Once a week, I’m regularly found in one of East London’s prominent gaming bars sampling the latest and greatest table top games out there. On one occasion however, I was lucky enough to sample the newest version of an established game ahead of its release.
The game in question is called Dice Masters, a collectible dice game where you strategically make use of character abilities to beat down your opponent before you’re beaten down yourself.
In short, I could summarise it as Yahtzee-Pokémon-Collectible-Dice-Strategy-Game.
The game has several universes under its wing with collectible dice for each. There’s DC’s Justice League, Dungeons and Dragons, Yu Gi Oh and more from Marvels universe itself. The Age of Ultron set is essentially an expansion of the game featuring new characters to play from its namesake. Interestingly, all of the dice is compatible in competitive play. So if you fancied your own Marvel vs. DC war, then this is quite the battleground for it.
You play Dice Masters by rolling dice to gather energy or field sidekicks, then use said energy to buy character dice or more action dice. Both character and these special action dice have special abilities that can help give you an edge in the game.
One example could be this particular ability that Hawkeye can use. When the die is prepared for attack/defence, Hawkeye can select an opposing die to deal 3 damage to it. “Brilliant!” you might say. Should it fail however, then your own HP loses two points as a penalty. Care then must always be taken!
This is one small example of where strategic use of the dice is a necessity in order to succeed. Thinking ahead of what dice the opponent could use to defend your attacks is a critical line of thinking when formulating your attack strategy. After all, the powerful die you might want disposed of might be defended by a weaker die that your opponent might choose to use!
The Starter Pack is geared up in a way to allow 2-players to jump right in and play the game. The rules come with sample plays and recommendations for set-ups. Whilst it may not permit a full Dice Masters experience (you’d need more character dice for that), there is still all that you need to play the game and get going.
Obtaining more character dice is where the collectible aspect comes in for the game. The starter pack has a RRP of £16.99, whilst booster packs with two dice and character cards are a surprisingly affordable £1 per bag. As with most collectible games, there is the chance for doublers, however at £1 a pop it doesn’t seem as potentially wallet-burning as I originally thought.
Also in the range is the Collector Box. At £19.99, it is geared towards one person getting started in the game against friends. Crucially, the Collector Box also comes with two storage trays to help keep over 300 dice organised. That is, once the collection gets to that size of course!
As far as my how my introduction went with Dice Masters, I was left impressed. The amount of strategic options available is grand. That careful thought process is why I was enamoured with video games like Hearthstone and even good ol’ Worms. In Table-Top form, Dice Masters does a pretty good job of bringing battle strategy to reality whilst involving our favourite super heroes.
Thanks to Esdevium Games for organising a preview event for Dice Masters