FLASHBACK FRIDAY – Gentes – Tasty Minstrel Games – Review

Game box cover

Build up your people from nothing and set your sights on glory … make your nation’s name last throughout history!

Matthew Kearns


Game in progress

Theme and What is it?


You are a leader of a great nation. Build up your people from nothing and set your sights on glory! Foster innovation by training different skills, build cities, structures and wonders to make your nation’s name last throughout history.

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Gameplay Mechanics



Most Victory Points wins

Accumulate the most Victory Points by completing Civilization Cards, building Cities, and achieving other special conditions.  Be careful not to bite off more than your people can handle.


Initial player setup

Place the board between the players and lay out the tokens on it based upon color, picture, and number of players.  Give the players their color-coded components. Separate the Civilization Cards into the different eras and seed the board with Era I cards.  Each player has 4 Population points to assign to his 6 different classes. Each player starts with 20 worth of coins and 2 Civilization cards.  Determine the First Player.


Beginning of a round

The game consists of six rounds, divided between the three Eras.  Each round has two phases: Heyday and Decline.

During the Heyday phases, players go around acquiring resources and effects that cost them time on their Civilization board.  Once all of the time slots on the players’ boards are filled or they cannot fill them, they go on to the next phase.

During the Decline phase, effects created from doing things in the Heyday phase are addressed (getting coins, increasing classes, acquiring indicator cubes, etc.).  The board is reset for the next round. If a new Era is entered, additional effect occur (using the other Era decks, removing a lock token from a time slot, etc.).

At the end of the Decline phase in the sixth round, the players address the end of game rules for tallying the final Victory Point count.

Board arrangement in middle of a round

Initial Impressions


Getting started was a bit difficult, there is so much to the setup and learning the different rules between the phases.  And yet, once you get the hang of it, arranging the components to make setup quicker, processing rounds faster, etc. becomes easier because of the game’s repetitive nature.

Sample display of components

Game Build Quality


Like any of the other TMG I have or have played, the components are top quality.  The boards are thick and well-put together. The tokens are a sturdy cardboard with a nice finish.  The cards are a typical playing card stock, sturdy enough to withstand lots of gameplay. The First Player token, cities, and indicator cubes are painted wood and I certainly have no issue with them.  Per the TMG usual, there are extra baggies to put components in. This wasn’t their deluxified edition of the game, otherwise it’d be a solid 10.

Game board and player Civilization boards

Artistic Direction


The art has a rustic, old feel like ancient Greece or Roman Empire.  It compliments the game, keeping the feeling throughout play.

Just unwrapped and opened the game box

Fun Factor


This game’s fun centers around optimization and anticipating your opponents.  With the action cost limiting you and so many different options for actions, you do your best with what you have because during a given round.  As turns pass your strategy may change drastically depending on what your opponents do. The more opponents you have, the more difficult it is to maintain a given strategy.

Player progress during a round

Age Range & Weight


Age range is 14+ and I’d say this is a solid medium weight game that does what it sets out to do.  The set number of rounds keeps gameplay shorter than similar games like Civilization but age and experience teach a player to be nimble in augmenting or switching strategies as well as being able to keep your attention on the game.

End of the game, green player wins



My group and I like this game.  Its short enough that we can play it twice in a night if we have time to do so but also provides a satisfying game experience.

As I mentioned before, you can easily mitigate the long setup instructions if you arrange the components in the box the right way.  The many pages about the different symbols, rounds, and phases easily become second nature because you’re performing the actions over and over again.

There are some special, unique, or extra rules for different conditions in the game such as 2-player, solo play, and beginner/experienced players.  These help keep the game fresh as this can be a game that can get pulled out often by your group.

FLASHBACK FRIDAY - Gentes - Tasty Minstrel Games - Review
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Build up your people from nothing and set your sights on glory … make your nation’s name last throughout history!