Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Dice of Crowns Review


Quick Look:

Info:
Designer: Brander “Badger” Roullett
Artist: Darrin Michelson
Publisher: Thing 12 Games
Year Published: 2016
No. of Players: 2-6
Ages: 10+
Playing Time: 10-20
Find more info on BoardGameGeek.com
If you love dice games look no further. This dice roller provides a heavy dose of strategy for a game that can fit into an Altoids tin. The rules are extremely simple: roll the die until you are either killed or earn a token, but additional rule sets and multi-player gameplay elevate this humble game.

The first player begins with all seven dice and can roll fickle fate (skulls), rightful heir (crowns), betrayal (daggers), or scrolls.








Five skulls or three crowns earn a player one token, but roll three daggers and your turn ends and no tokens can be earned. Scrolls are resolved by being rolled by opponents. If a crown is rolled, they keep it for themselves until their next turn. When a dagger is rolled by an opponent on your turn they can assign that dagger to any player. The first player to collect three tokens takes the crown and wins the game by the basic rules.

While the basic rules keep gameplay pretty simple, if players want more of a challenge there are advanced rules to add in. The rules below can be played separately or combined for one massive free-for-all for the crown.

Review:

Rules and Setup:
The rules are brief and concise, keeping with the theme of the game. While the rules are simple and work well for two players, they can become convoluted for multiplayer games. More players complicate the scenarios and the rules don’t cover the more complex elements of game play. Setup is extremely simple, all you have to do is dump the tin out and find a flat surface to roll the dice.

Theme and Mechanics:
The theme of the game is clearly betrayal. Players use strategy to attack opponents, but can also make alliances to save themselves from unwelcome daggers. Alliances can last for as little as a single turn with this fast-paced gameplay, and trusting no one may just win you the crown.

The mechanics of the game are extremely simple. With so few game pieces, the strategy element of game play becomes the highlight.

Game Play:
This game is fast paced and easy to play, with full games lasting from 10-20 minutes depending on the rules chosen. The first round of the game flies by, but as more rounds go by players may only get to roll two or three dice on their turn. This causes rounds to take a bit more time as scrolls are rolled repetitively and daggers are given out.

The game gives an age range of 10+ which I think is accurate for this game. While the game mechanics aren’t very complicated, the strategy element of game play would be hard for kids under 10.

Pros:
This game is great with any number of players, and is portable. The bank of rules allows players to design their own gameplay tailored to the group. The price of $15 is great for this simple and endlessly entertaining dice roller.

Cons:
The rules were simple and concise, which worked very well for two player matches but becomes muddled in multiplayer games. The ability to combine rules brings up questions that aren’t answered in the one page rule foldout. A re-visit of the advanced rules for game play support would really benefit this game.

Final Thoughts:
I really enjoyed this simple but highly strategic dice roller. Portability and the advanced rules are great features of this game.

Players Who Like:
Fans of dice-rollers will love this game, and it is also similar to Zombie Dice. Extremely simple, but still highly entertaining.

I am giving Dice of Crowns 7 out of 10 super meeples.

7 10

Check out Dice of Crowns on:

            

About the Author:


Sarah Johnson is a freelance writer and board game enthusiast. When she’s not playing games or writing reviews, she enjoys writing articles for food and wine magazines. Sarah lives in rainy Corvallis, Oregon where she studies writing, English, and communications.

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