How To Play: Nations – Setup, rule summary and strategy

Mastering 'Nations' demands thoughtful resource management, strategic military decisions, and smart technological advancements. Through an easy-to-follow guide on 'How To Play Nations', we've explored setup, gameplay, and winning strategies. Concluding, the key to victory lies in adaptable strategy and creating unforgettable gaming moments with friends.

Hey there, fellow board gamers! Ever wondered how to climb to the top in the challenging world of Nations? Well, you’re in luck! Today, we’re breaking down not just the game rules but the winning strats that’ll have you celebrating victory in no time. So, grab your dice, and let’s get strategizing.


What’s in the box

  • 1 Game Board
  • 4 Player Boards
  • 48 Progress Cards
  • 4 Wonder Cards
  • 35 War Cards
  • 12 Event Cards
  • 250+ Tokens (various)
  • 44 Gold Coins
  • 120 Resource Cubes (30 of each: Stone, Wood, Food, Ore)
  • 1 Round Marker
  • 4 Stability Markers
  • 4 Victory Point Markers
  • 4 Great Person Tiles
  • 20 Dice (5 of each: Army, Worker, Building, Colonist)

How To Play Nations: Rules Summary

Ever wanted to lead a nation through the ages? Nations lets you do just that! Here’s a quick guide to get you started. Whether you’re playing with friends or going solo, these rules will help you understand the game.


  1. Choose your nation. Each has its unique strengths.
  2. Set up the board. Place resource markers, tiles, and cards as the manual instructs.
  3. Hand out starting resources to everyone. Coins, workers, and military units usually get the game rolling.


  1. Each turn, players can buy tiles, deploy workers, or build wonders to grow their nation.
  2. Manage your resources carefully. Coins, food, and stone are key to your nation’s success.
  3. Don’t forget military power. It’s essential for defending and attacking.
  4. Progress through the ages by playing strategically.


  1. The game ends after the last age. Then, players count their victory points.
  2. Points come from wonders, progress, military strength, and stability.
  3. The player with the most victory points leads their nation to glory and wins!

Special Rules & Conditions

  1. Wars and famines: Prepare your nation for these events. They can change the game’s course.
  2. Unique nation abilities: Use them wisely. They can give you a critical advantage.
  3. Age progression: Each age introduces new challenges and opportunities. Adapt your strategy to stay ahead.

And there you have it! These basics should get you started on your quest for world domination. Just remember, every choice can lead to victory or defeat. So think ahead and have fun!

Best Nations Strategies

Mastering the Art of Resource Management

Winning at Nations isn’t just about luck; it’s about smart resource management. Here’s how my friends and I tackled it:

Optimize Early Game Resources

  1. Focus on food and stone. They’re key for early growth and buildings.
  2. Trade wisely. Sometimes, trading resources can kickstart your engine.

Mid-Game Expansion Tactics

  1. Shift focus to gold and technology. This boosts your options and power.
  2. Balance your workforce. Don’t ignore your military for resource gathering.

Late Game Efficiency

  1. Maximize resource spots. Every turn counts, so make each resource work for you.
  2. Plan for the endgame. Start securing versatile resources that support multiple strategies.

The Art of War: Mastering Military Strategy in Nations

Winning at Nations isn’t just about resources; it’s about how you protect them. Here’s how to make your military strategy unbreakable.

Early Game Defense

  1. Focus on quick military units. They scare off early aggressors.
  2. Secure your borders with inexpensive units to deter attacks.

Mid-Game Offense

  1. Upgrade your army. Stronger units make for a more formidable offense.
  2. Attack wisely, targeting weak neighbors to expand your territory.

Late Game Supremacy

  1. Invest in high-tech military wonders. They offer game-changing power.
  2. Keep your defense solid. A late-game invasion can ruin all your hard work.

Mastering the Future: Winning With Technology and Wonders in Nations

In the quest to win at Nations, advancing through technology and wonders is not just a strategy; it’s a necessity. This approach demands foresight, flexibility, and timing. So, let’s gear up and pave our path to victory.

Early Game: Laying the Foundation

  1. Focus on acquiring technology cards that boost resource production. These are your building blocks.
  2. Don’t ignore wonders. Even early on, securing a wonder can give you a significant advantage.

Mid-Game: Accelerating Progress

  1. Balance your technology upgrades. Aim for a mix that enhances both your military and economy.
  2. Start targeting wonders that align with your long-term strategy.

Late Game: Seizing Supremacy

  1. By now, you should be focusing on high-level technologies and wonders that offer game-changing bonuses.
  2. Keep an eye on your opponents’ advancements and adapt your strategy to maintain your lead.

## Mastering the Art of Nations: A Grand Finale

In wrapping up our journey through the tactical landscape of Nations, remember: strategy is the key to your empire’s glory. We’ve covered the essentials – resource management, military prowess, and the leaps of progress technology offers. Apply these tips, adapt to your enemies’ moves, and watch as your civilization rises above the rest. Playing Nations isn’t just about the victory; it’s about the stories you create with every decision. So gather your friends, and let the history books of your gaming nights be filled with epic tales of triumph!

Want to know what we think of Nations? Read our detailed review of Nations here

Jamie in his proper element: With all of his board games
Jamie Hopkins

With years of dice-rolling, card-flipping, and strategic planning under my belt, I've transformed my passion into expertise. I thrive on dissecting the mechanics and social dynamics of board games, sharing insights from countless game nights with friends. I dive deep into gameplay mechanics, while emphasizing the social joys of gaming. While I appreciate themes and visuals, it's the strategy and camaraderie that truly capture my heart.