I was never big for dice in games… I never liked handing my fate to them, and the randomness can sometimes get to me. However… they are an important part of gaming, and if used right can improve a gaming experience. So here is a list of some of the most unique dice mechanics. There are many more out there, but these 5 are special to my gaming adventure.
5) Elder Sign/Age of War
I’m starting off here with a press your luck Reiner Knizia design. Wait you say… Elder sign isn’t a Knizia game! Well, if you read the credits in the rulebook, they clearly state a credit to the “Original dice mechanic design of Reiner Knizia”. Taking the press your luck mechanic where you roll and have to fill a row at a time, and must fill the whole row completely, and if you fail you give up one of the die and re-roll is awesome. First seen in Risk Express (now reprinted as Age of War), it is perfectly implemented in the Cthulhu universe when it was integrated in Elder Sign.
4) Roll for the Galaxy
Race for the Galaxy is one of my all time favourite card games, so when they made a dice version I was highly skeptical. Good thing I was wrong. Roll for the Galaxy takes the same tableau-building mechanic as its sibling and adds lots of dice and some cool cups. You roll your dice and match them to their respective actions, then choose any die to select your action of choice and can spend a die to change the face of another. When everyone reveals their selections that determines the actions of that round, and any unused dice get used for the next round. It’s actually fun to roll and then see what your opponents do behind their screens. A truly pleasent surprise for me!
Discoveries seems like a simple dice worker placement game, but its how you get those dice thats innovative. On your turn you place dice sand use actions, then those dice go on 2 sides of the main board depending on the action you took. To get dice back, you can take all the dice from one side of the board, including your opponents dice. However, instead of taking the dice from the board, a player may recall all his dice of his colour back, including ones his opponents are using at the time. The risk of using your opponents dice really makes this game tense, and adds a very unique spin on the dice worker placement genre. Plus… its so pretty to look at and the wooden dice are amazing.
You can check out my review for Quantum right here, and you’ll know it’s a unique game on its own. Using the dice as your spaceships is a awesome mechanic, and using the numbers on the dice in ascending order for movement (1 pip for one movement, so 6 is the fastest ship) and then using the reverse for combat (a 1 beats a 2) is a stroke of genius. Quantum is easily my favourite space combat game, and its super innovative mechanics are a huge reason why
Sentient is my favourite game of 2017, and those awesome looking dice are a huge reason why. To begin a round, everyone rolls their 5 die and places them in their respective spots. Then, you begin to take cards and place them in the 4 areas between the dice, and try to fulfil the requirements on the cards to score points based on the dice above them. But watch out, the cards can change the dice values, although there are ways to do this but you sacrifice future points. That initial roll basically sets up your strategy for the round, and its a lot of fun to manipulate the dice with the cards. A really unique game with a awesome theme and really awesome dice!
There you have it. Theres a lot of great dice games out there, but these 5 really do it for me. Hope you enjoy the list, and feel free to list some of your favourites in the comments below!