Ancient cultures come to life
Source: Pixabay

It’s easy to associate gambling with dice games. In fact, the history of the dice itself is steeped in games of chance, going all way back to its origins in Ancient China. In today’s modern climate of online casino gaming, dice still feature prominently in games like online craps and sic bo, but so often we forget that dice aren’t just geared towards giving you a chance at winning actual cash; their applications are far wider than that. In fact, while Hollywood would have us believe that the only good dice game is a casino game, the truth of the matter is that dice are an essential part of almost every board game ever created. 

One of the many games relying on the use of dice is Nations, a Civilisation-styled board game that lets up to four players have a go at one-upmanship.  But Nations isn’t just about beating your friends and peers and acquiring bragging rights; it’s a game of complexities that serves as a microcosm for world history and the human condition, and it’s fun too. Build armies, erect buildings, conquer new territories, deal with the outbreak of famine and war and while you’re at it, spread some culture among the Nations!

Gaming Components

Unboxing your brand new purchase of Nations will reveal the following components: a pair of custom dice, 60 progress tiles – 15 for each as up to 4 players can enjoy the game, civilisation boards and tokens. This version of Nations is the somewhat toned down yet faster version of the original game, hence less components. While the game is designed for up to 4 players, it can also be played by just one person – who needs friends when you have Nations?  The game’s dice are customised to fall into the ebb, flow and theme of the game.

Playing The Game

At the start of the game, each player is equipped with a civilisation board – Egypt, Persia, Greece and Rome – choose your nation! For use with your civilisation board you’ll get 5 white dice and two tokens – one for money and one for re-rolls.  It should be noted that as you progress through the game your dice colour and themes will change in conjunction with your purchases and conquests.  The turn order is randomly decided through the dealing of cards and before your first turn in any age, you will be required to roll all 5 dice.

Civilisations arise with a roll of the dice
Source: Pixabay

Fun Actionable Tasks

When it gets to be your turn, the game will give you the choice of actioning one of three tasks.  The first of these is is to Buy A Tile.  Tiles are purchased through the use of either gold or swords and depending on the row in which your purchase falls, you’ll be expected to part with 1, 2 or 3 of these items.  If you elect to purchase a building or a military unit, the card representing the purchase will be placed on one of 5 spaces and since you only have 5 to use, expect to forfeit and swop, but hopefully to your benefit.

Building A Wonder is the next actionable task afforded to you. If you’re going to build a wonder, you need to know that it’s something you’ll need to work at.  A wonder doesn’t come pre-built and once purchased, goes into your building area. Through a series of stone purchases, done by way of your dice or tokens, you’ll strive to compete the wonder and once finished, it can be placed in the completed area to finally be of a benefit to you. Finally there’s the option to Re-Roll, possible if you have any applicable tokens left and an action that allows you to re-roll up to all your unused dice.  Once everyone has had a turn, scores are tallied up with possible victory points from famine and war and a new turn order is established based on the amount of swords each player has left.