Five Tribes: The Artisans of Naqala
Designed by - Bruno Cathala (Ca’Thal’a, Ca’Thal’a!)
Published by Days of Wonder - 2015
Review by Jack Eddy
What’s New: Five tribes get’s a 6th tribe, the purple artisans. They earn you face down treasure tokens, which are either points ranging from 5 to 9, or one time use powers! To accommodate the extra meeples, there are a few more board spaces including an impassible pit, and three tiles that have tiny wooden impassable mountain ranges placed on two of it’s sides. Also there are are a few more Djinns that play off of the treasures and artisans.
Why it’s so good: In base Five Tribes, you either saw optimum moves or you didn’t; there was never much risk in the game aside from turn order bidding and leaving good moves for your opponents. The treasure tokens entice you to consider risks when evaluating your turn, never knowing the exact reward they will net. Fortunately the artisans are inherently worth points, the treasures are never bad, and you get your choice of those drawn, so it never impacts the strategic core of the game. The impassable terrain also present interesting obstacles, causing you to migrate meeples in more interesting ways, making the board feel more dynamic and alive. Also the little wooden mountains are visually striking, making the otherwise drab board pop a bit. Plus, purple is the best color for board game pieces, so I’m happy to play with the artisans.
This is an excerpt from the article "Three Perfect Expansions"