Carcassonne Hunters and Gatherers - General game info
Carcassonne H&G
2-5 players, 8 years and older
AuthorKlaus-Jürgen Wrede
IllustratorJohann Rüttinger
Published byHans im Glück
Rio Grande Games
Online since 2007-06-02
Reimplemented 2015-11-01
Developed by (BloodyMary)
Previously developed byKay Wilke (Sparhawk)
Boardgamegeek4390 owns a license for the online version of this game. A big "thank you" to the copyright owners (publisher and/or author and illustrator) who make it possible to have this game for free online here!
Carcassonne Hunters and Gatherers - Rules
If you are reading these rules for the first time, ignore the text along the right hand side. These rules serve as a summary to help you quickly familiarize yourself with the game.

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Carcassonne - Hunters and Gatherers

A thousand years before the great city of Carcassonne was built, the area was settled by stone-age tribes. These people hunted wild animals, gathered nuts and berries, and caught fish to provide themselves with the basics. Today, there remain fantastic cave paintings and archaeological finds that provide evidence of their existence and give us an understanding of their lives.


Place the starting tile (with the volcano) face-up in the middle of the table. Shuffle the remaining 78 land tiles face-down into a stack. Similarly, shuffle the 12 bonus cards and place them face-down in a separate bonus card stack on the table. Each player gets 5 tribe members and 2 huts in his color.


The players take turns laying land tiles. They create meadows, forests and rivers, on which the players may place their tribe members and huts in order to earn points. Players score points during the game and at the end of the game, so the players will not know the winner until the end.

Playing the game

On a player's turn, he takes following actions in the order shown:

  1. The player gets a land tile and places it face-up next to previously placed land tiles on the table (the playing area).
  2. The player may place one of the tribe members or one of the huts from his supply on the tile he just played.
  3. If, as a result of placing the tile, the player completed a forest or a river, it is scored now.
Drawing and placing land tiles

As first action, the player gets a land tile and places the tile face-up on the table in the playing area. When placing a land tile, a player must use the following rules:

  • The player must place the new land tile with one or more of its sides adjacent to a previous placed land tile. He may not place the land tile so it touches previous placed tiles only corner to corner.
  • When placing a land tile the player must match meadow, river and forest segments on the placed tile and any adjacent tiles.
  • In the rare situation where a land tile has no legal place where it can be played, the player discards the land tile from the game, draws another land tile, and places it following these rules.
The river segment and the 2 meadow segments on the newly placed tile match those on the previously placed tile.
The forest segment on the newly placed tile matches the one previously placed tile
On the left side, the forest match and on the bottom side the meadows match.
The tile may not be placed as shown.
Placing tribe members and huts

After placing a land tile, the player may place 1 tribe member or 1 hut. When doing so, the player must follow these rules:

  • The player may only place 1 tribe member or 1 hut in a turn (exception : see rules on bonus cards below).
  • The player must take the tribe member or the hut from his supply.
  • The player must place the tribe member or the hut only on the land tile he just placed.

The player must place the tribe member so that it is clear on which segment on the tile it rests.

A player places a tribe member as a

in a forest segment
or as a fisherman
on a river segment
or as a hunter
in a meadow segment
or he places a hut
on a river segment or lake.

When a player places a tribe member as a hunter, he places it lying rather than standing in the meadow segment. The reason for this will be fully explained below in "the meadow".

  • A player may not place a tribe member on a forest, river or meadow that already has another tribe member (his or an opponent's). It matters not how far from the new segment the other tribe member is as long as it is on a connected segment.

This rule is illustrated in the following example:

Blue can only place a hunter on this tile. Another gatherer stands in the connected forest segment.
Red can place a tribe member as a gatherer or fisherman, but as a hunter only on the small meadow segment (red arrow). There is already another hunter in the large meadow.

It is still possible that several tribe members can be in an area (forest, river, or meadow). This can occur when separated forests, meadows or rivers that have tribe members on them are connected by placement of a land tile and is explained more completely later in the rules.

Players may not move tribe members once placed. However, tribe members may return to their owners (see "Returning tribe members to their owners" below)

After a player places a tribe member (or chooses not to), his turn ends and the next player takes his turn.

Note: if, by placing the tile, the player completed a river or a forest, the river or forest is now scored. After it is scored, the next player takes his turn.

Scoring completed rivers

A river is completed when there is a lake with fish (all lakes have fish!) or a spring on each end, or if the river makes a complete loop. There is no limit to the number of segments in a river. The player with the only fisherman on a completed river scores 1 point for each segment and 1 point for each fish in the lakes (if any) at the ends of the river.

Red scores 6 points. The completed river has 3 river segments (1, 2, 3). Each river segment scores 1 point. The lake at the other end has two fish. That scores the player 3 more points.
Red scores 3 points.(2 river segments and 1 fish) Even though blue placed the tile to enlarge his forest, red scores points for his fisherman on the river completed by the tile blue placed.

Note: The player, who places a tile that completes a river, usually scores points for the completed river, but this is not always the case. It can happen (as shown above), that one player places a tile that completes a river where another player has a fisherman and scores points for the river.

Scoring completed forests and the bonus cards
  • The player with a gatherer in a completed forest, scores the points.
  • The player, who placed the land tile that completed the forest, draws the bonus card. In the example: If red completed the forest, he scores the points and places the bonus card. If blue completed the forest, red scores the points and blue places the bonus card.
  • The player may place the bonus card on any legal land tile.
  • Regardless of how many gold nuggets are in the completed forest, the player only draws and places 1 bonus card.
  • If the forest has no gold nuggets, no bonus card is drawn and played.

A forest is completed when it is completely surrounded by meadows, it has no open sides, and there are no open spaces within the forest. There is no limit to the number of segments in a forest. A player with the only gatherer in a completed forest scores 2 points for each forest segment.

Red scores 4 points.

After the forest is scored, the players check to see if there are any gold nuggets in the forest. If the completed forest has one ore more gold nuggets, the player, who played the tile that completed the forest, draws 1 card from the bonus stack. He then plays the bonus card, following the normal rules for placing land tiles, and may also place one tribe member or one hut on this card from his supply, using the normal rules for placing tribe members and huts. If there is no legal place for the bonus card, the player discards it from the game and draws another. If he completes a river or a forest with the bonus card placement, that is scored immediately, but he does not take another bonus card if he completes a forest with gold nuggets (no chain reaction). Once played, a bonus card becomes a land tile. When the bonus card stack is exhausted, players no longer draw bonus cards!

There are several gold nuggets in this completed forest. The player draws and places just 1 bonus card. Red scores 10 points.
What happens when there are several tribe members in a completed forest or river?

Through clever tile laying, it is possible for there to be several gatherers in a completed forest or several fisherman on a completed river. When scoring such an area, first determine if one player has more tribe members in the area than each other player. If a player has more tribe members, he scores the points alone. If several tie with the most tribe members in the area, they each score the full points for the area.

The newly laid tile connects previously separated forest segments.
Returning tribe members to their owners

After a river or a forest is completed and scored - and only then - players with tribe members in the completed area return them to their staging areas. The players may place the returned tribe members and use them in any role they choose on their next turn. Because of the order of actions, it is possible to place a tribe member in an area, score the area and get the tribe member back in the same turn. To do this, a player must...

  1. Complete a river or forest by placing a land tile or bonus card,
  2. place a gatherer or fisherman,
  3. score the completed river or forest,
  4. take back the tribe member.

It is even possible in the right circumstance for a player to do this with his placement of a land tile and again with the placement of a bonus card.


Huts are always placed on a river segment or lake. A hut owns the entire river system that it stands on. A river system is all connected lakes and river segments, and is not broken by lakes with fish. A river system is only bounded by a spring or the edge of the playing area. Huts are scored only at the end of the game.

The river system on the left belongs to blue. The one on the right belongs to red.

When placing a hut a player must check to see that there is no other hut (his or an opponent's) on the entire river system (this rule is similar to the one for placing tribe members). One placed, a hut may not be moved or removed from the playing area, and remains until the end of the game. After a player places a hut (or chooses not to), his turn ends and the next player takes his turn.

Note: huts and fishermen do not affect the placement of each other.

The blue hut may be placed.
The red fisherman may be placed.
The meadow

Several connected meadow segments, bounded by forests, rivers, and the edge of the playing area form a meadow. Meadows or meadow segments are not scored. They exist only to accommodate hunters. Hunters remain where placed for the entire game and are never returned to their owners. To emphasize this, players lay hunters on meadow segments. This also serves to distinguish hunters from the standing gatherers and fishermen that can be returned during the game (when a forest or river is scored).

Players with hunters on meadows can only score points for them at the end of the game (see final scoring).

All 3 hunters have their own meadows, as the forest, rivers and the edge of the playing area separate the meadows from each other.
After laying the new tile, all 3 meadows are connected and all 3 hunters are in the same meadow.

Note: The player who placed the tile may not place a hunter as the meadow already has hunters in it.

Game end

The game ends at the end of a player's turn, when the last land tile (not bonus card!) has been placed. All incomplete forests and rivers have no value and will not be scored. The players remove their gatherers and fishermen from the incomplete forests and rivers on the playing area. The huts on the rivers and the hunters in the meadows remain on the playing area for the final scoring!

Final scoring - Scoring the huts
A player who alone has a hut on a river system, scores 1 point for each fish in the river system. If several players tie with the most huts on a river system, each score the full points for the system. If one player has the most huts, he scores the points alone. For scoring of the huts, it is unimportant whether the river systems is closed (complete) or not. In this way, all river systems with huts are scored.
Blue scores 5 points (5 fish).
Final scoring - Scoring the hunters in the meadows

The player, who alone has a hunter in a meadow, scores the following points: 2 points for each deer, each mammoth and each aurochs. Saber-toothed tigers get their food in the meadows. They hunt only the deer, avoiding the mammoths and the aurochs. For each tiger in the meadow, a deer is hunted by the tiger and not scored. The remaining deer, as well as the mammoths and the aurochs, score 2 points each. If there are more tigers than deer in the meadow, the extra tigers do not represent minus points (they do not score -2 points each).

If several players have the most hunters in a meadow, each scores the full points for the meadow. If one player alone has the most hunters, he scores the points alone. For scoring the hunters, it is unimportant whether the meadow is complete. In this way, all meadows with hunters are scored.

  • Meadow (Wiese) 1: 1 deer, green scores 2 points.
  • Meadow 2: 1 deer, 1 mammoth and 1 tiger. Red and yellow each score 2 points for the mammoth, the tiger eliminates the deer.
  • Meadow 3: 2 deer, 2 mammoths, 1 aurochs and 1 tiger. Red has the most hunters and alone scores the 8 points (2 mammoths = 4 points, 1 aurochs = 2 points, 1 deer = 2 points)
  • Meadow 4: 2 tigers, 1 deer, blue scores no points, but no minus points for the extra tiger.

(On meadow 3 some animals are covered by green discs. When playing Carcassonne as a board game, this is a proposed means to make counting easier.)


The player with the most points is the winner!


Bonus cards

The bonus cards are played like the land tiles. The cards have 4 special abilities:

The fire


The fire chases all tigers from the meadow. Thus all deer in the meadow are scored.



Each card with mushrooms adds 2 points to the scoring of a complete forest.



Each aurochs adds 2 points to the scoring of a hunter.

The Sacred Shrine

sacred shrine

When a player places a hunter on the sacred shrine, only he scores points for the animals in this meadow. Other players do not score points for hunters in this meadow, even if they have more hunters.

Points during the game

Completed Forests
2 points per forest section, +2 points per mushrooms found
Completed Rivers
1 point per river section, +1 point per fish present in lakes

Points at the end of the game

Hunters in Meadows
2 points per animal; each tiger that is present in the meadow takes away one available deer
Huts on River Systems
1 point per fish in river system

Hints for handling

Clicking on the talon for tiles and bonus tiles opens a popup with the remaining tiles in that talon.
Clicking on a player's infobox will highlight the meeples of that player. Clicking again will undo the highlighting. That makes it easier to spot the meeples on a small display.
The value in parentheses displayed behind one player's points are the current endscore for that player. Clicking on the points opens up a popup with a breakdown of those points.
Clicking on a meeple in the playing area will show a popup with the points the meeple would currently score.
Clicking on a tile in the playing area opens up a popup displaying that tile in large-scale. This is also possible when placing a tribe member making it easier to hit the desired area.
If the playing area does not fit into the display area, you can drag it using your mouse pointer.
Clicking on the button with the 4 arrows to each corner (near the slider for zoom) will adjust the size of the tiles, so that all tiles including a border of one tile width will fit into the playing area.

Possible settings:

initial zoom setting: device dependent, standard: 50%
This factor will be used to calculate the size of the tiles when opening the game window.
automatic zoom: device dependent, standard: checked
If checked, the size of the tiles will automatically be changed so that all tiles including a border of one tile width will fit into the playing area.
view in 2D: device dependent, standard: not checked
2-dimensional view of the tiles only needs 25% file size compared to the 3-dimensional view with beveled border. Those caring for bandwidth or not liking the beveled border may just check this setting...
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