Wildlife: Rules

2-6 players, age 10 up, 60-120 minutes
By Wolfgang Kramer,
Published by Clementoni.
Translated by Michael Schloth.
Additional editing by Stan Hilinski, August 2002

The wheel of history has been turned back approximately 2.5 Million years. The first humans fight mammoths, bears, crocodiles, eagles, and snakes for survival and supremacy. Which organism will capture and hold the most territory, breed the largest herd, develop the most successful survival strategy? Which organism will carve out of the wilderness the best conditions for their future? The more successful organisms will earn success points. The organism with the most success points at the end of the game will win.


·         1 Game Board: The Success Track runs around the perimeter of the board. The string of eleven numbers (values 3 to 5) is the Small Scoring Track. The Large Scoring Track is just above it. The board is an island that has 12 areas and 6 terrain types. Each terrain occurs twice: once in a small area (4 or 5 spaces) and once in a large area (8 or 9 spaces).  The terrain types are Forest (Wald), Desert (Wüste), Savanna (Savanne), Steppe (Steppe), Mountains (Gebirge), and Water (Wasser).

·         6 Success Pawns to record Success Points

·         6 Organism Charts

·         180 Organism Tiles: 30 tiles per organism. The 6 organisms are Eagle (Adler), Snake (Schlange), Man (Mensch), Mammoth (Mammut), Bear (Bär), and Crocodile (Krokodil)

·         72 Adaptation Tiles: 12 tiles per terrain. Each set of 12 consists of 3 Migration (Wandern), 4 Expansion (Expandieren), and 5 Attack (Attackieren) tiles

·         15 Abilities: 5 Food (Nahrung), 4 Intelligence (Intelligenz), 3 Mobility (Mobilität), 2 Defense (Verteidigung), and 1 Aggression (Angriff)

·         1 Purple Scoring Pawn

·         4 Short-Rules Cards

·         11 Area pawns (white cylinders)

·         48 Food Chits: 30 worth 1 point and 18 worth 5 points

·         110 Wildlife Cards: 60 Terrain Cards, 18 Ability Cards (Arrow), 15 Adaptation Cards (Wheel), 10 Jokers (Lightning Bolt), and 7 Event Cards: 3 Food Source (Nahrungsquelle), 2 Epidemic (Seuche), and 2 Famine (Hungersnot)

Set Up

Place the game board in the center of the table. Shuffle the 6 Organism Charts down. Each player chooses one and places it face up before him. Return unused Organism Charts to in the box. Each player now takes the matching organism tiles and success pawn. The number of organism tiles each player has in the game depends on the number of players. Return unused organism tiles to the box.

If 2 or 3 are playing, each takes all 30 tiles.
If 4 are playing, each takes only 25 tiles.
If 5 are playing, each takes only 21 tiles.
If 6 are playing, each takes only 18 tiles. 

Each player starts with 8 points of food chits. Place the remaining chits near the board to serve as the Food Bank.

The start player is the one who has the oldest organism. (The age is printed on each Organism Chart.) The player to the start player's left will take the next turn and so on clockwise around the table. The start player places his success pawn on the success track on the "1" space. The player next in turn places his success pawn on the success track space marked "2" and so on.

Sort the Adaptation tiles by terrain and within terrain by type. Put them near the board. Sort the 15 Ability cards by type and place them face up near the board. Place the Purple Scoring Pawn on the purple dot to the left of the Big Scoring Track. Place the 11 white pawns on the spaces of the Small Scoring Track.

Shuffle the Wildlife cards and deal 10 to each player. Place the remaining cards face down on the board to form a draw deck.

Some organisms are already wandering the island before the game begins. The number of organisms that each player starts with on the island depends on the number of players in the game. Once the game board has been seeded, the game begins.

Number of Players

Starting Organisms

The starting player places one of his organisms on any open space in any terrain in which his organisms are able to migrate, expand, or attack. The second player does the same and so on until all players have placed their starting organism tiles on the game board.


Seeding Restrictions:

·          No organism tile may be placed in a terrain that is marked "No Action" (Keine Aktion) on its chart.

·          Only one organism is permitted on a space.

·          Only 2 total organism tiles may be placed in a small area (4 or 5 spaces).

·          Only 4 total organism tiles may be placed in a large area (8 or 9 spaces).












 The example on top of page 5 of the original rulebook shows the game board just after seeding for a four-player game. The four players are Snake (yellow, start player), Mammoth (light green), Humans (orange), and Eagles (brown).

The Organism Charts

Each Organism Chart shows the organism's picture on a background of its matching color, the age of the organism, and how well it is adapted to each of the six terrain types. For example, the Human (Mensch) is able to migrate in the mountains (Gebirge) and forests (Wald), expand in the steppes (Steppe), and attack in the savannas (Savanne). Humans are not adapted (Keine Aktion) in the deserts (Wüste) and the water (Wasser) and may not do any actions there.

Migration (Wandern) is the weakest action. The next strongest action is Expansion. The strongest action is Attack. If an organism is able to attack in a terrain, then it is also able to migrate and expand there. Likewise, an organism that is able to expand in a terrain is also able to migrate there.

Migrate (Wandern)  à  Expand (Expandieren)  à  Attack (Attackieren).

Migrate  [Left illustration, top of page 6]

You may move one of your already placed organism tiles one space. The move must be orthogonal (no diagonal movement). Your own tiles do not count as spaces, so if you can trace an orthogonal path over your own tiles to an unoccupied space, you may be able to migrate quite a distance. The migrating tile must end its move in an unoccupied space and must start, end, and pass through only areas for which your organism has at least the migration adaptation. In the illustration, a Mammoth is migrating from a steppe space to a forest space. The Mammoth is able to move to the forest space because it can trace an orthogonal path of Mammoth tiles to the empty space and because Mammoths have at least the migration ability in forests and steppes.

Expand  [Center illustration, top of page 6]

You may take an organism tile from your off-board supply and place it on any unoccupied space in an area that contains a terrain in which your organism has the expand or attack adaptation. In the illustration, a Mammoth is placed on an empty savannah space. (See arrow.) This is legal because according to its chart, Mammoths may expand in savannah.

Attack  [Right illustration, top of page 6]

You may attack only in an area containing terrain for which you have the attack adaptation and only in an area that contains no unoccupied spaces. If the area meets these two requirements, you take an organism tile from your off-board supply and exchange it with an opponent's tile in the attacked area. The displaced tile is removed from the game. In the illustration, a Mammoth attacks a Human (orange tile). The attack is legal because the Human tile was on a space in a steppe area (according to its chart, the Mammoth may attack in steppes) and because all steppe spaces in this area are occupied. The Human tile is removed from the game.

Sequence of Play

The players take their turns in clockwise order. A player's turn consists of the following actions executed in any order:

·         Play up to 3 Wildlife cards. At least one must be auctioned to the other players.

·         Migrate once for free.

·         Use owned ability cards.

·         Convert food tokens to success points. Every three food points earn one success point.

To keep track of how many Wildlife cards you have played, place them face up in front of you as you play them. When your turn is over, place them on the discard pile. At the end of your turn, refill your hand to 10 cards. [As far as I can tell, the only action you are required to do is to auction one Wildlife card.]

Wildlife Cards

Each Wildlife card represents an action. Since a player may play 3 Wildlife cards, a player has 3 Wildlife card actions at his disposal. One of these actions/cards must be sold to the other players. You may auction additional Wildlife card, but each must be auctioned separately. [I believe that each additional auction uses up a Wildlife card action.]

Terrain Cards

A Terrain card depicts one of the six terrain types. When you play a terrain card, the action that you may execute depends upon your organism's adaptation level in the depicted terrain.

·         No Action (Keine Aktion): You must either discard the card or auction it to your opponents.

·         Migration: You may migrate one of your tiles into an area containing the depicted terrain.

·         Expansion: You may place a tile from your supply onto an unoccupied space in an area containing the depicted terrain.

·         Attack: You may place a tile from your supply onto any occupied space in an area containing the depicted terrain. The attacked area must contain no unoccupied spaces. The displaced tile is removed from the game.

Remember that terrain cards allow you to perform whatever is allowed at the current or lower level of adaptation for the depicted terrain. Remember also that you may attack only when an area is full. In areas that still contain unoccupied spaces, the best you can do is expand.

Adaptation Cards (Wheel Icon)

If you play an Adaptation card, then you may improve your adaptation to any terrain by one level. Play the card and declare the terrain for which you want the next level of adaptation. Take the appropriate Adaptation tile, and then place it on top of the corresponding terrain of your Organism Chart. Further improvements are stacked.

If you are not adapted to a terrain (Keine Aktion), then you must take the Migration (Wandern) tile to improve it. Migration is improved to expansion, and expansion is improved to attack. You may not improve terrain types that have reached the attack adaptation. You may not skip improvement levels for a terrain. You may improve your adaptation to the same terrain more than once in the same turn as long as you have an Adaptation card to play for each improvement. Improvements take effect immediately.

Ability Cards (Arrow Icon)

If you play an Ability card, then you may take a new ability. If it is still available from the supply next to the board, you take it and set it in front of yourself. If it is not, you take it from a player who has it. If more than one player has the ability you want, then you must take from the player furthest along the Success Track. If these players are tied on the Success Track, you choose the player who will give you the ability. You may use an ability on the turn you obtain it.

You may never possess more than two of each of the five different abilities, so, for example, you may have and use up to two Intelligence abilities during your turn. [Note: The original German rule says that you are limited to one ability of each type. I wrote to Wolfgang Kramer about this issue, and he replied that the rulebook is wrong. The correct number is two, not one. SCH]

Joker Cards (Lightning Bolt Icon)

This card may be played as a Terrain card, an Adaptation card, or an Ability card.

Event Cards

One of three different events occurs. See the Event Card section for explanations.

Card Auctions

During your turn, you must auction one of your Wildlife cards to your opponents. If you want to auction more than one card, then you must auction each card separately. [I believe each auction uses up a Wildcard play, so you may only auction three cards on your turn unless you have the Intelligence Ability.] You show the card to your opponents and ask for the first bid from the player to your left. This player must bid or pass and so on clockwise around and around the table until all but one player has passed. Bids are made with food points, and the minimum bid is three food points. The player who made the highest bid pays his food points to you (the auctioneer), and he immediately executes an action with the card. He does not put the card in his hand. If the buyer cannot use the card or declines you use it, then it is discarded. It is also discarded if nobody offers the minimum bid. You may not bid on cards that you put up for auction.

The Free Migration

You may always migrate one of your organism tiles on your turn independent of any abilities and Wildlife cards that you have played. All rules for migration are still in effect. You may perform this extra migration at any time during your turn.

Converting Food Points

For every three food points you return to the Food Bank, you may advance your pawn one space on the Success Track. You may do this only during your turn.

For every space you move backwards on the Success Track, you earn three food points from the Food Bank. However, you may only perform this conversion to pay another player for an auctioned Wildlife card that you have won. You are allowed to move backwards past the "1" space on the Success Track.


You may use each ability once during your turn. (Exception: You may use the Defense "Verteidigung"  ability once per each opponent's turn.) You may use them in any order and at any time during your turn. [I suggest turning the ability over when you use it and turning it back over at the end of the turn.] If you buy an Ability card (arrow icon) at an auction, you immediately take an ability, but you may not use it until it is your turn (exception again, the Defense "Verteidigung" ability). [Note: If you sell a terrain card to an opponent and he uses it to attack you, I found no rule that lets you use the Defense ability during your turn to block it.]

Refill Your Hand

At the end of your turn, discard all played Wildlife cards including the ones you auctioned. Then draw back to 10 cards. If the draw deck is empty, shuffle the discards to make a new draw deck.

Small Scoring

Small Scoring occurs whenever a player puts an organism tile on the last unoccupied space in an area, and the area has not been marked already with an area pawn (a white cylinder). The player removes the leftmost white area pawn from the Small Scoring Track, advances his pawn on the Success Track as many spaces as the revealed number (3, 4, or 5), and places the pawn anywhere within the just scored area. An area can be scored this way only once, so subsequently refilling the area with tiles has no scoring effect. The white pawn has no game effect other than to mark an area that has been scored.

Big Scoring

Big Scoring is triggered when a white area pawn is taken from the Small Scoring Track to reveal one of the three differently colored spaces (positions 4, 8, and 11). Big Scoring is resolved after the current player finishes his turn. During scoring, move the purple pawn along the Big Scoring Track to remind players what needs to be scored. Score the twelve areas first. Then score the herds, then the adaptations, the abilities, and finally the food points.

Scoring the Areas

If only one player has organisms in an area and that player's organisms occupy all of the area's spaces, then that player scores 5 points (Big Monopoly). If only one player has organisms in an area but not all of the area's spaces are occupied, then that player scores 4 points (Small Monopoly). If more than one player has organisms in an area, the player with the most organisms scores 3 points. The player with the second most scores 2 points, and the player with the third most scores 1 point. If there is a tie, all tied players each score the points of the next lower rank. For example, if players are tied for first, they each score 2 points. If players are tied for second, they each score 1 point. If players are tied for third, they each score nothing.

Scoring the Herds

Organisms that are connected orthogonally (no diagonals) represent a herd. A herd can extend over several areas.
The player with the largest Herd scores 10 points.
The player with the 2nd largest Herd scores 7 points.
The player with the 3rd largest Herd scores 5 points.
The player with the 4th largest Herd scores 3 points.
The player with the 5th largest Herd scores 1 point.

If there is a tie, each tied player scores the points of the next lower rank, and subsequent ranks drop one level. For example, if players are tied for the largest herd, they each score 7 points. If players are tied for second largest herd, they each score 5 points.

If you have more than one ranking herd, then they all score. For example, if you own the second and fourth largest herds, you would score 7 + 3 = 10 points.

If you have more than one herd containing the same number of animals, then it is not considered a tie for scoring purposes. You do not compete against yourself. For example, if two herds tie for largest herd and you own both of them, then you get the first-place score for each. In this case, you would score 10 + 10 = 20 points. Again, you only score for the next lower rank if you are tied with another player. For example, if in the previous example another player had a herd as large as your two herds, then each first-place herd would now be worth 7 points and you would score 7 + 7 = 14 points.

Scoring the Adaptations, the Abilities, and Food

The player with the most Adaptation tiles on their Organism Chart scores 4 points. Each Adaptation tile in a stack counts towards the total. The player with the second most scores 2 points. Likewise, the player with the most abilities scores 4 points, and the player with second most scores 2. Finally, the player with the most food points scores 4, and the player with the second most food scores 2. [I assume that players must have at least one adaptation, ability, or food point to score anything in that category.]

Game Over

The game ends when either the eleventh white area pawn is placed, or a player has placed his last organism tile. In either case, one final Big Scoring takes place at the end of the current player's turn. The player with the most success points wins. Food points that were not converted to success points during a player's turn are worthless. Remember that you may convert food to success during your turn only.

Two-Player Variant

Remove one ability card from each stack that has two or more cards, so the distribution is 1-1-2-3-4. (Keep the single Aggression card.) A player may possess an unlimited number of abilities of each type. A player must offer at least one Wildlife card for auction, and his opponent may buy it for the minimum three food. The game ends when either player plays all of his animals. A big scoring follows immediately. [It is unclear to me if the game also ends when all white pegs are used up. I am guessing no, but that's just a guess. SCH]

General Variants

A player may possess an unlimited number of abilities of each type. Before the game starts, each player gets one "arrow card" and then is dealt nine cards from the deck. This gives everyone a chance to get an ability.

If a player buys a Wildlife card, he may use it to expand in the area even if he only possesses the migration ability there. This should make auctions more interesting.

Each player starts with 12 food. Then players bid food tokens for the organism boards instead of randomly drawing them. Players seat themselves at the table in organism-age order, oldest to youngest. (The age is printed on each organism board.)

The starting player changes each round. Use the purple pawn to mark the round's starting player. (Use it too to track a big scoring when it comes up.) The round's starting player is the one who is currently last on the success track. If tied, the next starting player is the tied player clockwise nearest to the last starting player. After the starting player, all others take their turn in normal clockwise order (not score track order).

Turn Example

An example of the orange player's (human) turn. The human player has the Intelligence Ability, so he may play four Wildlife cards. [Moving left to right, the three illustrations are captioned "Before the turn", "The Cards Played", and "After the Turn."] The orange player plays an Adaptation card (wheel icon) and declares that he wants to improve his adaptation in forest terrain. He is able to migrate in forests, so he takes the forest "Expandieren" adaptation tile and places it on his Organism Chart over "Wandern" on the forest space. He uses two forest terrain cards to place two humans in the forest. He uses his free migration to move a human already on the board into the forest. This fills the last space in the area, so a Small Scoring is triggered for the area. He places the next white area pawn anywhere within the area and scores the revealed number of points. He is able to play one more Wildlife card, and it must be an auction, so he auctions off an adaptation card.

Example of a Big Scoring

Large Water Area (Großes Wasser): Blue is alone and so has a Small Monopoly  for 4 success points.

Small Steppe Area (Kleine steppe): Green and Brown tie for 2nd place, so they both score the 3rd place points.

Large Savannah Area (Große Savanne): Brown and Blue are tied for 3rd place, so they drop to 4th place, but there are no points for 4th place.

Large Forest Area (Großer Wald): Orange, Green, and Blue all tie for 1st place, so they each score the 2nd place points.

Largest Herds: Blue and Green each have herds with 11 animals, so they tie for 1st place and score the 2nd place points. Brown is next with a herd of 9 organisms, so he takes the 3rd place points. Orange has the next largest herd, and he has two of them. They each score 4th place (3 + 3 = 6) points. There is no 5th place. If another player had tied Orange at 4th place, then all three herds would have scored 1 point each for 5th place.

The Abilities


You may block one attack against you, or one use of aggression against you, or one use of mobility against you. The aggressor loses his action. [This only works once per turn, so if a player uses, for instance, Aggression on you and you block with your Defense ability, the same player could now hit you with a regular attack or Mobility, and you would not be able to stop it. And just to be clear, you are able to use Defense once on each of the other players' turns.]


You may play one additional Wildlife card from your hand on your turn.


On your turn, advance your pawn two spaces along the Success Track.


Take an organism tile from your supply and place it on any space in any area where you have the attack adaptation. If the space is occupied, you may remove that tile from the game even if the area is not full. The Defense ability may block the attack.


Move one of your organisms from any space on the board to any space on the board. If this space is occupied, you exchange places with the occupant. Only your organism must be adapted to its new location. (You must have the migration adaptation or higher.) The Defense ability may block the exchange.

Event Cards


Your opponents must each remove one organism from the board. The player to your left removes first and so on in turn. The organisms are removed from the game.


Your opponents must each return 5 food points to the Food Bank. Any player who cannot pay the full amount must make up the difference in spaces given up on the Success Track. [The Food Conversion rule does not kick in here. You lose one success point for each food point you owe.]


You receive 7 food points. The player(s) in last place receive(s) 3 food points. If you are in last place, then you receive 10 food points. In a two-player game, you alone receive 7 food points.


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