Featured Game Updates: Rolling in the Deep (Nov 19)

Posted by Jeff W. {Avid Gamer} | 19-Nov-14 | 11 comments

Game Updates on BoardGaming.com

Dice Games

(TL;DR – Click here if all you’re interested in is the games added >)

Dice are inextricably linked with gaming. Chances are you grew up in a household with one or more of the classic “roll-and-move” games such as Monopoly or Trouble (with the Pop-O-Matic bubble!), or “roll-and-keep” games like Yahtzee. The standard pip-etched six-sider is de rigeur in such games. Those who graduated from old-school board games to tabletop RPGs will be familiar with the wide variety of shapes and sizes of dice used to track character statistics and roll for damage — if you’re like me, you may have raided your old board games for dice for fireball damage, and tried to figure out a way to integrate the Backgammon doubling cube into adventures.

Some gamers love their dice. RPG players will seek out particular colors or molds of dice to get the perfect set to match their games. Tabletop enthusiasts will spend extra on Kickstarter games just to get cooler dice, or “pimp out” their games in the aftermarket with a better set of dice. Others are drawn to certain games just because of the design of dice employed.

Straight “press-your-luck” dice games have been around for decades, such as the old social standbys “Skunk” and “Pig”. There’s a modern trend (particularly on Kickstarter) to create nifty symbol-covered dice press-your-luck games, such as Dungeon Roll, Ninja Dice, or the colorful Luchador! Mexican Wrestling Dice, but did you know this practice is nearly forty years old? One of the games I used to play with my older brother is the Parker Brothers “game of escape” Dungeon Dice, which has surprisingly not been kept in print from its 1977 debut, but which you may be able to find with good garage sale or Goodwill skills. A game just as old, but which has proven more durable in the long run, is Pass the Pigs (formerly Pigmania), which reimplements “Pig” with a pair of decidedly non-standard “dice”.

“Roll-and-move” gets a bad rap, but games which use dice to try to accomplish tasks are legion, from King’s Forge, where you gather dice as resources and attempt to construct specific items via rolls, to Ancient Terrible Things (a particular favorite of our esteemed Sitemaster), where your dice determine whether you successfully unlock secrets, or unleash Terrible Things.

“Dice Games” by itself has expanded as a category. No longer does it refer merely to games where the primary mechanism is to roll dice to achieve a quantifiable result, whether a distance moved or a result of combat. The mechanics for which dice are employed are varied — dice are now being incorporated into games as tracking mechanisms (Tiny Epic Kingdoms) and resources (Steampunk Rally). “Dice-building” games such as Quarriors and its systemic descendants The Lord of the Rings: Dice Building Game and Marvel Dice Masters use dice to form armies to square (or perhaps more accurately, cube) off against each other.

A few of the new games added as a result of this update may be more “board game” or “party game” than “dice game”, but they still incorporate dice as a major component of their gameplay. Whether you’re in it for the mechanics, the aesthetics, or just the sheer volume of dice, hopefully everyone will find a little something to enjoy or explore here — something old, something new, maybe a bit of both.

User Requested Games

Games added that were user requested are marked below with: {G}
Request a game >

Recently Released Games

{G} Age of War
Fantasy Flight Games | 2014

{G} DICEcapades! (Second Edition)
Haywire Group | 2014

{G} Marvel Dice Masters: Uncanny X-Men
WizKids | 2014

{G} Pandemic: The Cure
Z-Man Games | 2014

{G} Castle Dice
Fun to 11 | 2013

{G} Dino Hunt Dice
Steve Jackson Games | 2012

{G} Devil’s Dice
Mongoose Publishing | 2012

{G} Pass the Pigs
Milton Bradley, Winning Moves Games | 2008

{G} Inn-Fighting: D&D Brawl Dice Game
Wizards of the Coast | 2007

Dungeon Dice
Parker Brothers | 1977

Upcoming Games

{G} Luchador! Mexican Wrestling Dice (Second Edition)
Backspindle Games Ltd., Game Salute | 2014 Q4 (11-28-14)

{G} Steampunk Rally
Roxley Game Laboratory | 2015 Q3 (08-August)

Comments (11)

Gamer Avatar
7
I play blue
Book Lover
Intermediate Reviewer
Smash Up: Ninja Faction Fan

A few other ideas I’ve had for Featured Game Update articles:
– great single-player games, or games that work well with one player
– great 2-player games…seems like a lot of other users are interested in this.
– history of deduction games, and games that use a deduction mechanism well.

Thanks, I just love reading stuff here. Keep up the good work, all!

Gamer Avatar
6
USA
Mage Wars fan

interesting

Gamer Avatar
7
Miniature Painter
Intermediate Reviewer
Master Grader

Dice are like gems to me and glitter so prettily!! I own so many games that failed to live up to my high hopes when I see a dice game, but I still have to buy them.

Gamer Avatar
7
I play blue
Book Lover
Intermediate Reviewer
Smash Up: Ninja Faction Fan

@Jeff W., great read. Thanks! I have seen a number of bluffing games on this site, and I do not get the appeal. I don’t know if I am just not enough of a strategy gamer to know how to bluff toward an end (I’m not), or if I’m just really lousy at lying (I am), but as a mechanic, it confuses me. A Featured Game Update with a little explanation, a little guidance, and a list of good entry-level bluffing games (Scalawag!, Mascarade, etc.) would be interesting and helpful to me. Thanks for your work on this site!

Gamer Avatar
10
Canada
Sentinels of the Multiverse fan
Plaid Hat Games fan
Platinum Supporter

@Jeff W DR;TE (Definitely Read; Thoroughly Enjoyed) I will be looking forward to these. I am big on ‘Game Historia’ and drawing connections between different aspects of the hobby. This is after all the FLGS site and it is fun to gather round the tabletop and chew the fat about aspects of the addicti…ummm…hobby. 😉

DICEcapades! looks crazy! And if I squint my grey matter Dungeon Dice of yesteryear doesn’t at all sound like Escape 😛

Much like ‘minis’ – pimping dice seems to be the ‘du jour’ for good or bad. I will freely admit I’ve paid more than the standard few bucks for a jazzy set of RPG dice. I also enjoy pawing through the loose dice at my game store looking for some ‘snazzies’ to supplement various games (Pathfinder:ACG being one of them. What a racket this Pathfinder=Dice ;)). I also admit I am a happy camper because The Boy informed me that he contacted Flying Frog and broke into my Shadows of Brimstone pledge to get me the ‘special’ dice. I thought they were a bit decadent. But then again – some games look good dressed in decadence. 😉 😉

Of course, on the flip side, like ‘minis’ I’ve seen the push on The Kick for ‘fancy dice’ like it is a no-brainer when it really just eats funding and drives up cost.

From King of Tokyo to Quarriors to the selective action dice in War of the Ring, there are games that use unique dice in interesting ways. Ancient Terrible Things and worker placements like Euphoria give the standard pips purpose. They may be looked at with scorn for their randomness and I’ve shared a few choice words with them on many an occasion, but they are the tactile tether in the hours of fantasy around the table top. Even with the push for bringing ‘smart’ technologies into gaming – the thing about dice is they will never die.

Favorite Use of Dice: The selective movement dice in Runebound (although I know many people made scrunchy faces about it).

P.S. @Jeff W – Don’t forget the new Dungeon Dice by Pot Luck. 3 pounds of dice in various sacks in a giant sack. *glee* Plus it makes for a gaming appropriate ‘sock full of batteries’ to hit Munchkins and Rules Lawyers with. 😉

Gamer Avatar
8
BoardGaming.com Beta 1.0 Tester
Subscribed to BG News
Platinum Supporter
Advanced Reviewer

@Jeff W. “Don’t feel you need to limit yourself to “game type” constraints like this article on Dice Games, though there will almost certainly be similar articles in the future.”

Sky’s the limit. If you can theme together a handful of fun games (coop, dice, werewolves, zombies, doomsday, robotics, whatever, it’ll provide a group of gamers an insight into themes they like and allow them to explore new options or revisit old standbys. I like it

Gamer Avatar
7
Veteran Grader
Paladin
Strategist
Junior

These look like great additions. I very much enjoyed your article, Jeff. I love rolling dice, but they seem to think it’s fun to misbehave more often than not for me. Sadly, I haven’t dug into many of these dice games yet, but that may need to change. I knew dice games were becoming more popular, but I honestly had no idea that some of these were out there. Good timing on this one. Just in time for the ol’ Christmas wishlist! 😉

For a future Features Game Update, I would suggest highlighting some obscure but amazing (and still in print/available) games. For example, Thunder Hamsters and the Temple of Cheese, a lovingly hand-crafted this-could-go-anywhere game that bridges the gap between RPG style story-telling and board games. I can’t recommend it enough to people with a good imagination that love to be a part of developing their character’s story every step of the way. It just so happens to be my favorite game ever. I am the very proud owner of the very first copy ever ordered. 🙂

Gamer Avatar
7
Miniature Painter
Stone of the Sun
I'm Completely Obsessed
Novice Advisor

Great work and nice article! I appreciate the added work that must go into using this approach, but I think it is well worth it. I also like the format used – in that after the article, all the games are neatly listed out so folks don’t have to hunt through the article to find all the games. Again, nice job!

I’ve found I really like the dice games that have a “role and keep” aspect to them, like King of Tokyo or Run, Fight, Die

As for what I would like to see in a future Featured Game Update article, that would have to be solid 2-player games. I’m always on the lookout for fun games that don’t break down when it is just two players. Thanks!

Gamer Avatar
8
Legend of the Five Rings Fan
Advanced Reviewer
Tactician
Guardian Angel

For the audience at large: this is the first Featured Game Update, where we take some aspect of gaming and give it a little prominence, hopefully with a writeup alongside it to add a bit of value. The Werewolves Game Update from last month could be seen as a prototype for this sort of article, and is distinct from the other “themed” Game Updates we did for Halloween.

From discussions with Jim, I want to try to make one update article a month into a Featured Game Update. These are likely to be drawn from a category that has a lot of unfulfilled Game Requests from you, the users.

That being said, here’s the discussion topic of the week: what would you like to see in a future Featured Game Update article? Don’t feel you need to limit yourself to “game type” constraints like this article on Dice Games, though there will almost certainly be similar articles in the future.

Gamer Avatar
8
Legend of the Five Rings Fan
Advanced Reviewer
Tactician
Guardian Angel

Thanks @AD! Yep, the luck factor of some dice games can be intensely frustrating — thus a lot of folks’ affinity for Euro games. It’s funny, though, even the “press-your-luck” element is creeping out into non-dice games, like Till Dawn. Mechanical and component elements blend a bit as designers try to figure out new twists on old reliables.

Gamer Avatar
9
I play black
Guardian Angel
Platinum Supporter
Marquis / Marchioness

Nice article @Jeff! Quarriors continues to be one of my favorites even though I have a love/hate relationship with dice games. For instance, I love Ancient Terrible Things but dislike Elder Sign (hate is definitely too strong).

Thanks for the Castle Dice add. I really enjoy it, but it has severe replayability issues I’m hoping the expansion solves. I played it 5 times in the first 2 weeks I owned it, but I’ve left it alone since while I await the expansion.

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