Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers, the review

Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers, the review


Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers is a competitive board game from the German publishing house Hans im Glück and published in Italy by Giochi Uniti. A stand-alone variant of the famous board game Carcassonne, this title, which makes tile placement its main mechanic, sees the setting move back in time with respect to the progenitor, in a stone age between rivers, forests and prairies.

In Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers, from two to five players aged eight and over will have to compete in matches lasting about forty minutes, in a challenge to the last tile to earn as many points as possible by collecting precious items fruits of the earth, whether they are prey to hunt and fish or vegetables to collect, essential for survival.

A few words about Carcassonne

Born in 2000 from the mind of game designer Klaus-Jürgen Wrede , Carcassonne is the German-type board game that is considered by many to be the forefather of modern board games. The game takes its name from the French citadel of the same name, famous for its walls and fortifications.

For those who don't know it, Carcassonne is a family-friendly tile-positioning game. Players take turns placing tiles that expand the map / board in front of them. In the basic game, the tiles can feature a street segment, a city section, a combination of streets and city parts, or a monastery. In one turn, a player takes a new random tile from a supply and places it on the table, adjacent to an already placed tile. The only condition is that this must continue all the characteristics of the tiles already placed to which he will join; therefore, for example, a road cannot be played on an open field, but must attach to a road present in another tile.| ); }

Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers, preparing a game

The setup phase of a game in Carcassonne : Hunters and Gatherers is very fast and will take no more than a few minutes. First, each player will have to choose and take all the meeples (it is precisely in the original Carcassonne game that the wooden man-shaped tokens are called this way for the first time) and the hut-shaped tokens of the chosen color among those. proposed.

Therefore, on one side of the playing surface you will have to place the scoreboard and on it each player will have to put his own meeple on the starting square. At this point, the initial tile will be placed in the center of the playing surface and a reserve of normal tiles will have to be created consisting of several stacks of tiles, easily reachable by everyone. Finally, the reserve of the special Menhir tiles will have to be created, which will also be stacked. | ); } Finally, all the X markers and the score markers must be placed next to the scoreboard, which will help during the scoring phases. Now the game can begin.

Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers, the game

In Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers, as in the original Carcassonne, players will take turns to play the tiles they will go to. build the game map. Each turn, the active player begins by taking a tile from the supply, before adding it to the map, adjacent to an existing tile. Normal tiles will feature map sections with the following terrain features: grasslands, woods, woods with menhirs, rivers and lakes with rivers. On the tiles, each of these elements can be present alone or in communion with one or more other elements.

Obviously, rivers and forests cannot end abruptly, but must be continued or completed following the illustrations on the cards already placed. Once a tile has been placed, the player will have the opportunity to add on the tile just played, if it is part of an unclaimed terrain feature, one of its meeples, which in Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers represent the members of their tribe. br>

After carrying out these operations, if the addition of the tile has completed a certain type of terrain element, this will provide a certain amount of points to the player who claimed it through meeple. A river will be considered completed when it is "interrupted" by a lake, but a river network, on the other hand, will include the entire network of connected rivers and lakes.

The meeples can be positioned on rivers, woods or grasslands, while huts can only be added on rivers and lakes. The rivers will provide a score based on their length and the number of fish present in them and within the lakes that end them. Completed woods will provide a score directly proportional to the amount of tiles that compose them. The grasslands, on the other hand, do not award points when they are completed, but only at the end of the game, and will provide points depending on how many and which animals will be contained in them. To remember this, the meeples placed on them to claim them will be placed lying down.

After scoring rivers and / or woods, all meeples on the elements considered are claimed by the player who controls them. That player must then take the meeple in question back into his hand and return it to his reserve. The meeples placed on the prairies and the huts can never be claimed and will only award points at the end of the game.

Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers, the Menhirs

The big news introduced with Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers, compared to the basic mechanics, is represented by the Menhir tiles. When a player completes a wood that includes a Menhir within it, he activates his own bonus turn.

First, the current turn is completely resolved with the count of points awarded by the completed terrain elements, as per usual. Then, the active player draws a tile from the reserve of Menhir tiles and takes a second turn, which will take place as usual, placing this special tile. If in this second turn other wood tiles containing a Menhir should be activated, this time the player will not be able to take another turn. Therefore, when the active player has completed his second turn, the game moves on to the next player.

Menhir tiles will feature terrain elements like normal tiles, but will usually be richer in resources and elements themselves. Some Menhir tiles, then, will have special effects that will immediately come into play (for example, the tile depicting a lake with a canoe will immediately award two points for each lake in the river network to which it is connected), while others will have effects which will only be active during the final scoring.

Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers, end of the game

During a game of Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers, the formed map of tiles will grow in front of the players , until the stock of normal tiles runs out. At this point, all meeples left on unfinished rivers and forests are removed, without awarding any points. The huts and meeples placed on the grasslands will now provide their scores.

The score of the huts is based on the entire river network to which they belong and will award points based on the amount of fish contained in the river network itself. The meeples present on the prairies, on the other hand, will provide a score based on the animals contained in the entire prairie they are claiming. The boundaries of a prairie will be bounded by the rivers and woods that surround it. The mammoths will award three points each, so each auroch will award two and each deer one. The possible presence of one or more smilodons (or saber-toothed tigers) on the prairie will, however, eliminate the corresponding number of deer. To keep track of the deer killed and the smilodons that have engulfed them, the X markers can be used to cover each pair of these elements, so as to make it a little easier to count the points earned by the prairies.

Whoever at the end of the count will obtain the highest number of points, also considering those assigned by the special Menhir cards, will be crowned the winner.

From an editorial point of view

Editorially speaking, Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers is a good quality product, in line with the other titles in the Carcassonne line. The cardboard used for the tiles, the scoreboard and the tokens is of good weight and quality, which is excellent, as these elements will be handled continuously. For their part, the meeples and huts are made of painted wood and perform their function very well.

As for the regulation booklet and the artistic side, likewise there are no complaints to be made. The first is well written and illustrates the rules of the game with clarity and simplicity, also thanks to the use of multiple examples. The second, likewise, is of a good standard, presenting a rather readable graphic style of the tiles and at the same time pleasing to the eye and sufficiently evocative.


Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers, in the light of our test, is a good game, fun and suitable for the whole family. It offers an alternative vision to the mechanics of the classic Carcassone, without however distancing itself too much.

The menhirs, a real novelty, allow players to have longer turns than normal and their activation is not so rare. Unless players complete small woods consisting of two tiles, it is very likely that a menhir is part of nearly every wood created. Since incomplete rivers and woods do not award points at the end of the game, these double turns, in which a player has the potential to complete additional terrain elements, take on an important aspect of the game.

However, special abilities provided by the menhir tiles, especially in the first few games, force players to continually refer to the rules booklet, which slightly slows down game times and could disturb someone. On balance, however, it is a small mole that will disappear in the long run, leaving the participants with a fun game suitable for the whole family.

The differences with the classic Carcassonne, however, are not so marked and innovative as to justify the purchase if you already own the aforementioned. Unless you are a collector and must have every product on the market that bears the title Carcassonne.

A product aimed at…

Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers caters to a broad spectrum of gamers . It is in fact absolutely enjoyable both for those taking their first steps in the world of table games and looking for a little or no complex, but fun and engaging title, and for experienced players, who will be able to find the experience of playing in it. a great classic, perhaps as a filler between more demanding products. Recommended purchase if you want to get closer to the world of Carcassone without fear of getting carried away by the thousand expansions released, but not recommended, however, if you already own the classic game.

Powered by Blogger.