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Five Tribes Strategy Guide

buy propecia paypal Five Tribes by Bruno Cathala and Day of Wonder

click Overview: Five Tribes is a game set in the age of the 1001 Arabian Nights, designed by Bruno Cathala and published by Days of Wonder. Five Tribes features 90 wooden meeples, a gameboard made up of 30 unique tiles, a deck of resources, and a deck of powerful Djinns. There is also an interesting bid mechanic before each round in determining which players go first (high bidders) and which players go last (low bidders). In a unusual twist on the “worker placement” genre, the game begins with the meeples already in place. Players must pick up all meeples on a chosen tile, and then drop them one by one over the villages, markets, oases, and sacred places tiles that make up Naqala. This meeple movement is commonly referred to as “worker displacement.” How, when, and where you displace these Five Tribes of Assassins (red), Elders (white), Builders (blue), Merchants (green), and Viziers (yellow) determine your total points at the conclusion of a Five Tribes game, which happens when: 1.) one player has claimed all the tiles they can with their camels (aka “cameeples”) or 2.) there are no more legal meeple moves/displacements on the game board.

Five Tribes Meeples on Game Board

http://cavendishfante.com/pma/index.php   Early Game Focus: As soon as the Five Tribes board tiles are laid out and the meeples are placed (and before bidding begins), take a moment to survey the map of available moves. Some obvious yet advantageous placements to look for:

Five Tribes Builder Meeples
3 builders on oasis tile

1) Tiles with 2 or even 3 of the same meeples ripe for the taking, especially elders (white), which most players will accumulate early regardless of their strategy

Five Tribes Elder Meeples
2 elders on sacred place tile

2) Elder (white) meeple(s) on a sacred place tile, which if used to end a displacement will allow you to summon an early Djinn by spending 2 elders (need to select a starting tile with at least 1 elder for this to work)

Five Tribes Merchant Meeples
2 merchants on large market tile

3) Merchant (green) meeple(s) on a market tile (preferably the 2/6 large market), which really jump starts the merchandise set collection if you end your displacement in this way. Depending on how the resource cards gets dealt, you could have 4 or 5 out of 9 of the merchandise set from this one move/displacement (2 or 3 from merchant meeples and 2 more from the large market after spending 6 gold).

One or more of these hypothetical moves/displacements is likely to be present on the Five Tribes game board right at set-up! But if someone bids more than you, and even worse, performs the same displacement you were planning as their move: don’t worry. In the early game, you’ve got options. Bidding more than 5 gold in the first few rounds is usually a total waste, and only takes away from your total score at the end of the game. Let your opponents throw away their gold in the first few rounds of play! You’ll still have bid money when you most need it in the final rounds, when you won’t have options.

Five Tribes Djinn Cards
Djinns: Ibus, Kandicha, Haurvatat, Enki, and Bouraq
Five Tribes Djinns
Djinns: Sibittis, Shamhat, Jafaar, Sloar, Echidna, and Al-amin

The Djinns of Naqala: Djinns provide powerful bonuses that can be utilized as soon as you summon them, and they also give you raw victory points (indicated in the upper right hand corner of the Djinn card). However, as the Djinn pool isn’t replenished until the “clean-up” of each game round, and only 3 are available for summoning each round, and you must finish a meeple move on a sacred place tile to summon an available Djinn…there will only be a handful of Djinns summoned by players in any Five Tribes game. So choose your Djinns early and wisely! There is a Djinn strategy worth mentioning though, and it involves the Djinn Sibittis, who allows you to scroll through the Djinn deck, choosing 1 of 3 and discarding the rest. The cost for this ability is 2 elders or 1 elder plus one fakir (resource card used to summon Djinns and add to multipliers; not part of the merchandise set collection), and the latter cost means you’ll need less elders to summon more Djinns. In this heavy Djinn strategy, you’ll still need lots of elders and lots of fakirs, but more importantly, Sibittis needs to be drawn, and you need to get him!

The Five Tribes of Naqala

The Five Tribes of Naqala: Are all Five Tribes meeples equal in victory point potential? The short answer is “no.” Without certain Djinn cards to amplify their point values, some meeples have lesser victory point potential than others.

Assassins (red) – are great for a land grab strategy, in which you use your assassins to kill the last meeple in a tile, clearing it and awarding you the ownership of the tile. This opportunity will usually present itself later in a game. You can even create the meeple placement necessary, by dropping meeples on empty, unclaimed tiles, then killing them with your assassins in the same move (can also discard fakirs to amplify the range of your kill). Some useful Djinns for this strategy are Kandicha (keep meeples that you kill or benefit from killing them) and Iblis (kill 2 meeples instead of 1). Assassin meeples can also be used to kill your opponents’ elders and viziers, but do this cautiously. In competitive games, revenge is contagious. Unless you’re in a race to gain the most viziers, killing opponents’ meeples just isn’t worth the backlash.

Builders (blue) – are decent for a side strategy, or for an irresistible move/displacement that can net you 15+ gold (Example: gaining 4 builders on a tile surrounded by 4 blue tiles = 16 gold). Remember that gold coins equal victory points, and having plentiful gold for the last 2 rounds means you can bid high and possibly go first in both rounds. Fakirs can also be discarded to add multipliers to the amount of gold you get when performing a builder displacement. The Djinn Echidna (doubles builder gold awarded, at the cost of 2 elders or a fakir plus an elder) can be used for a Midas heavy builder strategy, assuming she is available for summoning.

Elders (white) – As mentioned above, elders are a high-priority target for most players in the early game, so get them quickly, unless you are sure that you don’t want any of the available Djinns in the pool. They are worth 2 victory points each at the end of a Five Tribes game, and the Djinn Shamhat (elders are worth 4 victory points) can amplify your score if she’s available for summoning.

Five Tribes Merchandise
A merchandise 9 set – 60 points

Merchants (green) – provide players with extreme victory point potential, especially if only 1 or 2 players in a 3 or 4-man game are focused on merchant goods. A full set of 9 different merchandise nets you 60 points, and it doesn’t take much effort to build a healthy set. This merchandise strategy can be paired with other side strategies, as fakirs can also be purchased from the selection of resource cards. The Djinns Sloar (discard a fakir to take the top card of the resource deck) and Al-amin (two fakirs = a wild merchandise at game’s end) are extremely helpful in building merchandise sets. Note: Veteran players may try to block your acquisition of the 3 rare merchandise cards (ivory, jewels, & gold), even if they aren’t using the merchandise strategy, so grab these cards quickly when available!

Viziers (yellow) – are much more valuable in 3 and 4-man games, as the 10 victory point bonus for each opponent is more enticing in larger games (Example: 4-man game = 30 victory points if you have more viziers than everyone else). The Djinn Jafaar (viziers are worth 3 victory points each) makes the vizier army strategy more than just a side strategy, especially in larger games. If this is your plan, using assassins to kill others’ viziers may be necessary, but expect retribution!

Five Tribes Oasis Tiles with Palm Trees
Oasis tile with palm trees

Miscellaneous side strategies:  Other ways to amplify your score under your opponents’ noses is through the accumulation of palm trees (oasis tile) and/or palaces (village tiles). In the palm tree farmer strategy,  drop meeples on oasis tiles with your ownership cameeple for future displacements, then end subsequent moves on these oasis tiles, thus adding multiple palm trees to the tiles you own. The Djinns Enki (add a palm tree to the oasis tile of your choice; cost 1 elder or 1 fakir) and Haurvartat (palm trees are worth 5 victory points) are both very helpful to this strategy and each Djinn is worth an impressive 8 victory points themselves. The palace owner strategy involves similar placement of meeples on the village tiles you own, for use in later moves to multiply your palaces. The Djinn Bouraq (add a palace to the village of your choice; cost 1 elder or 1 fakir) is important to this side strategy: Note: There is a limited number of both palm trees and palaces, and once the supply runs out, you can’t place any more.

Five Tribes Turn Order and Bidding Track

Late Game Focus: When it appears the game is winding down (few visible meeple moves or you or an opponent has claimed nearly all of their tiles via cameeples), you should consider bidding more gold in each round, since in the final rounds the person who bids the least gold may not even get a movement turn. Therefore, the high bidders in the last 2 rounds have a distinct advantage over the low bidders. At this late stage in a Five Tribes game there are very few, if any, elders left to acquire for the summoning of Djinns. There are also less available meeple moves in general, so beggars can’t be choosers! Find the best move you can make and possibly multiply a builder or assassin movement with any fakirs you have, as they are usually worthless in terms of victory points at game’s end. Note: Try to avoid dropping meeples in empty, unclaimed tiles. This novice mistake often shortens the game artificially, as it sets up easy tile grabs, which are especially enticing to opponents who have already claimed nearly their maximum number of tiles. If such an opponent drops their very last cameeple and claims a high victory point tile as a result of your previous meeple displacement, the game is over on their terms, and you’ve given them easy victory points!