Monday, 15 September 2014

Dragons and Dice...


I’ve always been fond of Dice , there’s something particularly satisfying about the rolling of random things and coming up with win, then deluding yourself into thinking you had a hand in it somewhere...


So in the mid nineties, when all manner of new games were being tried out, one such game was called Dragon Dice, and all it involved were the rolling of dice to see who won. The troops that made up your army with were dice, the monsters you fought were dice, and the more sides to the die, the more dangerous the creature in question.  Such a game would combine all the aspects of what we enjoyed to make the best game ever, Surely...


Except it didn’t.

There were a few issues with the game, most of which started here...


A game involving nothing but dice rolling and there were more than a hundred pages of rules to work on to play the game in its entirety.  The game itself was not that difficult, take your troops (that’d be the D6) and try to get three of the four terrains (That’d be the D8) up to the 8th face, and in doing so, control the battlefield.


Simple enough concept and simple enough to play, but when you were playing the basic game, there was very little to recommend it, it was whoever got the high results first and went on from there, you might as well have been playing Yahtzee...


When it came to the full game, there were monsters and dragons to contend with, loads of spells, and a variety of special effects which could be summoned and used, and with the system being nothing more than reading the symbols off the dice, it should have been a huge hit, and yet within a few years it was minority interest and within a few more, it had been sold on to another company to produce and support (which they are doing to this day...).


The problem wasn’t the idea behind the game, battle games are still popular even now, but when you’re using most battle games, there’s models or counters to represent the troops you lose, when your die is the troop you’re using, it causes a lack of empathy with the troops you’re fighting with.

For example...


These are both Dragons...

One of them lacks a certain something, it’s like fighting against a stat block, which is amusing, you can see clearly what you’re up against, but it doesn’t present the same feeling as actually engaging with the creature in question, and having something as obvious as a D12 and a bunch of D6 does detract from having the idea that footsoldiers are up against a dragon.

Still, it was a good game, liked by many and played a lot, if only for a short while.  It’s still available, but there’s little in the way of support for it, and if you have some of the rarer dice from when it first came out, the game becomes very easy for you and very quickly.


But, for games that involve nothing but the joy of rolling dice.


There’s not many to beat it.

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