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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 and stability as the population increases. They must build a productive economy. And all the while, they must amaze the world with their great achievements to build up their heritage as the greatest nations in the history of mankind!

Nations is an intense historical board game for 1-5 players that takes 90-180 minutes to play. Players control the fate of nations from their humble start in prehistoric times until the beginning of World War I. The nations constantly compete against each other and must balance immediate needs, long-term growth, threats, and opportunities.

Victory points (VPs) are mainly gained by building up a great Heritage during the game, and through Wonders and Buildings at the end of the game. The game lasts eight rounds, and the nation with the most VPs wins.

User Reviews (3)

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107 of 114 gamers found this helpful | Medals x 1
“Nations - the friendlier version of TTA”

I’ve always been a fan of heavy civ games since my introduction to serious boardgames by Advanced Civilization in the early 90s. So, whenever news appears about a new civ game I’m instantly all ears.


In Nations each player takes control of a great historical nation and develop that nation until the end of industrialization. At the end victory points are calculated and a winner is declared.

Nations clearly falls into the same category as Through The Ages (TTA) as a mapless, card driven civ game which I thought was pretty weird back then, but worked out brilliantly.


Nations lasts for 4 ages, 2 rounds each age for a total of 8 rounds. Each age has 2 decks of cards, one progress deck which fills the card row and are available for purchases and a small event deck from which only 2 cards will be used.

Each round has a set number of phases and actions to it.

1.) Maintenance:

Refill progress board;
* Remove remaining cards from row 1 and 2 and move leftover cards from row 3 to row 1. Fill all remaining spaces according to number of players.
* Each player may either take a new worker or produce goods according to set level.
* Draw a new event card, which will resolve later (contains 2 events)
* Add architects for the round. Architects are used to build wonders.

2. Actions

On your turn you have three available actions.

* Buy a progress card for 1, 2 or 3 gold and add it to your tableau or use the effect.
* Deploy a worker on a building or military unit
* Hire an architect for a wonder under construction

3. Resolution

* Production of goods (depending on your tableau you may even have to pay goods)
* Determine player order from military track
* War resolution (if any)
* Resolve events from card drawn earlier
* Famine – Pay food determined by same event card
* Scoring at the end of even numbered rounds for books

There are 8 different type of cards to purchase in Nations. Some are placed on your tableau while others are resolved and then removed from play. For all cards placed on your board there are a set number of places for the type of card, 5 military/buildings, 2 colonies etc. Whenever you reach that limit and want to add a new one you must first remove an old card. In the case of colonies and leaders, this will cause you to lose the good(s) it produced as well.

Nations vs TTA

Now, do you need both of these games?

In all honesty, probably not, unless you are a fan of civ games and want a minor change of pace. I’ve so far found Nations to be more forgiving as buildings give you two type of goods so you’re not gonna be completely blocked out unless very unlucky. Both games are for fans of heavier games, but if you want a more friendlier game Nations is the way to go.

You are not going to war against other players here. Instead wars are bought (max 1/round) and the strength of the buying player determines the level of the war. Bad effects may even be mitigated by the stability of your nation.

While TTA has a lot of downtime between your turns there is practically none in Nations as you perform 1 action at a time until everyone has passed.


Nations is a very good game filled with hard, agonizing decisions very reminiscent of TTA but rules are much easier, both to comprehend and explain. There are several way to score points, but none seem clearly overpowered so far. In addition, replayability is very high as you are using about half of the progress cards and 2 of 12 event cards for each age.

While it never is going to win an invention test NAtions is still a highly recommended civ game for my part.

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76 of 118 gamers found this helpful
“Elegant civilization game from ancient to WWI era over 8 turns”

I highly recommend watching a video “play through” instead of attempting to grok this form the rule book. Once you have seen it, it plays fast for this type of game and is a ton of fun. About 40-50 mins per player in the game is the norm with the fist game taking closer to 60 minutes a player. Solo play is also an option. It has a built in handicapper allowing less skilled (or experienced) a fighting chance.

Downside…the art is not as strong as I would prefer and I wish the card backs had greater contrast for easier post game sorting. Needs more starting civilizations (5 in base box) (the expansion is supposed to add more)

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Intermediate Grader
20 of 63 gamers found this helpful

I played this over the summer after a cookout at my cousin’s. How cool was it that Ben Franklin and Hamilton and those guys signed the constitution in the Summer. Cookouts rock! And they would be a lot less fun in February. Mad props to my funding fathers from other mothers for setting up all the parties! Thx bruh!

So this game starts out as cavemen (unga bunga) and you get stuff and you get better and then youre living large with bigger guns and fast food and video games and stuff.

I liked it. it looked like it was gonna be a silly europe game, but when i play im ‘Murica. USA USA USA USA!!!!


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