurs before dragon movement.

129. The RGG edition contradicts the sequence described in the HiG edition and the FAQ: “If placement of the tile completes a feature, it is scored as normal. Then, the game is briefly interrupted while the Dragon moves.” So, according to the RGG edition of the Big Box, dragon movement occurs after scoring; according to HiG it occurs before scoring. The ZMG edition follows the HiG rule and specifically adds that the interruption is “before scoring.” (5/2013)

OK Basically the movement of the dragon was also done between turns back in 2005, but it was done AFTER the player who drew the Dragon completed their entire turn, including scoring a feature!

  A     B     ?  
Our game night group will have to make the decision: 3 tiles are drawn by 3 different players, DO WE: A move the Dragon as soon as the Dragon Tile is drawn and continue with the Fairy as a relatively important feature in the game - OR - B give all of the power to the person who draws the dragon tile which basically eliminates the strategy of the Fairy?

The Princess

Princess tiles are placed exactly like those in the base game. If a Princess tile continues a city occupied by one or more knights, you may remove one knight of your choice (even your own) from the continued city and return it to its player's supply.

If you chose to remove a meeple, you may not place a meeple this turn (not even on a different segment of the tile). If you did not remove a meeple, you may place a meeple as normal.

The Magic Portal

After placing a Magic Portal tile in the usual manner, you may place a meeple on that tile or on any other previous placed tile. When doing so, must follow all other placement rules. For example, you may not place a meeple in an already occupied or completed feature. Note: you may not place a meeple on a feature that the magic portal tile has completed!

This tile is pure Magic! You can use a meeple, abbot, large meeple, mayor, wagon, etc. to claim any City, Road, Monastery, Garden, Farm, etc. on the entire board as long as it is unoccupied and incomplete.

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