Updated: Sep 19, 2019
Just a quick review this week as I look at the latest small box expansion for Carcassonne.
Your name is now legend across the ever-changing land of Carcassonne, and with prestige and fame comes followers. Now when you claim new lands for your own, you can command your entourage to help out and claim surrounding features too!
The Entourage, otherwise known as the Phantom, comes in a small plastic meeple shaped box. Inside the box are 6 translucent meeples, one of each player colour and the world's tiniest rulebook.
The pieces look pretty nice, the box is rather extraneous though and the rules really are too small. I would have preferred the meeples to at least be as thick as the standard wooden ones, but as it is they are a few millimetres thinner.
How To Play
Each player receives a Phantom in their colour. When you play a tile you may deploy your Phantom in addition to a standard meeple on a separate feature on the same time. If you wish a Phantom can also be deployed as a standard meeple.
In general the Phantom is useful because it gives you an extra meeple, this will naturally lead to higher end game scores. I don’t think it’s as big a game changer as the Builder or even the Mega Meeple though.
To make the best use of the Phantom you want to deploy it in easy to complete features, such as Roads or Small Cities, deploying in a Cloister could leave it stranded for a long time. If used effectively the Phantom could be a really useful piece, of course, if it stays on the board for too long other players could seek ways to trap it and render it useless. In addition because it can be used as a standard Meeple I guess that it can be effected by Dragons and Towers too.
Overall this is not an essential expansion, it can add some interesting strategy to the game, but it feels quite over priced for what it is. I think that unless you really want cool looking Meeples your money would be better spent on Cult and Siege or The River/River II or save up for a big box expansion.