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Subject: Dice Fest - A Bits of Boardgames Review rss

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David Montgomery
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Quarriors! » Forums » Reviews
Dice Fest - A Bits of Boardgames Review
originally posted on my blog - http://bitsofboardgames.blogspot.com/2012/03/quarriors-revie...

Overview
Quarriors! is a deck building game that uses dice rather than cards. Players start off with basic dice containing either monsters or Quiddity which is the currency of the game. Monsters require Quiddity to come into play, and Quiddity also allows you to buy a new die. If you bring a monster into play, it has to survive attacks from all other players. If it does, it scores points and you can cull a die from your pile. This helps you get better dice in play more often. There's a good amount of luck here, as you'd expect from dice, but there's also some strategy in what you purchase.

Components
I'm going to start with the bad. The dice bags are a bit small for my hands, but they are high quality. Now, the transition is to awesome. 130 custom engraved dice in the base game, and more in each expansion. The dice are a bit small, I think they're 12mm when most people are used to 16mm, but I find they work just fine at that size. All the dice come in a metal tin in the shape of a die, which is nice, but hard to store with other games. Amazing components and a 10/10.

Mechanics
The Mechanics of Quarriors aren't great, but they are good. Every creature die has several faces (typically 3) for the creature with different levels of attack and defense. The other sides are Quiddity, so you'll always get something from a die roll. You then spend Quiddity to activate creatures, and buy a new die. Then you attack every other player. If they have a creature with more defense than your attack, the creature takes the blow and lives on. If they don't then you kill their creature which causes them to put the die in their used pile. This goes on until one player gets enough glory points to win.
The problem here is that players don't have much control. You can have the perfect set of dice, but roll all Quiddity and you're stuck.

The original rule of buy only 1 die got frustrating since only a specific spell card allowed you to buy more, but I believe that an expansion has modified that rule. I give the mechanics an innovative but lacking options 6/10.

Interaction
The interaction in Quarriors! is a bit subtle. Sure, there's the obvious attacking and defense with your creatures, but even the way you buy dice is affected by the actions of your opponents. If someone buys a lot of high attack monsters, you might choose to buy more defensive ones, or choose to go after the same things to beat their own attacks. This is certainly a game a subtleties, and the creature and spell interactions take a while to see.
I'll give it a 7/10

Theme
Quarriors has about the same theme interaction as Dominion. Sure it's there, but it's not really integrated into the game. The creatures give it a bit stronger theme, but it's still very generic. The one part that does differentiate it is the use of terms like Quiddity and a whole bunch of Q's. I give it a bland 4/10.

Twist
Dragons!

Learning Curve
Short learning curve. Why? Dice are easy and understandable. It may take awhile to get the strategy, but the game is teachable in under 5 minutes.
Why I like Quarriors!
I really enjoy the dice variety and the options present. There don't seem to be dominant paths, but there are some good ways to play. It's a bit more random than Dominion, but I like that for the style.

Why I don't like Quarriors!
I feel that the game is playing me, not the other way around. Maybe it's the group, but I feel that there are few meaningful choices. Turns are fairly obvious aside from what to buy, but I feel that the buys are less meaningful than Dominion because you just have to keep buying creatures and spells.

Replayability
There's good variety with the creatures and spells. There are 53 different creatures and spells. Some of them use the same dice, so they can't be in the same game, but there's good variety.

Will you like it
If you like randomness and rolling dice while liking a deck building game like Dominion or Thunderstone, then you'll probably like Quarriors!

Overall
Somehow Quarriors! feels like less than the sum of it's parts for me. I like the dice building aspect, I like the dice, I love the variety, but it just didn't come together for me. Perhaps I needed an expansion or two for the game, maybe I need to play it not with 4 players.
Overall Quarriors! gets a 6/10 for me. I'll still play it, but it's not my favorite thing.
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Bryan Lane
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try the "advanced rules". They improved the game substantially for our group.

->you get 2 buys instead of 1
->you can only cull the die you score, and if you don't cull it, you don't get the glory.

This lead to much tighter games and more interesting decisions (should I get the big creature, or 2 other dice? If I do buy the big creature, do I cull it for the 4 glory when it scores, or should I keep it for no glory gain to protect my stuff/kill the other guys' creatures?). We also found that it shifted the relative value of different creatures/spells in interesting ways, and we no longer have the runaway leader problem due to the normal culling rules. Be warned though, the game takes longer to play with these changes (though our 3 player games still fit easily in a lunch hour).

Huge improvement. I gather they playtested with these rules, but ditched them for the simpler version to appeal to a wider, more casual audience. I got the same feeling of "the game kind of plays itself" for the most part, but the new rules really alleviate a lot of my complaints with my early plays.
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David Montgomery
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fastlane wrote:
try the "advanced rules". They improved the game substantially for our group.

->you get 2 buys instead of 1
->you can only cull the die you score, and if you don't cull it, you don't get the glory.

This lead to much tighter games and more interesting decisions (should I get the big creature, or 2 other dice? If I do buy the big creature, do I cull it for the 4 glory when it scores, or should I keep it for no glory gain to protect my stuff/kill the other guys' creatures?). We also found that it shifted the relative value of different creatures/spells in interesting ways, and we no longer have the runaway leader problem due to the normal culling rules. Be warned though, the game takes longer to play with these changes (though our 3 player games still fit easily in a lunch hour).

Huge improvement. I gather they playtested with these rules, but ditched them for the simpler version to appeal to a wider, more casual audience. I got the same feeling of "the game kind of plays itself" for the most part, but the new rules really alleviate a lot of my complaints with my early plays.


I heard about the 2 buy rule, and I think that could help.
The cull creature v glory change would really make the game more strategic/tactical. You really have to decide what is best. Would you say that lowering the VP win amount would help under those rules?
 
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Bryan Lane
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mathguy6189 wrote:
fastlane wrote:
try the "advanced rules". They improved the game substantially for our group.

->you get 2 buys instead of 1
->you can only cull the die you score, and if you don't cull it, you don't get the glory.

This lead to much tighter games and more interesting decisions (should I get the big creature, or 2 other dice? If I do buy the big creature, do I cull it for the 4 glory when it scores, or should I keep it for no glory gain to protect my stuff/kill the other guys' creatures?). We also found that it shifted the relative value of different creatures/spells in interesting ways, and we no longer have the runaway leader problem due to the normal culling rules. Be warned though, the game takes longer to play with these changes (though our 3 player games still fit easily in a lunch hour).

Huge improvement. I gather they playtested with these rules, but ditched them for the simpler version to appeal to a wider, more casual audience. I got the same feeling of "the game kind of plays itself" for the most part, but the new rules really alleviate a lot of my complaints with my early plays.


I heard about the 2 buy rule, and I think that could help.
The cull creature v glory change would really make the game more strategic/tactical. You really have to decide what is best. Would you say that lowering the VP win amount would help under those rules?


If game length was an issue, I don't see why lowering the VP total to win would be a problem, depending on how low you go. You don't want to go too low, or someone summons 2/3 creatures and wins in one go.
 
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