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Dungeon Roll» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Better than it gets credit for being rss

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Matthew Roskam
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Clermont
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So I picked Dungeon Roll up from CSI to fill out an order. I often pickup cheaper small box games like this, and they had a good package deal that include the #1 and #2 Hero expansions.

At first play, I found it to be like all the other push your luck dice rollers. Get a few lucky rolls, and things will go well. A few bad ones, and there's nothing you can do.

But then I started to realize that gathering treasure in the early rounds is a great strategy for scoring big in later rounds (i.e., going deeper into the dungeon). I also started realizing that there were some tough choices as to whether to use treasure or get the VP for them at the end, and also when to use the dice re-roll (scroll) ability, and when not to. The need to hang on to three different kinds of adventurers if the dragon is almost awake is another good tension in the game.

On top of that is taking full advantage of your heroes abilities. These can lead to some really clever turns if you use them well.

Now, this is a dice game. We know that means luck, good or bad, will have a heavy hand in the outcome. But that's what dice games do... As a character in The Godfather said "this is the life we have chosen". If you buy a dice game, are you really going to complain about the luck factor?

Zombie dice, Martian dice, Dino Hunt dice really don't hold a candle to the sophistication of this one. This really is best of show, in my opinion.

The one thing that might have helped it would have been billing it as a 1-2 player game. It simply takes too long in between turns for most people. Ninja dice probably does a better job of keeping higher player counts involved. But Dungeon roll is a great solo game, and an engaging two player game.

Maybe the Kickstarter buzz around this one hurt it- people were expecting a dungeon in a box, which is not quite what this is- but it really is better than it gets credit for being. I think it is best of class in the push your luck dice game category.
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Scott Hansen

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I really enjoy this one, solo and with others. A great little game that deserves a place in all collections.
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David B
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scottandelli wrote:
I really enjoy this one, solo and with others. A great little game that deserves a place in all collections.



Why? I've never seen a game that belongs in all collections.
 
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C Sandifer
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Lutherville
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Yes, expectations were probably too high for Dungeon Roll. But we also identified numerous problems with the game after a single play, which tells me that it wasn't playtested properly.

The problems:

- Treasures rarely get used, as they're too valuable to spend (1 VP each). Having treasures worth 1/2 VP each would have been a better idea.

- Players who get lucky and earn 5 XP on their first turn have a significant advantage, as they can immediately level up and use their Level 2 super powers twice during the game (i.e., during rounds 2 and 3).

- 90% of the time potions are used to fetch champions because they're strictly better than all other party members. (They only reason not to do so is if three different party members are needed to defeat a dragon.) Champions should have been given a combat-only role, and therefore disallowed from opening chests and quaffing potions - which even makes nominal thematic sense.

- A player who craps out on even a single delve is unlikely to win, as they'll be too far behind in points to compete with the players who don't go bust.

- The printed rules needed better playtesting. E.g., Why isn't set-up (rolling for party members, etc.) one of the phases in a player turn? There are also the usual grammatical and structural errors (it's/its, missing pages, funky organization) that are typical of Kickstarter rulebooks, all of which could have been easily avoided.

(You also mention the downtime problem with 3+ players, which is indeed a problem.)

It's cool that you like the game, but there are tons of other push-your-luck games that I'd rather play instead (e.g., Can't Stop).
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Silver Bowen
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I like DR a lot. I never play higher than two player. I do wish later levels of the dungeon scored more points, as it's rare that using treasures to advance a level is worthwhile. I also rarely find a use for scrolls, unless my character power specifically uses them somehow.
 
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Mike Watne
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I agree that Dungeon Roll is much more interesting than I expected, and I do find that it has become my go-to game if I want a quick solo activity to occupy me for a few minutes. The game has enough happening from a decision standpoint that it engages, but not nearly so much that it taxes relative to the duration. Add in plenty of variety between characters, and you have a solid little filler.

I do agree with many of the issues raised by wkover, though. The main point:

- The treasures are almost a moot point from a decision standpoint. Should I burn 1+ guaranteed VP for a chance to gain 1+ VP by continuing my delve? Generally, no. The benefit of the treasure is immediate, and it will most likely be enough to overcome the current level, but it leaves you entirely at the mercy of your next roll to realize any sort of net gain on the exchange. Keeping treasures is almost always the better play unless not spending one would result in a retreat.

Aside from that, my only "negative" commentary would be that this game is essentially *just* a solitaire game. Two players can remain engaged, and it can be somewhat amusing to "compete" for high scores. But this is a solitaire game at its core. Attempting to eke out a multi-player experience from this is painful, and no doubt contributes to the poor reception of people who have been led to expect otherwise.

That said, I'm happy to have it on my shelf, and it does see a fair amount of play.
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The Redheaded Pharmacist
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I've always enjoyed playing this game but I almost exclusively play this solo which does seem to be it's optimal player count. I can't help but think some yet to be released expansion could address some of the common concerns with the gameplay. Even if that never happens I will continue to enjoy this game for what it is for me: a good, light, solitare dice game that doesn't take forever to set up or play. That's all I ever asked of DR and for me it delivered!
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Graham Webster
Australia
Perth
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If I can't solo it, I don't want it
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DR sits at the top of my Total Plays list, not because it's a tight, well-made game, but because it's fast, colourful and easy to play - and I get to throw dice! I have much better games, even much better *dice* games, but every now and again DR gets pulled out because it's not taxing on the brain.

I only play solo, so that might have something to do with it, but honestly it's a pleasant little dice game with just enough variety to keep it interesting for 1 or 2 goes, on those nights when I'm too tired to bust out Eldritch Horror or The Hunters.

Some tips for people who own DR and are perhaps underwhelmed by it:

* I log my score each game in a little PocketMod, which fits inside the chest; that seems to give me the incentive to care about my score, and try to maximise it. The same concept as a high score table in old video games.

* Dealing yourself a random Hero helps ensure that they all get played over time.

* There are a lot of variants in the BGG forums. I selected 4 or 5 of the most interesting ones, printed them into another PocketMod, and popped that in the chest too. If you think DR is "broken", the variants probably won't fix it for you, but they do offer some fresh ways to play (in particular, "extended singleplayer" by Chris Hayes is cool - potions and chest rules are changed completely).

* Don't think of DR as a main course. It's just a snack for when you don't have the appetite, or time, for a bigger game.
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My main problem with DR is that character differences are meaningless. Very rarely do you roll more than 5 enemy dice and on 5 dice chances of getting the same face more than once are not that great, so in many runs it does not matter which characters you have. The rules in this respect should be tweaked, maybe if the there is a single enemy matching the character that character does not die? E.g. a single goblin can't kill a warrior, otherwise warriors proficiency against goblins matters only if you get more than one goblin... and you may never do so.
 
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Garrett Russell
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I cannot find the extended rules by Chris Hayes. Can you point me in the correct direction?
 
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Graham Webster
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If I can't solo it, I don't want it
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Hi,

I am stuck on my iPad and I can't find it either! However, I will type in the notes from that PocketMod I keep with my game:

EXTENDED SINGLEPLAYER by Chris Hayes

- Potions are free. Any potions rolled simply allow you to re-roll a party die from the Graveyard, back into your party, during the Loot phase. If Graveyard is empty, potion is wasted.

- Chests are free. Any chests rolled can be opened for free PROVIDED the party contains at least 1 Thief. The Thief is not killed and can be used to open unlimited chests.

- Thieve's Tools (treasure item) can open 1 Chest maximum, and is then destroyed.

This variant produces longer, more strategic and thematic games


So there it is. While searching for the original variant just now I also noticed a very interesting one from a user named Gines Lopez - definitely worth a look and I will be trying it out myself. Let's see if I can post a link to it https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1620660/elegance-expertise-... not sure if that worked.
 
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