Best Dice Games – The top 10

What are we calling a dice game in this list?

A game where the dice are a core mechanism to the game and make it unique in some way. There are lots of dice games available and what I’ve selected here are my favorites and what I consider to be the best dice games. If you don’t have any of these in your games library then you are missing out on some great entertainment.

King of Tokyo


Each player controls a giant monster trying to be the King of Tokyo. The dice in the game are really cool, black with green symbols. The symbols on the dice stand for punching, healing, generating energy or scoring points.

Healing surprisingly heals your monster unless you control Tokyo.

Along with the symbols for punch, heal and energy the dice have numbers 1-3. If you roll three of a kind you score points.

When you roll energy you get that many energy cubes which you can spend on special power cards.

Punches are the amount of damage you deal to the monster in Tokyo or if you’re in Tokyo it’s dealt to every other monster.

The winner is the first to reach 20 points. When it comes to games this is a must for any collection, one of the very best dice games.

Marvel Dice Masters


The title on the box is Dice MastersAvengers vs X-Men. It’s a 2 player game that takes about 20 mins to play.

It is a collectible card game which means you can buy booster packs to augment your deck.

You start the game with 8 character cards and 20 dice split between the cards. You also start with 4 action cards. There are also 8 sidekick dice which you randomly select 4 to use each turn.

You roll the dice to determine what characters are active and able to fight your opponent. The dice then block each other and damage is then calculated.

Each player has 20 damage. Lots of fun and well warrants it’s place in a list of the best dice games.

Formula D


This is a risk management style racing game. The cars and drivers all have their own special abilities.

Basically you choose a gear, roll the specific die for that gear and move that many spaces. The higher the gear the bigger the die and more spaces you can move.

Your car must stop at least once when moving through a corner or it will take damage.

So you’re thinking what’s a racing game doing in a list of best dice games, they’re no ordinary dice! Well, in first gear you roll a D4 but it’s numbered 1-2, second gear is a D4 numbered 2-4, third gear is 4-8 on a D8, fourth gear is 7-12 on a D12, fifth gear is 11-20 on a D20 and finally sixth gear is 21-30 on a D20.

Escape!


Escape: the curse of the temple is a co-operative game where all the players are trying to escape from a temple a-la Indiana Jones. The game lasts exactly 10 minutes and comes with a soundtrack which is also the timer.

The temple is made from tiles and they are added to the game as you explore. You have to roll symbols matched on the room you are trying to move in to. There are five dice each player are rolling to explore and escape.

No Dice Games list would be complete without this game.

It’s a frantic, manic and fun game!

Roll through the ages


A dice rolling civilization game.

Each player starts with a sheet explaining their turn and disasters and monuments. Each player also has a peg board to track resources. The dice symbols are resources on five faces and a skull on the sixth.

You can re roll the dice twice on your turn but if you roll a skull you can’t r roll that die, if you roll two skulls bad stuff happens to you, roll three skulls and bad stuff happens to your opponents.

To begin you roll three dice to gather resources.

You can build monuments and buy developments to get points all the while balancing your resources.

The game ends when all monuments are built or when one player has 5 developments.

Bang! the dice game


A dice rolling version of Bang! for 3-8 players that should take about 15mins.

Each player is dealt a character card that they keep secret except the sheriff who must reveal himself.

There are five dice that are rolled each turn, Yahtzee rules meaning you can keep some rolls and re roll twice. If you roll the dynamite symbol you can’t re roll it and if you roll three they explode!

Should you roll and arrow symbol, even if you re roll it, you take an arrow counter, you’ve been shot by a native American.

If you roll a 1 then you can shoot someone directly next to you at the table, a 2 lets you shoot the person next to your neighbor at the table and the beer symbol lets you heal.

If you roll 3 gattling gun symbols you wound everyone else and can discard all your arrow tokens.

Should the sheriff dies then the outlaws win, the renegades need to kill the outlaws then the sheriff and the sheriff needs to kill the outlaws then the renegades.

Very simple but very fast and fun game.

Quarriors


Each player starts with a dice bag and some dice. The remaining dice are placed on the card with the matching dice type.

Seven creature cards are then drawn and placed on the table. Three spell cards are then placed by the creatures and all remaining dice are placed on the relevant cards.

On your turn you pull 6 dice from your bag and roll them. Depending on what you roll you can buy dice and summon creatures. Scoring glory points is the way to win and 12 is the target for a four player game.

A great game that plays best with 2 people.

Roll for the Galaxy


A dice rolling version of Race for the Galaxy. A game for 2-5 players that will take 45+mins.

Every player starts with a dice cup, a tracker board, a random planet and some basic dice. Each player has a screen to roll their dice behind and when all players have placed their dice on the phase tracker the screens are removed and dice revealed.

All phases are then played through; explore,develop, settle, produce, ship.

There are a lot of things going on and players can play simultaneously during turns so even with five players it runs along at a good pace.

This is not a simple game and probably not for new board game players. A lot of people who have played both Race for the Galaxy and Roll for the Galaxy actually prefer Roll. A guaranteed place on a list of best dice games.

Kings forge


The object of the game is to craft 4 items for the King. You start the game with 5 metal (black) dice . 2 player game takes about 45 mins, 3 or 4 players takes over an hour.

There is a gather phase then craft phase and finally a clean-up phase.

During the gather phase you can use gather cards to collect resources then on the craft phase you can build an item from the craft cards using your resources. You can steal stuff from other players and the cards do a lot of things so the game is different every time.

Favor of the pharaoh


This game is for 2-4 players and takes about 45 minutes.

The set up is randomly generated and there is an app available to help with set up.

During the game you roll dice to recruit tiles and get more dice. Eventually someone will manage to recruit the queen and then there is a dice roll off with all the players using all their dice and special abilities, the winner is the highest score.

You start of slowly with only three dice and options are limited but once you get that first extra dice and can start manipulating your rolls things get very, very good.

The custom dice are great and the pyramid for locking the dice is a good tool.

A great fun game with lots of variety every game.

Join us in the forums and let us know your favorites.

Best Fantasy Board Games – Runebound

Runebound first edition was not out for long when the second edition came out and now we have the third edition with some significant changes. This week we are looking at third edition, one of the best fantasy board games.

What’s in the box?

2 Rule books, 1 game board, 6 plastic miniatures

5 movement dice, 27 adventure markers, 1 time token

60 combat tokens, 6 story quest tokens, 2 villain tokens

24 gold tokens, 36 damage tokens, 24 story tokens

6 hero cards, 120 adventure cards, 60 asset cards

20 story cards, 2 scenario cards, 60 skill cards

First impressions

The game board is sturdy and very nice looking, the miniatures are good quality although you will want to paint them. The dice don’t feel as good quality and you will have to stick the terrain on to the faces. With the sheer amount of components in this game you’d expect to get a decent box insert or bags to contain them, you don’t. All in all a lot of stuff in the box and with the exception of the dice, all very good quality.

How does it play?

If you can imagine Talisman without the linear travel around the board you’ve got the basic principle. At the start of the game there are two scenarios to choose from depending on which final boss you want to fight. There are also story cards that go with each scenario making the game very replayable.

It is a game for two to four players although you can play it solo,  with four players it is a very long game.

The dice for movement are great, they have different terrain on each face and you spend them to move across the map.

The game is a lot more streamlined than Runebound second edition and is slightly less ruthless.

The leveling up system is great and you can really develop your character in a lot of different ways.

During your turn you have five actions to choose from, you can only do three though; move, train, rest, quest and shop.

Basically, in order to become strong enough to defeat the end boss you must explore the land and level up and customise your character until you are ready to face the Big Bad.

Summary

Quite different from Runebound second edition; combat uses tokens (very cool), adventuring results in combat about 70% of the time, lots of ways to customise your character, lots of flavour.

It is a long game so bring it out on a rainy Sunday.

If you are looking for a game that gets you really involved and is going to take a while, this is it.

Great quality game, very smooth and streamlined rules, lots of components and great character development.

Playing Runebound with kids

The rules are a bit more advanced than other games I would play with kids but they are simple enough to explain over the course of a game. I would recommend an age range of 12+ to fully enjoy this game.

Score out of 10? A definite 8. Truly, one of the best fantasy board games available.

Looterz Review [Tabletop Games]

Looterz review by Tabletop Games.

Looterz is a card game for 2-6 players and the recommended age is 14+, i don’t see any reason why it shouldn’t be 10+, and playing time is 20 mins.

What’s in the box?

36 loot tokens.

40 life tokens.

6 dice, six sided.

60 Looterz cards.

6 player aid cards.

1 Rulebook.

Game components in detail.

Loot tokens are plastic gold coin counters and the life tokens are red plastic heart shaped tokens.

The dice are purple plastic six sided dice with yellow spots.

Looterz cards are playing card sized with the name and picture of the looter with its life and power at the top and special ability at the bottom.

The Player Aid cards are double sided. On one side is the player turn sequence and on the other is the character activation rule.

The rulebook is a small, 12 page booklet that covers all the rules and describes gameplay well and is also a fun read.

Gameplay

The object of the game is to collect loot from the dungeon. The amount of loot required to win depends on the number of players.

The starting player is chosen at random and is dealt three cards to start while the other players are dealt four. The rest of the cards for the draw deck. Each turn is split in to four phases which are played in order: first recruitment phase, dungeon phase, second recruitment phase and sacrifice phase.

Phase one- either play a looter from your hand or draw a card from the deck

Phase two-all your looterz in play can take an action; search for loot, attack another looter or use their special ability.

Phase three-exactly the same is phase one!

Phase four-you can only have three looterz in play at this point and must discard extra looterz cards, your hand limit is ten at this phase and again discard any extras.

Looterz Review

A great fun fast paced game where hindering the other players from collecting loot is just as important as collecting loot.

The Looterz all have special abilities (even if the troll reckons his are his fists!). The special abilities include stealing loot from another player, assassinating another looter, swapping looterz in play with another player and destroy all looterz in play.

There is nothing about Looterz that justifies its 14+ age recommendation and I would suggest 10+.

Looterz is a good filler game to play between longer games or a great game to take to the pub or on the train.

Playing this game with kids

The kids love this game. The rules are simple, the setup is almost instant and it’s straight to the action. I get bored of this game before the kids do and they always clamor for ‘just one more game’. You don’t need to dumb this game down at all and I recommend ages 10+.

Join us in the forums for further discussion.

Family Tabletop Games – Top 10

Do you have a family  games night?

It’s a great idea to get the whole family together for some fun away from screens and actually interact with each other. Having a family tabletop games night is a brilliant way to get all the family together for a great night of entertainment.

It can be difficult finding a game that the whole family enjoy and of course you will have to compromise some of the time. I have created a list of great family tabletop board games that we enjoy on games night and If you don’t already have one, start having a family games night!

The list is not ranked or listed in any order.

DIXIT

The game is a real family favourite though and the kids always want ‘just one more game’. The object of the game is to reach 30 points first. Each player selects a colour and takes a playing piece and voting tokens.Each player is dealt 6 cards from the deck. Players, one at a time,  in turn act as the active player who selects one of their cards and describes it to the other players any way they want; a song, a tune, a movie quote, anyway at all. Each other player then selects one of their own cards that best match the given clue and pass them face down to the active player who mixes them up and deals them face up on to the table. All the other players then vote using their tokens to guess which was the active card and scoring then takes place.

FORBIDDEN ISLAND

A great co-operative game for beginner gamers and family groups. The island is built from randomised tiles and as the island slowly sinks during the game the tiles are flipped to show the flooded side. The players each have a special character with its own abilities; the diver, the engineer, the messenger, the pilot, the navigator and the explorer. To win the game the players must collect all four treasures and escape the island before it sinks.

ONCE UPON A TIME

A collaborative story telling game using cards to drive the story and allow other players to interrupt. The game ends when a player plays all their cards and then plays their ‘ending’ card. All the cards have a story telling device on them to drive the story onwards and players lay a card down as they tell their story and mention the card they’ve played. Players can take control of the story by interrupting by various means.

THE SETTLERS OF CATAN

A simple to learn game that is a must for any family to own. The board is built inside a frame from hex tiles. Players build settlements and roads and collect resource cards. Players can trade resource cards and use resources to build settlements and cities. There is a robber token which can be moved around the board and used to take resources from another player. The goal of the game is to be the first to score 10 victory points.

PANDEMIC

A fully co-operative game where players are specialists trying to stop the spread of various diseases across the globe. There are four diseases represented by different coloured cubes. The game is card driven and diseases can quickly overwhelm the players. Each player controls a specialist with unique abilities, there are five specialists but a maximum of four players per game so each game is very different.

KINGSBURG

A dice placement game. What does that mean? You roll dice and place the dice using the number of dots on a corresponding space to gather resources. A worker placement game by another name. The aim of the game is to build up your village and score the most victory points.

WELCOME TO THE DUNGEON

A card game where the players build up how tough the dungeon is by adding monsters and removing equipment until one player attempts to beat the dungeon. The first player to beat the dungeon twice is the winner. Lots of fun as the dungeon gets harder and harder until someone goes for it!

TICKET TO RIDE

A great gateway game and family tabletop game. Players collect cards and when they have enough of the right ones they can claim railroad routes and score points. Various routes are given out on cards and victory points are awarded for completing these routes. The longest single connected route also gets victory points. A very easy game to learn and great fun for the whole family.

LOVE LETTER

A card game of only 16 cards, yes, 16 cards. Basically you start with one card and on your turn you you draw a card and play a card. Each card has an action that you follow when you play it. All the cards are numbered. The winner of the round is either that last man standing or the person with the highest value card at the end. It’s best played with 3 or 4 players and you spend a lot of time guessing what is in someones hand based on the card they played.

KING OF TOKYO

Players take on the role of a monster destroying Japan. Dice rolling and cards drive the game. A very light hearted and fun game. Very easy to learn and a great gateway game. Every player is striving to get in to Tokyo and once there the game becomes a one against all scenario. If you like the thought of giant monsters smashing up a city and each other then this is the game for you.

LEGENDARY

A deck building game with Marvel Super Heroes and Villains. A co-operative style game where the players team together to defeat the super villain and his minions. Each game is different as only a few heroes and minions are used each game and the super villain has a choice of schemes each game. Although it’s a co-op game there is a winner, should the players defeat the bad guy, the person with the most victory points wins.

 

Worker Placement Games – The 5 you should own.

What is a worker placement game?

A worker placement game requires a player to place a limited amount of ‘workers’ on to a limited amount of spaces on the board in order to claim resources or special actions. Usually during a game turn the players place workers in turn until they are all placed. The board then resets for the beginning of the next turn. With everyone fighting for the limited resources tactics such as ‘resource blocking’ are used to prevent an opponent from collecting a resource that you don’t need but they definitely do!

Here is my list of what I believe everyone should acquire as part of their game collection.

Stone Age

A simple to learn game with great quality components and theme. As a primitive tribe you must collect wood, clay, stone and gold to ‘buy’ civilization cards and huts. A great game to teach new people to the genre and get them hooked. Enough strategy to keep experienced players coming back to it but easy enough to make it a good family game.

Lords of Waterdeep

Set in the Dungeons and Dragons city of Waterdeep, City of Splendors. A fairly standard worker placement game where you act as one of the Lords of Waterdeep sending your agents around the city. The base game is pretty vanilla but when you add the Scoundrels of Skullport expansion it gives it a lift. The expansion introduces corruption tokens. Some spaces offer extra resources but you get corruption too which comes off your score at the end of the game.

Dungeon Petz

A stand alone game set in the Dungeon Lords universe. It is a very good looking game. Basically you are a family of imps in the pet breading business. You have to keep your pets alive and healthy and sell them to strange and demanding customers. Unsold pets are removed from the board to the ‘farm’, then food appears on the board… Lots going on in this game but great fun and very good quality components.

Pillars of the Earth

The game is based on the novel and TV series about the construction of the cathedral at Kingsbridge. The object of the game is to amass the most victory points before the Cathedral is complete. The players have resource gatherers, craftsmen and master builders at their disposal each turn and the game is a perfect balance when it comes to using those pieces. It is more complicated than all the previous games on the list.

Scythe

Amazing artwork and original theme. Play as one of five factions striving to earn the most gold and be the most popular before the game ends when one player earns six stars. A worker placement game with so much more going on. Combat with mechs, grow the population, gain popularity, earn gold, harvest resources. A fantastic game and if you have only get one game from this list it should be this.

 

If you want to introduce a new player to worker placement games or want a great game the whole family will enjoy then I recommend Stone Age. If you are an experienced player then you really want to get your hands on Scythe.

 

 

 

Talisman by Fantasy Flight Games. [Boardgame Classic]

Talisman. The original game is by Games Workshop which produced the first three editions, the 4th edition is produced under license by FFG.

The first edition of Talisman had no expansions and the character cards were in black and white. The second edition improved on the first by having colored  cards and cardboard stand up figures and by the various expansions: The Adventure, The Dungeon, Timescape, City and Dragons. The gaming magazine, White Dwarf, also provided some expansions in the form of extra characters and The Jewel in the Crown.

Talisman 3rd edition came with five expansions that fitted on to the main game board: the dungeon, the city, the woodlands, the highlands and the dragon tower. The game came with plastic miniatures for the characters and plastic tokens for gold, lives, strength and craft.

Here we are now, Talisman 4th edition published by FFG and released in 2010. Let me give you a review of this edition before continuing.

Talisman 4th edition by FFG is a high quality production of the famous

4th Edition

game, fully revised by Fantasy Flight and with the quality we have come to expect from them, there’s even plastic figures for the toads! The core game is for 2-6 players and the box says it should take 90 minutes although it can last a lot longer depending on how it plays out. Each player controls one of fifteen characters which they power up and tool up throughout the game until they are powerful enough to head for the center of the board and brave the challenges of the plane of peril and seize the crown of command. The players move their character round the board by rolling dice and following the instructions for the terrain they land on such as drawing adventure cards, fighting monsters and collecting weapons and treasures.

FFG have really gone to town with the expansions with The City, The Dungeon, The Highlands and The woodlands all coming with expansions the game board, additional heroes, cards and rules. There are several smaller expansions too, such as The Reaper which introduces the stalking menace of Death, which you can move on a roll of 1, and provides even more character choices.

There are a total of fourteen expansions, yes, 14 expansions for 4th edition, each bringing new characters, encounter cards, expanded rules and victory scenarios. Although the basic aim of the game is a race to the center, the huge variety in characters and encounter cards with the expansions makes it a very different game each time.

Talisman 4th edition inspired me to start this blog; Fantasy Flight Games no longer have the license to produce Talisman! And I didn’t Know! That means that all those expansions, which I own just 3, are now out of print and are now costing a fortune to buy. You can still find them available on Ebay and Amazon.

Playing Talisman with kids

Talisman, including all the expansions, is a fantastic game for a family game night or a wet weekend. The rules are simple and easy to understand and the kids have a lot of fun building up their characters, gathering powerful items and spells, fighting monsters and other players and most of all, trying to turn you in to a toad!