five tribes

Days of Wonder has just announced the Whims of the Sultan Expansion for Five Tribes, finally allowing for a fifth player to join in manipulating the tribes in Bruno Cathala’s popular euro-style game.

Days of Wonder’s Five Tribes game feature players manipulating Assassins, Elders, Builders, Merchants, and Vizier tribe members around the villages, markets, oases, and sacred places that make up Naqala. Despite the fact that players are manipulating tribes, not actually representing one of the five tribes, gamers have long mocked the game for maxing out at four players. The new expansions remedies this and allows a fifth player in on the fun. Whims of the Sultan will include all the necessary components to play five-player games.

In addition to the components for five players the game also introduces Fabulous Cities tiles. Visiting fabulous cities gives players opportunities to win additional glory points  as they fill the requests from the Sultan by completing Whim of the Sultan cards.

Either expansion module can be played alone with the base game or along with the already released Artisans of Naqala expansion.

Components include:

  • 6 tiles
  • 15 wooden tribe meeples
  • 8 camels
  • 1 tent and 1 player’s turn marker
  • 22 Whim of the Sultan cards
  • 2 Djinn cards
  • 1 bid order track and 1 turn order track for 5 player games
  • 1 pad of scoring sheets
  • 1 summary sheet

The game is scheduled for a June release in Europe and and August Gen Con release in North America.


Naqala is now a prosperous place. Gaining the favors of the different Tribes was not that easy… but your rivals are not so easily discouraged.

Some Tribes now abandon your cause and rally to your rivals instead ; and soon it turns out that they follow influential leaders that your rivals hired against you.

Yet every man has his price, and you could return the favor to your rivals… should you have what it takes to recruit the Thieves of Naqala.

Days of Wonder has announced a new mini-expansion for its game Five Tribes that introduces a new play-style through unique powers and treachery.  This new expansion will include six thief cards and one new Djinn.

The mini-expansion is planned for released in June 2016 in Europe and August 2016 (Gen Con) in America.  For more information, visit the game’s page on the Days of Wonder website.

five tribes solo

While board gaming is mainly a social activity, there are some of us who like to sit down for a solo experience to either learn the game better or to just enjoy the game at your own pace.  Games like the Pathfinder Adventure Card Games were designed from the start with the ability to be played solo, while other games, like Suburbia, tend to need some massaging to get the solo experience to work.  So Days of Wonder has done that massaging and released the rules for the solo variant of Five Tribes.  Designed by Bruno Cathala and Thierry Jolit, the solo variant has you going up against a dummy player, Yazid the First, as you try to usurp his throne before he has a chance to rally enough support to stop you.  You can head over to the Days of Wonder site and download the rules page for free and then try it yourself.


Those of us here in the states know about the WBC or the World Board gaming Championships that happens in Pennsylvania each year, well before you can win the world you have to win your continent first.  EuropeMasters is the board gaming championship for all of Europe and Canada and featured 29 teams vying for the title.  Teams consisted of 4 people and they played 4 different games with each individual’s win getting their team 5 points for a possible max score of 80.  There were prizes for first, second, and third as well as the best individual performance.  The four games played this year were Five Tribes, Deus, ZhanGuo, and Orleans.  After all games were played the results were as follows:

1st Place with 65 points – Brettspielteam Hamburg (Germany); Jan Ruess (16 points), Sebastian Moises (14 points), Dennis Johannsen (18 points), Mika Seidel (17 points)

2nd Place with 59.5 points – Steppe Nomads (Finland); Oskari Vuorio (15,5 points), Johannes Rimpiläinen (11 points), Iridian Kiiskinen (18 points), Juuso Lähdekorpi (15 points)

3rd Place with 58.5 points – Poslední Naděje (Czech Republic)l; Mario Babunek (15 points), Mailan Horák (9,5 points), Karel Kozmik (16 points), Ondřej Demel (18 points)

Overall Best Individual with a perfect score of 20 – Robert Oestreich from InTeam (Germany)

international game award

The 2015 International Gamers Award nominees for general strategy games released between July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015 have been announced. The nominees are grouped in two categories—multiplayer and two-player games.

The multiplayer nominees are:

Game Designer Publisher
Aquasphere Stefan Feld Tasty Minstrel Games/Quined Games
Deus Sebastien Dujardin Pearl Games/Asmodee
Elysium Matthew Dunstan and Brett Gilbert Space Cowboys/Rebel pl./Asmodee
Five Tribes Bruno Cathala Days of Wonder
Hyperborea Andrea Chiarvesio and Pierluca Zizzi Asmodee/Asterio Press
Kraftwagen Matthias Cramer ADC Blackfire Entertainment
La Granja Michael Keller and Andrea Odendahl PD Verlag/999 Games/Stronghold Games
Orleans Reiner Stockhausen Dlp Games/Tasty Minstrel Games
Panamax Gil d’Orey, Nuno Bizarro Sentieiro and Paulo Soledade HC Distribuzione/Stronghold Games
Quartermaster General Ian Brody Griggling Games
Roll for the Galaxy Wei-Hwa Huang and Thomas Lehmann Rio Grande Games
Voyages of Marco Polo Simone Luciani and Daniele Tascini Hans im Gluck/Z-man Games


The two-player nominees are:

Game Designer Publisher
Baseball Highlights 2045 Mike Fitzgerald Eagle/Gryphon Games
Fields of Arle Uwe Rosenberg Feuerland Spiele/Z-man Games
Patchwork Uwe Rosenberg Lookout Games/Mayfair Games
Star Realms Robert Dougherty and Darwin Kastle White Wizard Games
Star Wars Armada James Kniffen and Christian T. Petersen Fantasy Flight Games
Wir Sind das Volk Richard Sivel and Peer Sylvester Histogame

For more details on the nominated games, and on the nomination committee members please go to the International Gamers Awards website here.


Dice Tower Con 2015 has come and gone and so we now look forward to Essen and the flood of games coming out then.  But before that, we have the winners of the Dice Tower Awards for games released in 2014 to announce:

Most Innovative Game – Tragedy Looper
Best Two-player Game – Star Realms
Best Strategy Game – Five Tribes
Best Small Publisher – Star Realms by White Wizard Games
Best Party Game – Spyfall
Best New Designer – Alchemists by Matúš Kotry
Best Game Theming – Dead of Winter
Best Game Reprint – Ticket to Ride: 10th Anniversary Edition
Best Game Expansion – Tuscany: Expand the World of Viticulture
Best Game Artwork – Abyss
Best Family Game – Splendor
Best Board Games Components – Star Wars: Imperial Assault
Best Co-op Game – Dead of Winter
Best Game of the Year – Dead of Winter

You can look at the list of winners as well as all the nominations over on the Dice Tower website or you can watch the awards on Youtube at the Dice Tower’s channel


Days of Wonder announced an upcoming expansion to the hit game Five Tribes coming to GenCon this summer! From designer Bruno Cathala, artwork by Clément Masson, and titled ‘The Artisans of Naqala‘ the expansion will bring Artisans to the game who will help players craft magical and precious items. Some of these items will unlock special powers and others will provide Victory points.

They say that in the very heart of the mountains of the Sultanate of Naqala, there lives a Tribe that rarely appears in the bazaars and markets in town.

They call themselves the Artisans, and work day and night crafting precious items, inlaid with rare gems.

Some travellers claim that the Artisans are able to craft unique artifacts, filled with magic and mystery…

artisans cards

The Artisans will be represented by purple meeples and the expansion will also feature new Djinns and new tiles: Workshops (where Artisans Craft their items), Specialized Markets (where players can buy specific merchandise), an impassable Chasm, and Mountain markers. The entire contents of the expansion will be:

  • 6 Tiles (3 Workshops, 2 Specialized Markets, & 1 Chasm)
  • 15 Wooden Meeples
  • 4 Tents
  • 18 Item Markers
  • 6 Mountains
  • 4 Djinn cards (2 new, 2 revised)
  • 1 New Scoring Pad
  • 4 Summary Sheets
  • 1 Rule Booklet


Five Tribes was a big hit at GenCon last year, is nominated for a 2014 Dice Tower Award, and won the Golden Geek award for Best Strategy Game 2014. With the original designer and artist back for this expansion it’s a pretty good bet that this will make an already great game even better.

You can see the full press release here. If you’re lucky enough to attend GenCon check it out and as always keep an eye on your FLGS/OLGS for the expansion to become available.


The Dice Tower released their 2014 Gaming Award nominee list. Here’s the official press release:

April 21, 2014

The Dice Tower Network is proud to announce the nominees for the best games of 2014. A jury of more than fiftyy Dice Tower staff, prominent bloggers and reviewers went through all the games released in English in 2014, and chose the five best in each category – with ten games nominated for best game of the year.

The winners of each category will be announced on June 26th, at the Dice Tower Convention in Orlando, Florida. Congratulations to all the publishers and designers who were nominated, and we hope that gamers will have a list of truly excellent games to seek out and play.

See the complete listing with pictures at

Best Reprint

* Ca$h ‘n Guns, 2nd Edition – Asmodee/Repos, Ludovic Maublanc

* Doomtown, Reloaded – AEG, Dave Williams & Mark Wootton

* Medina – Stronghold Games, Stefan Dorra

* San Juan, 2nd Editions – Ravensburger, Andreas Seyfarth

* Ticket to Ride, 10th Edition – Days of Wonder, Alan R. Moon

Best Party Game

* Ca$h ‘n Guns, 2nd Edition – Asmodee/Repos, Ludovic Maublanc

* Clusterfight – Game Salute, Sam Liberty & Kevin Spak

* Good Cop, Bad Cop – Overworld Games, Brian Henk, Clayton Skancke

* Spyfall – Hobbyworld – Alexandr Ushan

* Strike a Pose – R&R Games, Sébastien Decad

Best Artwork

* Abyss – Asmodee, Xavier Collette

* Alchemists – CGE, David Cochard

* Battle of the Five Armies – Ares Games, Lucas Graciano, Jon Hodgson, Fabio Maiorana, Francesco Mattioli, Ben Wootten

* Star Wars: Imperial Assault – Fantasy Flight Games, Henning Ludvigsen

* Imperial Settlers – Portal Games – Thomasz Jedruszek

Best Components

* Arcadia Quest – Cool Mini or Not, Eric Lang, Fred Parret, Theiago Aranha, Guilherme Goulart

* Colt Express – Asmodee / Ludonaut, Christophe Raimbault

* Star Wars: Imperial Assualt – Fantasy Flight Games – Corey Konieczka, Jonathan Ying, Justin Kemppainen

* Splendor – Asmodee / Space Cowboys – Marc André

* Xia: Legends of a Drift System – Far Off Games, Cody Miller

Best Two-player Game

* Battle of the Five Armies – Ares Games, Roberto Di Meglio, Marco Maggi, Francesco Nepitello

* Dice Masters – Wizkids, Eric Lang, Mike Elliott

* Star Wars: Imperial Assault – Fantasy Flight Games – Corey Konieczka, Jonathan Ying, Justin Kemppainen

* Star Realms – White Wizard Games, Robert Dougherty, Darwin Kastle

* Warhammer 40K: Conquest – Fantasy Flight Games, Eric Lang, Nate French, Brad Andres

Best Cooperative Game

* Dead of Winter – Plaid Hat Games, Isaac Vega, Jonathan Gilmore

* Legendary Encounters: an Alien Deck Building Game – Upper Deck, Danny Mandel, Ben Cichoski

* Pandemic: the Cure – Z-man Games, Matt Leacock

* Shadows of Brimstone – Flying Frog, Jason C. Hill

* Witness – Ystari Games, Dominique Bodin

Best Strategy Game

* Five Tribes – Days of Wonder, Bruno Cathala

* Imperial Settlers – Portal Games, Ignacy Trzewiczek

* Kanban: Automotive Revolution – Stronghold Games, Vital Lacerda

* Panamax – Stronghold Games, Gil d’Orey, Nuno Bizarro Sentieiro, Paulo Soledade

* Xia: Legends of a Drift System – Far Off Games, Cody Miller

Best Expansion

* 7 Wonders: Babel – Repos Productions, Antoine Bauza

* Cyclades: Titans – Matagot, Bruno Cathala, Ludovic Maublanc

* Mice & Mystics: Downwood Tales – Plaid Hat Games, Jerry Hawthorne

* Terra Mystica: Fire & Ice – Z-man Games, Jens Drögemüller, Helge Ostertag

* Tuscany: Expand the World of Viticulture – Stonemaier Games, Alan Stone, Jamey Stegmaier, Morten Monrad Pedersen

Best New Designer

* Splendor – Space Cowboys – Marc André

* Heroes of Normandie – IELLO Games, Yann and Klem

* Paperback – self-published, Tim Fowers

* Alchemists – CGE, Matús Kotry

* Xia: Legends of a Drift System – Far Off Games, Cody Miller

Best Family Game

* Camel Up – Z-man Games – Steffen Bogen

* Diamonds – Stronghold Games – Mike Fitzgerald

* King of New York – IELLO – Richard Garfield

* Splendor – Space Cowboys – Marc André

* Spyfall – Hobbyworld – Alexandr Ushan

Best Game from Small Publisher

* Medieval Academy – Blue Cocker Games, Nicolas Poncin

* Paperback – self-published, Tim Fowers

* Run, Fight, or Die! – 8th Summit and Grey Fox Games, Richard Launius

* Star Realms – White Wizard Games, Robert Dougherty, Darwin Kastle

* Xia: Legends of a Drift System – Far Off Games, Cody Miller

Most Innovative Game

* Alchemists – CGE, Matús Kotry

* Dead of Winter – Plaid Hat Games, Isaac Vega, Jonathan Gilmore

* Golem Arcana – Harebrained Schemes, Jordan Weissman, Seth Johnson, Michael Mulvihill, Brian Poel

* Tragedy Looper – Z-man Games, BakaFire

* Spyfall – Hobbyworld – Alexandr Ushan

Best Theming

* Alchemists – CGE, Matús Kotry

* Castles of Mad King Ludwig – Bezier Games, Ted Alspach

* Dead of Winter – Plaid Hat Games, Isaac Vega, Jonathan Gilmore

* Star Wars: Imperial Assault – Fantasy Flight Games – Corey Konieczka, Jonathan Ying, Justin Kemppainen

* Legendary Encounters: an Alien Deck Building Game – Upper Deck, Danny Mandel, Ben Cichoski

Game of the Year

* Alchemists – CGE, Matús Kotry

* Dead of Winter – Plaid Hat Games, Isaac Vega, Jonathan Gilmore

* Dice Masters – Wizkids, Eric Lang, Mike Elliott

* Five Tribes – Days of Wonder, Bruno Cathala

* Imperial Settlers – Portal Games, Ignacy Trzewiczek

* Kanban: Automotive Revolution – Stronghold Games, Vital Lacerda

* Splendor – Asmodee / Space Cowboys – Marc André

* Star Realms – White Wizard Games, Robert Dougherty, Darwin Kastle

* Star Wars: Imperial Assault – Fantasy Flight Games – Corey Konieczka, Jonathan Ying, Justin Kemppainen

* Xia: Legends of a Drift System – Far Off Games, Cody Miller


the escapist banner

Popular video game review site, The Escapist, is running a series of features in preparation for its annual The Escapist Awards. They have nominees in a myriad of categories ranging from games to movies to comics and more.

The most important awards are, of course, Best Board Game and Best Card Game of 2014. There are four nominees in the board game category and three for card games. Let’s dig in.

Board Games

Evolution by Dominic Crapuchettes and North Star Games

“Evolution charmed us and made us wish we could play game after game to explore all the combinations.”

five tribes board

Five Tribes by Bruno Cathala and Days of Wonder

“Days of Wonder don’t often create a game for ‘Hardcore Gamers’ in the tabletop sector, those seekers of games about points, scoring points, and nothing but the points, but when they do you should sit up and take notice.”

Shadowrun: Crossfire by Mike Elliott and Catalyst Game Labs

“Where Crossfire really excels is that it’s a consistently challenging experience in a world of milquetoast cooperative games.”

kings forge

King’s Forge by Nick Sibicky and Clever Mojo Games

“You get to roll giant double fistfuls of dice, and who doesn’t like that?”

Card Games

Warhammer 40,000: Conquest Core Set by Eric M. Lang and Fantasy Flight Games

“Conquest is a delightful game that balances quicker victory now against the possibility that you’ll deny your opponent victory in the future.”

doomtown premium

Doomtown: Reloaded Core Set by Mark Wootton and AEG

“It’s a harrowing experience that begs players to push their luck, attempt interesting plays, coming back to the game again and again.”

Magic: The Gathering Commander 2014 by Richard Garfield and Wizards of the Coast

“With five great decks, each really playable right out of the box and definitely including an obvious upgrade path for the deckbuilding-curious, this is a product you and a few friends can have a great time with even if you’re not Magic experts.”

Winners haven’t been announced yet, but given the interesting variety on these lists, we’ll be keeping an eye on The Escapist Awards throughout the end of the year. Head over to The Escapist to read more on their board game and card game nominees.

Don’t forget to check out Dice Tower’s reviews to learn more about these contenders.

Evolution, Game Boy Geek Preview
Five Tribes, Miami Dice Episode 147
Shadowrun: Crossfire Review
King’s Forge, Miami Dice Episode 145
Warhammer 40,0000 Conquest, Miami Dice Episode 146
Doomtown: Reloaded Review


French gaming blog and community site, Tric Trac, posted its Tric Trac d’or 2014 awards naming the top three games of the year based on user submitted votes and Tric Trac’s own panel of judges.

five tribes board

Taking first place honors, and the Gold medal, was none other than Bruno Cathala’s Five Tribes, Days of Wonder’s first foray into heavy strategy. This unique Mancala-style game set in ancient Arabian mythology was the runaway winner from the start.

“At the opening of the vote, the game started to reap the points, escaping after a few hours.”

Second place was more hotly contested, but it was Cédrick Chaboussit’s Lewis & Clark that took Silver. This worker placement game set in pioneer-era America has players reliving Lewis and Clark’s famous expedition to the Pacific coast.

splendor pieces

The Bronze medal went to Marc Andre’s Splendor. Noted for its high component quality, this light set collection game has players collecting combinations of gems to attract patrons and score victory points.

“With 1,210 voters, we can say the thing is the opinion of many players who surf Tric Trac and the current trend of European games.”

Check out Tric Trac’s full announcement to see an analysis of the voting process and which games just missed the winners’ podium. The article is in French, but can easily be translated through a number of online resources (e.g., Chrome’s built-in translator).

For more information on this year’s winner, click the links below for Dice Tower’s reviews.

Five Tribes Miami Dice
Lewis & Clark Review
Splendor Review