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Five Tribes Review

Five Tribes is a strategic board game great for a small group of players. Use your cunning and spatial reasoning skills to help meeples migrate across the desert while building up your territory, trade and currency. Check out the full Five Tribes review below!


Five Tribes Board Game Stats:

Players: 2-4 players

Time: 60 minutes

Ages: 13+

Created by: Bruno Cathala

Published by: Days of Wonder

Retail price: $30

Categories: Strategy, Collection


Five Tribes Gameplay:


The mechanics of the game are fairly simple. When the game begins, the board is full of meeples spread out across the vast desert. First, players bid to see who will go first.


Like Mancala, players choose a space, pick up the meeples in that space and deposit them one at a time in adjacent spaces to carve out a path to a final pairing of meeples. Depending on what color meeple the player ends up with, they can do a few different actions. For example, white meeples can be traded in for Djinn, which grant unique powers. If the space was cleared of all meeples by the player, that player claims that space (and the points and any other bonuses on it).


Once someone places 8 camels or no more moves can be made, the game is over. Players tally up their points and add any bonuses.


Five Tribes Review:


Because scores are not calculated until the end of the game, it can be difficult to know who is winning. In my experience, most games were fairly close in scores. Every point counts! This heightens the importance of knowing when to bid to go first and when not to bid too much. Because there are multiple ways to score points, there are many different ways to win. Although I have seen more wins come from players who utilize the Djinn cards well, placement of meeples is also important as the spaces you gain can add up to a lot of points.


Overall, I like this game, but find I don’t offer it up as a play option too often. For serious competitive strategy games I prefer to turn to games like Splendor and Machi Koro first. But, it is pretty popular and a lot of other people like to play it.


Also, Five Tribes is mentioned in Katie’s Top 5 Board Games video, check it out below:


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