New Acquisitions January 2016 + "When Five Tribes go to war..."

Topical as always, I want to show you a game that we acquired on its initial release and then left it on the shelf for over a year (still shrink-wrapped!). The game is called Five Tribes and whilst it is competitive, it is not a war game. The title above is inspired by a hit song for Frankie goes to Hollywood. I’m sure most of you remember that (and that it wasn’t nearly as good as their first hit Relax which was banned by the BBC).

Five Tribes was designed by Bruno Cathala and published here in Germany by Days of Wonder. DoW always produce games that look great but also games that could be best described as lightweight. Five Tribes is a departure from that philosophy and I would describe it as a middleweight game.

First, this is how the publisher described the game in their press release ….

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 manoeuver the Five Tribes to gain influence over the legendary city-state. Will you fulfil the prophecy? Invoke the old Djinns and move the Tribes into position at the right time, and the Sultanate may become yours!

The game starts with 90 Meeples on the board with three on each square. There are 30 Squares which are actually tiles so that you lay out the board in a 5 x 6 grid, making the game board different every time you play. In your turn, you must pick up the cubes in any square of your choice and then move by dropping one cube on to each square you enter. The last cube dropped must match a cube of the same colour already in the square. All cubes matched are removed from the game and then you take the Action associated with that colour. And, as a bonus, if you take off cubes that leave the square empty, you may place one of your camels into it and it remains yours for the rest of the game and will give you Victory Points at the end. The number of camels you start with varies with the number of players but the game will end after someone places their last camel on to the board.

The Mancala-like dropping off cubes is the meaty part of the game but there are other nice touches, particularly the bidding for turn order each round. This is full of tension and if you see a great move and you want to definitely go first, it will cost you a lot of money. And another good feature is that you can buy Djinns. Each Djinn on your side at the end can score you large points but make you focus on the coloured cubes you remove each turn, in effect, giving you a positive strategy and a target to work to. Of course, the Djinns are on show so the players can try to engineer things so you don’t get the best out of your Djinn.

The biggest criticism of this wonderful game is that it can lead to constant Analysis Paralysis (AP). This is correct so you need to play with players who won’t take an eternity each turn. If you have such people in your regular group then Five Tribes is not for you. But if everyone understands that the game should be played in the right spirit then please give it a try.

Oh! I nearly forgot to mention that Five Tribes cannot be played by 5 people! For 2 to 4 players only.

Old Maid

Chad Valley

1955

Blitzkrieg

Avalon Hill

1965

Zorro

Schmidt

1990

NASA Super Jets

ASS

1982

Electrical Mah Jong

De La Rue

1924

Donald Duck als Kaartspel

Unknown

2000

Verkeersvliegtuigen

Heinrich Schwarz

1975

Risk: Godstorm

Avalon Hill

2004

Beat Your Neighbours

Tower Press

1960

Wir tauchen mit Hans Hass

Bielefelder

1965

USAC Auto Racing

Avalon Hill

1979

Tarock Schafkopf

ASS

2010

Woody Woodpecker and hid Friends

Pepys

1974

Sword & Skull

Avalon Hill

2005

Old Maid

Clifford

1955

Grzimeks Tierbilder 1

Berliner

1970

Police State

Idea Development

1976

Rekorde auf Rädern

ASS

1985

Flickers Playing Cards

Creative Impressions

1980

Galactic War

Tabletop Games

1976

Robin Hood Snap

Ariel

1958

Sportsman's Rummy

Unknown

1975

Renaissance Man

Rio Grande

2013

Trivia Troeven

Nova Carta

1985

U-Boote

ASS

1980

SuperSkins

High Roller Games

1992

Schiffe

Bielefelder

1974

Patience

Pelikan

1975

There and Back

Clifford

1950

Pirates of the Caribbean at Worlds End Playing Cards and Pirate Game

Carta Mundi

2007

 

Tags: 

Add new comment

(If you're a human, don't change the following field)
Your first name.
(If you're a human, don't change the following field)
Your first name.
(If you're a human, don't change the following field)
Your first name.