Ethnos was once a thriving world, rich in happiness and diversity. The different races of creatures lived side-by-side in relative harmony, but the fall of the old Age left the countryside in ashes, the Six Kingdoms empty, and the twelve Tribes scattered across the land. Now, it is the dawning of a new Age, and you are thrown into a critically important position. The people of Ethnos are looking for a leader who can unite them, cleverly using the abilities of the different Tribes to gain control of the Kingdoms. To become the next Lord, it will take skill, timing, and strength to lead them to glory.
In Ethnos, you recruit different Tribe members and assemble them into bands to battle over the six different Kingdoms on the board. The group of cards you play together determines where on the board you can deploy control markers. At the end of each Age, Glory is awarded in the Kingdoms for the player with the most control. Time changes everything, and as the Ages pass, the value of winning regions fluctuates. Large wars might take place in regions worth more Glory, while opportunities for peaceful transitions of power will arise in the less valuable Kingdoms.
There are twelve different Tribes, but only six are used for each game, promising a unique experience every time you play. Becoming an expert on the Tribes and their strengths is key. It will require a diplomatic mind to get them to align behind you. Ethnos is a game that tests your ability to make decisions on the fly and adjust to an ever-changing board.
The designer, Paolo Mori, has created a modern strategic game that captures the essence and feel of a classic title. The artwork by the world-famous fantasy illustrator John Howe brings a land on the brink of falling into chaos to life. Howe has created some of his most thematic and engaging characters to represent the different Tribes. With Elves, Merfolk, Trolls, Wizards, and Halflings, among others, you’ll be transported to a fantasy world with a rich history and a population of creatures willing to fight for your cause. With characters worthy of some of the best storytellers throughout history, you’ll become invested in the future of Ethnos.
As you play bands of Tribe cards, you’re able to launch assaults on the different Kingdoms, placing your control markers down and strengthening your hold on the region. When each Age ends, you earn Glory for the different kingdoms you control. The characters are willing to work together with members of the same Tribe or creatures from the same Kingdom. If one of those two criteria are met, you can band them, and the bands you align are critical because they determine where on the map you can exercise your control.
With different combinations of Tribes every game, you’ll form numerous strategies as new powers present themselves each time you form a band. For example, the mighty Minotaurs are savage in battle, but it’s their herd-like mentality that allows them to accomplish more with less. Playing a band with a Minotaur leader allows you to add control markers to a kingdom for one fewer card. Hard working Dwarves are used to pulling valuable stones and gems from the earth. Naturally, a band with a Dwarven leader will earn you more Glory for taking control of a kingdom. The Centaurs are known as the swiftest Tribe in all of Ethnos. Playing a band with a Centaur leader will allow you to immediately play another band from the cards in your hand, possibly letting you place another control marker. The different Tribes’ special abilities are well balanced between advantages in the game play and ways to earn extra Glory.
Will you be able to unite the Tribes and bring them together under one rule? Recruit wisely and elect the leaders that will reinforce your strategy. After the third Age, you might have the Glory required to ascend to the throne of Ethnos! Find out when Ethnos arrives at your FLGS on April 21 2017 from CMON and Spaghetti Western Games.
This story was originally post in GTM Magazine. Learn more here.
Learn more about Ethnos here.