First off, let’s talk about the basic rules of the game. Stone Age is a worker placement game. Each player starts out with 5 people which can be placed in various places on the board in order to gather food, resources, make tools, construct buildings, advance in the food chain, produce more people or advance the civilization. Workers are placed in yellow “rings” and each place has 1 to 7 rings available for worker placement.
Each round of the game comprises of 3 phases:
- Players place their workers on the board. The starting player places one or more workers on a place then the next player, in clockwise order, places some workers and so on until all players have placed all of their people on the board. The number of rings on the board indicate how many workers can be placed in a particular location. Each player is permitted to place workers only once per turn in a specific place.
- Players use the actions of their placed workers. Players can choose the order in which each action is taken.
- Players feed their people. All workers must be fed with 1 food originating either from standard food production (according to placement in the food track) or stocked food. Food can be stocked by hunting in the Hunting Grounds.
The possible places for worker placement are:
- The hunting grounds. Here people hunt for food. This is the only place where no rings are shown and players may put as many workers as they like but remember, only once per turn! Players roll as many dice as the amount of workers placed, during the second phase, and get food equal to the result of the dice divided by 2 and rounded down.
- Forest, Clay Pit, Quarry and River. Here people work for wood, clay, stone and gold accordingly. A total of 7 workers can be placed here. Players, during the second phase, roll as many dice as the amount of workers placed and receive an amount of the relevant resources equal to the result of the dice divided by 3,4,5 or 6 rounded down accordingly.
- The Hut. Only a single player can place workers here. 2 people (man+woman) are placed here in order to produce an extra worker during the second phase.
- The Field. Only one worker can be placed here. During the second phase, the player who placed a worker here will advance in the food track 1 space, increasing his food production.
- Tool maker. Only one worker can be placed here. He grants the player with an extra tool, used to reinforce the result of dice when gathering resources. Players can use tools in dice rolling to improve the dice result by adding the value of one or more tools to the result, thus making up for a bad roll. Each tool can be used once per round.
- Buildings. Players place a single worker on any building. During the second phase they will pay some resources to construct the building and will be given instantaneously some victory points.
- Civilization cards. Players place a single worker on any card. During the second phase they will pay the amount of resources shown on the top of the location and will be given the card along with an instant bonus (There is one exception of a card granting 2 resources that can be claimed instantly or later in the game. Each civilization card gives a bonus that will give victory points at the end of the game. Cards may reward the player for the amount of workers, tools, buildings, food production or similar cards he has.