Caverna: The Cave Farmers is a continuation of the game Agricola, both designed by Uwe Rosenberg. Players become part of a family of dwarves that must cultivate a forest in the mountains, create shelter and businesses, and mine for riches. This game is ideal for up to 7 players.
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To begin, each player will choose a color and take the matching Home board as well as the 5 Dwarfs and 3 stables of that color. They will then place 2 of the Dwarfs in the Entry Level Dwelling on the Home board and keep the other dwarfs and stables next to the board as an additional supply. Each player will get one of each type of Overview cards. One player will get the Starting player token and receive 1 Food, along with the player to their left. The third player will get 2 Food and the rest of the players get 3.
Next, place the two one-sided basic game boards (with round spaces 1 to 3 and 4 to 12) next to each other on the table. The 7 Harvest markers should be shuffled and placed face down on spaces 6 to 12 with one marker on each space. The “Harvest Events” card goes next to the game boards. The third basic game board will be placed to the left of the first two boards on the table and turned to the correct side based on the number of players as indicated. There is an additional small game board for games of 3 or 7 players, and a large additional game board for games of 5 to 7 players. Place the additional game board to the left of all the basic ones if needed.
The supply boards for the Furnishing tiles will be placed near the other game boards on the table. These are double-sided with one side used in the Introductory game, and the other used in the Full game which will come with more Furnishing tiles. Place the Furnishing tiles on the corresponding spaces on the supply boards and keep the rest next to it on the table.
Shuffle the action space cards, keeping them face down at all times. Without looking at them, rearrange them with the Stage 4 cards at the bottom in descending order with the Stage 1 cards on top. Separate the landscape tiles by type and place them in their own stacks. Additionally, sort the rest of the game components and keep them in separate piles next to the game boards.
There are 12 rounds in the game and each takes place in 5 separate phases:
Add a new Action space: At the beginning of each round, players will turn over the Action space card and put it on the corresponding space on the basic game boards.
Replenish accumulating spaces: Next, place goods from the general supply on the Action Spaces that require them (these will show an arrow).
Work phase: In clockwise order, players will take turns placing 1 Dwarf per turn on an Action space on the game boards and carrying out the actions indicated on the space. Each of these spaces can only hold 1 Dwarf.
Return home: Once all Dwarfs have been placed on Action spaces, they will return to their dwellings.
Harvest time: At the end of most rounds there will be a harvest. When this happens, you will collect Grain and Vegetables, feed your family, and breed your animals.
How to End the Game
The game is over when all 12 rounds of play have been completed.
How to Score the Game
There are many different credentials that will earn you Gold points. 1 Gold is awarded per farm animal, dog, vegetable, ruby, and Dwarf, and one half gold is given for every grain. Small pastures are worth 2 points, large pastures are worth 4, ore mines are worth 3, and ruby mines are worth 4. Players earn bonus points for parlors, storages, and chambers as indicated on the scoring cards. 1 Gold point is lost per unused space and 2 Gold points are lost for every missing type of farm animal. The player with the most Gold points at the end of the game is the winner.
Rule Variations for Playing with Kids
When playing Caverna: The Cave Farmers with kids, it is recommended to play in teams or with the least amount of players possible in order to speed up the time it takes to play the game.
Variations of the Game
Variations of the game include the Portuguese, Polish, Russian, Czech, Dutch, Japanese, and Spanish Devir Editions with multiple printings of each throughout the years.
How the Game Changes Depending on the Number of Players
In a 2 player game, one of the Harvest markers with a green leaf will be removed from the game during setup, and the rest of the 6 markers will be placed on the round spaces numbered 6-12 with the number 9 space left empty. Additionally, only 11 Action space cards are used in the game and the Exploration card with “Level 4 expedition” on it will be removed from the game as well. There are only 11 total rounds in a 2 player game instead of the 12 that are played in a multiplayer game.
For a solo game, the goal will be to gain the highest amount of Gold points as possible since there are no opponents. The game will be played according to the normal rules overall, but the player will begin the game with 2 Food.
Time to play: 30-120 minutes
Alternative titles of the game: Caverna, Caverna: Die Hohlenbauern, Kawerna: Rolnicy z Jaskin
Manufacturer suggested player age: 12+
Community suggested player age: 12+
List of expansions: Caverna: The Forgotten Folk, Caverna: Water Expansion, Caverna: LARP and Cosplay Postcard
Community rating: 8/10
Popularity: Rank 22
Designer Credits: Uwe Rosenberg
Published year: 2013
Awards: 2014 Spiel der Spiele Hit mit Freunden Recommended, 2014 Guldbrikken Best Adult Game Winner