Nations: The Dice Game

RRP: £37.99

NOW £31.62
RRP £37.99

Earn 3162 Victory Points
PayPal Later
Pay in 3 interest-free payments on eligible purchases. Learn more
Success! We will let you know when this product is available again.
Your email address has been unsubscribed!
Your email address has been unsubscribed!
Notify me when this product is available to purchase!
This email address is already subscribed to this product!
From the humble beginnings of civilization through the historical ages of progress, mankind has lived, fought and built together in nations. Great nations protect and provide for their own, while fighting and competing against both other nations and nature itself. Nations must provide food as the population increases, build a productive economy, and amaze the world with their great …
Read More
Category Tags , , , SKU ZBG-ASMNAT02EN Availability Out of stock
Share
Share this

Awards

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You Might Like

  • The challenge of reacting to rolls and tile draws.
  • The speed of play.
  • Importance of timing and choice.
  • Dice are nearly always useful.

Might Not Like

  • The luck elements.
  • Card components are not great.
  • 'Boring' nations in the base game.
Find out more about our blog & how to become a member of the blogging team by clicking here

Related Products

Description

From the humble beginnings of civilization through the historical ages of progress, mankind has lived, fought and built together in nations. Great nations protect and provide for their own, while fighting and competing against both other nations and nature itself. Nations must provide food as the population increases, build a productive economy, and amaze the world with their great achievements to build up their heritage as the greatest nations in the history of mankind!

Nations: The Dice Game is a game for 1-4 players that takes 10-15 minutes per player and shares many concepts with the civilization-building game Nations while still offering its own challenges. The game is played over four ages (four rounds). During each round, players take turns until all have passed. The available actions are:

  • Buy a tile
  • Build a wonder
  • Reroll some or all your dice

Buildings and military provide dice. Colonies and wonders provide resources and victory points. Advisors provide rerolls. New tiles provide benefits immediately, so you can roll new dice at once.

At the end of each round, War and Famine drawn at the start of the round is checked for each player, giving you victory points if you match or beat the values. Books are accumulated and scored. Player order is checked, with high military strength going first in the next round. At the end of the game, whoever has the most victory points wins.

It's not often that a game promises to allow you to build a civilisation in such a quick time as Nations: The Dice Game. Taking the theme of it's more complex big sibling, Nations, this dice version offers 1-4 players the chance to butt heads and compete for the most points.

Roll for the Nations

Nations: The Dice Game sees each player taking charge of a nation player mat, which in the base game are all identical. This player mat illustrates the players starting dice and tokens. In this base game the players start with five white dice which are illustrated as blue buildings, future buildings will be played on top of these - replacing any dice or tokens with the ones illustrated on the new building. Tokens work the same way for the most part, with the exception that your starting tokens never get replaced.

Tokens can be any of the icons from the dice, or a special ability like a re-roll. Each round players will roll their dice, lay out new tiles for purchase and also lay out an event tile. Then, in turn, order they will take one action at a time until every player has passed. Actions include using dice and tokens to buy a tile, build a wonder, re-rolling, and using two dice as a gold, sword or build action. Using a dice or token places it on your player mat in the used area.

Tiles come in four types. Buildings are blue and must be placed over an existing building on your player mat, returning the dice shown on your old building and gaining the one or ones shown on the new. New dice are immediately rolled and may be used later in the round. Advisors are yellow and give you points and/or tokens. They have a space on your player board and like buildings replace any old advisors and the tokens they gave you.

Colonies are a little different, they are not placed on your board, but to the side. You take any shown tokens immediately and can buy as many colonies as you want. Wonders are similar but must first be placed on your player mat and built before you gain any bonuses.

Nations the Game

This carries on for four rounds or 'ages' when players count up scored points to determine the winner. There is a little more complexity than this, with some round to round scoring and 'book' collecting. The most interesting aspects of this being that you can choose not to use dice and instead save them towards end round points.

At the end of the game your nation will look a little different than it did at the start. You will have collected more tokens, upgraded your dice pool and built wonders with the help of advisors. This all sounds pretty thematic, however in practice the theme is somewhat abstract. You don't ever feel like you are moving a civilisation through the ages, instead you are rolling dice and becoming more powerful through collecting tiles. Somehow this doesn't make a bad game.

Maybe because it's so damn quick, but I find Nations a compelling game. I am not adverse to the luck of the dice, particularly when you feel that you have good options whatever you roll. In Nations, tiles are limited per age so you have to decide when to purchase them, because if you don't they may be gone by the time your next action rolls around. Even a roll that isn't ideal can be used for points or mitigated.

Nations Built on Books

One way of gaining points is to get ahead on the book track by rolling books. This is a potentially big point earner as you get points for each player behind you on the track. You could save swords and leaves to win the end of the round famine or war phases. In short there is lots to do for such a simple, quick playing game. The colour of dice you gain can give focus your strategy as their faces favour some icons over others.

There are even some solo rules included, normally this wouldn't bother me, but Nations plays so quick that I gave it a try. I love it! The solo mode works really well, and can help practice strategies for the multiplayer game. It even replicates the player interaction with the AI player potentially taking tiles after each of your actions.

It's not perfect, the base game nations are identical apart from name and the cardboard components are not the best. The dice are great though, nicely engraved and consistent. There is a lot of tiles in this game which adds variety but also more luck. This means it is a risk to plan to far ahead as you have no way of knowing what might tiles might appear. As I already mentioned, the theme here really could be nearly anything, but the gameplay really shines by asking you to do the best with the resources you have. This might not scratch your civ itch but anyone who likes dice games should check this out.

Way to Grow

Nations: The Dice Game also has a small expansion, known as Unrest,  that adds asymmetric player mats, more powerful tokens, new scoring tiles, including bonuses for passing first and green dice. It may not sound like much but the player mats alone make the world of difference. The game had a lot of variety anyway and this adds more, I was concerned that this might tip the luck balance to far, but actually, whenever I include the expansion the game opens up much more.

For me this is an essential expansion, easy to add in without adding complexity, you can play this with new players right off the bat.

With the expansion, this game gets an 89% review score.

Zatu Score

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You might like

  • The challenge of reacting to rolls and tile draws.
  • The speed of play.
  • Importance of timing and choice.
  • Dice are nearly always useful.

Might not like

  • The luck elements.
  • Card components are not great.
  • 'Boring' nations in the base game.