Kulkmann's G@mebox - www.boardgame.de

Nations - The Dice Game: Unrest


Rustan Hakansson



No. of Players:



G@mebox publisher Frank Schulte-Kulkmann writes about the game:

To my mind the biggest advantage of Nations - The Dice Game is the game duration, since the players can experience the buildup from ancient times to modernity in just four rounds of play. With each player being allowed only one action on their turn, there is virtually no downtime, and even though the players have to take care to find the best strategy how to use the dice results they have rolled, the game is very straightforward and quick to play.


At this point the new Unrest expansion set is docked to the basic game, being intended to increase playing depth and strategy. Even though this may sound like the game might be totally changed, the expansion comes with some moderate elements of change which actually offer the players some extra incentives how to attune their strategies.

One of these incentives are special tokens for players who finish first. The earlier a player finishes, the better is the choice of available tokens, and so a player who refrains from extending his number of actions to the limit actually may get some extra resource by finishing first. Likewise, another of these elements of change are the event tokens, and every round of play a new event token will be revealed, offering bonus victory points for the player who will best fulfil the conditions listed on the event token. These events may be production goals like producing most food or swords, and so a player may try to adjust his general strategy for this round in order to create a nice windfall effect.

The namegiving element of this expansion actually are the new green Unrest-dice. Apart from double production results, these dice show a fist-symbol, indicating that part of the player's population has joined an uprising. A player either may forfeit an Unrest-result for the round, putting the dice away and continue with his normal turn, or he may reroll JUST the Unrest-results, spending a whole turn in the hope to get better results in order to continue with more resources. In a way, these Unrest-dice are a very nice counterbalance for the tokens which are awarded for the player who finishes first, since a player who actually uses Unrest-dice may have to spent additional time to quell the uprising, making it harder to get one of the desired additional resource tokens.

The expansion is rounded up by some additional new tiles and the option to produce multiple resource chits, and even though all these changes may sound comparatively straightforward, it can be expected that these changes affect a considerable turnaround of the gameplay. Up to now Nations: The Dice Game has been a comparatively lightweight diceroller, but with the new effects and changes it becomes equal with normal strategy games. In a way, gameplay now feels a bit like one of my all time favourites - Race for the Galaxy. In that game you try to make the best of your hand cards, all the while hoping to find new cards matching your strategy, and in Nations: The Dice Game the feeling is similar due to the consumption of resources and the hoping for matching dice results. Race for the Galaxy has seen a considerable increase of playing depth through the three expansions which have been added, but it seems that Nations - The Dice Game: Unrest will be quite enough extras to let players experience the game in a quite different way.

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Copyright © 2019 Ralf Togler & Frank Schulte-Kulkmann, Essen, Germany