Days of Wonder Five Tribes

Days of Wonder Five Tribes

  code: BG-DOW8401
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
£39.95 (inc. VAT)
RRP: £46.99 (inc. VAT) You Save £7.04 (inc. VAT) (15%)
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Lead the Tribes and Take Control of Naqala

Crossing into the Land of 1001 Nights, your caravan arrives at the fabled Sultanate of Naqala. The old sultan just died and control of Naqala is up for grabs! The oracles foretold of strangers who would maneuver the Five Tribes to gain influence over the legendary city-state. Will you fulfill the prophecy? Invoke the old Djinns and move the Tribes into position at the right time, and the Sultanate may become yours!

Designed by Bruno Cathala, Five Tribes builds on a long tradition of German-style games that feature wooden meeples. Here, in a unique twist on the now-standard worker placement genre, the game begins with the meeples already in place and players must cleverly maneuver them over the villages, markets, oases, and sacred places tiles that make up Naqala. How, when, and where you dis-place these Five Tribes of Assassins, Elders, Builders, Merchants, and Viziers determine your victory or failure.

As befitting a Days of Wonder game, the rules are straightforward and easy to learn. But?Ķ devising a winning strategy will take a more calculated approach than our standard fare. You need to carefully consider what moves can score you well and put your opponents at a disadvantage. You need to weigh many different pathways to victory, including the summoning of powerful Djinns that may help your cause as you attempt to control this legendary Sultanate.


  • 30 Tiles depicting the Sultanate of Naqala
  • 2 Players Sets with 11 Camels and 2 Turn markers each
  • 2 Players Sets with 8 Camels and 1 Turn markers each
  • A bag of wooden Meeples with:
    • 16 Yellow Viziers
    • 18 Red Assassins
    • 18 Blue Builders
    • 18 Green Merchants
    • 20 White Elders
  • 10 Palaces & 12 Palm Trees
  • 22 Djinn cards
  • 54 Resource cards
  • 96 Victory Coins
  • 1 Bid Order & 1 Turn Order Track
  • A Scoring Pad
  • 5 Djinns & Turn Order Summary Sheets
  • A Rules Booklet

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  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
One of my favourites
Overall Rating
  • Currently /5 Stars.
  • Currently /5 Stars.
Ease of Assembly
  • Currently /5 Stars.
  • Currently /5 Stars.
Value for Money
  • Currently /5 Stars.

This is one of my favourite board games. It has so much going for it and so many different layers that are understood and explored the more you play it. The only thing i recommend to get the most enjoyment from this game is not to take it too seriously and choose your move from what you think is a cool move, because if you always try to do the absolute perfect move working out every option you'll probably get a something thrown at you as it could be prone to 'Analysis Paralysis'. Although for that same reason, between seasoned players this game would be very well suited to a tournament game. Excellent components, fantastic service from Chaoscards and at the time i bought this it was an amazing price.

Chris Rix | write a review ›
Very good game - needs the expansion to be excellent
Overall Rating
  • Currently /5 Stars.
  • Currently /5 Stars.
Ease of Assembly
  • Currently /5 Stars.
  • Currently /5 Stars.
Value for Money
  • Currently /5 Stars.

Admittedly, I wasn’t the biggest fan of this game when we first bought it - probably because I lost the first three or four games we played and I’m a bit of a sore loser at times - but it’s definitely grown on me a lot since then.

The game is based on the mancala mechanic and involves picking up various meeple (meeples?) from a tile, dropping them on other tiles and dropping your final meeple on a tile that contains at least one other meeple of the same colour. You then take all meeple of that colour from the tile.

If you clear a tile by dropping your last meeple on it (so by dropping a green meeple on a tile that only has green meeple remaining on it, for example) you put a camel on the tile to claim it.

Each colour brings different benefits.

White meeple are useful for buying and powering up Djinns (genies) which you can buy if you land on specific tiles and these can be very beneficial when it comes to trouncing your opponents. They’re also worth two points each at game end so can be worth holding onto if Djinns just aren’t in your strategy.

Yellow meeple are worth one point each at game end but you also get an additional 10 points if you have more of them at the end than anyone else so collecting them can be worth your while.

Green meeple allow you to take as many resource cards as the number of meeple you picked up. So, four green meeple from a tile would get you the first four resource cards in the array at the bottom of the board. The more different resource cards you have at game end, the more points you get. You can also sell these cards for coins if you need to…which you may very well need to if you’ve wasted all your money on bidding for high positions at the start of the game.*

Blue meeple get you coins in that you score the number of blue meeple you pick up multiplied by the number of blue tiles surrounding the tile you took them from. There are blue tiles and red tiles in the game. So, as an example, if you took three meeple from a blue tile which had four blue tiles around it, you’d count the tile you took them from as well - so you’d have 3x5 for 15 coins in total.

Red meeple function as assassins - for every one you take from a tile, you can eliminate a meeple from any tile that is up to that number of meeple away (so if you pick up three red meeple, you can remove one meeple from the board that is up to three spaces away). This can be very effective in winning you two tiles in one turn as you could take a tile that has only red meeple on it and eliminate a lone meeple from another tile in order to take that tile as well.

*Players bid for position at the start of every turn - you can throw down up to 18 coins to make sure you get to go first. However, wasting all your money early on can work against you so make sure you really do have a good move in mind before deciding on your position.

There are literally so many ways to win five tribes - you can acquire points in so many different ways. For example, you get points for:

The tiles you claim with camels (each tile is worth a different number of points so it’s in your interest to grab the best ones before your opponents do). Additionally, the last turn of the game will commence when an opponent puts their last camel on a tile so keep an eye on how many camels the people you’re playing with have left. I’ve won before because I got all my camels down early while my boyfriend still had six or seven off the board.

The number of palaces you have on your tiles.

The number of palm trees you have on your tiles.

The number of different resource cards you have at the end of the game.

Djinns - each Djinn has a number on it and you’ll get that number of points at the end.

The number of coins you have left. Forcing your opponent to bid high in order to go first can really benefit you here.

The number of white meeple and yellow meeple you have at the end of the game.

I’ve probably forgotten something to be honest as you seem to get points for pretty much everything - it’s just finding a winning combination that is the hard part. That, and responding to your opponent’s moves. If you can see they’re trying to collect white meeple to power up their Djinns, it might be in your interest to try and take as many white meeple as possible in order to block them, even if this won’t directly benefit you much.

Generally, I really like this game. However, I wouldn’t ever play it again without the expansion - Artisans of Naqala. It vastly improves the game. You get meeple in purple to add to your game which are worth three points each at game end if you have the most and two points each if you don’t. They can also be traded in for treasure and artefacts that can help you pull off awesome manoeuvres. They’re one of my favourite ways to win.

The expansion also adds mountains which means certain tiles cannot be crossed as usual and you must find alternate routes to get to the meeple you want, along with a chasm that nothing can ever cross or be placed on.

We’ve just purchased the latest mini expansion as well, Thieves of Naqala, which will hopefully add yet another level of depth.

Long, long story short - would I recommend this? Absolutely. It's a solid game and a very good price on Chaos Cards. That said, I’d definitely advise buying the expansion as well.