During the first day at SHUX, I was able to play the new standalone game in the Catan universe, Catan: Dawn of Humankind. Designed by Klaus and Benjamin Teuber for 3-4 players.
Players start with 3 camps and 1 explorer in Africa and will explore and settle other continents during the game. Resource production works identical to the original game, rolling a pair of dice and players taking resources if they have camps on a space with the matching number.
There are only four resources used in the game: flint, bone, hide, and meat. A removable card tray is included for these cards.
Camps are not worth victory points, as settlements and cities are in Catan. Instead you must explore to specific locations on the board and establish camp to earn tokens worth victory points.
Retail stores will have a special promo available that includes this cardboard cave dice tower.
When a 7 is rolled, the player can move either of the tribal threats. The Neanderthal is limited to Africa and America, and the smilodon will move around Asia and Australia. These are the robbers in Catan: Dawn of Humankind, so now players have to contend with two robbers.
Players can spend resources to progress on tracks in clothing, construction, hunting, and food. Food allows players to increase their move action from 3 spaces to 7. Hunting will allows players to move either of the tribal threats without rolling a 7. The first to completely progress a track will earn a token worth 1 victory point.
Clothing and Construction are required to reach new areas of the board and claim exploration tokens. Exploration tokens may let you move the tribal threat, remove resource production in Africa, or take the animal token for that continent (worth 1 point). Once a player has 3 exploration tokens, they claim the spearhead token, the equivalent of largest army.
Catan: Dawn of Humankind is rooted in Catan and thus most actions can easily be understood by comparing to an equivalent in the original game. One of the more thematic mechanics in the game was the depleting of resources in Africa later in the game. Like early nomadic tribes, you might need to move your camp to a new region to survive. As with Catan, the first player to earn 10 victory points wins the game.