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Rise of Tribes Kickstarter Preview

Rise of Tribes

I cannot remember how I came across this game, but I know it started around the time I first spoke to Christian Strain, the Campaign Lead for Rise of Tribes. I was instantly hyped by the way the game let's you control a prehistoric tribe. You must make sure your tribe grows and ventures into new territory, collect resources, and survive conflicts with other Tribes. The modular board and dice play were also an element that appeal to me.

The game I played was a prototype and some of the rules may vary slightly before final release. The actual prototype I received was of a very high standard which surprised me and others who played It. The final production copy of this will be amazing if this is anything to go by, I cannot wait to see what it will look like.

In Rise of Tribes you take control of a unique Tribe (You can choose to use special Leader Powers). You will grow the Tribe’s population, travel across land, gather resources, and fight other tribes while completing Goal cards and try to become the first to score 15 points.

The modular board is made up of hex tiles and is set up differently according to the player count. The tiles contain lakes, forests, and mountains. Each Tribe has a maximum population of 20 and there are 6 different Tribes to choose from. They will all have different game changing ability’s known as Leader Powers, but I didn’t really get a chance to use these as much as I would have liked. As they were just finalised close to the end of me finishing this article.

Actions and how it plays

The setup of the game is very simple and quick with the dice, hex tiles, action board, meeples, resource tokens, a deck of Goal cards per tribe, and an Event card deck. I first thought this game would be far too light, but after only the first 2 or 3 play-throughs, I soon realised there is a lot of hidden depth to Rise of Tribes.

On your turn, you first score one point for every village you have built. You then roll 2 dice and use those dice to take actions.

There are four main actions for you to take on your turn :

  • Grow-  Add Tribe Members to hexes
  • Move- Move Tribe Members from one hex to an adjacent hex
  • Gather- Obtain resources from a hex
  • Lead- Gain Goal Cards

The Dice, The Goal cards and Conflict

This is where the game really shines. There is a varying amount to what you will receive when taking one of the above actions, and this has all to do with the dice. Each action has a spot where you place 3 dice in setup. When you roll your dice, you place one in the first spot on any action you choose. The other dice then move to the right and the one die that no longer has a space becomes the next player’s die to roll. The symbols you slide into the action spots determine that action’s output (two moons being bad and two suns being great with a third default output). This leads to tactical thinking. Sometimes, what you really want to do cannot be achieved or will not be as efficient as you would have hoped for to complete a goal card and score points.

Each tribe has an identical deck of Goal cards, and scoring points off of these is a must if you want to win at this game. Using the Lead action to get more cards is a good tactic early on. Concentrating on getting these to score as the game progresses was a tactic that worked for me.

These cards have conditions such as, occupy x number of hexes, have all Tribe Members on the board, and gather x amount of resources in one turn. There are also cards that give you an added bonus when taking an action. The Pottery card, for example, gives you an extra 2 additional tribe members when using the Grow action.

Conflict is started when a single hex has more than 5 Tribe members occupying it. Conflict is a very easy affair where you simply remove tribe members simultaneously until only one Tribes members remain.

Final Thoughts

My early excitement was surely going to end up in disappointment as, in my head, this game was too good to be true. I was not disappointed when I was chosen to review this game. Over the 20+ play-throughs with different groups I have not experienced one person disliking it.

The ‘oh this looks basic’ soon turns in to ‘ Blast!! so what can I do now I have had a bad roll’ as people get to understand the importance of planning ahead and having a backup plan to minimise a bad roll. Normally dice get a bad name in games due to the luck factor but there is always a tactic in Rise of Tribes that negates this as long as you plan accordingly.

The game starts off at a steady pace of simply moving and growing until you need a particular hex another tribe is occupying and then conflict is a frequent occurrence. With the quick set up time and playtime of less than an hour, the game got multiple plays each time I took it to a friends/games night.

To put it in simple terms, the game has a cool theme that is apparent throughout, great fun gameplay, and is easy to learn. The game starts off slow but soon kicks up through the gears, and the player interaction is top notch due to the unique dice mechanic.

With better components, more refined gameplay, and promised additions through stretch goals, I am really looking forward to seeing this game release on Kickstarter. I will be hitting refresh on the 6th of June to try and get first backer.