Monthly Archives: January 2014

Caverna – The Cave Farmers

Caverna Box lidCaverna is the latest game from designer, Uwe Rosenberg and was released October 2013 at the event Spiel held in Essen, Germany. Disclaimer up front….. my favourite game is Agricola by the same designer so I am a huge fan.

There is a lot of discussion that this game replaces Agricola. I don’t agree.  I believe I will be able to get this to the table with non-gamers as it is so much fun to play. Then I can introduce them to Agricola 🙂 Caverna feels a little lighter and more options to feed your family each harvest. There is plenty going on to keep you busy and satisfied.

I have taught this game quite a few times, 2 player, 3 player, 4 player, 5 player and 6 player and these are the frequently asked questions. After the first round I would hand around the FAQ’s to be read by all the players. Click image to enlarge.

Caverna Player Board


  • Dogs go anywhere, they roam around your board
  • Dogs can mind sheep but only on a meadow (light green), 1 dog can mind 2 sheep, 2 dogs /3 sheep, 3dogs/4sheep etc
  • Dogs don’t breed
  • Dogs are not farm animals, therefore you don’t lose -2 if you don’t have one
  • A dog on a forest space is not considered a “used” space. Used spaces are covered with tiles or stables
  • Dogs are worth 1 point each


  • A single boar can live in a stable on a forest space.
  • If you place a stable on the forest space with a picture of a boar you will not get the boar. (You must cover it with a tile to get the boar)


Each mine (Ore or Ruby) can hold 1 donkey


Your house can hold 1 pair of animals


  • To go on an expedition, you need a weapon. There are 2 action spaces where you can forge a weapon. Stage 1 and Stage 4. Once you have your weapon, the only way you can increase your strength is to go on expeditions.
  • Forging weapons action spaces in Stage 1 and 4. Only used to create new weapons. You can not add extra ore to an existing weapon to increase its strength.
  • When you receive loot, they must all be different but you can pick 2 things on the same row.
  • After completing an expedition, that dwarf increases its strength by 1.
  • There is a Level 1 loot item that adds +1 strength to all dwarfs with a weapon. (This does not forge a weapon for dwarfs without a weapon but adds +1 to weapon strength of any of your other dwarves that have a weapon, played or not played.)

Board/ Actions spaces

  • Used space is a space covered with a tile or stable
  • Fenced pastures must be placed on a meadow (light green) not on forest spaces.
  • Farming action spaces (Sheep and Donkeys) – you can only build 1 stable per turn
  • Wish for children. You can only build a dwelling (orange top) not green or yellow top furnishings
  • Urgent wish for children. You can only build a dwelling (orange top) not green or yellow top furnishings
  • Urgent wish for children. You can build the Dwelling without doing family growth.
  • After Wish for children round, you pay 1 food per dwarf. But there is no harvest. No field phase or breeding

On the back I put the round cards and point scoring

Stage 1

  • Blacksmithing Forge a weapon/3 expedition
  • Sheep farming Build pasture (fences)  and/or Sheep
  • Ore Mine Construction Build a mine + 3 Ore/ 2 Expedition

Stage 2

  • Wish for Children Family Growth/ Build a Dwelling on a cave
  • Urgent Wish for Children Build a Dwelling + Family Growth/ Take 3 Gold
  • Donkey Farming Build Pasture and/or Donkeys
  • Ruby Mine Construction Build Ruby Mine on tunnel

Stage 3

  • Family Life Family Growth and/or Sow
  • Exploration 4 Expedition
  • Ore Delivery Take the Stone and Ore


  • Adventure Forge Weapon and /or 2 x 1 Expedition
  • Ore Trading 2 Ore = 2 Gold, 1 Food (up to 3 times)
  • Ruby Delivery Get rubies


  • 1 point per Farm Animal and Dog  
  • -2 points per missing Farm animal (not dogs) 
  • ½ point (rounded up) per Grain 
  • 1 point per Vegetable 
  • 1 point per Ruby 
  • 1 point per Dwarf 
  • -1 point per unused space (not covered by a tile or stable) 
  • Furnishing tiles (Orange/Green), Pastures, Mines
  • Parlors (Yellow buildings)
  • Storages (Yellow buildings)
  • Chambers (Yellow Buildings)
  • Gold coins 1:1