|Type(s)||Action - Gathering|
|Choose one: +3 Cards and add 1 to the Wild Hunt Supply pile; or gain an Estate, and if you do, take the from the pile.|
Wild Hunt is an Action-Gathering card from Empires. It is a terminal draw card that Gathers tokens when played; the player can choose to forgo the draw to instead gain an Estate and take the Gathered .
 Official FAQ
- If the Estate pile is empty, you can choose that option but will not get the tokens.
- Wild Hunt still functions normally if the Wild Hunt pile is empty.
Wild Hunt is expensive when viewed purely as a terminal draw card. However, its overall value is greatly augmented by its Gathering mechanic, which provides a good supplementary source of alt-VP, especially if you can gain an advantage in deck control over your opponents. If only one player had completely unfettered access to the Wild Hunt pile, each play of this card except the very last of the game (to take all the accumulated from the pile) would score 1 as well as drawing three cards, a very powerful effect; therefore, when playing many Wild Hunts is both possible and desirable, it can be a pile that is particularly important to contest.
Early in the game, Wild Hunt’s function in most cases is simply to draw cards, and in this respect it should be used like any other Smithy variant: it’s best when you can fairly reliably collide it with a village, and is a useful engine component that you’re likely to keep adding to your deck as your need for draw increases. Because Wild Hunt is expensive and its additional function (unlike the bonus sifting provided by Journeyman, for example) is useless until you’re ready to start taking from the pile, it may be outcompeted early on by better or cheaper options for draw. However, it’s worth bearing in mind that drawing with Wild Hunt rather than an alternative terminal may become more valuable later, as each play racks up the number of available.
The transition to sometimes playing a Wild Hunt for rather than draw tends to occur when the number of tokens accumulated on the pile is high enough that it’s worth the cost of adding a junk card to your deck in the form of an Estate, and you suspect that an opponent may take the points on their next turn if you don’t do it now. Various factors can influence your judgment, including the availability and strength of other ways to score, which may affect the value of the available : for example, Wild Hunt points may be especially important in an otherwise single-gain Kingdom. Another relevant consideration is the strength of your (and your opponents’) deck control and ability to handle the extra Estate. Ultimately, an ideal scenario for the engine in the mid-game and later is to consistently draw your deck on each turn (including multiple Wild Hunt plays to draw cards), use your last Wild Hunt to gain an Estate and take all the tokens from the pile, and perhaps then draw the Estate as well and trash it (better still if you can get some benefit from doing this, e.g. by using Salvager). If your opponents are unable to execute this manoeuvre equally consistently, you may be able to poach that they’ve left on the pile as a result of needing to play all their Wild Hunts for draw or generating so few points during their own turn that they weren’t worth the cost of gaining a junk card. Similarly, if you have or can play more copies of Wild Hunt, in the long term you’ll score more even if everyone is drawing their deck consistently.
When you can’t draw your deck and play all your Wild Hunts (e.g. because you’ve adopted a money strategy or the endgame has become a slog), more ongoing judgment is required as to when to draw on with Wild Hunt and when to take the . Additional relevant factors in this case might include shuffle considerations and the remaining contents of your deck (because this may be important in deciding whether or not it would be better to draw three more cards), the likelihood that an opponent will be able to take the before you get another opportunity, and your alternative options for scoring.
In either scenario, Wild Hunt as a method of scoring doesn’t work indefinitely, as the Estates will run out at some point. As the pile gets lower, it may be worth considering gaining extra Estates in order to empty the pile and deprive your opponents of future Wild Hunt points; playing additional Wild Hunts for points may be a good way to do this, especially if you have overdraw. Relevant factors when considering this move include the reliability of your own and others’ decks and the standings—for example, you may need to leave open the possibility of scoring more Wild Hunt points yourself on subsequent turns. It also commonly forms part of a three-pile ending to close out the game.
 Alternate Versions
 English versions
|Choose one: +3 Cards and add 1 to the Wild Hunt Supply pile; or gain an Estate, and if you do, take the from the pile.||Empires||June 2016|
 Other language versions
 Name and Art
Wild Hunt: A group of ghostly hunters, on horses and with hounds, in the sky, chasing prey.
 Secret History
For strumphf's 2022 advent calendar, Donald X. went in-depth on the development of Wild Hunt.