Wednesday, August 31, 2011

It's all about the dice.

Dice, you either love them or hate them. They also seem to come and go into fashion in the gaming world, and at the moment it looks like they are definitely coming back.

Recent games such as the excellent Space Frontiers and Troyes have brought dice back into favor. Both games get you to roll a number of dice and place them on the board in various worker placement guises. Troyes also allows you to buy dice from your opponents which is a really nice way of getting around those really bad dice rolls.

With Quarriors being released I think we are going to see a new wave of dice games. This is because Quarriors is the first dice building game. When Dominion was released it created a big buzz. It was the first deck building game and has spawned a number of copies and games based on this mechanic. Thunderstone being one of my favorites.
Quarriors takes the cards out and replaces them with custom dice. You draw dice from your bag, roll them and then use then to summon monsters or buy other dice from the pool in the center of the table. It sounds simple and I am sure it is, but working out the dice combos and efficient dice management techniques is going to be the hard part.
Although my copy hasn't arrived yet I am really looking forward to trying this. It has gone down very well across the pond and I believe all of the copies sent to the UK were sold out by pre-orders.

I suspect like Dominion, Quarriors will spawn not only a number of expansions but also some other games that use a similar mechanic and I am sure that some of these will be just as good.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

More Thunderstone, this time online...

Thunderstone, the deck building game with theme is now available to play online over at Yucata. They have done a very good job of making this one and I am now feverishly playing a handful of games.

If you haven't managed to try Thunderstone its a deck building game where you are building up a deck of hero's and items. You can then delve into the darkness of the dungeon to fight the monsters and try and claim the Thunderstone.
There are a few elements that make a good hand, you need light. Without it you get combat penalties that get worse the deeper you try and go into the dungeon. So torches, lanterns and wizards all help generate light. Weapons increase your combat value but you have to be strong enough to wield them. Food helps here by bolstering the strength of your heroes.

there is an element of leveling up your heroes as well, as you defeat monsters you gain experience points. These can then be used in the village to upgrade your heroes to the next level. Each hero type has 3 levels and there powers and abilities improve as they level up.

As well as experience points, monsters are worth victory points, as well as the highest level (Level 3) characters. The Thunderstone card is also worth points but its hidden somewhere in the bottom of the 30 card dungeon deck.

Thunderstone has been very successful and spawned a number of expansions. Each adding more cards and slight rules additions to mix things up. The game was also re-released as Dragonspire.
This edition added a dungeon board and makes things a little easier to understand. It's probably where you should start if you are thinking of buying into the game. Although its not necessary if you already have the first base game.

Other than Thunderstone online gaming has been a little quite recently. 2 Weeks in Italy helped recharge the batteries. Or at least top them up with the local Chianti. Ryanair's luggage restrictions meant that I could only squeeze in a few card games to keep me going. But Coloretto and No thanks always go down well and helped while away the evenings.

Hopefully this months purchases should arrive soon, I am expecting a few games including the expansions for the excellent Lord of the Rings LCG. I will talk about these more after a few plays.