Valley of the Mammoth: Rules

A game by Bruno Faidutti edited by Ludodélire. For 2 - 6 players from 8 years. 1H to 3H. Will your tribe be able to defeat its rivals, to thrive and to grow, to conquer wide territories ? In order to do that you should in one hand fight against the opposing tribes, face ferocious animals and in the other hand find the food needed to survive by different means : hunting, fishing, gathering and farming. Good Luck !

Summary :

The game has two levels of rules. This is only when you will master the basic rules that you could bring into play the fire with the advanced rules. The text in italics on cards only applies to advanced rules. Each player manages a tribe of prehistoric human beings represented by "warriors" and "women" pawns. At the beginning, each player has a village occupied by a few women and warriors. So as to win you should either be the first to have four villages and fire or eliminate all the others. Each player continuously follows two objectives : to eliminate his opponents with fights but also to make his tribe survive and grow by getting food thanks to hunting, fishing or farming.

Contents :

Basic Rules

Preparations :

  1. The players choose one side of the game board.
  2. A player manages the bank of food tokens, a second player manages animals arrival and moves, a third player takes care of events.
  3. All the animal pawns, excepted the 7 wolves with no letter on the back , are put together in a bowl.
  4. The cards "winter events" (blue back) and "summer events" (yellow back) are shuffled and put on the appropriate places on the game board .
  5. Each player takes all the elements of his color : . 9 warrior pawns . 6 woman pawns . 5 village/cave pawns
  6. Each player takes 14 points of food.
  7. The first player is determined by drawing lots.
  8. Each player, starting from the first, puts on a free hex of his choice a village in plain (yellow hex) or forest (green square) or a cave in mountain (brown hex). He also puts on it two women and five warriors pawns which represent all his forces at the beginning of the game. It is not possible to have two villages/caves on the same hex. At the beginning it is forbidden to put the village/cave on a hex next to the hex of an other player, except if hexes are separated by a river.
  9. 5 "trick" cards (green back) or 4 cards with 6 playes are randomly given to each player.
  10. The turn marker is put on the first summer turn.

Aim of the game.

To be the first player to have four villages at the end of two consecutive turns. A player who has four villages at the end of a turn, after the survival step, should indicate it. If he still has four villages, even different one, at the end of the following turn, he wins the game. Or be the last to have pawns on the game board, the other players being eliminated.

Turn of play :

Each turn is composed of successive steps, always done in the same order. The steps in bold take place at each turn, the others only at the end of a season or at the end of the year.

  1. Event (except the two first turns of the game)
  2. Arrival of new animals
  3. Animals moves
  4. Moves of player pawns and building of new villages/caves
  5. Fights
  6. Survival
  7. Births (end of a season)
  8. Seedtime (end of winter)
  9. Trick cards (end of a season)

The game begins at the first turn of summer. There are three summer turns followed by three turns of winter. There is no event step at the two first turns.

1 - Events

The markers "forest fire" (yellow square) and "flood" (blue square) which are on the game board are removed before drawing the new event. The first player of the turn draws an event card from the winter or summer pack, according to the season. The event is immediately applied on the game board. When the cards pack is finished, cards are shuffled and put hidden face. A few events ask for drawing lots a region (forest, mountain or plain). One throws a dice that indicates the number of the region (hex or group of adjacent hexes) affected on the game board. Volcanoes are considered as mountains.

2 - Arrival of new animals

One draws from the bowl:

Each animal pawn is placed on the hex indicated by the letter on the back. The number of animals to draw at each turn is reduced if during the course of play the players are reduced to 3.

3 - Animals moves

Animals on the same hex than player pawns do not move. The normal move of animals is :

No animal may enter a flooded or fired hex , only bears may cross rivers. Buffalos, mammoths and rhinoceros cannot enter a mountain hex. A dice is thrown. All the animals which can do so move of the maximum possible in the indicated direction. Those which are blocked by an obstacle or which should go out of the game board are moved in the opposite direction. Those which can go in none of the both directions do not move. When an animal meets with an obstacle when moving or enters in an hex occupied by player pawns, it stops immediately. When several animals pawns of the same species are on the same hex, they are stacked and move now together making a horde or flock. If animals which have moved in the direction shown by the dice ended their move in a hex where are other animals of the same species which were enabled to move in this direction, they are all stacked. When a mammoth, a rhinoceros or a buffalo enters a planted hex, cultivations are damaged (trampled), the "farming" marker is returned to show the face with only one ear (instead of two). When it enters a planted hex already damaged, cultivations are destroyed and the "farming" marker is removed from the game board.

4 - Moves of the player pawns and building of new villages/caves

Each player, starting from the first player of the turn, makes all his moves. Pawns in the same hex than animals or pawns from an other player do not move, except if they are in greater number than the opposing pawns; in this case they can move but as many pawns than opposing pawns have to stay on the hex (if they are 5 pawns in a hex and 2 opposing pawns only 5 - 2 = 3 may move). Rule of move :

Each pawn (warrior or woman) can move one or two hexes. A pawn entering a mountain hex should stop there. No pawn may cross the lake or a river. A group of pawns entering in a hex occupied by animals or by pawns from an other player must stop there, except if newcomers are in greater number than opposing pawns. In this case, they may continue their move but must stay in this hex as many pawns than opposing pawns. Building of villages/caves : When a warrior pawn and a woman pawn being in a hex without opposing pawns (animals or humans) do not move, they may create a village (in plain or forest) or a cave (in mountain). There must be only one village or cave by hex. There must always be a woman pawn in each village or cave, if this pawn is killed or moved the village/cave is removed from the game board.

5 - Fights

There is a fight in all hexes where pawns from a player meet pawns from another player or animals (special case : warriors meeting women from an other player, see above). First are resolved fights involving the first player, then fights involving the second player and so on. The player chooses the order in which fights are resolved.

General Rule :

Each opponent throws a dice and adds to the result a certain number of bonus in order to determine the fight value. The player with the highest fight value kills an opponent pawn, in case of tie dices are thrown again. The fight goes ahead until all the pawns of a players are eliminated.

Calculation of the fight value

Player Animals +1 per warrior +1 per animal pawn of the species +1 if the tribe has a Animals of the same species fight together. village on the hex +2 if the tribe has a Animals of different species must be defeated cave on the hex in successive fights. Note: women fight against animals but do not add any bonus to the fight value.

Fight against animals

The player concerned by the fight chooses which among his opponents will throw the dice for the animals. The animals of the same species, constitute a horde or flock, fighting together, but the animals from different species must be defeated in successive fights. All the pawns from the player fight, even women. Warriors are killed first, women after when there is no more warriors. The winner receives points of food for each animal killed :

The pawns of killed animals are put again in the bowl, which should be mixed.

Fight between pawns from two players

Only the warriors fight. If there are women on the hex, they do not fight and after the fight they remain on the winner side. The winner exchanges all the women pawns from the loser by women pawns of his color. If the player has not enough woman pawn remaining, the women are simply eliminated. So if women from a player are alone on the same hex than an opponent warrior, they are captured without fight.

Encounter between pawns from two players and animals :

The fight betwen players is resolved first, the winner fighting the animals.

Encounter between pawns from more than two players :

All the players throw a dice simultaneously. Only the one with the highest fight value does not lose any pawn.

Capture of villages and caves :

Player capturing a village/cave takes 1/4 of food stock of the loser, rounded down, half if it was his last village. The winner may decide to replace the pawns village/cave and women by pawns from his color, or to destroy the village and to kill the women.

6 - Survival

The players sum the food they receive and the food they use and each either receives or gives the difference. Fishing (all the year) : Each player receives one point of food for each hex located near a river or the lake where he has one or more pawns. Gathering (only in summer) : Each player receives one point of food for each hex of forest where he has one or more pawns. A group of pawns being in a forest near the lake or a river gives 2 points of food. Harvest (only last turn of summer) : Each player receives twelve points of food for each intact cultivated field and six points of food for each damaged field where one of his pawns is. All "farming" markers are removed from the game board. Food : Each player must spend one point of food for the survival of each of his pawns woman or warrior. The pawns for which a player does not want or cannot pay are killed.

7 - Births (last turn of summer) :

There is a birth in each village/cave where there is a woman, two births in each village/cave where they are two or more women. A dice is thrown for each birth :

The newborn children are immediately considered as adults and useful. A player may not have more than 9 warriors and 6 women. If they are already all on the game board, there is no more birth in the category.

8 - Seedtime : (last turn of winter)

Players may put one "farming" marker in each hex of plain where they have a village and at least one warrior. It costs 2 points of food by cultivated hex. The face of the "farming" marker with two ears shows non damaged fields, the other with one ear shows damaged fields.

9 - "Trick" Cards : (last turn of each season)

All the players who have less than 5 "Trick" cards receive a new one. With 6 players, only those who have less than 4 cards receive a new one.

End of the turn.

The turn marker is avanced to next turn in clockwise order. The player on the left side of the first player becomes the first player for the following turn. If a player has four villages, he must declare it to his opponents. If at the end of the next turn he still has four villages, not necessarily the same, he wins the game.

Use of "trick" cards.

Players may use their "trick" cards when they wish during the game. Each card is only used once and must be discarded after use. Cards are replaced only at the end of the season and each player may receive only one new card even if he has spent more.

Optionnal rule

When a player is eliminated before the end of the first year, he may start again to play at the beginning of the next turn. He discards all his trick cards and the remaining food, replacing them by three new cards and eight points of food. At the next turn following his elimination, after the drawing of the event card but before the animals arrival, he may put a tribe of three warriors and one woman on an empty hex of his choice on the border of the game board. After that he plays normaly, he may move his pawns or build a village/cave immediately. Each player may start again only one time.

Advanced rules

Players mastering the basic game may start the game with 12 points of food and allow the seedtime before the first turn of play. They may also use the following rules.

Aim of the game

To win, a player must have four villages and the fire.

Moves of players and building of villages/caves

When a pawn woman or warrior being on a volcano hex without opponents or animals, does not move, it may take some fire. A pawn, even if it moves, may take some fire on a hex near a fired hex or near a hex where lave flows from erupting volcano. It may takes some fire before or after its move, there must be neither opponent nor animal on the same hex.

Fights

A tribe owning fire earns a +1 bonus in fights against animals. A player conquering a village/cave of a tribe owning fire gains fire without depriving the previous occupant from fire, except if it was his last village/cave.

Owning of fire

Owning of fire is shown by a fire marker put on one of the villages/caves of the tribe. If the village is lost or deserted the tribe does not lose the fire which is placed on an other village /cave . A tribe losing its last village/cave loses fire.

 

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