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Pyrite Prospecting: Rolled West Board Game Review

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20 Nov 2019 00:01 #304389 by WadeMonnig
There always seems to be plenty of choices to be...

Reporter: Welcome,Ladies and Gentlemen, to the Gold Rush. Where plucky pioneers are braving the arid landscape to seek their fortune. Excuse me, Sir, can you tell us about what you are doing out here.

Man: Pickax Pete is the name, Precious Metal are my game. I'm racing to make shipments of Copper, Silver and Gold. I'm currently leading in both Silver and Copper.

Reporter: Thank you Peter. And over here we find Mrs....

Woman: Tammy Tentpole. I've been creating settlements, you can find me down in the high-rent Gold District.

Reporter: And you, sir, what are your feelings on the Gold Rush?

First Time Player: Err, I have no idea what I am doing.

Reporter: Excuse me?

First Time Player: Lots of choices...I think...But I have no idea where to start. Maybe I'll grab this boom town. * opens instructions and reads while walking *This one gives a bonus for Copper Shipped and Copper in contracts...do I have any of those... * Trips over a rock and tumbles down into a valley *

Reporter: Well, there you have it. Welcome to the Rolled West Gold Rush. Back to you, Ron.

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20 Nov 2019 13:30 - 20 Nov 2019 16:05 #304390 by Jackwraith
Hm. I have the same problem with dice games, in that I'm not really enthusiastic about THAT much randomness in things I play. With games that require literal handfuls of dice (like most GW offerings), there are many ways to mitigate that randomness. You just have to time your attacks properly and focus your efforts in a couple specific sectors/units to make things really pay off. As a case example of their (very) long-term design processes, every time they offered up something genuinely random for Chaos, everyone avoided it because no one wanted to risk their whole game on a single roll of the dice.

I think the "banking" system has promise, but that sounds very slow for a smaller game. I really like the way Tiny Epic Galaxies attempts to ameliorate the issue of being dependent on dice. First off, you get one free reroll of any/all dice each turn. Second, you can spend Energy to do more rerolls, as many as you have resources for. Third, you can spend two of your dice to get one result with the Converter. And last, and more importantly, you can spend the other resource, Culture, to duplicate your opponents' die rolls and make progress on your own tasks. That's a lot of making up for poor luck on six-sided dice. Does Rolled West have anything like that other than "banking" for rolls on TWELVE-sided dice? If not, I'd shy away instantly.
Last edit: 20 Nov 2019 16:05 by Jackwraith.
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20 Nov 2019 18:56 - 20 Nov 2019 18:59 #304400 by WadeMonnig
Unfortunately, it doesn't have anything other than "banking." And what is bizarre is that you can have what would be consider in most games as a great roll (Say, four of a kind of Wood) and not be able to Really exploit it at all. You would set one aside for the terrain, spend two on building both a tent and a settlement on the Wood settlement track and, well, bank the last one because you really have nothing else you can do with it unless you can combine it with something you have already banked to buy a Boom Town. The banking system is just not enough to mitigate the luck of the dice. And, like you pointed out, other games that thrive on dice like TEG have found a fantastic sweet spot for mitigation while still letting you roll the bones.

Edit: And yes, while the dice are 12 sided, there are only 4 unique faces. Maybe they are just more pleasing than 4 or 8 sided alternatives.
Last edit: 20 Nov 2019 18:59 by WadeMonnig.

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20 Nov 2019 19:45 #304403 by Jackwraith
Thought about that after I posted. I'm not enough of a statistician to know how much odds are affected by a 1 in 4 of 12 possibilities, rather than a 1 in 4 of 4. It's certainly more digitally pleasing to avoid the triangular dice, as d12s feel like they're actually rolling, rather than just landing on whatever side. Root took advantage of that, even though those dice are only three possibilities.
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