Dice Games

Medici (1995) is a classic designed by one of the most influential people in board games, DOCTOR Reiner Knizia, and is the distilled pure essence of an auction game. Players bid their points on collections of goods, some they want, some they don’t, earning more points by set collection of those goods. Period. End of story.  Medici inspired an excellent card game version in 2016, and now Grail Games has announced the third in the family,  Medici: The Dice Game.

Also designed by the good doctor, Medici: The Dice Game is a dice drafting, roll and write game, which retains the simple elegance of the original. 2-4 players will spend their turns over 3 rounds filling the hold of their ship, trying to collect the most valuable goods, as well as majorities in each good type. Once again using the stunning artistic talents of Vincent Dutrait, Medici: The Dice Game is scheduled to hit Kickstarter in November 2019. For more information, check out Grail Games website here.

“SHAKE IT UP! Dice™ Poker has something for everyone! It’s fast, fun, and easy to learn—yet has deeper levels of strategy to master. It’s the successor to Square Shooters®, the original cards-on-dice game. It’s Yahtzee-Meets-Poker with head-to-head bonuses that make every roll exciting and full of surprises!”

Burning River Games has a new Kickstarter Campaign for Shake It Up! Dice Poker, a cards-on-dice sequel to Square Shooters, by the late Carmelyn Calvert. Using 9 custom dice, players can simulate all 54 cards of a standard card deck (4 suits of 13 cards plus 2 jokers), and create all possible types of poker hands. In Shake it Up, players use Yahtzee mechanics to roll their dice three times, trying to achieve the best possible version of the target poker hand. Each round, players advance down the score sheet, aiming for a more and more difficult poker hand. Power Up cards allow extra abilities such as rerolls, extra turns and more wild cards. Players score points for accomplishing the target hand, and bonus points if they create the best version of that hand.

The Kickstarter Campaign for Shake it Up! Dice Poker continues through October 31, and the game is expected to deliver by April 2020. The Kickstarter offers extra add-ons such as leather dice cups and velvet bags, created in cooperation with Easy Roller Dice Co.

Following on the heels of Monsters & Minions comes Fiends & Familiars, a second expansion to the wildly successful Roll Player base game.

The Kickstarter campaign is active now and runs through July 16 with an estimated delivery of April 2020.

While the Fiend cards bring new obstacles, the Familiar boards are added to players’ character sheets and each bring their own unique goals and special abilities. In addition to these brand new game elements comes a variety of additions to the market, monsters, alignments, backstories, and character classes. On top of that…more custom dice.

For those backers that want to be able to fit the base game and both expansions in one box, the campaign offers Big Box backer levels. The rules are available as well for those that want to see how these new elements change the game.

The OP, also known as USAopoly, has announced Astro Trash, a new real time dice rolling game reminiscent of the classic game LCR. Astro Trash has 3-5 players acting as intergalactic janitors, trying to clear their personal planet of trash, by either moving it to another player’s planet, or by flinging it into the sun.

“Thanks to a sanitation spacecraft gone haywire, a collection of debris has been released into the vast universe, covering once inhabitable worlds with disruptive litter! Cleaning up all the Astro Trash calls for one quick-acting champion to literally take the matter into his or her own hands.”

Players frantically roll their three dice in real time. The numbered die dictates how many pieces of trash can be moved, the colored die says what type of trash can be moved, and the direction die says whether they are moved to the left, the right, or incinerated in the sun. If a players’ personal planet is cleared of all trash, they proclaim “Clean!” then take a Trash Trophy. The first player with 3 trophies wins the game.

Astro Trash comes with 5 player mats, 15 custom dice, 50 trash pieces in 6 colors, an oversized playmat and 11 Trash Trophies. For more details about Astro Trash, check out The OP’s press release, or the official web page for the game.

Hostage Negotiator is a popular single player game created by Van Ryder Games and designer A. J. Porfirio in 2015. In Hostage Negotiator, players use card play to manipulate dice rolls, trying to diffuse the threat of a hostage situation or collect conversation points from the abductor. These points are then used to buy new cards, all the while trying to free the hostages by reducing threat to 0, or through special cards. The Crime Wave expansion followed in 2017, and many Abductor packs added cards to the game. Now all of the previously released content can be combined into an overarching campaign with Hostage Negotiator: Career on Kickstarter. Career simulates 10 years in the career of your character, adding personal and professional stresses, awards of merit, and promotion through the police ranks. Career even adds legacy-like elements, such as secret packets, advanced skills and hidden cards. For fans of this classic solo game, Hostage Negotiator: Career is a beautiful way to turn the game into a full 10 year campaign. The Kickstarter campaign for Hostage Negotiator: Career, including purchase options for all previous content, continues through May 17, and the game is expected to deliver in March of 2020.

Space Base is a critically acclaimed engine building, dice-economics game from designer John D. Clair and publisher AEG, which took the clever “roll dice – earn money – buy cards” pattern from Machi Koro (2012), and others, and brought it to the next level. The first expansion for Space Base, The Emergence of Shy Pluto, was only released last week, and already a second expansion and storage kit has been announced. Space Base: Command Station, coming later this year, will expand the maximum player count from it original 5 up to 7. The expansion, which comes in a box to hold everything, will include 2 more boards, all necessary starting cards and cubes. Command Station will also include 14 “pre-deployed” ship cards to help balance the larger player counts. Look for Space Base: Command Station at your FLGS this August.

Wizkids is adding a trilogy of new sets to the Dungeons and Dragons: Dice Masters line of collectible dice games, this time focusing on the city of Waterdeep. Waterdeep has become a wealth of legend and lore in the Dungeons and Dragons mythos, and now Eric Lang and Mike Elliott‘s classic Dice Master is incorporating characters and monsters from this iconic city.

D&D Dice Masters: Trouble in Waterdeep is a 2 player Campaign Box containing everything needed to play a complete game, including Sidekick Dice, Action Dice, rules and dice bags. This set includes over a dozen characters, including Xanathar, Manshoon’s spies, and Volo.

The D&D Dice Masters: Adventures in Waterdeep Team Pack contains 24 cards and 16 dice for those already familiar with Dice Masters, and can be paired with any Campaign Box or Starter Set. Characters in this pack include Brawlwin Chainminer, the Black Viper, Jarlaxle, and Durnan, as well as many others making their first appearance. Similarly, D&D Dice Masters: The Zhentarim Team Pack includes Manshoon, Istrid Horn, and Ziraj, as well as many other Zhentarim in its 16 dice and 24 cards.

Look for all three Waterdeep themed Dice Master sets at your FLGS in September 2019.

Coming from Wiz Kids in June is Europa Base Alpha, a 2-4 player game with a play time of 45 minutes that combines cards and dice game play.

Players compete to build a network of bases on Jupiter’s moon Europa, with Missile Silos, Communication Towers, Global Command Centers, Personnel Bunkers and Intergalactic Transports, using cards/dice to build their own bases and mess with other players. Whoever has the most points from their moon bases will win.

The game comes with 36 dice and 92 cards, tokens and 4 player boards.

It is meant for ages 14 and up. It is from Garrett Herdter.

Everything Epic Games has just announced the first expansion for their 2018 dice driven adventure board game, Big Trouble in Little China, by designers Christopher BatarlisBoris Polonsky, and Jim Samartino. BTiLC: The Game brought the world of old Jack Burton and friends to life, as players rolled dice to work on their Chi and abilities, trying to build up enough Audacity to find and defeat the evil Lo Pan. The Legacy of Lo Pan continues the adventure, telling the story of what happened after the classic 1986 movie. This expansion increases the player count to 6, previously only available with the Deluxe Edition of the game, as well as adding a new story campaign. The 40 page mission book tells the story of Jack Burton’s travels through time, using the Tardisian Hourglass, an ancient artifact kindly supplied by Egg. Not only that, but the new expansion comes with the famed Six Demon (Dice) Bag. Look for The Legacy of Lo Pan in stores in March 2019, and for more information, check out Everything Epic Games‘ webpage here.

A second expansion is finally coming for the fantastic 2014 dice management game, Roll for the Galaxy (BGG #65), and it is a massive one. Roll for the Galaxy: Rivalry from designers Wei-Hwa Huang and Thomas Lehmann contains 3 full expansions in one box, expanding and changing multiple aspects of this already great game. Firstly, Rivalry adds pieces, and lots of them – 60+ new dice, start factions, home worlds, a new die type, and many new game tiles. In fact, Rivalry contains twice the tiles included in the 2015 expansion Ambition.

Rivalry also adds a new “Deal Game” mode, where fundamental aspects of the game are up for trade. Seven deal dice are rolled each turn to see what aspects are negotiable. You can trade surplus tiles for more space on your money track, extra tile draws for losing citizenry dice, or convert citizenry dice into developers or settlers. The possibilities to manipulate almost all restraints on game play are enormous. But these large deals take time to mature, and as the deals change turn to turn, deals can turn sour, and other players may want to take advantage or destroy what you worked hard to start.

Finally the new “Orb Game” adds an Alien Orb die type with interchangeable faces, along the lines of Rattlebones or Dice Forge. Players can buy new faces by assigning “Researcher” dice, using a progressive tech tree to constantly improve their orbs. At the end of the game, the faces are worth points, depending how advanced they are along the tree. Die faces include discounts on development dice, settler dice, and several other options.

Rivals includes brand new player screens, printed with new rules and game modes for handy reference. For more information, you can read the announcement from Rio Grande Games here.