Five Tribes Review

This is a new game for me. We bought it last week and, while I’d heard great things about it, I’d never played it before. Turns out it’s great with two players. I still need to try with more but I’m just so excited by it I had to write the review now. As my husband said “well now you have a new game to obsess over.”

Five Tribes is a game set in Arabia where you have five different colored meeples that you move around the tiles. Each of the five colors (five tribes) of meeples does something different. 

Yellow meeples are collected and get you one point each and ten more for each person you have more than. White meeples are collected and are three points but you can also spend them to obtain djinn and cast special powers. Green meeples get you to the marketplace. Blue meeples get you coins (which are straight up victory points). Red meeples kill other meeples. 

If you read my Tokaido review you know what set collecting is. This is a classic case of it. Just in case you didn’t read that review, here’s the defenition again: everything you do collects something. Most of the time the more of the collection you have the more points you get, but everything gets you some number of points. 

The really interesting thing about Five Tribes is the meeple movement. On your turn you pick a tile and pick up the meeples on that tile. You then move them horizontally and vertically dropping a meeple on each tile as you go. The last meeple you drop has to be the same color as a meeple already on that tile. This is because you then pick up all meeples of that color, on your final tile, and do the meeples’ action. 

If you have cleared a tile by doing this you claim the tile and any points associated with it. You also, claimed or not, do the action on the tile (some actions are optional). In a two player game each player gets to do this twice a round so you might get to do it twice in a row. This can be very powerful. 

The game is over when one player runs out of camels (how you mark your tiles) or there are no more legal moves left. In the picture below there are no more legal moves. 

I pretty much already told you my verdict. I love this game. And guess what it has an expantion!

The expantion mainly adds three more things: mountains, precious objects, and artisans (or purple meeples). 

Mountains are put out on certain new tiles (that do make the game board bigger) and you cannot travel over them when moving your meeples. 

Precious objects are worth lots of points compared to other things. Some of them are one off special powers instead. 

Artisans are collected. They’re worth three points if no one has more than you and you can use them to get precious objects. 

I haven’t played with the expantion enough yet to tell you if it’s any good. I did notice some issue with the precious objects but I’m not really sure what it was. It needs more research. 

There is also another micro expantion but I haven’t played with it so I don’t know how it works. 

Anyway. Thank you for reading! Don’t hesitate to ask me questions. See you next time. 


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