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Klaus-Jürgen Wrede

Hans im Glück 2002

Awards: none



Once again the author Klaus-Jürgen Wrede invites the players to the wonderful area around the City of Carcassonne, but this time they will have to go back in time right into the stone ages. However, even at that time the area of Carcassonne was populated, and tribes of people were living from gathering fruits and hunting animals.

Like in its predecessor, the players once again have to try to score points by cleverly positioning members of their tribe on the gameboard which will be build up during the game. However, some special rules for villages and bonus cards will have a major impact on a player's strategy, but more of this will follow later.

At the beginning, only one of the square shaped landscape tiles is openly on the table. In turn, the players now are allowed to randomly draw a landscape tile and this tile they must place next to a tile which was already placed. However, the tiles may not be placed at random, but instead the landscape displayed on the tile must be closely observed. The newly placed tile must match the landscapes on all tiles around it, so that rivers, woods and grasslands must be aligned accordingly.

After a player has placed the new tile, he may chose to put one of his 5 tribe members onto one of the landscaped shown at the new tile. Thus, the tribe member may be sent into a wood to gather food, onto the grasslands to hunt for animals or onto a river to fish for fishes. However, the player first has to check on other tiles whether on any part of the same wood, river or grassland already a tribe member of his or another player's tribe was placed. If that should be the case, the landscape is already occupied and no new tribe member can be placed at that landscape.

If the placement of a tile actually completes a wood or a river (with a spring or a lake at both ends), the player who has placed a tribe member at that landscape will receive victory points according to the size of the wood or the river (with bonus points for fishes visible in a lake given to the fisher). If, for reason of later placement of a tile more than one tribe member should be in the same landscape, the player with most tribe members will get the points or, if there is a draw, all drawing players will score full points. After points were scored in this fashion for a river or wood, all tribe members are removed from that landscape and handed back to their players.

However, the player who actually finishes a wood may get a special bonus. If the wood contains at least one tile featuring a lump of gold, the player receives a bonus tile from a special stack of 12 tiles which he now may directly use the same way as he would use a normal tile.

Each player also has received two Huts at the beginning of the game, and these huts may be placed instead of a tribe member at a lake or a river. However, together with the hunters which are placed on the grasslands, Huts are only turned into victory points once the last landscape tile has been placed. If this happens, all players remove their tribe members from yet unfinished woods and rivers without receiving any points for these, and afterwards the Huts and hunters are turned into points.

A player now receives points for each fish which is in a lake which is part of the whole river system on which the player has placed a Hut. Thus, the placement of a Hut allows a player to participate from fishes available in a large river system, not only from a part of a river. Once again, if two or more Huts have become part of the same river system, the player(s) with most Huts gets the score.

After the Huts, the hunters are counted, and they get victory points for each wild animal shown on the grasslands occupied by them. However, there may also be Sabretooth Tigers on the same area, and since these also hunt for some kinds of animals, the score may be reduced by their presence. And as before, it might also be possible that more than one player has a hunter on the same grasslands, so that possibly more than one player may score.

Some special adjustments may be made because of some of the special tiles which can be brought into the game through finding gold. A tile with fire will force all Tigers to leave the surrounding Grasslands, mushrooms may increase the value of a wood, and ritual stones make the grasslands surrounding them the exclusive property of the player who has placed a hunter next to the stones.

The game nicely catches up with the playing mechanisms introduced in Carcassonne, and also the game may appear familiar at first it can quickly be discovered that the game operates in another way than its predecessor. Especially the invention of the animals which must be hunted and also of the special tiles which may give players a special advantage are nice twists which are perfectly fitting with the other rules. Also favourable is the fact that a large sum of victory points still needs to be distributed at the end of the game, and thus the competitive spirit between the game does not falter before the game is ended. To sum it up, the game is a worthy progeny of Carcassonne, perhaps introducing a slight bit more strategy than the basic game of Carcassonne alone did offer.

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Copyright © 2006 Frank Schulte-Kulkmann, Essen, Germany