I love dice. I probably have an unhealthy obsession with dice, to be honest. For a while, in my DnD group, when we would start a new campaign or a new character, I would go out and buy a new set of polyhedral dice.
The draw from the “What Should We Play” deck was Quarriors, which got me thinking…dice are probably one of my favorite components, so what better way to come back from an unintentional hiatus than writing about my top 10 dice games.
Castles of Burgundy – Ravensburger
Dice Laying, Tile Placement and ‘Worker Placement’ are probably my favorite mechanics, and CoB has them both. I have enjoyed every play of this game. There are numerous player boards that you can play with that require you to adopt different strategies (even if I haven’t played most of them). This is one that many, many people in my game group enjoy even if we don’t play it that often.
Kingsburg – Fantasy Flight Games
This is probably my wife’s favorite game on this list. This is one game that combines Dice rolling and worker placement and requires a surprising amount of planning and mitigating your plan if an opposing player takes your spot. I think this is a game that is better if you play with the expansion, but any time we’ve played it it’s been enjoyable.
St Malo – Ravensburger
This is a roll and write city building game that was a bit of a surprise. I bought it on a whim at a convention and ended up playing it 2 or 3 times that weekend. It’s quick and easy to teach and the boards are coated so you use a whiteboard style marker, which for some reason is really entertaining to me.
Quarriors – WizKids
When Quarriors first came out it seemed as though they had struck gold with a confrontational but not too confrontational “dicebuilding” game. We had to make some adjustments to make it work for 2 players (we play to the 4 player point limit) but we enjoyed the custom dice, the art, and the way the game works: it felt to us like a dice version of Magic the Gathering.
D-Day Dice – Valley Games
I hesitated to put this on my list. I was a Line for Life Kickstarter backer of the first edition which has been marred by some terrible dealings with the now defunct Valley Games, but this is actually being reprinted by Word Forge Games, who along with the designer, is going above and beyond to atone for the sins of the previous publisher.
When it was released this was a really unique mechanic along with a theme that I loved. The D-Day landings are by far my favorite military operation to study and read about, and it’s co-op and solo capable. Custom dice are always awesome, and this comes with tons of them. I really need to get it to the table more.
Dicemasters – WizKids
I’ve talked about this in previous posts, but this really made me feel like I was playing Magic: The Dice Gathering. With all the IPs offered, I really like the limited deck building aspect of it and the gameplay is pretty straightforward. They took Quarriors and kept the streamlined feel of it while making it feel like you could actually get your engine going. Just beware if you are a completionist.
Sagrada – Floodgate Games
I’ve given a review of Sagrada and mentioned it in previous posts, so I’ll give my abbreviated thoughts:
If you can find a copy, buy it. You won’t be disappointed. It’s a puzzly dice placement game that looks gorgeous.
Roll Player – Thunderworks Games
My favorite part of DnD is rolling characters, and that’s what you are doing in Roll Player. It’s a clever dice manipulation game that is a lot deeper under the surface. The first time I played this, I did terribly, and immediately wanted to get a copy so I could keep playing it to try to get better. Not many games do that to me.
Elder Sign – Fantasy Flight Games
I’ve probably played the app version of this more than the board game version, but Elder Sign is a quickish Yahtzee style game (for lack of any other way to describe it) set in the Arkham universe. It does a good job of integrating the theme of it’s bigger brothers Arkham and Eldritch Horror and there are a good selection of expansions to integrate as well.
Carson City – Eagle-Gryphon Games (my copy)
I love Westerns. Carson City puts you in charge of developing a western city complete with gunfights, prospecting, and staking claims. The first time I played this I was warned that it is completely possible that your opponents might be able to lock you out of doing anything, and while that didn’t happen to me it’s definitely a more in your face worker placement game than I normally play. The dice are used to seed the board with buildings, landmarks, etc and for a few action spaces, but it’s the use of them to determine coordinates that stuck with me, as this was the first game that I had played to do so (see also Flash Point: Fire Rescue).
Well, there you have it. A quick look at my top 10 Dice games. Honorable mentions would probably be Dungeons and Dragons and wargames, but I’m glad I could come up with 10 game that I enjoy, some of which I think are overlooked at times. What dice games do you enjoy? Let me know in the comments!