Five Tribes is a fantastic worker placement game with a twist. You are trying to take control of the city of Naqala as the old sultan is no more. After bidding for your starting position the fun begins. Your aim is to clear tiles to score them and gain its reward, you can also gain resource cards and Djinn cards which will gain you points.
Five Tribes is designed by Bruno Cathala and published by Days of Wonder. It is a 2-4 player game and takes around 40 to 80 minutes to play. This game is filled with great components and a great theme to boot.
The components in this game are great, everything from the cards to the camels. The first component you see is the tiles, they are large, sturdy and double-sided with intricate artwork showing what they do.
The meeples are of high quality, I have played this game around 10 times and the colour on the meeples are still pristine - which is great as you keep them all together in a bag. Each person has their own player marker and set of coloured camels, much like the meeples but shaped like sitting camels, they are pretty, sturdy and hard wearing as are the wooden palaces and palm trees.
There are two sets of cards, djinn cards and resource cards. The djinn cards are large with intricate and unusual drawings of each djinn. They also pictate each djinn’s power. Some powers give you more points at the end of the game and others allow you to use their power once per round as long as you can pay the cost.
You also have a wooden turn order track and bid order track. The turn order track has pictures of the coins with numbers on each coin to represent how many coins you will need to pay to acquire that place. It has a nice finish and is fairly sturdy like the tiles. The bid order track is simple but carries the theme in the artwork.
All in all a great selection of components that are all of a high quality.
Five Tribes Gameplay
Once you choose your colour of camels and starting token, you bid for your starting position. The first player to make a bid will place their marker on a circle on the turn order track and pay its cost in gold if any. Then the other players also bid, once the bidding is done the person who has bid the most will take first go, second most goes second etc. Now comes the fun part or hard part.
You will chose a tile (at the beginning all tiles will have three meeples on it of any colour) and pick up all meeples on that tile. You then have to move one tile at a time in any direction, except diagonal, and leave one of any colour meeple on each tile as you go, but the last meeple you place on that tile has to have at least one meeple of the same colour.
You then pick up the meeple you dropped and any meeples of the same colour on that tile. If you clear a tile of all meeples this way you put your camel on that tile and score the points that are at the top of the tile at the end of the game. Whether you clear a tile or not, by finishing your move on that tile it entitles you to use its power.
Playing Five Tribes Board Game (Credit: Krecik BGG)
In addition to the tiles power you also use the meeple's power:
- Red Meeples - Allow you to assassinate another meeple on a tile or one next to another player.
- Blue Meeples - Allow you to get money depending on how many blue meeples you have times the number of blue tiles surrounding the tile you finished on.
- Yellow Meeples - Stay with you as they are worth points at the end of the game.
- White Meeples - Stay with you as you gets points for them at the end of the game and they can also be used to purchase djinn cards.
- Green Meeples - Give you merchandise cards that yup give you points at the end of the game.
Whatever meeples you acquire will go in the bag provided except white and yellow, you keep them in front of you to gain there points. Everything you do from acquiring money, claiming tiles, gaining cards or meeples all gives you points.
In my opinion if you want to win in Five Tribes you want to acquire points in many ways, not just one, and there are plenty of ways to get them in this game. The game ends when either someone places there last camel or there is no moves left on the tiles.
Final Thoughts on Five Tribes
Five Tribes is a brilliant game especially if you're good at finding patterns. You're never stuck with nothing to do as you will be watching other players hoping they are not about to take the move you are planing on, and when they do you will find yourself frantically trying to find another move to give you what you want.
All the components are of high quality which is great as the replay-ability in this game is great, I have never had two games quite alike. Another thing which makes this game is the rule book, it is only eight pages long.
Each player will also have an A4 reference card which tells you everything you need to know on how to take a turn and what each of the meeples powers are, along with what the powers on the tiles let you do. On the reverse side of the card is all the djinn and an explanation on what each one does.
You can pick this game up for not that much, which is a great value for what you get in the box and its replay-ability. There is also three, yes three expansions. There is the Thieves of Naqala small expansion which gives you new cards and powers for so little. The Artisans of Naqala expansion gives you another tribe of purple meeples which gives out new powers.
You Might Like
- Great quality components.
- Looks visually appealing.
- Great replay-ability.
- No real down-time.
- Small rule book.
- Reference Cards.
- Three expansions.
You Might Not Like
- To be honest I have no bad points!! I would recommend this to everyone that likes puzzles or patterns.