FTW Staff Picks - Dice Forge
For The Win Board Game Cafe's Staff Picks is a weekly series where we take a quick look at some of the staff's favourite games, old and new.
Designer: Régis Bonnessée
Player Size: 2 to 4 Players
Game Length: 40 minutes
For fans of: Dominion, Machi Koro
One of the hot new releases of the year, Dice Forge has quickly found favour among the staff here at FTW. Its contents and package may look intimidating at first, but what you'll find inside is a solid gateway experience, quite similar to games you may have already played. Dice Forge boasts its unique "dice-crafting" experience that allows players to dynamically alter the sides of their dice. But in essence, the game is a deck-building game with the 12 different sides representing 12 cards in your "deck". That being said, the experience it provides is unique and warrants its gimmick as more than such.
In Dice Forge, players have 7 rounds to accumulate the most points. Each player begins the game with the same two starting dice each. As the game progresses players will have the ability to swap out the individual faces of each side of the dice, replacing them with more powerful results. Each round, players take turns being the Active Player who will perform actions on their turn. However, even players who are not the Active Player will begin each turn by rolling their dice to accumulate resources & points. Players will also have the opportunity to activate Heroic Feats which provide benefits that will either come into play immediately, or over the course of the game.
Dice Forge is a newbie-friendly approach to deck-building as the game will naturally thin out the weaker "cards" in the "deck". A lot of the time, deck-builders can feel slow if a player isn't keeping efficiency in mind. Because you are constantly replacing faces on the dice, the element of basic efficiency is built-in to the mechanics of the game. Like all dice games, you are always at the mercy of randomness, but there is still strategy in how you choose to build your individual dice. Altogether, the mechanics of the game are very neat and well thought-out. You can see the areas where the game can grow, if they choose to expand in the future. But as it stands, Dice Forge stands as an entry-level game for newcomers to the hobby.
The insert is amazingly detailed and fits all of the components like a glove. Unfortunately, it makes for a bit of a tedious cleanup, but it actually makes the setup of the game quicker when it's packed away properly; a fair trade. There's more than enough room for whatever future components they intend to add to the game, so this box should likely be all you ever need.
When Régis Bonnessée came out with Lords of Xidit, I had such high hopes as he was coming off one of my favourite games in Seasons. Sadly, it wasn't the game that I was hoping for. That's not to say it was a bad game, it just didn't satisfy that same type of itch. With Dice Forge, I'm happy to say that it's more along the lines of what I was hoping for. It's nowhere near as deep or varied of an experience as Seasons, but it has such a solid foundation that I'm hopeful for the inevitable expansions that are coming in the near future. This one's sure to find a place on our end of year list, and possibly future years if it's handled as well as Seasons growth. It's an already great game, with an even greater outlook.