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You Need More Than Dice to Make A Cool Game!!!

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22 May 2008 10:18 #6894 by Deleted User 1


You can almost see the Euro designers lurking silently as the Ameritrash movement unfolded thinking, How Can We Cash in on this?

So these Ameritrash guys like dice, hmmmmm

So we see the Alhambra Dice Game



The Settlers Dice Game:




Soon the RA Dice Game will be Out



Even an Ameritrash Classic like Risk is pushed to the limit with more dice



If you think about it these Dice versions sound great on paper. You have the classic version of the game and a lighter dice version to appeal to a wider gaming audience but unfortunately the reviews on these games have not been great.

Rick Thornquist (AKA Deleted User 1) panned the Alhambra Dice game as awful as did noted tastemaker and Boardgame website owner Scott "Aldie" Alden.

Granted these Old Guard Tastemakers would normally pan any attempt at "Ameritrashing" a game but you need a lot more than dice to make a great game.

You need theme, a strong narrative, player elimination, fierce confrontation, backstabbing and all the goodies that make a great boardgame.

Risk Express seems to be the best of the bunch but we will have to see if this stands the test of time or is just a novelty.

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22 May 2008 10:34 #6896 by jur
I'm waiting for the games to fall onto the bargains pile so I can get the dice for cheap and use them for something better.

Katan dice game looked afwul (a variation on Yathzee). Yuk!

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22 May 2008 10:42 #6899 by Michael Barnes
What about Liar's Dice? Or Craps?

The Euro dice game is a joke...they all boil down to rolling a bunch of dice and then budgeting them to different positions. It's like the worker placement deal with pips.

TO COURT THE KING was a nightmare, a dice game for people who hate dice. KINGSBURG wasn't much better and may actually be worse in the long run. And these dice game versions of popular board games...no thanks. I even passed on the CATAN one

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22 May 2008 10:42 #6900 by Deleted User 1


Hey don't knock Yahtzee, I just picked up the best version, Elvis Yahtzee and when played with a house rule that you must break out singing a Presley classic on a roll of a yahtzee it can't be beat!

I am waiting for "Alice Cooper Yahtzee" which comes with a rubber hamster. When you roll a Yahtzee you bite the head off the rubber hamster.

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22 May 2008 10:52 #6901 by Deleted User 1

What about Liar's Dice? Or Craps?


Hmmmm. Craps is a casino game in which the major appeal is betting and winning money.
There is nothing more boring than playing craps without money, craps is all about the money.

You may have a point on Liars Dice. Liars Dice is one of my favorite games. The last time I played I was unbeatable!

The major appeal of the game is the bluffing aspect, getting a read on a person almost like poker,it really is a gambling game too with the difference being it is fun to play without money.

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22 May 2008 12:25 #6917 by Ken B.
I've been playing the AI Kingsburg some more and really, its use of dice is embarassingly awful. The whole "roll for the King's assistance" is shockingly bad...it's apparent that this is the bizarre lens through which Euro designers see dice and their role in games. If that's the case, no wonder so many Euro fans hate games that use dice. I mean, I *love* dice and I'm surprised at how this one was seemingly shoe-horned in there.

You get five rolls for King's help, and most of the time a "1" will wreck you and only benefit the goob who loaded up on soldiers. Thing is, that person will LOSE if there isn't that 1 rolled. Five rolls, and having a bad one can nuke points, destroy buildings, lose you resources...five rolls on which wild game swings can happen.

Apparently there's going to be an expansion with some discs with fixed soldier amounts that you can use instead of the dice. For the first time in my life, I'm thinking, "Yeah, that's a good idea."

I'm not talking about the rolls for resources. They seem to have done a good job there making several lower spaces as good as some of the higher ones. Like 1-2-3 is actually a solid roll, cause you take a VP, a Gold, and a Wood. That's not bad.


Anyway...there's a dearth of inspiration out there, and designers and publishers are flocking to "dice game with brand you recognize" in an attempt to boost sales. Just based on reviews, most of these are leaving people pretty cold, so I'm guessing this is just a temporary thing.

What we REALLY need are more Rondel games. "It's the spinner game where YOU pick where the spinner lands! INNOVATION~!"

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22 May 2008 13:12 #6922 by mikoyan
What's funny is that dice are one of the oldest gaming devices out there. The Romans were casting lots for Jesus' stuff. I think there are earlier instances of dice playing out there. So I don't get the Euro player's disdain for dice but then again, after reading reviews of games where they complain about their well laid plans getting ruined by someone else's not quite so laid out plans, it's not the dice, it's the randomness.

What's even funnier is that one of the older "Euro" games uses dice to great effect. I love the way that the dice are used in Settlers. Yes, it's random but you can mitigate that randomness by choosing places where you are likely to get stuff. And if the most frequent number comes up, you can screw other players.

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