Gameday First Play – Dice Forge
“With improvisation, I just do it. It might be a total failure but then you just throw the dice again.”
~ Christian Marclay
Heroes stand ready! The gods are offering a seat in heaven to whichever hero defeats their rivals. Your courage and wits will be your most precious allies as you use divine dice to gather resources along the road to victory.
Your divine dice are exceptional, with removable faces! Customise your dice to make them more powerful as the game progresses. Sacrifice gold to the gods to obtain enhanced die faces. Upgrade your dice to produce the resources you need. Overcome ordeals concocted by the gods to grow in glory and earn rewards. Skillfully manage the luck of the dice and take charge of your destiny. Only the greatest will ascend to the heavens!
This is a very simple game…
Everyone has 2 customisable dice, each with a few basic, removable sides which are…
- 1 x Gain 2 Victory Points
- 1 x Gain 1 Sun Shard
- 2 x Gain 2 Moon Shard
- 8 x Gain 1 Gold
The start player gets 3 Gold and everyone, in turn order gets one less than the previous player. In a 4 player game, if you go last you start with nothing.
Then, you roll. This is called a ‘Divine Blessing’.
EVERYONE rolls their dice at the start of EACH PLAYERS turn and gain the resources shown. You have a track to monitor all of these resources with a cube for each.
On your turn everyone rolls the dice as usual, you add your resources then go shopping for abilities.
There are 2 places to buy things from and you can, by default, only buy one thing per turn.
First up is to ‘Make an Offering to the Gods’, which is to spend Gold to get a new face for one of your dice. There are quite a few to pick from and the “better” they are, the more Gold they cost.
After you buy a new die face, you ‘Forge’ it by using it to lever off one of the starting ones you have and you push it into place.
Instead of Making an Offering to the gods you can ‘Perform a Heroic Feat’ to use your Red/Blue resources to buy cards.
Again, there are plenty to choose from with some just giving end game points, some rewarding you with a one-time ability while some give a permanent bonus for the rest of the game.
A few of the cards can also give you access to some special die pieces that you can’t buy in the usual way with Gold and they’re quite good.
When buying a card, move your Pawn over to the relevant space, pay the resource, take the card and resolve its effect if required.
There are 15 cards divided over 7 spaces so it’s likely someone is on the space you need. If they are you ‘Oust’ them, sending them back to the middle rewarding them with a Divine Blessing as compensation. (They roll their dice and gain the resource if you forgot what a Divine Blessing was :))
Once you’ve done one or the other, you can spend 2 Sun Shards to do one of the two available actions again.
Once you’ve taken a turn, play continues clockwise. After a number of rounds (9 or 10 depending on the player count) the game ends and the player with the most points on purchased cards plus their points gained on their points track is the winner.
It’s actually pretty good. I thought it might be a bit of a gimmick and overly fiddly with the dice but it isn’t. You can only buy one new side of a die per turn so it’s not like you’re constantly removing and replacing them. Even if you spend 2 Sun Shards for an extra purchase you’re unlikely to have the Gold to buy a second die face.
Some of the benefits of cards are really good. One extends the track you use to track your resources so while not required, it’s useful. There is a limit to the number of resources you can hold and any you gain over that limit are lost so expanding it is nice.
There are a number of cards and you don’t use all of them in a game so there is a bit of variety.
There are many ways to specialise your setup to score points and each seems pretty good.
The dice themselves are solid, big and chunky and roll well.
The artwork is great and straight outta Xidit.
Turns are very quick.
It’s essentially a VERY basic deck builder but doesn’t feel like one at all, they hid it well 😉
The insert is cool and holds everything well when playing the game or when it’s stored on the shelf.
I think this game will need expansions eventually and there is, as far as I can tell, nowhere to put them in the current box due to that awesome insert.
It’s a little short.
One of those Yeah, sure’ games that’s hard to turn down when suggested at the end of the night.