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Five Tribes» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Surprisingly Interesting with Unique End Game Twists rss

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Evan
United States
Longwood
Florida
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So, I bought Five Tribes about six months ago but for whatever reason I couldn't get it to the table. Mainly it was because I am trying to get through my backlog, not anything to do with the game itself, but recently that changed. My wife and I played a session of Lanterns: The Harvest Festival and she really struggled with AP towards the end of that game. It was the first time I had seen that trait in her, so I was worried about this one as Five Tribes has a reputation for bringing out AP in people. However, we had another couple over this weekend and they wanted to play it, so out it came.

In the beginning, it was a bit overwhelming for everyone because it's not that clear what the optimal moves are and without knowing the scoring system intimately, its tough to determine what color meeple you should try for or what kind of tile you want to end up on. There is a guy in this group who usually grasps new games quickly (in fact, earlier in the night he kicked all of our asses at Stone Age on his first ever play of the game). But with Five Tribes, man, he struggled. He couldn't grasp the concept and in some of the earlier turns, even tried to end up on a tile that had already been cleared. He ended up with like 8 white meeples at one point (when really you don't need more than a couple at any one point to use as currency for Djinns) and finished the game with 119 points, well behind myself, my wife, and his wife.

At the end of the game, my wife and I both had 5 yellow Viziers. However, she made an assassination move that eliminated one of my stash and gave her the max 30 point bonus. I still had my 20 points for having more than the other two players at the table, but not knowing exactly what the scoring was going to be (I had 8 different market goods, my wife wasn't playing a market strategy, but she had more claimed tiles than I did), I figured things were going to be tight. In the last round of the game, I bid eight (which got me second turn in the turn order) that allowed me to combine two blue meeples, get the adjacent tile scoring associated with that, AND allowed me to claim a tile that gave me some additional points. In the end, I won 164-154-140-119. I don't think I win the game if I bid third or fourth in that final round.

What amazed me about the game was that my wife did not suffer from AP. If anything, the guy who was confused about the mechanics of the game was the only one that held us up significantly. Also, I was blown away that before I knew it, there weren't that many moves left on the board. When you first set the game up, you think it will take forever to finish. We finished with only 3 meeples left unused and everyone had at least 4 camels left in their stash, yet the game only took 75 minutes. Given this length, the various choices each player has to victory and the fact that you really can't ignore any of the various paths if you want to win the game, makes this a challenging and satisfying experience. This has vaulted into one of my top games (although take that with a grain of salt, my collection is pretty modest to this point). I wish I played this game sooner and I'm very happy this is in my collection. I will play this game again soon. In fact, I think I can teach this to my seven-year old son. If he can grasp it, I see this one getting regular rotation for our family.
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Evan
United States
Longwood
Florida
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Just wanted to add something to this post. Last night this game hit the table for the second time in three nights. I had just as enjoyable a time as I did originally, but the winner (again, me, this time in a three player game, not four) won by having the most cards from the market. I had seven unique goods and the Djinn that allows you to add unique market goods for every set of Fakir's you have (I had four Fakir's, which allowed me to complete a full set of nine market goods).

Question for those with more than two playthroughs. Has anyone won the game who had little-to-no market goods and beaten a player who pursued that strategy (let's say, by having six or more distinct goods)? I'm wondering if the merchant (green) meeples are overpowered just a bit by the bonus scoring you can achieve if the marketplace is stocked with different goods.
 
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Game Meister
United States
West Virginia
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It seems the strategy that can work against this is grabbing as many tiles as quickly as possible. Sometimes he-who-claims-tiles-with-camels first will grab more points than the one who isn't claiming tiles but instead goes for goods. Using up your camels can bring the game to an end quicker, providing fewer opportunities for others to grab the resources.
 
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Jeff Ratz

Tuscaloosa
Alabama
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You're right -- having a large suit can land you some serious points. And I've won that way before.

But as someone said below, someone can rush the board, ending it before you've got enough. Or someone's got a couple of genies who synergize well (increase points for trees/palaces + ability to place trees/palaces on your claimed spots. The most recent game the winner had a ton of trees, thanks to a certain genie
 
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