In Cartographers, players compete to earn the most reputation stars by the time four seasons have passed.
Each season, players draw on their map sheets and earn reputation by carrying out the queen's edicts before the season is over. The player with the most reputation stars at the end of winter wins!
- 100 Map Sheets
- 13 Explore Cards
- 16 Scoring Cards
- 4 Ambush Cards
- 4 Season Cards
- 4 Edict Cards
- 4 Pencils
Give each player a blank map sheet. Players collectively decide whether to use the wilderness side (A) or the wastelands side (B).
Give each player a pencil. If playing with more than four players, additional pencils will need to be provided.
Have each player write a name for their cartographer at the top of their map sheet, optionally adding a title and family crest.
Arrange the four edict cards in a face-up row in the center of the play area, so that they are in alphabetical order (edict A, edict B, etc)..
Separate the scoring cards into four stacks according to their card backs.
Shuffle the stacks separately, then randomly draw one card from each stack. Place one of these scoring cards below each of the edict cards, face up. Return the rest of the scoring cards to the game box.
Place the four season cards in a face-up stack, arranged in order by the progression of seasons (spring, summer, fall, winter). The spring card should be visible on top of the stack.
Shuffle the four ambush cards to form a face-down deck, then place this ambush deck off to one side of the play area.
Shuffle the explore cards to form a face-down deck. Take the top card of the ambush deck and shuffle it into this explore deck, without revealing it. Finally, place the explore deck next to the stack of season cards.
The game is ready to begin!
The game is played over four seasons. Each season is divided into multiple turns, and each turn has three phases: the Explore Phase, Draw Phase, and Check Phase. At the end of each season, players earn reputation stars.
1. Explore Phase
Reveal the top card of the explore deck and place it face up in the center of the play area, so that all players can see it. Place the new card on top of any explore cards already in play, displaying the cards in a column to ensure that the time values on all revealed cards are visible.
If the first revealed card is a ruins card, immediately reveal another card from the explore deck and place it on top of the ruins card.
If the second revealed card is also a ruins card, immediately reveal another card from the explore deck and place it on top of both ruins cards.
2. Draw Phase
At the same time, each player independently chooses one of the terrain types and one of the available shapes depicted on the revealed explore card, then draws it on their map with a pencil.
The chosen shape cannot overlap filled spaces or the edges of the map. (Mountain spaces and wasteland spaces are filled spaces).
The chosen shape does not have to be drawn adjacent to any shapes previously drawn on the map.
The chosen shape can be rotated and/or flipped as needed before it is drawn on the map.
After drawing the chosen shape, a player fills the shape with the chosen terrain type.
If a player cannot legally draw any of the available shapes, they must instead draw a 1x1 square anywhere on their map and fill it with the chosen terrain type.
Each mountain space has four adjacent spaces. If a player surrounds a mountain space by filling all four adjacent spaces, they fill in the next coin symbol on their coin track.
Some shapes come with a coin. If a player chooses a shape with a coin, they fill in the next coin symbol on their coin track.
Rift Lands: If the rift lands card is revealed, each player draws a 1x1 square anywhere on their map and fills it with any terrain type shown on the card.
All normal rules and restrictions apply.
Ruins: If one or more ruins cards are revealed, each player must draw one of the available shapes, depicted on the next explore card that is revealed, so that it overlaps a ruins space on their map (if possible).
If a player cannot legally draw one of the available shapes so that it overlaps a ruins space -OR- there are no unfilled ruins spaces left on their map, they must instead draw a 1x1 square anywhere on their map and fill it with any terrain type.
Ambush: If an ambush card is revealed, check the direction of the arrow shown on the card. Each player immediately passes their map sheet to their neighbor in that direction.
Each player draws the depicted shape on their neighbor's map, then fills the shape with the monster terrain type.
If a player cannot legally draw the depicted shape on their neighbor's map, they must instead draw a 1x1 square anywhere on their neighbor's map and fill it with the monster terrain type.
Then pass all map sheets back to their owners and discard the ambush card, returning it to the game box.
Note: If an ambush card is revealed immediately after a ruins card, the ambush card is resolved normally. The effect of the ruins card will apply to the next explore card that is revealed.
3. Check Phase
Check to see if the end of the season has been reached.
Examine the current season card to find the time threshold. For example, spring has a time threshold of eight.
Add together the time values of all explore cards that are currently revealed in the column.
If the total meets or exceeds the time threshold, the current season ends. Proceed immediately to the end of the season.
If the total is less than the time threshold, the current season continues. Return to the Explore Phase.
End of the Season
At the end of each season, players are evaluated, earning reputation stars based on how well they followed the queen's edicts.
Scoring the Queen's Edicts
Examine the current season card to see which two scoring cards to evaluate. For example, in spring, evaluate the scoring cards below edicts A and B.
Each player evaluates their own map to determine how many reputation stars they earn for each of the two scoring cards being evaluated this season, writing those numbers in the corresponding boxes. (
Each player earns one reputation star for each filled-in coin symbol on their coin track, writing that number in the corresponding box.
Each player loses one reputation star for each empty space adjacent to a monster space on their map, writing that number in the corresponding box. (If an empty space is adjacent to multiple monster spaces, the player still only loses one reputation star for that space).
If the current season is winter, the game is now over; proceed to the end of the game. Otherwise, prepare for the next season.
Preparing for the Next Season
Discard the top card of the season stack, returning it to the game box. This will reveal the next season card in the stack.
Reshuffle the explore deck, including all explore cards revealed this season. Then take the top card of the ambush deck and shuffle it into the explore deck, without revealing it.
Note: If an ambush card in the explore deck is not revealed during a season, it remains in the explore deck for the next season, and an additional ambush card is added!
In this way, it is possible to have multiple ambush cards in the explore deck during later seasons.
End of the Game
Once winter has ended and players have been evaluated for the fourth time, the game is over.
Each player totals the reputation stars that they earned across all four seasons, writing their final score on their map sheet. The player with the most reputation stars is the winner!
In the event of a tie, the tied player who lost the least reputation stars to monster terrain across all four seasons is the winner. If there is a further tie, all tied players share the victory.
When scoring, keep in mind these general rules:
Spaces that share a side with each other are adjacent. Spaces that are only at diagonals with each other are not adjacent.
A group of connected spaces that all have the same terrain type is a cluster. Clusters can have any number of spaces (including just a single space).
Monster spaces, mountain spaces, and wasteland spaces all count as filled spaces. Only filled ruins spaces count as filled spaces.