Mind Bottling Games
A review by
The mad king has offered his Throne to a worthy Champion. He has been making this offer for a thousand years. Yet to this day none have proved worthy. Heroes come from all over the kingdom and from all different backgrounds and disciplines. All with their own reasons for seeking power. Will you prove your worth to the king and succeed where others have fallen? Can you defeat all comers to claim the ultimate prize? The Dice Throne awaits a Champion.
The core box of Dice Throne Season one(Season two expansion is currently live on Kickstarter until 9th March 2018) Contains all you need to play up to 6 players. Inside your box you will find,
- Dice, 5 individual per character, (30)
- Combat Point tracker wheel per character, (6)
- Life counter per character, (6)
- 32 Cards per character comprising upgrades and abilities, (192)
- Turn order reference cards one per character, (6)
- Hero boards and leaflets one per character. (12).
The gameplay in Dice Throne is very reminiscent to Yahtzee in so much as you Roll five dice. You then keep some of the dice and then re-roll up to twice more trying to achieve certain combinations. While on the surface this might not sound like it gives much scope for player interaction or battling. Dice Throne is so much more than first meets the eye.
Each player will equip with a different character. Each character comes with their own player board, deck of cards, ability leaflet tokens, combat tracker, life tracker and a character specific set of 5 dice. Play is carried out over a series of Phases.
- Upkeep→ Applicable status effects are resolved.
- Income→ Gain combat points and draw a card.
- Main phase 1→ Play Action cards, Upgrade abilities and sell cards to gain CP.
- Offensive Roll→ Roll your 5 dice up to 3 times to try to activate one of the abilities from your player board.
- Targetting→ This only occurs in games of more than 2 players and designates applicable targets.
- Defensive→ Target player rolls a designated number of dice once to activate various defensive abilities.
- Main phase 2→ This phase repeats Main phase 1.
- Discard phase→ discard down to your hand limit.
So what is all this talk of abilities then? Obtain 3, 4 or 5 of a specific symbol to deal direct damage. Small or large straight will activate more advanced abilities for example the Pyromancer might gain some Fire Mastery to allow them to deal damage undefended by dice rolls. The Barbarian might Stun an opponent allowing a second immediate attack for free. Or will you prefer the Monk’s ability of gaining Chi which can be spent to reduce damage later on. Each character also possesses an Ultimate ability for 5 of a kind. These attacks can deal a larger amount of damage and multiple special abilities simultaneously. An added bonus is that these attacks cannot be defended by defensive dice rolls only card abilities can reduce the damage received. These abilities and much more will be at your disposal as you attempt to reduce your opponents to Zero life points and Claim the Throne.
Dice Throne is a lot of fun to play. While the re-roll mechanic allows you a chance to minimise the ‘luck of the roll’ and the ability cards can allow you to even alter some of the results further. You are still reliant on a lot of luck. Accept this and you will enjoy yourself. Games do not take too long to play especially at 2 or 3 players. Also having to roll for targetting is at one and the same time both refreshing and annoying. On the one hand it is good because it can stop the ‘ganging up’ that can occasionally occur in these style of games. However if and opponent is only on 2 Life points, not being able to target them for the “kill” can also be frustrating. This is a game that I really enjoyed playing and can heartily recommend. Dice Throne is very suited for Family play and meet-up evenings and refreshingly also suitable for game night play scaling well from 2 all the way to 6 and allowing for some fun rivalry and banter. If you can enjoy a game even with ‘Luck of the roll’ (or lack of in some games) Then I can strongly suggest you look to pick this up at retail or even consider both this and the expansion on Kickstarter.
I was provided with a copy of Dice Throne to review as part of the BGE group. I have now passed this copy on to another reviewer in the group. This has no bearing on my review or my final thoughts on the game.