Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Castle Dice

My copy of Castle Dice came in the mail via my funding of Fun to 11 on Kickstarter.  There have been a number of reviews at, Wired, and Father Geek.  I recommend Father Geek if you want to see all the mechanics of play.  The basic idea: you have a pool of dice and seven turns.  Each turn you get a certain combination of fix dice targeting different resources and animals, and a few dice you can personally choose to add to your hand.  Everyone rolls their dice, removes the nasty barbarians who later steal your assets, and puts the remainder in a general pool. From there each person takes turns drawing dice - the rarest like iron and those with the resource multipliers like three (3) wood tend to go first - until all the dice are used up, marking the resources and animals collected on their card.  Resources can be used to build villagers: merchants, farmers, guards (against the pillaging barbarians), and workers, all of whom allow extra or better resources and additional animals, or to build parts of your castle: walls, chambers, etc.  The castle parts are where  you make your primary points for scoring.

(Side of the box.  Fun to 11 decorated all four sides with the names of backers).

Animals each give you a bonus if you have the most.  Horse, you go first (otherwise it rotates).  Pig you can take a die, change it to something you want, but then you have to stop taking dice.  A Pork Chop. So it's primarily for the end of the drawing.  A chicken lets you add an extra card to your hand so you have additional opportunities to build.  And a cow lets you change the occupation of villagers to help you out.  If you have a full set of animals, you can trade them (and must on certain turns) for a card from a third set which gives action cards and a few victory points for Jesters.

(My castle bits).

It's fast.  Under an hour, even when you're learning the game like we were.  And incredibly fun.  Eryn (age 10) picked it up quickly, and even devised some strategies, although my "collect a lot of animals after my wife screws up her pork chop play" strategy was better than most.  We've only played with three players. I suspect with four, it's even more interesting because the resource pool would have more variety and the animal bonuses stay more spread out.  Definitely worth backing.

(Eryn and my wife shaking resource dice.  Mine are on the edge unshaken.  And you can see over there on the side all the dice that come with the game.  The two green dice are player's choice and on my card you can see my farmers, merchant, worker, and stale full of animals).

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