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Subject: Review after several plays and three wins [Solitaire Mode] rss

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Luke
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I opened the box, touched the rulebook and fell in love. It was textured, almost giving the feel of a canvas bound field manual.

The boards were thick and sturdy. The cards were the smaller euro size, but they contribute to a great detail of the system, which is it's small footprint.

The custom dice are lovely with no engraving or painting errors.

The player aids are concise and comprehensive. And the rulebook is one of the better ones I've read. The rules are well presented, followed by optional rules such as Solitaire play and scoring rules, as well as a number of other tweaks for changing the difficulty.

The only fiddly components are the score trackers. They're totally serviceable, but next to all the other components, they stand apart a little at first. That concern faded quickly however, once I'd gotten a few games under my belt.

The mechanical premise of the game is simple. It uses a modified Yahtzee mechanic, wherein three of a kind is important, but getting those three in a combo of red white and blue dice gives an extra bonus.

There are 4 resources to be gathered from the dice. Soldiers(for fighting), Courage(for moving up the board), Stars(for buying Specialists) and Tools(for buying items.)

Also on the dice are skulls, which negate other results.

It starts as a push your luck game, but quickly becomes a control your luck game.

As the game progresses, one must try to balance the four resources to achieve a strong combination of cards that allow you to control the outcomes of the dice, meet requirements for advancing into other sections, and buying the right items and awards(purchased with excess courage), to conquer a particular map.

Each map has a different layout and multiple paths to victory, which the player will have to plan for and then adapt that plan when the dice don't go their way.

The core winning strategy is not immediately obvious, and perhaps counter intuitive. It's easy to focus on gathering soldiers, as you'll lose soldiers every turn(usually a static number, but sometimes supplemented by a D6 worth of hits from a machine gun), but specialists and a couple big items are what will win you the game. Specifically because Specialists allow you to manipulate the dice and tools allow you to mitigate some of the more horrible board effects.

Each map comes with it's own combination of specialists, items and vehicles, so there's plenty of variation from board to board and even playthrough to playthrough.

While it seems that certain boards suggest a particular strategy, sometimes you'll have to change that based on what the dice have allowed. So, while controlling the dice outcomes is a key aspect of victory, probability is a harsh taskmaster, and every now and again it will thwart your plans entirely.

While I've only played solo, I can see how co-op play will add another dimension, as certain specialists are unique, and splitting them up among players will require more communication and trading.

Lastly, it's obvious that this game was a labor of love. Great care was taken in choosing the materials and appearance of the components.

It has a very small footprint. I play the entire game on one M:tG playmat. That's roughly 1'x 2'. Or roughly .3m x .6m for my metric friends.

Each game, once the rules are understood, take about 30-45 minutes.

It's a surprising game that plays a little differently each time, and it's already become a steady part of my solitaire game rotation. Taking it's place amongst such others as Magic Realm, Mage Knight, D&D:AS(with custom rules), Zombicide(with custom rules) and the new SDE Arcade Mode(with some custom rules for pacing) and Shadows of Brimstone(with custom combat and monsters.)

I'd normally include Castle Panic at the end of that list, but D-Day Dice is taking its place. It's faster, has an even smaller footprint and is significantly less predictable.

As a solo game, I would rate this an 8/10, but with the components and the obvious love that went into it, I'm more tempted to give it a 10/10. I'll probably split the difference and go for 9.

There's also a PBF Solo league for posting scores. There's a Google doc for it in that forum, but it looks like the initial post hasn't had an update in awhile. Hopefully we'll see a bit more action there.

If you're looking for a fast, but not simplistic solo experience, I highly recommend picking up a copy before they're all gone. As I understand it, legal issues are preventing a second print run, and that's a damn shame.

Excellent game, glad I picked up a copy when I did.

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Brian Urgo
United States
Wanaque
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I actually kickstarted this game, including the Atlantik wall expansion but just have not gotten around to giving it a try yet. Thanks for the nice review, you've re-piqued my interest in playing.
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Brett DeWald
United States
Fenelton
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I pull this game out for solitaire mode every couple of months and enjoy it every time. I think I've finished about 18 missions so far. That's almost all of them (including my expansion missions). We've enjoyed this coop as well. It's nice to see a new review since this game is harder to find these days.
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Micheal Kuhn

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Somehow I was able to snag the game with all the KS add ons for a reasonable price on eBay about a year ago. Sadly, haven't broken the shrink yet but your review makes me want to revisit that deficiency on my gaming table!
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Casey Nedry
Japan
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Happy to see this getting some attention. I think it makes an excellent solo game. Straightforward play, easy to set up, challenging, and plays quick.

To those who haven't broke the shrink on it yet, I encourage you to give this a try as soon as you can.

I've just started posting in the solo league myself. The OP is still around and a few folks have joined recently so I believe things are going to be more active. Enjoy the game folks!
 
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7 of 8
United States
Maryland
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Just picked this game today. I drove an hour to a board game store and felt compelled to buy it once I saw it even though I wasn't there to get it. I'm really glad I did. Can't wait to play it.
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