Nations: The Dice Game - General game info
Nations: The Dice Game
2-4 players, 20-40 minutes, 14 years and older
AuthorRustan HĂ„kansson (Rustan)
IllustratorsOssi Hiekkala
Jere Kasanen
Paul Laane
Frida Lögdberg
Published bylautapelit.fi
Online since 2015-07-04
Developed by (Stonecrusher)
Boardgamegeek157809
Yucata.de owns a license for the online version of this game. A big "thank you" to the copyright owners (publisher and/or author and illustrator) who make it possible to have this game for free online here!
Nations: The Dice Game - Rules
Introduction
From the humble beginnings of civilization through the historical ages of progress, mankind has lived, fought, and built together in nations. Great nations protect and provide for their own, while fighting and competing against both other nations and nature itself. Nations must provide food as the population increases, build a productive economy, and amaze the world with their great achievements to build up their heritage as the greatest nations in the history of mankind!
Components
Chits
Dice
4-sided die
Player Markers
Event Tiles
Progress Tiles
Overview Card
Player Board
Score Board
Progress Board
  • stone icon Stone
  • gold icon Gold
  • book icon Book
  • food icon Food
  • strength icon Strength
  • victory point icon Victory points
  • reroll icon Reroll
  1. 33 Chits ( 12 reroll icon, 9 gold icon, 3 food icon, 3 strength icon, 3 book icon, 3 stone icon)
  2. 44 6-sided dice (20 white, 8 blue, 8 orange, 8 red)
  3. 4-sided die (for solo game)
  4. 8 Wooden player markers (2 each in 4 colours)
  5. 12 Event tiles (3 each for 4 ages)
  6. 60 Progress tiles (15 each for 4 ages)
  7. 4 Player order/ round overview cards
  8. 4 Player boards
  9. 1 Score board
  10. 1 Progress board
  11. 1 Rulebook
Dice Overview
Setup
Sort and shuffle the tiles into 4 stacks of progress tiles (15 for each age) and four stacks of events (3 for each age). The age of a tile is indicated by dashes at the bottom border of the tile.
event tiles for age 1
event tiles for age 2
event tiles for age 3
event tiles for age 4
Randomize the player order by shuffling and dealing one player order card to each player, use as many cards as there are players. Give each player a player board, 5 white dice, 1 gold icon chit and 1 reroll icon chit to be placed beside the player board.
image setting up player board
image setting up player chits
image setting up player dice
Place a player marker for each player (as shown by the player boards) on 0 victory points ( victory point icon) and on the same space as the player order number on the book icon track (player 1 starts with 1 book icon, 2 with 2 book icon, 3 with 3 book icon and 4 with 4 book icon). In a 2-player game player 2 starts with 3 book icon instead of 2. For solo rules see the end of the rulebook.
image setting up player victory points
Setup of player markers on victory points track
image setting up player book points
Setup of player markers on book track
The rest of the components are in the supply.
Game overview
Over 4 rounds of history you will develop your Nation and compete with the other players. A game takes 10-15 minutes per player. You will upgrade your dice by buying buildings and military. You will build wonders and conquer colonies to gain victory points and resources, hire advisors to gain additional rerolls, and compete to accumulate the most books, avoid famine, and win wars. Dice and chits beside your player board are unused. Dice and chits in the large coloured area on your player board are used.
Each round, new tiles are revealed, and players take actions until they have all passed. Players then score for books and famine, the new player order is determined, and war is scored. After 4 rounds, the player with the most victory points is the winner.
New tiles and event
At the start of each round, remove all remaining progress tiles from the progress board and fill it with new tiles from the current age (round 1 = age 1, round 2 = age 2, round 3 = age 3, round 4 = age 4). Fill 4 columns in a 4 player game and 3 when 1-3 players. Remove the old event tile and place a new event tile from the current age on the score board. Return remaining tiles from the current age to the box.
Move all chits and dice from your used area to beside your player board. Turn your player order card upwards so "Passed" is not facing you.
Trading Dice
At any moment when you want to use 1 gold icon, 1 food icon or 1 stone icon, you may use 2 unused dice instead (any colours, resources, and combinations). Move the dice to your used area. This can be done multiple times, it is not an action. The resource you get cannot be taken over to the next turn, so if you don't use it in the same turn it's lost. You cannot get book icon or strength icon this way. Chits cannot be used this way.
In the Yucata implementation the following trade buttons might become active as soon as you have selected two of your active dice:
gold trade button
stone trade button
food trade button
The Yucata implementation prevents useless trade (button doesn't get active). See the following cases:
  • Trade for food Nahrungssymbol is only possible in the famine phase because it's only then when food may be used.
  • Trade for gold Goldsymbol or stone Steinsymbol is only possible from the start of an age until the player passed. It's not possible later because in those phases (books, famine, player order and war) neither gold nor stone may be used.
Actions
Take actions in player order, starting with player 1. When a player passes (and turns the player order card sideways to show this) he/she takes no more actions in this round. Remaining players take actions until all have passed. Available actions are:
  • Reroll
  • Buy tile
  • Build wonder
Before you take your first action each round, roll all of your dice. This is not an action. Immediately after rolling you take your first action.
You may only take a single action, and then play passes to the next player in order. After the last player has taken an action, it is the first player's turn again.
During the game you only move your victory point icon marker for Books, Famine and War. victory point icon on tiles is only added to your score at the end of the game.
The implementation at Yucata.de adds the victory points victory point icon of colonies, buildings, advisors and wonders directly after they have been conquered, bought or built.
Reroll
reroll icon
To perform a reroll, move reroll icon chit from beside your player board to your used area (the large area with your player colour on your player board). Then pick up one or more unused dice and roll them. You may not buy a tile, build a wonder or make another reroll as part of the same action, you must wait until it is your turn to take another action.
Buy tile
To buy a tile, you pay the cost in either gold icon or strength icon, shown by the icon on the left side of the tile. The amount of gold icon or strength icon that must be paid is shown by the row the tile is on.
row 3: pay 3 gold icon / strength icon
row 2: pay 2 gold icon / strength icon
row 1: pay 1 gold icon / strength icon
To pay, you move one or more dice and/or chits that total up to the cost or more from beside your player board to your used area. You must pay full dice, you do not get any change if you use a 3 gold icon die to pay for a 2 gold icon tile.
Building tile example
Buildings replace other buildings on your player board. When you do you must return the dice shown on the old building to the supply. You choose which dice to return (but they must be of the appropriate colour), used, unused or a mix. Then take the dice provided by the new building from the supply (take one red die if the tile has a red die etc) and immediately roll them. They can be used later in the same round.
Example: You have a building that gives you one orange die (1) . The die shows 2 gold icon (2) , you buy a building that gives you two orange dice (3) with this die, move it to the used area (4) . You place the new building on the old building (5) , return the die you just used (6) , take two new orange dice (7) , and roll them.
Image showing the to-do-steps when buying a dice-building
To-do-steps when buying a building
Advisor tile example
Advisors are placed in the upper left corner of your player board. If you already have an advisor he/she is replaced and the rerolls he/she gave are returned to the supply. You choose whether to return used, unused or a mix. The new rerolls can be used later in the same round.
Colony tile example
Colonies are placed beside your player board. You can have any number of colonies. Take the chit shown on the bottom of it from the supply (if any) and place it beside your player board. It can be used later in the same round.
Wonder tile example
A wonder must be placed in the upper right corner of your player board. If you already have a wonder there it is returned to the box. A wonder in this space is under construction, its effects are not available yet and a wonder here scores no victory point icon at the end of the game. To build it you must take the action Build wonder later in the same round or a later round.
Build wonder
Stone cost to build a wonder
If you have a wonder under construction you can pay the cost in stone icon shown on the left side of it, below the gold icon symbol, to build it.
To pay, move one or more dice and/or chits that total up to the cost or more from beside your player board to your used area.
Place the finished wonder beside your player board. You can have any number of finished wonders. Take the chit shown on the bottom of it from the supply (if any), place it beside your player board. It can be used later in the same round.
Passing
When you cannot or do not want to take any more actions you pass. Turn the player order card sideways so "Passed" is facing you. Take no more actions in this round. Remaining players take actions until all have passed. Then proceed to collecting and scoring books.
Display of the Resource Chits in the Yucata Implementation
The chits a player possesses are displayed in the player's information area. Depending on the situation, the display of the number of chits may be in one of the following three formats:
z
y/z
x/y/z
z is always the number of chits the player has in total.
y may either be
  • the number of chits the player has left for the current turn and age (format y/z), or
  • the number of chits the active player had left at the beginning of his current turn but now hasn't any more because he spent some in his current turn (format x/y/z).
x is the number of chits the active player has left for the current turn and age.
Example:
Imagine it is your turn and the display of number the of stone icon chits is 0/1/3. This means you
  • have a total of 3 stone icon chits. At the beginning of future ages you will get back all used stone icon chits, so that you will have 3 stone icon chits again that you can spend again.
  • had 1 stone icon chit left at the beginning of your current turn.
  • have used up the 1 stone icon chit you had at the beginning of your current turn, so that you now have 0 stone icon chits left for the rest of your current turn and age.
Books
All players in reverse player order may use dice and chits showing book icon. For each book icon used move the player marker on the book icon track on the score board 1 step. The dice and chits that are used are moved to the used area.
Then book icon are scored. Every player gains 1 victory point icon for every other player that has fewer total book icon (2 victory point icon in solo and 2-player game). You do not get any victory point icon for players that have the same number of book icon as you.
Example scoring books
Example: Red gets 3 victory point icon, yellow gets 2 victory point icon, purple and green get 0 victory point icon.
In order to minimize the total number of player turns, the Yucata implementation automatically selects all of a player's remaining chits and dice showing books book icon. It doesn't if the player needs to decide whether he will use his remaining book dice in this books phase or whether he will trade them for food food icon in the upcoming famine phase. So in case he needs to decide, the player becomes active*. Either way the books used can be looked up in the game log.

*If you are interested in the exact logic behind, a player becomes active in the books phase only if he fulfills all of the following:
  • currently has not enough food food icon for famine (chits plus dice left)
  • has at least 1 book book icon die left (that he could possibly trade for food)
  • could get enough food for famine trading his dice for food
  • needs to trade at least one of his book or sword strength icon dice to get enough food for famine
Famine
Famine example tile
All players in reverse player order may use dice and chits showing food icon. If you use at least as much food icon as shown by the event you score as many victory point icon as shown on the event (1 victory point icon for age 1, 2 victory point icon for age 2, 3 victory point icon for age 3 and 4 victory point icon for age 4). The dice and chits that are used are moved to the used area. There is no benefit in paying more than shown nor in paying a partial amount.
Like in the books phase, the Yucata implementation tries to minimize the total number of player turns in the famine phase, too. It automatically:
  • selects for the famine all of a player's remaining chits and dice showing food food icon. If that's not enough food then it...
  • trades any remaining dice for food.
There will be no automatic actions if the player needs to decide whether he will use his remaining strength strength icon dice to trade for food food icon or whether he will use them in the upcoming player order and war phase. So in case he needs to decide, the player becomes active*. Either way the dice traded, food used and victory points scored can be looked up in the game log.

*If you are interested in the exact logic behind, a player becomes active in the famine phase only if he fulfills all of the following:
  • currently has not enough food food icon for famine (chits plus dice left)
  • has at least 1 strength strength icon die left (that he could possibly trade for food)
  • could get enough food for famine trading his dice for food
  • needs to trade at least one of his strength dice to get enough food for famine
Player order
Determine the new player order. Highest total unused strength icon goes first, second-most goes second and so on. If tied, the previous relative player order between tied players is preserved. Give each player the appropriate player order card for the new player order. Dice and chits are not moved to the used area when determining the new player order.
example setting the new player order
Example for the determination of the new player order
War
War example tile
All players in reverse player order may use dice and chits showing strength icon. If you use at least as much strength icon as shown by the event you score as many victory point icon as shown on the event ( 1 victory point icon for age 1, 2 victory point icon for age 2, 3 victory point icon for age 3 and 4 victory point icon for age 4). The dice and chits that are used are moved to the used area. There is no benefit in paying more strength icon than shown nor in paying a partial amount.
End of the game
After round 4, all players add the victory point icon shown by their wonders, colonies, buildings and advisors to their total victory point icon on the score board. Wonders under construction are not counted. The player with the most victory point icon is the winner! Ties are broken by player order (player 1 wins over player 2 etc).
The Yucata implementation offers the following two play variants on the game invitation creation page:
  1. Original
    This is the original rule. It features an extra Books and Famine phase in which players, in reverse player order, may decide upon trading dice for food. Notice that an obvious trade is done automatically by the system (see the descriptions on automatic moves above).
  2. Accelerated
    In contrast to the original rule the players decide upon food trade in the same turn they have passed. The information how many food a player traded is hidden from the other players until all have passed. This play variant needs less turns and thereby makes the game shorter. However it also reduces the advantage of being further ahead in player order. Because in the original Books and Famine phase the player further ahead can see how many books and food the players behind him have used. In this play variant this is not possible. It is like all players decide simultaneously and hidden about their food trade.
Solo game
The Yucata implementation does not allow to play solo games. It's mentioned here just to inform you that the real game does offer this play variant.
Hall of fame
  • 50 Trajan
  • 40 Ashoka
  • 35 Wu Zetian
  • 30 Saladin
  • 25 Victoria
  • 20 Charles V
  • 15 Cleopatra
  • 10 Dan Quayle
You play against a shadow opponent that collects books and buys tiles. Both you and the opponent start with 1 book icon. Use 3 columns on the progress board. You are always player 1.
When you draw the event tile also roll 1 blue die per age number (so 1 in age 1, then 2, then 3, then 4) and give the rolled amount of book icon to the opponent. Ignore any stone icon.
After every action you take roll the 4-sided die. On a 1-3 remove the cheapest tile in column 1, 2 or 3 on the progress board, counting from the left (shown below the columns). If you roll 4 or if the column is empty nothing happens.
Score 2 victory point icon (same as in 2-player) if you have more book icon than the opponent at the end of each round.
At the end of the game compare your score with the Hall of Fame. Try to score more in the next game. For a tougher game reroll any 4s you roll for the opponent.
Play more
Nations
Boardgame 'Nations'
If you would like to play a deeper and more involved game please check out the big Nations game that this dice game is based on and shares many elements with. It is for 1-5 players and takes 40 minutes per player to play.
 
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