Well hello there and welcome to yet ANOTHER board game review on Flock of Nerds! Today I’m going to be reviewing a game that not too many people play and it’s a complete shame. It’s also a really easy game to get your non-board game friends into! It is the rather blandly named DICETOWN!
In Dicetown, you’re playing a game of dice to try and become the wealthiest prospector in the the aforementioned town of dice. You can become wealthy by mining gold, robbing the bank, robbing other players, buying up land, or by DECIDING DISPUTES BETWEEN THE PLAYERS. The game is fast paced and there’s always something to do.
So how does the game play? Well, everyone is given a six sided poker dice with faces ranging from 9 to Ace. You then roll the dice in your cup and slam the cup on the table. Everyone has a great time making a HUGE amount of noise, and then you reveal which of your dice you want to keep, and which of your dice you want to reroll. You get to reroll as much as you want, but it all comes at a price! More roll cost money, and you need money for the later rounds. If you blow your wad of cash on your first turn, you’re going to find that you’re going to need to rob a bank (or the other players) in later rounds!
So you end up assembling what amounts to a poker hand, and then the hands are compared and if you meet some criteria on the board, you get a claim a spot. The basic spots are below:
Most Nines? You get to take gold equal to the number of nines you have!
Most Tens? You get to rob the bank and take all the money that was used last turn to purchase rolls!
Most Jacks? Draw general store cards and keep one!
Most Queens? Look at another player’s general store cards and land cards and keep one!
Most Kings? You become the Sheriff next round and get to decide TIES. The players can bribe you with gold, cash or cards to try to settle the ties.
Best overall poker hand? You get some LAND cards, and get more depending upon how many aces are in your hand!
Didn’t win any of those? You still get to go and see Doc Badluck and get something decent.
Every part of the game is fast. The dice rolling is tense. You roll your dice, reveal two queens that you want to keep, but another person has revealed three queens! Do you chance it and try to roll more queens, or do you try and go for something else? Sure, it’s a bit random, but you can mitigate the randomness if you’re wealthy! You’ll be poor some turns, and completely relying upon luck and on other turns you’ll be rich and using your wealth to advance your position. The money spent goes to the bank, which another player can rob. It’s a really well designed system that has a good amount of rubber banding so all but the most disastrous player can stay in the game.
New players familiar with poker GET this game very easily. It’s a great way to get people into the hobby who otherwise are uninterested in creating a space empire or delving deep into a dungeon. It require little explanation, and everyone can get in on it quickly. The noise that the game makes is just fun as well! You’re all rolling dice and making noise and laughing and it’s a great time.
One particularly cool exchange in my last game saw Myles and I fighting over Queens. I had finished my rounds with four Queens and an Ace. Myles had four Queens and was still rolling his last dice. He spent his last dollar on rolling one more time, hit a Queen and we ERUPTED in laughter. You get into little duels with people and it’s just a lot of fun. It replays well, you’re always doing something, and there’s no downtime. The negotiations with the sheriff become mini auctions as players take each other to the brink! It’s a game that has the elements of a lot of other games without getting bogged down in a lot of navel gazing.
This game is good. Go buy it.