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Learned this one on BSW. A great game that is fun to play. But recently I found I don't like it as much as basic Carcasssone. I thought this theme would appeal to me (nature lover and all) but the carcassone mechanisms seem to fit better with the city building themes. The City is my favorite so far (of the 3 I know well).
Probably due to having played it a lot more I'd rather play the original game. Having expansions to change the game a little at a time will also make the original seem better. Even with no fewer things to claim it seems far more restrictive as far as piece supply is concerned.
Hunters & Gatherers has weaker graphics than the original Carcassonne game. It offers a few refinements over original Carcassonne, and does it in less time than fully loaded Carcassonne with lots of expansions added. Purged.
GAMEPLAY Players are a tribe of prehistoric people doing the titular hunting and gathering in addition to a side of fishing. On a turn, a player draws a face-down tile, adds it to an existing tile, and decides whether they want to put a worker or a hut on the tile added. Closing off a forest area with a player’s worker scores that player 2 VP per forest segment (not tile) in that area. If the forest area has a gold nugget on it, the player immediately draws a special tile and takes the same action previously mentioned. Finishing a river that has a worker on it will score that player 1 VP per segment (not tile) plus 1 VP per fish in that completed river. Players can also add workers to an open field but, unlike the forest workers who come back when these areas are completed, field workers stay put until the end of the game and score 2 VP per animal in the field. Finally, players can place huts on a river, which will score them 1 VP per fish in that river network. The game ends when all the tiles have been played. THOUGHTS The whole Carcassonne series is incredibly flexible: vanilla Carc is easy to teach and learn but it can be ramped up in complexity with the many, many expansions. At one point, I was looking to get the latest Carc Big Box so I could mix and match at will, but then shelf space became more limited and I started asking myself if I really needed $70 worth of Carc. After trying Carc: H&G on Yucata, I realized the answer was a firm “No.” H&G is not the most robust form of Carc out there but it stays true to the original mechanics – none of this South Seas, Gold Rush, Amazonas garbage – while adding the fun twist of the special tiles. Another bonus is that I prefer the art style and theme to regular Carc. H&G is not going to blow anyone away and it’s certainly not the first game on my shelf to pull out when I have a game night. But, it’s a fun one for my wife and usually a hit for non-gamers, so it lands at a respectable 7. PROS -Better in every way compared to vanilla Carc: H&G’s art style is more vibrant and interesting while I like the pre-historic theme more than that of medieval Europe. -The special tiles bump the gameplay up a notch in terms of tactics and scoring. (However, ditch the sacred shrine tile – it blows!) -Good as a gateway game or couples game. -Really good at two players and decent at three. NEUTRALS -Too chaotic at higher player counts. -Not as meaty as Carc that’s been amped up with expansions or Big Box Carc but still a pleasant game for both gamers who like Carc and newbs.