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Fantasy Dice Battles» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Fantasy Dice Battles Review. rss

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Taylor G
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Fantasy Dice Battles is a two player game that is web published and has recently become playable on Yucata.de. It should be noted that this review is solely based upon Yucata play, and that I do not own a physical copy.


Image from BGG gallery by ArkTheLad

Basic Rules
As the name implies the gameplay consists of a battle between two fantasy armies; Human and Orcs. Although the game does allow games of humans vs. humans or orcs vs. orcs. Each faction has a choice of four army set ups. The non-Yucata version also allows for players to customize their own armies. The set up is shown in the above picture. There are three separate battles going on. In each battle, each player begins with six units - Three in the front line, two in the second line, and a hero in back. The goal is to kill the enemy heroes. The first player to kill two of the three enemy heroes is the victor.

During the game you will have a hand of nine cards. Each card has a unit on it, that is represented in your army. Each turn you will secretly play a card down in front of each of your three battalions. You reveal them at the same time as your opponent, and the dice rolling begins.

You must have at least one unit of type depicted on the card to activate. If so, you look at the number and color of dice on the card. That number may be modified by special abilities of your or your opponents card, and the number of that unit type you have in your battalion. Your opponent does the same thing and dice rolling occurs simultaneously. All rolls are hits, the numbers just determine who they hit. Each unit has one or more wounds. When they are hit, a dice covers that wound (represented by a heart). They fight on until all wounds are covered, and then they are removed from game. You can take out a hero that still has several units in his battalion if you completely destroy one flank.

Additionally, you have the capability to bring back lost units to the battle. Only the weaker units can come back generally, which is good, so the game doesn't go on forever.

There are a myriad of special abilities which can add dice to the amount you get to roll, or detract from the amount your opponent gets to roll.

Opinion
Although the game has a pretty high rules to strategy ratio, an intimate knowledge of the abilities of everything isn't really necessary for casual play. I have about 15-20 games of it played on Yucata at the moment, the first couple I played as learning games and ignored the special abilities for the most part. After I got the hang of it, I started referring to the rules more to see just the rarer special abilities would do, and I found it didn't change my decisions that much.

Because you can only use cards if you have that unit in your battalion, your options lessen as the game advances. Additionally each battalion battle has somewhat of a snowball effect. If you get down a unit or two, it is very difficult to come back. Not only is your opponent closer to your hero, but he also now has more options, and a higher potential amount of dice to roll.

I've found a lot of the strategy comes into play with the reinforcements. You can't win every battalion, so sometimes you have to scrap one. If you can force your opponent to over-commit resources to a battalion you've given up on, you'll have more resources for more combative regions.

If you are playing a knowledgeable player, a game on Yucata can be over in 5-10 minutes. In real life, I imagine the game would take an hour easy. There is a lot of set and bookkeeping that Yucata does for you, making it a fun quick game. The advantage to owning a copy is that you can use the custom army set up which Yucata does not allow. This will add a lot more decision making into the game, and make it more fun as well. Often times in the game, the best decision is pretty obvious, and sometimes you may feel like you are just watching two armies collide. This isn't bad though, but would be a lot more fun if you were watching your army collide with another. I'd recommend trying this game to frequent Yucata players. Despite the lengthy rules, you can jump into a practice game with little reading and it is easy to figure out. It is pretty different then most of their offerings. You'll find out whether you like it or not pretty quick.

The high degree of randomness can turn off a lot of players. I would like to see a mechanic introduced where some units can "target" specific enemies rather then pure chance. Maybe they get one reroll? In anycase it is certainly an interesting addition to Yucata's library.
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Hal 2000
United Kingdom
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So a sniper like roll who can target a certain piece and a gattling like role who can reroll the die once would be great roles to add. Maybe even a new race including these
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Liallan G
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As a note, custom armies became available not long after the game came to Yucata, and I can't imagine playing with one of the four pre-fabricated armies. So setting up your army adds a lot to the strategy. There's also been a second version for quite some time, though I've only played it maybe twice.
 
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HANJEL T
Spain
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Thanks for your review.
 
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