So let’s start out here with a statement of preference, I do not like dice.
I’m pretty sure dice do not like me either, so it is a mutual thing.
In games I like at least the illusion of having some kind of control over things, and the minute you pick up a handful of those nasty little cubes you know there is no control with the outcome of the roll left to the fates.
So when we put a game with the word dice right there in the title (Dice Settlers), there was a level of trepidation.
“Players control a band of settlers and pioneers, aiming to explore, settle, and rule the new land. Dice Settlers features a mix of dice management and action selection, while maintaining the traditional characteristics of the 4X genre: map exploration, area control, player conflict, and technology development,” explains the rule book in a quick intro.
Essentially you have some dice in a bag, you select some, roll them, and use the icons that result to do a bunch of things related to the game.
It is that there are a bunch of different things players can do, all that have merit in terms of inching toward a victory that set this game ahead of the pack in terms of dice games.
You may not always get exactly what you want when you roll your dice, but you can still do things that are generally positive, so the fates can’t monkey with you too much in this one.
It helps too, that there is a tile laying element to Dice Settlers since I have typically like tile laying games.
“In a game of Dice Settlers, a board will be formed from the Map tiles. Players will then use their tents and houses to compete for control of these tiles, which are worth points at the end of the game and/or give bonus abilities to players who are present,” details the rules.
“The dice represent various people who are able to work for you, using their skills to explore, trade, research, and expand. Your dice are drawn from your bag, rolled, used, and then returned to your bag when your bag is empty.
Tents are used to mark your presence on the map. Whoever has the most tents on a tile has control of that tile. Tents can be upgraded to houses, which mark permanent control of a tile.
Technology cards are both a source of points and a way to gain special abilities which will help you throughout the game.”
The game plays rather slick, the board changing as tiles are laid, and there are different ways to win, which is a plus.
The dice are nice in terms of size, and iconography.
The game does come with solo rules too, which will be a bonus for some.
So when it all comes together Dice Settlers was a most pleasant surprise, a dice game that rates very highly for me. While still months to go, this one will most definitely be in consideration for top-5 reviewed game of 2019.
Check it out at ww.nskn.net (Note this company also did the excellent In the Name of Odin game).
Thanks to fellow gamers Trevor Lyons and Adam Daniels for their help in running through this game for review.