Reiner Knizia


No. of Players:
2 - 4



Gamebox author Ralf Togler writes about the game:

Some time ago in the Stone Age: animals, fruits and herbs belonged to nobody and could be hunted and gathered by anybody. Well, almost... Even in those early days the people were no saints. The saying first come, first served was already true. And of course the Hunters and Gatherers liked wealth, too. Only that instead of gold and jewels, it were pelts, jars and skulls that delighted the Stone Age women.

In Jäger und Sammler we are confronted with a nice board of 112 hexagonal empty spaces. When I say nice I am thinking of the edge of the board (the empty spaces are just empty spaces) where you can find typical scenes of the four seasons in the Stone Age. Not to forget I should mention that you can find four summer and four winter camps among the empty spaces. In the first part of the game the players start with one figure in every summer camp. Then all summer tiles (showing fruits, animals and valuables) are randomly distributed on the empty spaces of the board. From now on the players take on the role of Hunters and Gatherers and try to collect as many edible and valuable tiles as possible until the winter comes, which begins the second part of the game.


In a turn each player can do two moves. Either he moves one of his figures two steps further on the board or he moves two of his figures one step each. The player collects tiles as soon as he leaves a space. So the board becomes more and more empty as time moves on. This results in the players racing for the most valuable tiles still on the board, but it also limits the possible moves for the players, because the Hunters and Gatherers are not allowed to move over empty spaces. Experienced players try to cut off retreat routes of their opponents, so that those figures can not reach the remaining tiles any more. And this really adds zest to the game. It might sound quite easy only to collect the most valuable tiles on the board, but in reality you always must look around, because otherwise your figure is cut off quickly with only empty spaces around it.

Okay, so far there does not seem to be much difference in comparison to Packeis am Pol, since the players will face a removal or barring of empty spaces in both games. However, in Jäger und Sammler not all tiles can be collected directly. To pick up a Mammoth-tile, a player must have collected a weapon first, and in return these Mammoth-tiles are worth quite a lot of victory points (4 - 7). Fruits and herbs are worth as much as it is indicated on the tiles (1, 2 or 3 victory points), and with the valuables it depends how many goods a player has collected of the same kind at the end of the game. If a player managed to collect as many as 6 valuable tiles of the same kind, he gets no less than 20 victory points, which can be a good head start to win the game.

In the summer time it is also important for the players to move over the one or other of the four winter camps on the board. When the winter comes, the players will have to place their figures at these winter camps, and only the camp(s) a player has visited with one of his figures are available for such a placement. The winter will begin when no player can move any of his figures anymore. Then all remaining summer tiles still on the board are removed, and the winter tiles are randomly distributed on the board. The game then goes on like before and ends when no player can move his figures anymore.

Jäger und Sammler is quite easy to explain and easy to play, too. In your first game, you might not fully understand that you have quite a lot of opportunities to play tactically. Cutting off other players and the hunt for the valuable tiles on the board is the way to win the game. The real depth of the game becomes accessible to the players after they have played several rounds. With more experience you will make best use of all figures waiting in your base camp, and your decisions become more precise when deciding to move forward with the one or the other figure. Thus, experienced players are in an advantageous position, and this might seem a little bit surprising since the game mechanism seems to be optimal suitable for the occasional gamer as well.

Lucky enough, the game lasts not longer than a short hour, so it is always possible to play a second or third round. And then, the occasional gamer will have a fair chance, too, since the easy rules will quicken the rise from rookie to pro. Thus, the game is ideal as a family game: not too complex, but still a little bit to think about.

As far as novelty is concerned, the rules do not really offer anything totally new. Still, Reiner Knizia once again has proved that he can make an excellent balanced and interesting game with only a few rules. Last but not least I should mention that the game is familiar with Zombiegeddon from TWILIGHT CREATIONS (also from Reiner Knizia) as it was developed from the same prototype. But the theme from AMIGO has undoubtedly a less obscure background that makes it more suitable for most players and for a family game.

Looking for this game? Visit Funagain Games!

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Copyright © 2010 Frank Schulte-Kulkmann, Essen, Germany