Monday, April 05, 2010

Roll 'em, pardner (Dice Town x2, Dominion x2)

It was Kozure's pick, and he was in the mood for fast, low fuss games.

Dice Town

A few weeks ago I participated in a math trade where I was looking to shift Dungeon Lords. It's a hot game right now, so I probably could have been greedy and held out for something valuable but I saw someone offering Dice Town. It sounded like a lot of fun so I went for it (I'm discovering that it's rather hard to find, so even better).

At home it's been an instant hit. My son LOVES this game. My sister, who doesn't particularly like games, likes this one. I like it, too.

Dice Town is a dice rolling game set in the old west. Players roll 5 custom dice with pictures of playing cards (9s to aces), hoping to set up combinations that will net them some goods. Everyone rolls there dice simultaneously and picks on to keep. Then they reveal what they kept, and roll the remaining four dice and keep one. This goes on until all five dice have been selected. Optionally, a player may pay 1$ per die to keep more than one die on a given roll.

Most 9s = gold nuggets
Most 10s = rob the bank
Most jacks = draw cards at the general store
Most queens = Steal cards from another player
Most kings = become the sheriff (sheriff breaks ties)
Best poker hand = Get land claims

If you got nothing on a turn, you visit "doc badluck" and receive a consolation prize (note that some of these are good enough to make intentionally visiting doc badluck a valid strategy on some occasions)

Nuggets, money, land claims and some general store cards are worth VPs. Most VPs win the game.

This game is easy to explain, plays relatively quickly, and is a lot of fun. There is a small amount of strategy, as it's important to pick your battles and spy what opportunities exist for getting lots of stuff with little effort. For example, if everyone is going for best poker hand, then a single 9, 10 and jack can land you gold, the money in the bank and a card from the general store. Similarly, if someone appears to be going for 9s (to get gold nuggets) and has more than you, pursuing 9s will likely yield nothing. Having said that, Doc Badluck can be a viable option in some cases and a player might well decide that it's beneficial to follow someone in a category they cannot win to make sure they get to visit the doctor... one of the doc's "remedies" is a gold nugget from each player, for example, if you can finish the hand with at least one ace and still win nothing.

It might have been fun if more combinations/ goals were at play, such as rewarding players for getting straights or whatever. Not a big deal, though.

We played two sessions, and although I had a strong start in the first one Kozure managed to beat us all on both occasions. Everyone enjoyed it, we'll see if it becomes a staple!


Speaking of staples, Kozure followed up Dice Town with Dominon/ Dominon:Intrigue. This was the first time I had played with both expansions mixed together, and the first time I had played with the expansion since I realized I liked the base game (I played the expansion first, and was lukewarm to it). Having played the basic system a few times now, the expansion did not seem as intimidating as it did previously. I would say that on the balance I still prefer the simplicity of the basic cards, though I could see that with repeated play the different possibilities offered by Intrigue would be appealing.

In the first game I tried to build an engine where I would have several high gold cards in my deck and then use the "adventurers" card to constantly get more of that gold into my hand. I managed to purchase a number of Provinces this way, but couldn't prevent a loss. In the second, I floundered badly as I tried to make coppersmith work for me but it didn't. I lost badly.

Did Kozure win both Dominion games, too? Good night for him...

1 comment:

  1. I believe Shemp won the second game. I did not sweep the evening.