Word Forge Games
an early preview by
- 1-4 Players
- 45 minutes approx
- 14+ Age
June 4th 1944.
T-minus 2. D-Day Dice was originally released in 2012 as a print ‘n’ play game which then gained a following and was released as a commercial venture. Fast forward to 2017 and we are going to be treated to a second edition with new art, missions, tiles and dice.
D-Day Dice is set in Normandy, June 6th, 1944 – as you land on the well-defended beaches, a German machine gun nest is killing your comrades like flies. You must do something!
In D-Day Dice, players are Allied soldiers trying to organize improvised units for an attack against the machine gun nest. Each player starts the game with a unit of a few soldiers and nothing else. As the game progresses, he will collect resources and advance on the beach, sector by sector, as his unit grows stronger and deadlier. He will succeed…or die trying.
A multi-player co-op game with simultaneous play. Only one way to win and lots (and lots) of ways to lose. The allied forces will need to be…well allied actually. Work together to survive, share resources and protect your fellow soldier.
June 5th 1944.
T-minus 1. On this date we need to check our equipment. I will not be doing this because the copy received was labelled as “pre-beta” and as such does not have the finished components. The developer of the 2nd edition has assured that in the commercially available edition will be much improved. The card stock used was not to the standard of the final product. There was only one map whereas in the final production there is intended to be 12. Also a campaign mode is set to be produced to accompany these maps. This will allow you to go from before the initial landing at Omaha on through the invasion and beyond.
One item that was included was a Die which was representative of the special marked dice that this game will include. This is marked with reinforcements, tools, courage, specialist stars and the dreaded skull which will cancel the ability of another dice.
I will however say that given the quality of the components I received I do have high hopes for the production standard of the finished game.
June 6th 1944.
D-Day. As the landing craft drives onwards through the waves, I can feel the shaking of the hull as it is rocked by the explosions near by. All of a sudden there is a huge fireball just to the right and the sound of screaming. I do not need to look, the frightened expressions of the young men all around me tell the tale. Another craft has not been so lucky. Would we be next? Would we feel the heat as the ammo supply exploded? Suddenly we are rocked as the ship lurches against the beach. The ramp drops and we rush forward. All around are bodies of young men who did not make it out of the water. We rush forward trying to find cover where ever we can. At the top of the beach is an enemy machine gun bunker. Its hot leaden death spitting back and forth across the beach. We need to silence that gun before we all die.
So you are now faced with D-Day Dice’s Omaha beach landing scenario. All players will need to roll dice up to 3 times. Trying to optimise the number of troops, tools, Specialist stars and most of all courage. They will need to advance up the beach. Unlike the Hollywood heroic dashes, they need to work together. Share resources to support each other going forward. Recruiting specialists to avoid landmines, Medics to heal the injured and Heroes to soak up gunfire. Failure to work together will involve one team being wiped out and everyone loses. Need to advance but don’t have the courage or specialist required? Everyone loses. Get caught in the open with a nasty machine gun attack with no healing? Everyone loses. It is only IF you can all make it to the target zone and wipe out the enemy will you claim this hard fought win. Victory is only temporary thought as the next target is just ahead.
June 7th 1944.
The next day. The machine gun nests are silenced finally and the wounded are treated.
D-Day Dice 2nd edition is remaining faithful to its roots and as such it manages to achieve some nice targets.
On the one hand it is an easily accessible gateway level game. With clear rules and a familiar theme that is known by most people (the D-Day Landings of World War II).
On the other hand there is a focus on tight co-op play with good tactical decision making, resource management, dice rolling and manipulation.
It does both of these things to a good level and has a lot of promise as an introduction to deeper mechanics and possibly even war games themselves. You do not need to be a war game fan though for this game to make you think a bit more deeply about what it might have been like back in June of 1944. If however you cannot enjoy the theme of this game you might not get the same level of enjoyment from it.
Because I only got to experience one map from D-Day Dice I cannot fully comment on the other proposed maps. Or the campaign mode itself which is where the meat of this game will lie. What I did find though was that after several plays in quick succession on the same map. We did start to use a particular set of tactics whereby each player focused on a set aim with the dice rolling. Then we could share out the resources amongst the players. It was only once we were forced to split up that we had to rely on our stocked resources. Even with this tactic though D-Day dice was not and easy game to win.
The developer behind the 2nd edition has already announced that they are looking at creating expansions for the base game to extend the replay-ability going forward
D-Day Dice is showing a lot of promise. If the component upgrades are done well and the campaign mode implemented in a sensible way there is a potential for a lot of life in this 2nd edition.
- Gateway accessibility.
- Good tactical depth.
- Unknown quantity of other maps/campaign mode.
Replay-ability -preview copy-
Player Interaction -preview copy-
Engagement -preview copy-
Component Quality -preview copy-
I received a pre-beta copy of D-Day Dice to preview. This in no way affects my review or my final thoughts on the game.