Gentes is a civilisation game where players take on the role of an ancient group of people attempting to develop and grow by building monuments and colonising new cities in the Mediterranean sea. It features an innovate mechanism of time as a way of determining the number of actions that you can perform.
It was originally released in 2017 and the Deluxe version was successfully funded on Kickstarter in 2018.
Gentes Deluxe Gameplay
The game consists of six rounds, with each round consisting of two phases (action phase and clean-up phase). At round one, three and five a new era begins with new civilisation cards available. During the action phase players can spend an action marker, money and time (represented by sand timers). The sand timers are placed on the action track displayed on the players personal player board.
Once the action track is full the players cannot take any more actions that turn. The number of actions a player can take will vary from round to round as some the actions cost a single sand timer and others cost two. During the clean-up phase single sand timers are removed from the player board whereas double sand timers are flipped to single sand timers and stay on the track until the end of the next round.
The actions are selected by collecting the relevant action tile from the main board and placing it on their track, paying the associated costs. Available actions include.
- Buy a new card from the common display.
- Build monuments (play civilisation cards from a player’s hand).
- Train/Educate your tribe.
- Build/Found cities.
- Take money.
Training/educating your tribe is an important factor in Gentes. There are six different types of people that can be trained, these include merchants, nobles, scholars, soldiers, priests and artisans. These are split in to pairs, three on the left of the training track and three on the right, with only six training spaces in total for the each of the three pairs. For example, the merchant and the soldier share the same track at opposite ends. Players could have four soldiers but only two merchants, or three of each, or any combination totalling six.
To play a civilisation card from your hand the required people must be met. For example, the Forge requires two artisans, one soldier and one scholar. If the player has the required people, then they can play the card and receive the benefits. Building cities also offer nice rewards and benefits.
Play continues with each person taking an action until their action track is full. Then the clean-up phases happens and a new round is started. At the end of the clean-up phase of the sixth round the person with the most victory points wins the game.
There is a lot going on in Gentes Deluxe. The action point allowance mechanism is very interesting and is what originally drew me to the game. I really like the notion of spending time as a resource to select your actions and only having a limited amount of “time” to spend during a round. The added layer of two sand timers reducing to one sand timer and carrying over to the next turn is fantastic.
I am looking forward to seeing how the training track plays out and the relationship with the civilisation cards. The balance of who to train and who not train will make for some interesting strategic decisions in the game. The route that a player goes down will greatly influence their overall gameplay and I imagine will open up many paths that a player can take.
The bonuses with the civilisation cards and the cities also look fascinating and look like they will add more replay-ability in to the game as well as offering the players bonuses and rewards for playing them.
The Deluxe version that was on Kickstarter looks amazing. Most of the components have been upgraded from cardboard tokens to wooden ones. The Deluxe version also contains metal coins, dual layer player boards, an added expansion (New Cities) and a folded space insert. All in all, a Deluxe version indeed.
Gentes is currently planned to be shipped to Kickstarter backers in November and it can’t come soon enough. I am really looking forward to exploring the various routes and paths to victory and seeing what strategies can be played out.