I'm a 26 year old male Senior Reporter for Weekend Notes. I Graduated from A Bachelor of Arts (Creative Writing and Communication) at UniSA in 2014. As well as writing for WN I have also done pieces for the Adelaide 36s and Mawson Lakes Living.
Published September 16th 2019
Help your clan by helping others
Neta-Tanka is a worker placement game designed by Herve Rigal and published by French publisher, La Boite de Jeu. This is the 2nd game by Rigal and the 4th game launched on Kickstarter by La Boite de Jeu.
The theming and flavour of Neta-Tanka is one of its most distinctive traits. Taking inspiration from Native American and Inuit tribes, in Neta-Tanka players act as chieftains of their own clan. Directing their nomads to create, collect and use resources for the betterment of the whole clan.
In Neta-Tanka each player takes turns placing one of their 3-4 nomads (dependant on the number of players) on one of the x spaces on the board. Each space will allow you to either take resources from the board or use said resources to build tents, feed your clan, build your totem or make handicrafts. One of the caveats to this is that before resources can be collected they must first be created. Players can place their nomads on spaces that will create resources on the board that they may not be able to collect on the same turn. The player is instead rewarded in Generosity points which will add to their final score. This creates a dynamic where players have to shift between collecting resources for themselves and producing resources which other players will most likely collect. This mechanic cements the perception of a community helping each other while bettering their own clan. As far as worker placement themes go it is quite serene.
Image of the main board with the Nomads in action.
As far as the feeling during gameplay is concerned, Neta-Tanka is a very sublime game. There is little to no conflict and players legitimately need to help each other at least a little bit to win. There is a slight bit of interaction with the blocking of worker spots and links but otherwise, you'll be doing your own thing along with the other players. This gentle way of giving the players plenty of decisions without complex obstacles makes Neta-Tanka sit on the much lighter end of worker placement game, which are generally considered to be quite heavy.
With Euro games like Terraforming Mars, Great Western Trail and Concordia creating a trend in the market, there is a hype movement growing for more complex and intricate games. Neta-Tanka fits in this niche somewhat but not enough. It doesn't have enough meat to appeal to a fan of a titan like Terraforming Mars but tries to emulate that feel in a way that seems a little too soft. With its tribal-based theme and its pleasant gameplay, this fits perfectly in the realm of gateway games. An easy way to introduce friends and family to the elaborate world of worker placement games. From here you could move on to things like Troyes, Clans of Caledonia or even the old classic Agricola.
Player board with spaces to track resources, food fed to the clan, tents and your totem.
Neta-Tanka was first released on Kickstarter and was only fulfilled a few months ago so finding a retail copy will be somewhat hard. The best source would be the publisher's website here. Images in the article are from the Deluxe version of Neta-Tanka.