Klaus-Jürgen Wrede's tile laying game took the world by storm when it was released twenty years ago. It won the Spiele des Jahres in 2001 and has gone on to become one of the best selling boardgames of all time.
Build medieval landscape by drawing tiles face down and playing them face up. Match the edges like dominoes, and then you can place a meeple down on the tile you just placed. A meeple on a road becomes a highwayman, and scores when the road is completed. A meeple on a monastery tile becomes a monk and scores when all of the surrounding tiles are completed. A meeple on a city becomes a guard, and scores when the city wall is completed and the city is totally enclosed. And a meeple on a farmland square becomes a farmer, and only scores at the end of the game for each completed city their farm supplies with food.
Farmers score the most, but your supply of meeples is limited - and you cannot place a meeple if it would be on the same road, city or farm as another meeple once you place your tile.
Why is it so great? Two player its a tactical game where you try and beat your opponent by stealing small points off them. As the player count increases, the game becomes more strategic, and few games can handle both low and high player counts well. Plus, you can LITERALLY teach it in one minute.
Fun Fan Boy fact: it was Napoleon who rebuilt the Carcassonne we know and love today in all its medieval glory. Can you do a better job than the man who kept his armies up his sleevies? You bet you can.