Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Board Game Break Time: Five Tribes

Board Game Break Time is a new feature we're bringing in, where we play board games and review them. 

Title: Five Tribes
Publisher:  Days of Wonder
Release Date: 2014
Designer: Bruno Cathala
Game Mechanism: Mancala, Set Collection, Point Salad
# of Players: 2-4  Best: 2
Ages: 13+
Play Time: 40-80 Minutes

Average Rating: 7.8/10

Average Rating: 4.7/5

Crossing into the Land of 1001 Nights, your caravan arrives at the fabled Sultanate of Naqala. The old sultan just died and control of Naqala is up for grabs! The oracles foretold of strangers who would maneuver the Five Tribes to gain influence over the legendary city-state. Will you fulfill the prophecy? Invoke the old Djinns and move the Tribes into position at the right time, and the Sultanate may become yours!

Designed by Bruno Cathala, Five Tribes builds on a long tradition of German-style games that feature wooden meeples. Here, in a unique twist on the now-standard "worker placement" genre, the game begins with the meeples already in place – and players must cleverly maneuver them over the villages, markets, oases, and sacred places tiles that make up Naqala. How, when, and where you dis-place these Five Tribes of Assassins, Elders, Builders, Merchants, and Viziers determine your victory or failure.

As befitting a Days of Wonder game, the rules are straightforward and easy to learn. But devising a winning strategy will take a more calculated approach than our standard fare. You need to carefully consider what moves can score you well and put your opponents at a disadvantage. You need to weigh many different pathways to victory, including the summoning of powerful Djinns that may help your cause as you attempt to control this legendary Sultanate.

~taken from BoardGameGeek

These are not the best pictures on this Christmas table cloth. It's hard to see but that is what I have. 

This game was on my to play list for a very long time. I heard great things about it but didn't want to buy it til I tried it. One night at a new gaming group, I learned this was the host's favorite game. So she taught it, we played it, I loved it. I asked for it for Christmas and I received it. Thanks Santa Baby!  So I have played this game about 4 times since Christmas, which is a lot for me since we play so many games. I still love it and it has made  my top ten favorite games list. Which is huge. 

The strategy in this game is not simple, the play, the rules, the learning of the game...simple, the strategy not so much. There is a lot to go into when you take your turn and which meeples to pick up. All the different meeples have different powers. You pick up the color you land with. So depending on which color and how many of that color, the point value can be huge or small. Your turn order depends on bidding for your placement. Which money is also points in the end. So choosing what to bid can be tricky. Risk vs. Reward is huge in this game. 

The game just looks great too. Like I said the table cloth takes away from the look of the game in the pictures, but its really pretty. The art work is all jinn and middle east looking, the colors are bright for the meeples but soft on the board. It just comes together so nicely. I am all about the aesthetics and the look of this game makes me happy. 

I just really LOVE this game! 

Length of play: 

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