Quick Look: Dice Eclipse – YMOR (Your Materials, Our Rules)
Designer: Seth Hagan
Artist: Joseph Hagan
Publisher: Mental Eclipse LLC
Year Published: 2021
Simultaneously rolling D4s and screaming at them is a high mark in the latest game from Mental Eclipse, Dice Eclipse. You and your opponents represent your civilizations’ champion, sent out to stop an impending threat to your universe. You must face the twelve challenges. Whoever scores the most points is the ultimate savior of the universe.
Rules & Setup:
To set up, each player chooses a player mat and associated (4) D4 dice. All non-D4 dice are set in the middle at the start of the first round. After the first round, these dice are used.
Theme and Mechanics:
The theme is fun, and the character designs are interesting. The mechanic is simple: roll dice. Keep rolling until you get the correct combination.
Dice Eclipse is played over 12 rounds. Each round lasts only a furious minute or so. A challenge is chosen. Then, when “GO” is shouted by the 1st player, or winner of the previous round, all the players start rolling their dice in an attempt to get the combination of that round’s challenge: All 1’s, All 2’s, All Evens, etc. You roll, furiously, setting aside each die as it gets the result you are looking for, and you keep re-rolling the rest.
Once complete, the first person finished grabs the D12. The second to complete the challenge grabs the D10. The third takes the D8, and the fourth takes the D6. Now, in the same order, the first person rolls all four of their D4s, adds them together, and enters that sum on their playmat/scoresheet for that challenge. Each subsequent player rolls one less D4. Then, the winner chooses the next challenge. Starting in round 2, the extra, non-D4 die must be a 6. This clever mechanic means that the person with the D6 should have a slight advantage over the one with the D12. By slight, I mean, mathematically speaking, twice the chance, a 1/6 instead of a 1/12. Or, to put it another way, the D6 has a 16.7% chance of rolling a 6, while the D16 has a paltry 4.2% chance.
After all twelve challenges have been completed, the scores from each round are added together. The champion with the highest score is the WINNER! The other champions must go back to their civilizations as failures.
Artwork and Components:
So, I worked off the original, non-themed, abstract copy of the game. The dice are very nice Chessex dice. I laminated my score sheet and my rules card. That made for a nice game.
BUT, the newer Kickstarter edition will have artwork and player mats. The artwork I have seen so far, looks very fun and entertaining. I believe that the player mats will add a nice element to the game. Being offered as a Print and Play, you can make these out of whatever you choose, but I would highly-recommend laminating them. You will have to visit your friendly local game shop, or your basement or closet, to purchase (or find) the required dice. (The Kickstarter) (4) D4 of each color, then a D12, D10, D8, D6.
It is a fun take on a simultaneous play mechanic. You are rolling frantically to get the right combination required to grab the largest die left. You get distracted by your opponents and might re-roll a die that you needed to keep. The frenetic feeling makes the game very enjoyable.
Maybe this was their intent but trying to rapidly pick up and roll D4 dice can get to be quite tricky. They are pointed and your fingers slip off easily. Also, D4 like to hit off a point and shoot across a table when rolled. I found that using a dice tray was pretty much mandatory. You don’t want to be chasing your dice all over, especially since time is very important in this game.
With a complete lack of strategy, Dice Eclipse might not appeal to hardcore gamers. Yet, I am a fan of simultaneous play, and I wish more games tried to do it. Dice Eclipse, also, works well as a family game. My son and I enjoyed ourselves as we would sabotage each other while playing. I believe that the more people you can get to play, the better this game will be. It will become a chaotic mess, and that is where Dice Eclipse can really shine.
Players Who Like:
Yahtzee, simultaneous play, dice games, mindless fun, chaotic and frantic play, chasing runaway dice