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FAQ: A Comprehensive Collection of Rules Clarifications for Arctic Scavengers

Arctic Scavengers is an excellent game, but unfortunately there are a few instances of ambiguity or omission in the rules
that need clarification, as is evident from the many questions in the BGG forums, especially about snipers and saboteurs.
Fortunately the game is well worth the effort of getting the rules correct, and this FAQ should serve as a useful starting
point and resource for new players looking for answers to common questions. This list of rules clarifications primarily
consists of question and answers provided by the designer, and has been compiled with the assistance of discussions
and answers found in the forums.


Initiator Card

Q. When does the initiator card move?

A. It remains with the first player for rounds 1-3 and then moves to the next player at the start of round 4.

Multiple Actions

Q. How many times may a given action (DRAW / DIG / HUNT / etc.) be performed each round?
A. Once.

Q. How many different kinds of actions can you perform each round?
A. As many as the cards you have in play will allow you to perform.

Q. What about the new building-related actions (BUILD, STORE, RETRIEVE) from the HQ Expansion?
A. There are special rules for these actions (see 'Buildings' FAQ).


Q. When you perform a DIG and are returning cards to the Junkyard, where do they go and what happens?
A. Cards that are returned as a result of DIG are placed on the bottom of the Junkyard. The Junkyard is NOT shuffled at
this time.

Q. When does the Junkyard get shuffled?

A. Anytime you add net new cards (e.g. a discarded card from a TRASH action, or a contested resource from a tied

Food & Medicine

Q. Can I use a hunting tool to improve the medicine score on my Medic, or a Medkit to improve the hunting of one of my
A. No. They line-up visually because they both relate to the hiring phase, but you cannot modify one with the other.

Q. Do I need to use a tribe member to carry Pills or Medkit when hiring a Hunter?
A. No. You can basically "rattle the pills" and a Hunter will come running and join your tribe. Play your medicine card
during the HIRE action, no human required.
Group Leaders

Q. Can Group Leader abilities stack? (i.e. +2 +2 +2....)

A. Yes, you can play multiple Group Leaders to modify a single base ability (I like to call this 'micro-management'). You
can even have a card with a base ability that is wielding a tool AND being modified by multiple Group Leaders.


Q. What happens if everyone has a Fight value of 0, but one person has more tribe members at the skirmish?
A. Ties are broken in 3-5 player games based upon number of people brought to the skirmish (see 'Person, People,
Cards' FAQ), so a player with a Fight value of 0 could still win the contested resource.

Q. What happens if no one brings any fight value and everyone ties for the number of people brought to the skirmish?
A. It is a tie. Place the Contested Resource on the top of the Junkyard and shuffle it (see 'Junkyard Shuffling' FAQ).

Q. When breaking ties for skirmishes, do you count cards or total people?
A. Total people (look in bottom corner of card for value).


Q. What determines the 'largest' tribe for scoring at the end of the game?
A. Each Tribe Member card represents one or more people. Add up the total VALUE of each card.


Usage in Resource Gathering

Q. Can Snipers/Saboteurs that are set apart for a skirmish be taken into hand and played on an opponent's turn when he
is gathering resources?
A. Yes, cards set apart for a skirmish are considered to be in hand, and can be retrieved and played as instants during an
opponent's hunt/hire, dig or draw action.

Q. Can Sniper/Saboteurs played during the resource gathering action of another player's turn be used again on your own
turn for resource gathering or the skirmish?
A. No, they are discarded immediately after use, and you do not redraw to replace the card.

Q. Can a Sniper/Saboteur played during a resource gathering action be countered with another Sniper?
A. No, they are resolved as instants, occur immediately, and can't be prevented.

Q. If a player has been sniped or sabotaged while resource gathering, is he still required to use or discard the other cards
he played for hunting/hiring, digging, or drawing?
A. No, only the card that was sniped/disarmed is discarded, and all other cards involved in that action can be taken back
into hand and re-purposed to perform a different hunt/hire, dig or draw action, or to do something else entirely.
Usage in Skirmishes

Q. Can a Sniper/Saboteur played during the skirmish be countered with another Sniper?
A. Yes, although each player in turn order (beginning with the initiator) only gets one opportunity to activate their
Snipers/Saboteurs, which are implemented immediately upon activation.

Q. If the Saboteur is used to disarm an opponent's equipment during a skirmish, does it still contribute a fight value of 1
in the skirmish?
A. No, it is used either to disarm or to fight in the skirmish, but not both.

Q. When Snipers/Saboteurs are involved in a skirmish and used for their special effect, do their tribe members still count
toward the number of people for breaking ties?
A. Yes, they are not discarded immediately after being used, and still contribute tribe members for the tiebreaker.

Q. If a tribe member with a powerful weapon is killed by a Sniper in a skirmish, can that weapon be allocated to a
different tribe member in that skirmish?
A. Yes, cards can be rearranged to get the best result after the sniped tribe member is discarded.

Q. Can a Sniper carry a weapon?

A. No, because a card must have the base Fight ability to carry a weapon.

Q. Can a Saboteur carry a weapon?

A. Yes, and they also have a fight value of 1 in a skirmish if their disarming ability is not used.

Q. Can a Sniper take out a multi-person Tribe Member card?

A. Yes.

Other questions

Q. Can a Saboteur used for a dig action on your own turn be used again later that round to sabotage an opponent's tool?
A. No, it goes to your discard pile before play passes to the next player and before the skirmish.

Q. Can a Sniper target the Group Leaders card?

A. Yes, it can target any card with a person icon on the upper-left. This also includes people cards obtained from the
contested resources (e.g. Sled Team, Field Crew, Tribe Family).


Tribal Leaders

Q. Several of the leaders require you to "Play a Refugee". What does that mean exactly?
A. Place a Refugee from your hand, on the table, and discard it immediately for the benefit granted by your leader (i.e.
Peacemaker, Mentor, Fanatic, etc.).

Q. Does the Organizer allow you an additional DRAW action?

A. No. If you use the Organizer's ability, that will be your only DRAW action for this round.
Q. When can the Fanatic's special ability be used?
A. During another player's resource gathering OR during the skirmish (same as a Saboteur or Sniper).

Q. What cards can be targeted by the Fanatic's special ability?

A. Any card played from a player's hand (person, tool, medicine), but not a building.


Q. How many BUILD actions can I perform each round?

A. You may start one new building each round and you also are allowed to continue building on any / all buildings in
your base that are in-progress (i.e. remove 1 card from each of your buildings).

Q. When you hire an Engineer, do you get to start a building immediately?

A. No, the Engineer goes into your discard pile. When it cycles back into your hand, then you may use it to DIG in the
Schematics deck to BUILD a building.

Q. Can the food from Hydroponic Garden be used by itself or does it require a tribe member to perform a HUNT action
as well?
A. As with medicine, food that is auto-generated can be used independently to satisfy the resource requirements of your
HIRE action.

Q. Are you limited to one STORE and one RETRIEVE action when using the Bunker and Pharmacy buildings?
A. STORE and RETRIEVE do not suffer from the limitation of standard actions. Thus you can freely store and retrieve as
often as you like during your own turn.

Q. Can you pull a Sniper Team or Saboteur from a Bunker and use them against another player?
A. You may do so during resource gathering, but once you have committed cards to the skirmish, no additional cards
may be contributed to the fight.


Q. How is the Gearheads gang awarded?

A. Most quantity of Tool cards (based upon the tool icon). Ties are broken by whoever has the most Contested Resource
tool cards (i.e. CRs like Grenades and Wolf Pack) in their tribe.

Q. How is the Masons gang awarded?

A. Most quantity of completed and active Building cards (based upon the building icon). Buildings that are under
construction or damaged do not count. Ties are broken by whoever has the most Engineers in their tribe.

Q. How is the Pharmers gang awarded?

A. Most meds VALUE from Medicine cards (based upon meds icon in upper corner of card). Medkits count as 2, Pills as 1,
and Medics as 0 (they have a Person icon in the corner, not a medicine icon). Ties are broken by whoever has the most
Medics in their tribe.