Thousands of years before the construction of the city of CARCASSONE and its imposing castle, the region was already heavily populated. They hunted wild animals, picked berries and caught fish in order to survive. Even today, cave paintings and prehistoric finds bear witness to the life of this period. Rediscover with us the essential Carcassonne game through this prehistoric era.
Carcassonne: Hunters and gatherers, what is it?
Carcassonne: Hunters and gatherers is not an extension of the famous Carcassonne but a stand alone, it is a game that is played without the base box of Carcassonne. Since its release in 2002, Carcassonne: Chasseurs et Cueilleurs has grown into one of the most popular independent versions of the Carcassonne series. Today we are pleased to find this version in a new edition that includes the same gameplay with updated graphics and additional menhir tiles with unique effects.
Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers takes up the mechanisms of laying Carcassonne tiles by adapting it to its prehistoric theme. Instead of building a medieval landscape with towns, roads, fields and monasteries, you place tiles filled with natural features like forests, rivers, lakes and meadows, which you will try to control and complete to score points. As in the base game, you should try to score points by cleverly positioning your meeples, but some scoring features have been developed to provide a unique playing experience.
How do we play ?
At the start of the game, only one of the Landscape tiles is placed face up in the center of the table. On your turn, you must draw a Landscape tile at random and place it so as to extend existing areas of another tile.
After placing the new tile, you can choose to place one of the 5 members of your tribe from your reserve on the tile to take control of a landscape, provided that no other meeple is already present on that landscape. . Thus, a member of your tribe can be sent to a wood to collect food, to the meadows to hunt animals or to a river to catch fish. The advantage of placing your meeples on the tiles is that they will be able to earn you points during the game. When placing a tile is that it completes a forest or a river, that is to say that it is no longer possible to enlarge it later, one immediately proceeds to a scoring of points for this landscape. for players who have one or more meeples on it. You thus score points according to the landscapes you control, according to the length and the number of fish for the rivers and according to the number of tiles for the forests. The latter are more profitable but they usually block your meeple in place for a longer time and with the risk of being taken over by another player, as forests often have several possible openings. You must therefore skillfully manage your stock of 5 meeples to place them wisely and make sure you always have some on hand so as not to miss any opportunities. You can thus leave some meeples for the long term on forests or rivers to make them fruitful as much as possible, and keep 2 or 3 on hand to obtain opportunistic points when the tile you draw allows you to immediately finish a landscape that no one does not control eg.
While rivers and forests earn you points throughout the game, you should also make sure to place meeples on meadows rich in prehistoric animals. These are only counted at the end of the game, thus blocking the meeples placed there. It’s crippling if you place them too early, but it can earn you a lot of points depending on the number and type of animals present.
If you know Carcassonne, you will have noticed that the animals in the meadows are new to the base game, but it is not the only one. Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers also introduces menhirs tiles. By completing a forest containing a menhir, the player can draw a tile from the pile of menhir tiles and place it immediately. This mechanic gives more rhythm to the games by bringing interest to the players to complete forests even if they do not control them to obtain a bonus tile which can give him a real advantage. This new mechanic is really interesting for boosting a player’s turn without giving him too big an advantage, and provides an additional choice of placement.
Another difference with Carcassonne first of the name, you have 3 huts more than your 3 meeples. During your turn, instead of a meeple, you can choose to place one of your huts on a river or a lake on the tile you just placed. It will stay there until the end of the game to earn you points during the final count according to the number of fish in the river network, that is to say the set of lakes and rivers connected to each other. others that your hut is part of. Another additional choice that Carcassonne offers: Hunters and gatherers during your turn to earn victory points.