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A whole lotta dice

I will not rest until Biblios is in the Top 100. - Steve Oksienik
United States
Howell
Michigan
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Well I been watchin' while you been coughin, I've been drinking life while you've been nauseous, and so I drink to health while you kill yourself and I got just one thing that I can offer... Go on and save yourself and take it out on me
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I have a real soft-spot for dice. There's just something about them. I'm not sure if it's the tactile sensation, the sound they make, or the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune that they come with but there's just something fun about dice. It may be rooted in my childhood because I sure did spend a lot of time playing Yahtzee and Monopoly as a kid.

When my wife and I started playing games, she was instantly drawn to games with dice. If it has dice, she'll play it. I haven't met a dice game she doesn't like. She even though Treehouse was good, so that's saying something. Her dice affection came to full fruition the first time we attended the WBC. There's a great vendor there who has the most spectacular array of dice. Needless to say, we buy a bunch every time we are there.

I've played some truly awesome dice games, the best of which is the Knizia masterpiece Ra: The Dice Game. It's truly the best use of dice I've ever seen. There's player interaction, press-your-luck, and a variety of ways to score points. It scales perfectly from 2 to 4.

I've also played some dogs which were so bad I can't remember. That's saying something.

We've picked up a couple dice games recently and have had a chance to play them both. Level X was first and it worked really well. The rules are very easy and it's visually attractive. We were even able to get my father-in-law to sit and play. He actually seemed to enjoy it which is quite an accomplishment. My wife felt it played a little slow so when we got a chance to try it again we gave everyone their own set of dice and told them to be ready to go when your turn comes. It went much quicker but she wasn't too impressed. I though it was a fun game, maybe a bit light, but perfect for just killing some time or playing while chatting.

The other dice game we've acquired was Excape, designed by Reiner Knizia. This game was awesome! There's the obvious "roll to get something better" mechanism, but it also has a betting system in which you wager your roll on a chart. This does a marvelous job of creating player interaction and there's lots of "gotcha" moments. Excape plays up to 6 which is a big plus. It's more gamey than Level X, but not enough so that you couldn't use it as an introduction to other games.

I think part of the appeal of dice is that you just don't know what is going to happen. It's thrilling to roll your dice and have the miracle 1-in-a-million roll come up. I've never seen anything elicit emotion from gamers quite as much as a clutch die roll. It's truly awesome as everyone hangs on that moment and then the result comes up. Cheers and jeers abound and you thank (or curse) the dice gods.

I love dice games. I always have and I probably always will. As long as there are dice there will always be folks trying to use them in new ways. Lucky for them, I'll be there trying almost everything they come up with.
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Subscribe sub options Mon Feb 28, 2011 1:51 am
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