Theme and What is it?
Dice, BIG chunky dice.
I mean, if you’ve read me at all, you know I like dice, it is almost an obsession. It makes no sense, I will buy dice, and never have a game to play them with. I’m good with that. Dice Settlers is a game about settling the American West. Sadly there not a ton of gun fights, but you can “shoot” your neighbor.
This is more Oregon Trail meets dice, without the dysentery or river crossings.
Gameplay is based on dice and rounds. Each round you will throw your available dice, based on how many you are allowed to throw, and that will give you a choice of actions. This roll is done simultaneously.
The turns are done consecutively, with each play having to decide how to spend their dice, and/or free actions. In practice it is a bit more complicated, but not overwhelmingly so. The difficulty is deciding how to spend your dice, and goods.
The coloring of this game in the box, did not do it for me. The dice by themselves did not do it for me. It took me seeing the whole package laid on the table to pique my interest.
The houses, tents, dice, bags, tiles, just all go so well together, it made the game interesting. I have to say, I was surprised how quickly my opinion changed.
Game Build Quality
This game is built like a brick… house. I was not going to say the whole phrase, but you get the point.
The tiles are thick, the wood is nice and colored very conspicuously, the dice are chunky with very easy to read symbologigrams, and the cards are just nice matte card stock.
The game has simple, functional art. For me, it is not exciting, but it works for the game exactly as needed.
My one complaint is that the player cards do not have different art. It would have been a minor upgrade in my head, but would make it feel more personal.
I know I have mentioned dice, as least once in this article. This particular game uses dice in a unique way, that largely takes away the “luck” factor, which I am in love with. I think about other 4x, and you are limited to 4-6 choices. Here you have all sorts of choices, but are limited at any given time based on the roll of the dice. You have to do the best based on the dice roll, but you will make mistakes, and that is part of the fun.
It was an enjoyable experience.
Age Range & Weight
14+. Rarely do I agree implicitly with a manufacturer’s age suggestion. Most of the time, it seems to be directly related to not wanting to certify the “toy” for use by children.
This is not the case for Dice Settlers. My daughter, 7, played this, and understood. But frankly, it was beyond her long term planning and comprehension. I think 14+ for the most part, hits this games age range on the head.
I like 4X. I like territory control. I like dice. I like the way Dice Settlers has combined all. I love Dice Settlers.
This has been my highest rating in months. I do not give it lightly. NSKN has a winner on their hands. If you only have room for one 4X title, then buy more shelves. If you have room for a game that just plays well, and is enjoyable to watch what other people do with their “lucky” rolls, this game might be for you.