Friday, 30 May 2014

Marvelling at dice!

Quick gaming update! Nic and I are dicing it out in Waterloo with some Marvel dice masters, with some Quantum to come! Will give a review of both later.

Nic and I took the opportunity of half term to meet up and learn two dice games we've been looking forward to for some time.

Marvel dice masters plays like Quarriors meets Magic the Gathering, where players choose their characters and battle to reduce their opponent to zero life points by buying dice and attack with them.

Things I like:
- The dice look great and the opportunity to get all the different characters really scratches that collectable gamer itch
- It's extremely flexible as it has three basic ways to play from drafting characters from a collection, pre built friendly teams and tournament play. If you don't like too many rules/characters the rules already cater for this and you can just play with a lower life and dice total.
- It's really cheap to get into as the base game is £13 and the expansion packs are £1 for two dice with their cards
- It played quick once we got into the game and we were able to adapt our strategies based on what the opponent was buying.

Things that made me go hmm:
- Whilst it is cheap to get into if you want to be able to hav enough dice to use any of the characters then it'll cost you a box and a  starter set (about £80) which is seem sa bit expensive. Then again it can be spread out over a longer period or you can just do swaps (it could just be the gamer completist in me straining to get out!)
- It can get a bit rules heavy very quickly if you include the Global abilities and 6 characters each, so I'd recommend finding your level.

4/5 Daves


We first saw this at Essen and whilst we never took the plunge (we were sure it would be cheaper when published in the UK) we kept an eye out waiting to try it again. Nic stuck his hand in his pocket and it was surprising how quickly it all came back to us. The theme is based on four races looking to utilise energy draining cubes on planets to power their civilisations. So each player moves around the board trying to posit their fleet in the correct configuration to drop a Quantum Cube on five planets and become the winner.

Things I like:
- The mechanic to establish the movement and firepower of the ships is pretty cool as each ship is a D6 the score you roll for your ship tells you its movement capacity and the acre it adds to you combat result. The clever part is that you are looking for the LOWEST number. So a Battlestation can only move one space a turn but only adds one to the D6 when fighting, meaning a scout vessel (the 6 side of the die) cannot survive an attack from a battlestation as the attack wins ties. The attacker can't be killed either so it really discourages you from sitting back.
- Their are many ways to victory as whilst you can only win by placing Quantum cubes on the planets their are many ways to do this through gaining Dominance through destroying others ships or researching technologies to enhance your ships.
- Their are loads of board set ups to allow players to stretch their skills and force you to adapt your play style. We played a few games on a five tie cross which meant we had to have a cube on each tile, there was nowhere to hide. This created a completely different game to he 9 tile game where both of us would look to sneak a few cubes down before we attacked the other fleets.
- It seems like a game that will play really well no matter the player number as the board set ups and the player interaction will give you a different challenge each time.

Things that made me go hmm:
- The upgrade cards are a great way to add variation but some are bonkers good and it can be hard to take someone down if they get a couple of good ones.
- The fleet dice are really high quality but it is a shame that they don't have ship image son them as well as the numbers as it's the only thing that breaks the theme of the game.
- They may change this with an expansion but all the fleets are same, yet they went to the effort to produce different graphics for each of the ship classes for each of the races (just seems a waste of effort). Would have been nice to have two sided player mats one with the standard race and one with a special ability.
- I remember Will saying this at Essen so I thought I'd mention it. The ships are supposed to 'morph' from one ship to another using the Quantum technology which thematically seems odd. They do a decent job of trying to explain it but it is a bit weird if you think about it too much.

4/5 Daves

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