dice drafting

Dice drafting is an excellent game mechanism that I feel is under-utilized and not fully explored. Last year’s hit Sagrada is a great representation of this point. I like to think that Creative Game Studios recognized this as well when they planned to bring The Towers of Arkhanos to Kickstarter on October 2nd. Their newest project goes beyond just drafting the dice, as it also uses the shape of the dice to it’s visual advantage – the dice are placed after drafting to act as pillars for the titular towers as they climb ever upward over the course of the game. This eye-catching blend of theme and function, along with an approachable set of rules, makes this a crowdfunding title worth the look.

 “The towers of ARKHANOS  is a fast paced competitive boardgame for 2 to 4 players who will control one of the magic schools from the realms of Drunagor and try and build the magic towers in order to gain more prestige points to be appointed the greatest wizard of the realm. Design by Daniel Alves and Eurico Cunha two of the creators from “MASMORRA: Dungeons of Arcadia”, the game features artwork by Marcelo Bastos and Rodrigo Ramos creating a unique and colorful world.”

A strong draft and table presence aren’t the only things Arkhanos has going for it. Like any good gateway game, it also teaches a few other strategic staples, notably risk assessment and timing. Unlike other dice drafting games, this one always gives you the option of taking actions without a die, but doing so means you will lose one of your meeples instead as it is grimly sacrificed to be a pillar of a tower in place of a die. Actions and area control are determined by these meeples, so losing them this way isn’t ideal but it often comes down to seizing opportunity and an advantageous bonus in a crucial move. You don’t have to take my word for how thoughtfully put together this game is, however, because if you are interested in learning more about The Towers of Arkhanos you can check out their Kickstarter campaign page for playthrough and preview videos, full rules, community feedback, and updates.

Vatal Entertainment Studio has just gone live with a new Kickstarter project called Infinities: Defiance of Fate. This is a 2-4 player game with a multitude of game mechanics involved.

Do you like managing resources? It’s in there. Map-building? Ditto. Dice drafting is in there as well.

“The multiverse is an impossibly vast existence, accounting for every possible outcome of every possible point of divergence. In Infinities: Defiance of Fate, 2-4 players take control of factions to assemble armies with legendary leaders, shape the very worlds they walk on, and fulfill or redefine their destinies. Engage in a momentum-based Skirmish or take part in a branching Adventure campaign. It is up to you to decide which is the ideal timeline!”

Infinities: Defiance of Fate has two modes of play: skirmish and adventure.

Skirmish mode is a quick, objective-based play up to a certain number of points.

Adventure mode is a book with branching chapters where players will shape the story as they move forward. There are win conditions and legacy elements to this mode of play.

On each game turn, five custom dice are rolled. After the player manipulates them as desired, the best three are chosen and actions are done based on what dice made the cut. Dice can be used to play or prepare cards, change the map using the modular hex tiles, defeat other players’ units, and many other things.

The Adventure Book comes with 12 chapters and multiple branching options, allowing for thousands of different stories and replayability.

Infinities: Defiance of Fate is already almost half-way to its funding goal.

Check out the Kickstarter page for more information.

Pandasaurus Games has just announced a 2-player standalone sequel to its hit Dinosaur Island game.

Duelosaur Island will use completely new mechanics yet still give players that Dinosaur Island feel. It will have an entirely new hand-management and tableau-building engine perfectly suited for two players, as well as an “I cut, you choose” dice-drafting mechanism.

“”One of the things we loved most about the game is how much it felt like playing a game of Dinosaur Island, even though the mechanics are completely different.  You still roll DNA dice, you still make dinosaurs, you still must manage your threat level.  But then there is this super clever card mechanism that leaves you with so many tense decisions to make.  And don’t even get me started on the dice-drafting mechanism.  Once the DNA dice are rolled the first-player sets the market by assigning different dice different bonuses, but the second-player gets to choose first.  Do you give the dice you need to good bonuses and risk your opponent taking them?  Or do you play it safe and throw the solid bonuses on the dice you don’t want” Nathan McNair, President of Pandasaurus Games, said.”


Cards will have three potential purposes, giving players lots of choices on how to build their tableau and manage their hands. They can contain DNA sequences for your dinosaurs, blueprints for your park attractions, or they can be discarded for certain effects.

The game also comes with five brand new DNA dice. You can mix and match these dice with dice from Dinosaur Island, bringing new possibilities not only for this game but to the original game as well.

Duelosaur Island is designed by Ian Moss and developed by Dinosaur Island designer Jon Gilmour, with all-new artwork from Dinosaur Island artists Kwanchai Moriya and Peter Wocken.

The press release also teased some new announcements for the parent game coming soon.

Keep an eye on the Pandasaurus Games web site for more information on both Duelosaur Island and its predecessor.

Duelosaur Island is scheduled for release later in 2018.

 

Eggertspiele has announced a new title for their catalog – Coimbra.  Coimbra is designed by Virginio Gigli and Flaminia Brasini and is illustrated by Chris Quilliams.  Coimbra is a set in the Portuguese city with the same name during the Age of Discovery (15th – 16th century).

As one of Coimbra’s oldest houses, your role is to seek prestige with the monasteries, universities, and fund explorations.  To do this, player’s will draft dice each round that can be used in multiple ways and taking dice can affect turn order, income, and the cost of bribery .  Whoever can optimize the use of the dice and the constant change of synergy with the monasteries, universities, and expeditions will be the winner.

Coimbra is a designed for 2-4 players and takes approximately 60-90 minutes.  Coimbra pre-orders will open April 16, 2018 and it will be released on August 2, 2018 at GenCon.

Tasty Minstrel Games would like to announce that their new dice-drafting/stealing game, Thief’s Market, is now on Kickstarter.

Gameplay in Thief’s Market occurs over a series of rounds in which players will split the loot from a “hard day’s work” and then spend it on useful items, finery, and henchmen.  These purchased items will grant the ability to manipulate your take further as you go to market.  Using the items you purchase, you can take actions such as flipping dice to the desired side, make extra purchases, re-roll dice, gain points, reduce the cost of purchases at the market, and create effects when you purchase certain cards.

A copy of Thief’s Market contains the following:

  • 13 Custom Dice
  • 41 High Quality Game Cards
  • Start Player Marker
  • Player Reference Cards
  • Coin Tokens
  • Infamy Tokens
  • Rulebook

The project has met multiple stretch goals currently, and aims to add metal coins to the game when a certain pledge level is reached.  For more information and to support this project, visit the Kickstarter page here.