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Subject: Just learned of this game, so many questions rss

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K S
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First off, this game looks really interesting to me. I like dice games, I like co-op games. Unfortunately, if I understand correctly, there has been some sort of fallout between the designer and the publisher and this game is unlikely to see reprinting any time soon (ever?). I understand that this game was originally a free print-and-play? Are those files still available? If so, how much (if at all) do they differ from the retail edition? Are expansions available print-and-play? It seems like retail copies can still be had at reasonable prices (the components look amazing, so I'm really interested in the retail edition), but the expansions are a bit scarcer to track down? How worthwhile are the expansions? Finally, the BGG score is 6.9, which isn't *low* but based on all of the glowing reviews I've read, I guess I'm a bit surprised it isn't higher; are there weak points to the game which have slipped past me?
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Martin Larouche
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wamsp wrote:
First off, this game looks really interesting to me. I like dice games, I like co-op games. Unfortunately, if I understand correctly, there has been some sort of fallout between the designer and the publisher and this game is unlikely to see reprinting any time soon (ever?). I understand that this game was originally a free print-and-play? Are those files still available? If so, how much (if at all) do they differ from the retail edition? Are expansions available print-and-play? It seems like retail copies can still be had at reasonable prices (the components look amazing, so I'm really interested in the retail edition), but the expansions are a bit scarcer to track down? How worthwhile are the expansions? Finally, the BGG score is 6.9, which isn't *low* but based on all of the glowing reviews I've read, I guess I'm a bit surprised it isn't higher; are there weak points to the game which have slipped past me?


The game is great... but it's an odd duck.

It's war-themed, but it's not a wargame in the traditional sense. It has more in common with King of Tokyo than Advanced Squad Leader... if that makes sense. Fans of this theme are not usually into these kind of games and vice-versa.
The publisher having had a fall-out (with lots of unhappy customers being understatement of the year) and this is indirectly linked to this problem.

Both of these means the BGG ranking has probably suffered a lot, so i wouldn't fret much over it.

As for the game itself, there's a lot to like in the base game alone. It's really a reversed tower defense game, where the game tries to stop you from reaching the bunker. If you like Tower Defense games, this game is a no-brainer.

What adds variety in the game are the different maps. There are 8 in the base game and each can be played several times. However, you won't find yourself playing the same map over and over again in a single sitting. You'll want to vary a bit between games.

As such, there have been two map pack expansions to add to that variety. With just those, the game becomes almost infinitely replayable. When you've played all maps, the first maps you did will have been far behind enough to enjoy them again.

Then the Atlantik wall expansion. This one turns this game into a standard tower defense game, where you try to fend off the invaders. One player plays the game itself against the other players. This is a weird one as i found most players either like it or not. I'm personally "meh" about it, but i can take it out once in a while. If you dig it however, you've effectively doubled the amount of maps you have (and this expansion came with a couple new maps too), as you can play the maps from both perspective.

Every other expansion are mini-decks of cards that are just there to add a little more options to the game. Not one of them is essential, but they are nice. Those are going to be very rare to find, outside finding someone that sells his entire kickstarter version.

And no, mechanically there's nothing wrong with the game. The dice rolling is a bit formulaic (as in, it's yet another Yatzhee-style of dice rolling game), but everything else is very inspired.
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Mario
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For me this is an excellent game. One of my most favorites. I played this game many times solo and many times in two players and based on that my rating was 9.
Recently I played in 4 players and I must say it didn't work well. Actually I will never play it again in more than 2 players. So maybe this "lower" score is due to this. And from my point of view this is the only weak point of the game.
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Thanks for the very thorough response, Martin! I have to admit that the theme itself doesn't grab me (which is probably why I didn't notice it until now), but the mechanics sound like they're right up my alley. Shame about drama surrounding its publication.

Mario, thanks for your opinion on co-op. Could you say more about what you found disappointing about the 4-player game?
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Martin Larouche
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wamsp wrote:
Could you say more about what you found disappointing about the 4-player game?


I'm curious about this too, since every player more or less play the same game at the same time. You don't "wait for your turn" with this game and as such, there's zero downtime and the games are not much longer with 4 than with 2. You need to be a bit strict as for the turn-order, so players are at least be waiting for others to have finished a phase before jumping on the next one, to prevent a player having completed his turn before the other has finished rolling his dice and therefore making the trading phase not working...

With just the base game however, i *could* see a situation where some cards in the common pool become unavailable and that can make the game tougher.
Say you have to pass a minefield in the map. Player 1 gets the minesweeper specialist, Player 2 gets the item to get through the minefield... Player 3 and 4 are screwed and will have to take a hit crossing it.

UNLESS you get other cards which will allow you to trade with players in different sectors. Cross the minefield with the minesweeper, then send him to the other unit. Or arrange for the player with lots of soldiers to trade some with the unit with the less of them so they have extras to cross the minefield.

All that to say that suddenly, you have to start playing with different tactics with 3 or 4 players than you do with 1 or 2 (in which you can play more or less the same way all the time as more items and specialists will be available to you, not being taken by other players). Playing 1 or 2, you start to develop certain strategies according to your play-style. Playing with more than that, and the game forces you to adapt as the other players get the cards you want for yourself.

Forcing you to adapt to different situations is part of the game's strength and not a weakness... imo.

Although i can see where with only the base game, you may start to be severely limited in options with regular items if you play with 4 players. It makes the game harder a bit because of it than if you had expansions to add to the amount of regular items. I have not played much with only the base game's items to be an adequate judge here.
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Florent Leguern
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I'd really go for the retail version. The maps are on heavy carboard, and it's a blast to play with. The custom dice too, the manual itself and its texture, the player aids... I'm a component-geek, and this game really hits the fan ^^

As for the lower score, it seems the game has some sort of "puzzle" aspect to it, that once you crack it, all the maps can be beaten the same way. I'd say it may apply to someone who plays a marathon of the game laugh I play it regularly, but not as much as to break it down to a formula.

The expansions are nice, but maybe not mandatory. As already said above, the core game is solid. I personnaly loved that game so much I tried to track down everything, and I'm not far from that goal cool I think the Badges are a real treat, as they are directly mentionned in the core rules, and it's a shame not to have them. On the mini-expansion's side, the MG Dice are fun too, and unforgiving. I actually only play the game with them now.

If you plan to multiplay this, Atlantikwall is nice too, as each side now has someone in control. It makes for tense battles !

The rest can be put aside on the "maybe if I stumble upon it" list, I guess...
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Chris Broggi
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It is one of my favorite solo games, but after a couple of multi-player plays, I don't think I will play it with other people. It is too easy with more than one person because you can trade needed resources if you are in the same sector. Even solo, it is one of the easier co-ops for me. I rarely lose but it is fun nevertheless.
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Martin Larouche
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Eawyne wrote:


As for the lower score, it seems the game has some sort of "puzzle" aspect to it, that once you crack it, all the maps can be beaten the same way. I'd say it may apply to someone who plays a marathon of the game laugh I play it regularly, but not as much as to break it down to a formula.



Isn't this true for just about every single coop game ever released though?

meeple
 
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deedob wrote:
Eawyne wrote:


As for the lower score, it seems the game has some sort of "puzzle" aspect to it, that once you crack it, all the maps can be beaten the same way. I'd say it may apply to someone who plays a marathon of the game laugh I play it regularly, but not as much as to break it down to a formula.



Isn't this true for just about every single coop game ever released though?

meeple


Don't know Don't play that much coop games. And my statement was mostly about solo gaming, actually (even though I didn't crack anything and don't want to laugh )
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There was a really good vassal module for this when it was on kickstarted. That module was what convinced me to back it. It only has one map on the module, but it will give you a good feel for the game to see if you like it (if the module is still available). I have only played this solo, but I really enjoy it.
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broggi wrote:
It is one of my favorite solo games, but after a couple of multi-player plays, I don't think I will play it with other people. It is too easy with more than one person because you can trade needed resources if you are in the same sector. Even solo, it is one of the easier co-ops for me. I rarely lose but it is fun nevertheless.

Thanks for this, Chris. I notice that you also have Pandemic: the Cure in your collection. That is one of my favorite games (and among the reasons I am interested in finding more dice-based games), since D-Day Dice is also a dice-based co-op game, how would you compare the two in terms of difficulty, fun, etc.?
 
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PapaBear73 wrote:
There was a really good vassal module for this when it was on kickstarted. That module was what convinced me to back it. It only has one map on the module, but it will give you a good feel for the game to see if you like it (if the module is still available). I have only played this solo, but I really enjoy it.

I'm unafraid to show my ignorance: what is a vassal module?
 
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Eawyne wrote:
I'd really go for the retail version. The maps are on heavy carboard, and it's a blast to play with. The custom dice too, the manual itself and its texture, the player aids... I'm a component-geek, and this game really hits the fan ^^

I agree with everything you said, plus the retail dials look cool!

I only play games socially, so it would be multiplayer all the way for me. My fellow-players tend to be pretty casual, so I don't expect us to marathon this game (or any other) enough to "crack" it anytime soon, and even if we do, then I'm happy to sell it along and treasure the fun we had (and all reports seem to suggest that it is fun)

Thanks also for your rundown of the expansions!
 
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wamsp wrote:
PapaBear73 wrote:
There was a really good vassal module for this when it was on kickstarted. That module was what convinced me to back it. It only has one map on the module, but it will give you a good feel for the game to see if you like it (if the module is still available). I have only played this solo, but I really enjoy it.

I'm unafraid to show my ignorance: what is a vassal module?
Vassal is software that allows you to play various games on your computer. Vassal modules are the packages with all the info needed for different games.
Just google Vassal and you'll find the website with more info and to download everything for free.

It was originally created for wargames, and that still somewhat shows in the available games, but there are now a few hundred (might even be close to 1000 by now) different games available on it.
The different modules are all made by different people, mostly fan made, so they can be hit and miss when it comes to quality. By and large they will not enforce game rules so it's not like playing an app.

One of the great boons is that it allows for very easy online play, both live and asynchronous, as well as playing games solo without having to take up tablespace.

Lately some similar programs have become available, e.g. tabletop simulator, but those cost money. I can't really give a comparison because I haven't actually tried anything except Vassal.
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Casey Nedry
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Hi there!

Here is the BGG link to the free trial version of DDD: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/61028/d-day-dice-free...

You can find the free files at the bottom of the page. I didn't try and download and print them so I'm not sure they work. Also, if you look in the image section on the trial page you can see a comparison of the trial vs. retail version of the game. I don't believe the expansions are available to be downloaded but you might want to look around and see what you can dig up. Or ask if folks have some form of work-around.

The expansions vary in usefulness. I found Badges to be worthless as it made the game very easy. Flare Pouch and Distinguished Service Pack have some useful items and rewards in them. In my opinion, the Machine Gun Fire dice make the game more challenging. Rather than just lose troops to MG fire the die faces require you to lose item, courage, or leadership points which are the resources you need to use in the game. Operation Neptune and Normandy are must haves simply for the maps. Atlantikwall and it's expansion Gott Mit Uns are fun but probably the least played out of my collection. The extra map and cards are nice and the option to play as Germany is cool. Since I play the game solo it doesn't add as much as it could to the game. Still, providing the option to play opposed rather than vs. only the board is cool and an extra map is always worthwhile.

Regarding the BGG score and the idea that the game is too easy or solvable. First, if you are finding it easy there are ways to make it harder. Once you understand the rules you can always choose to force constraints on yourself. I think once you get past maps 1-3, the rest of the maps provide a good challenge. The first few are a bit easy. The first one is meant to be though since it's the training scenario. They all require players to look ahead and plan but just cause you plan that doesn't mean the dice will reward you with suitable results. Which brings me to why I think many people give the game a low rating.

The careful management of your resources is what will win you the game but it's your decisions regarding the dice that will generate your resources. DDD is a dice chucker that uses a Yahtzeeesque mechanism to reward players with resources and I think the constant rolling of dice is what puts folks off the game. I've always found the decisions you make about your dice to be important but others may not see it that way. Additionally, if you play the same maps repeatedly it could get tedious but the solution to that is easy...switch up your maps.

I like the game a lot and have played it a ton. I broke it out this summer for the first time in a year and worked my way through the Normandy campaign. It was a blast and I ended up having one of my best games ever, score wise that is. If you buy the game, look into downloading some of the player aids/sheets from the games main BGG page. I believe this one

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/filepage/87364/playermats-refer...

is very useful. It replaces the dials, which I found to be fiddly and flimsy, with playmats. On top of the map is the turn sequence and there are tracks for all the resources. It helps me keep everything straight and in order but of course, your mileage may vary.

If you have any questions I'd be happy to try and answer them. Take care!



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wamsp wrote:
broggi wrote:
It is one of my favorite solo games, but after a couple of multi-player plays, I don't think I will play it with other people. It is too easy with more than one person because you can trade needed resources if you are in the same sector. Even solo, it is one of the easier co-ops for me. I rarely lose but it is fun nevertheless.

Thanks for shit, Chris. I notice that you also have Pandemic: the Cure in your collection. That is one of my favorite games (and among the reasons I am interested in finding more dice-based games), since D-Day Dice is also a dice-based co-op game, how would you compare the two in terms of difficulty, fun, etc.?

I think Pandemic: the Cure is probably the more difficult (to win) of the two. You are more at the mercy of the luck of the die there. A bad set of rolls on the disease dice and outbreaks will happen and there is nothing you can do about it. In DDD, the bad stuff is set (for the most part), so you know what is coming up and can plan for it.
PtC is probably the simpler to learn, but neither game is complex.
I prefer DDD as a solo game, but find it too easy with more than one player. So with 2+ players, I prefer PtC.
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wamsp wrote:

Mario, thanks for your opinion on co-op. Could you say more about what you found disappointing about the 4-player game?

For me it isn't about harder difficulty or downtime as Martin mentioned above. All this is OK and I don't want do discourage you from buing it.
On the other hand you can get less items and specialist and for me it means less fan. Also for me (as well as for my mate I play usually with) there was loss of atmoshere and some chaotic feeling at certain moments. The reason could be the group of course. I don't know. Anyway I expected extended cooperation in more players but it didn't work as expected. We won all games but no one enjoyed it as much as in two players.
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broggi wrote:
wamsp wrote:
broggi wrote:
It is one of my favorite solo games, but after a couple of multi-player plays, I don't think I will play it with other people. It is too easy with more than one person because you can trade needed resources if you are in the same sector. Even solo, it is one of the easier co-ops for me. I rarely lose but it is fun nevertheless.

Thanks for shit, Chris. I notice that you also have Pandemic: the Cure in your collection. That is one of my favorite games (and among the reasons I am interested in finding more dice-based games), since D-Day Dice is also a dice-based co-op game, how would you compare the two in terms of difficulty, fun, etc.?

I think Pandemic: the Cure is probably the more difficult (to win) of the two. You are more at the mercy of the luck of the die there. A bad set of rolls on the disease dice and outbreaks will happen and there is nothing you can do about it. In DDD, the bad stuff is set (for the most part), so you know what is coming up and can plan for it.
PtC is probably the simpler to learn, but neither game is complex.
I prefer DDD as a solo game, but find it too easy with more than one player. So with 2+ players, I prefer PtC.


I have the app for Pandemic and play it solo. I would also say it's more difficult than D-Day Dice, for the same reason, greater luck in Pandemic. To me Pandemic can punish you even if you're doing everything right. You don't get that feeling from DDD. If you're playing well and making the right decisions you see it paying off.

Get the game, I don't think you'll be disappointed.
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Alright, you have all convinced me. Now, what is a decent price for D-Day Dice , and where can I find it?
 
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wamsp wrote:
Alright, you have all convinced me. Now, what is a decent price for D-Day Dice , and where can I find it?


Well that's going to be the problem isn't it?

The base game was MSRP 40$ (though if it was released today, it would probably be for 50$, with the recent boardgame price increase). The map packs were 10$ and 15$ respectively. Atlantik wall was 25$?

There's currently a base set for 45$ on eBay... that's the best price i've seen for it in a while (most go for 80$+). Atlantik wall can be still found for MSRP here and there. The other 2 map packs... the lowest i've seen for them recently is 30$ (if you're lucky to even find them).

You might luck-out and find them in a FLGS sitting on the store shelves too.
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Chris Broggi
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They occasionally show up in Geeklist auctions and are not too expensive.
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Too bad you live in the US, I would've gladly sold you my extra box ^^' But it's always those pesky shipping fees...
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deedob wrote:


...

With just the base game however, i *could* see a situation where some cards in the common pool become unavailable and that can make the game tougher.
Say you have to pass a minefield in the map. Player 1 gets the minesweeper specialist, Player 2 gets the item to get through the minefield... Player 3 and 4 are screwed and will have to take a hit crossing it.

UNLESS you get other cards which will allow you to trade with players in different sectors. Cross the minefield with the minesweeper, then send him to the other unit. Or arrange for the player with lots of soldiers to trade some with the unit with the less of them so they have extras to cross the minefield.

...


A couple of problems with this assessment:

Specialists can't be traded (except the Messenger) - the only cards you can trade are Items and Vehicles. But the Minesweeper trade is unnecessary because...

The Minesweeper is a Regular Specialist, and therefore one is available to each unit. Unique Specialists (note the name) are the ones that are in the pool and only available to one player. I think, in the base game at least, any specialist required to get through is a Regular - the Uniques are the cream and provide the fun of YOU having owned it.

If anything it's too easy with multiple players and I think there needs to be some scaling up of difficulty for more players. Although all units (players) need to make it into the bunker and while, theoretically, the extra resources generated by each unit are consumed by that unit, the cooperative trading between units flattens out the vagaries of the dice - the lucky carry the unlucky. Also a single item can help protect several units against damage (Def & MG) so the item buying power of several units is more effective than just one, making a Bangalore Torpedo and a flamethrower more likely to be at hand when the bunker is in sight! Also remember each Specialist making it alive into the Bunker reduces by one the Def of the Bunker for Units arriving on later turns.

Although the design of the game is very practical for solo, the extra time and analysis you can apply solo detracts from its light and lucky aspects. Best played as a group with the frenetic pace and chaos of the theme (watch the Omaha Beach scene from Saving Private Ryan and calculate your time for analysis! [it's odd that Omaha is the easiest of the beaches in this game]).

I still like it!
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UPDATE! I ended up picking this game up in a trade about a month after my original post. Right off the bat, I tried a solo game or two just to get the basics down. I know that the community recommendation is that this game is best at solo, but solitaire gaming just isn't for me, so it sat around on my shelf for a while until I finally got it to the table with a group of 4 last night and WOW, was this a hit! Different strokes for different folks and all that, but this is DEFINITELY for me as a co-op game.

We played the "Exercise Tiger" training map and while we ended up winning, we really enjoyed the challenge of it. I definitely see this one hitting the table for a good long while, and I just snapped up the Atlantikwall expansion for $15 shipped on EBay before it becomes impossible to find, and I've begun looking around for the rest of the expansions that I can find at reasonable prices.

Thanks to everybody who convinced me to go through the effort of trying this one. Glad I did before it was too late!
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It's great you could enjoy it so much laugh Have fun !
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