How to play York with the official Carcassonne tile images

York implements the same rules as Carcassonne, and includes a set of tiles with the same properties as the Carcassonne tiles. However, York does not include the Carcassonne tile images as these are copyrighted by the makers of Carcassonne. The problem is distribution - only the publisher of Carcassonne (and licensees) have the rights to redistribute the Carcassonne tiles.

It is now possible to load the Carcassonne tile images into York as a "tileset modification". A tileset modification alters the appearance of the tiles within the game without changing the rules. Installing a tileset modification doesn't affect who you can play York with - you can play with people using the original York tileset, and you can play with people using another tileset modification.

Tile Tool

A program called "Tile Tool" has been written to extract the Carcassonne tile images from a set of documents provided on the web by Hans im Glueck, the publisher of Carcassonne. Hans im Glueck has the right to distribute these tile images, and is currently choosing to distribute them for free on the web.

To use Tile Tool, you must follow these steps:

  1. Download York (downloads page)
  2. Download Tile Tool (same page)
  3. Install York
  4. Install Tile Tool in the same directory as York
  5. Download the following PDF files into your York directory, from the website of Hans im Glueck:
  6. Run Tile Tool.
    • If you are using Windows, Tile Tool can be run from the York directory or the Start Menu.
    • If you are using Linux or another OS, you should run directly from the York directory.
  7. Tile Tool will take a few minutes to run. It will open one or more (non-interactive) windows, and print some messages in a text window. Some messages may be warnings - these can be ignored. If there is an error, it will appear at the bottom of these messages, and Tile Tool will stop.
  8. If Tile Tool generates an error, please see the Troubleshooting section below.
  9. If Tile Tool completes successfully, start up York. Select "Options" on the main menu, and then click "Choose Tileset Modification" on the options menu. Select "Carcassonne" from the list. You will see a warning about loading an untrusted modification - click Ok.
  10. Games of York will now use the Carcassonne tileset.

The Carcassonne tiles are contained entirely within the carcassonne.dat file. Please consider keeping a backup of this file, as there is no way of knowing how long the tiles will continue to be available from Hans im Glueck. Future versions of York should remain compatible with it.


Here are some possible issues and solutions.

  • Tile Tool doesn't work at all.

    If you have trouble running Tile Tool, do check that York runs correctly first. York is better at reporting problems that are causing it to fail.
  • Tile Tool seems to have paused.

    In Windows, it is possible to pause the operation of a console program by selecting some of the text in the window. Press the space bar to clear this and the program will continue.
  • Tile Tool said it couldn't find an input file.

    Check that you have downloaded the Hans im Glueck PDF files to the York directory. On Unix platforms, you may need to ensure that the capitalisation of the files is correct - all letters should be lower-case.
  • Tile Tool tries to run a program which is not available.

    On Windows, Tile Tool comes bundled with GNU Ghostscript and the convert program from ImageMagick - two free programs that are used to extract the tile images. You should never see errors about missing programs on Windows. However, on other platforms, you must install these programs. Fortunately, they are available in every Linux distribution, and are generally installed by default. If you get an error about missing programs, install ImageMagick and GNU Ghostscript.
  • I get a 404 error when I try to download one of the PDF files.

    Hans im Glueck must have moved the file. You may be able to find the new link on the Carcassonne FAQ blog, or directly from Hans im Glueck.
  • The tiles look wrong! It looks like the Tile Tool has used the wrong parts of the document.

    Hans im Glueck must have made a new version of the document. Send a bug report to the author of York, who will alter Tile Tool to support the new version.