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Subject: Dice-chucking engine-builders rss

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K S
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Hey Recommenders!

I'm looking for more games that feature a kind of gameplay I've recently realized that I really enjoy:

games where every turn you roll a whole handful of dice, and then you use the results to start moving the gears of your engine. Specifically, I'm looking for games where you have substantial control over the dice results, both over how many/ what kind of die get rolled and also the ability to mitigate sub-optimal results.

The kinds of games that I think of as prototypical exemplars are things like Roll for the Galaxy and Steampunk Rally. I also like Tiny Epic Galaxies which is similar in some ways, but it doesn't seem to scratch quite the same itch, I think in part because dice mitigation is relatively expensive and players' "engines" don't tend to grow as large and complex as in the other two.

Can y'all think of other games like this that I might enjoy?
 
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A. B. West
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More complexity or not?

The Castles of Burgundy is really great - there are only 2 six-sided dice rolled, but it's fun to use them. Not really an engine builder in my opinion, but very highly regarded by many.

I have to recommend our game Wizards of the Wild which has custom dice and is an engine-building game.

More recently I have played Lorenzo il Magnifico which has shared dice that you use to run your engine. More complex, brutal but satisfying.
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Sam Lam I Am
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Troyes
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John M
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Dice City lets you chuck dice. With the die results you buy better buildings for your board. The dice indicate which buildings trigger. Poor rolling can be mitigated by loading your board with a variety of buildings so that something good will always trigger.
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Challie Coppel
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Favor of the Pharaoh
Colony
Dice Forge
Seasons
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Laura Creighton
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Alien Frontiers but there may not be enough dice for you.
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Ken Comstock
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I don't know what an engine builder is, but Too Many Bones and One Deck Dungeon are a dice chuckers dream, and very good games.
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Kate
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This geeklist has a good bunch of games that might interest you, though maybe not exclusively what you're after:

Dice Placement Games
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Adam P
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The Manhattan Project: Energy Empire
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K S
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Re: Dice-chucking engine-builder
Thank you all for these suggestions. Many of them I haven't heard of before, and many of them (e.g. Troyes, Alien Frontiers, Too Many Bones) I had an interest in, but I hadn't realized they would be the kind of game I described in the OP. I'm especially interested in the "heavier" options.
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Courtney Dolar
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Have you bought the expansion for Roll for the Galaxy yet? I find that it adds more replay value with the additional start worlds and dice types.
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Dan Ridge
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Hrm let me think a bit, most of my dice games are dice drafting or some variation of that and not true engine building but I'll toss out some suggestions and see what sticks.

Too Many Bones Has a lot of dice, a gobsmacking amount of dice.

Alea Iacta Est or it's newer version Order of the Gilded Compass is another dicey game.

Dice Brewing has rolling, placing, and more rolling.

Dice Town isn't an engine builder at all but a very fun game.

VivaJava: The Coffee Game: The Dice Game Coffee and Dice.

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Adam Tucker
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wamsp wrote:
I'm looking for more games that feature a kind of gameplay I've recently realized that I really enjoy:

games where every turn you roll a whole handful of dice, and then you use the results to start moving the gears of your engine. Specifically, I'm looking for games where you have substantial control over the dice results, both over how many/ what kind of die get rolled and also the ability to mitigate sub-optimal results.

The kinds of games that I think of as prototypical exemplars are things like Roll for the Galaxy and Steampunk Rally. I also like Tiny Epic Galaxies which is similar in some ways, but it doesn't seem to scratch quite the same itch, I think in part because dice mitigation is relatively expensive and players' "engines" don't tend to grow as large and complex as in the other two.


About games already mentioned:
The Castles of Burgundy: you only ever roll 2 dice, which are used for any type of action, there are some minimal ways to manipulate results. Very little in the way of engine building (more immediate combos).

Troyes: type and number of dice may fluctuate very little over the course of a game and there are only three types (just different in color), typically few ways to manipulate dice (it is much more common to buy other player's dice). Very minimal engine building.

Dice City: you always roll 5 dice, dice manipulation is expensive (discard a die to move another die up or down a pip, discard a die for a half-resource). Very little engine building, and chances to do so are dependent on card draw, having the resources on hand, and other players not flushing wanted/needed cards out of the market.

Colony: likely the best fit, though only the start player rolls dice, which are then drafted, dice are used to purchase buildings which can be used to get more virtual dice, convert virtual dice to actual dice, or store more actual dice between turns; dice manipulation depends on the buildings available in any given game, but is otherwise relatively costly. Very much an engine builder, however I like this game less than Roll for the Galaxy, and I think also less than Steampunk Rally.

Dice Forge: you only ever roll 2 dice (but you will upgrade the faces of these dice), dice manipulation is relatively minimal and depends on the options available in a specific game. A very small amount of engine building, much more of a tactical game.

Seasons: only the start player rolls the dice (though they are different both between and among seasons), the results are then drafted by the players, extremely little in the way of dice manipulation available and completely dependent on card draw. A fair amount of engine building, but the game is much more about combos than an engine.

Alien Frontiers: (caveat: It has been too long since I played this game, I like Kingsburg - always with the expansion -, The Voyages of Marco Polo, and Kingsport Festival better as dice placement games) you don't gain too many dice over the course of the game and dice are functionally equivalent, little in the way of dice manipulation (though this may change over the course of the game by gaining and losing powers). A minimal amount of engine building, the focus is much more on area control.

Too Many Bones: attack and defense dice are generic (among enemies and player controlled heroes alike), but there are up to 16 character specific dice that might be gained/earned (some of a character's dice might only be used as counters or spatial restrictions), there is almost zero dice manipulation (misses might still end up being useful, but generally far less than the desired effect(s)). Not really any engine building, but there are some very minimal combos available.

Alea Iacta Est: functional identical dice, always roll 8, dice manipulation in the form of re-rolls. No engine building, just set collection.

Dice Town: always roll 5 functionally equivalent dice, keep some reroll others and some one shot cards are the dice manipulation. No engine building.

acklevoy wrote:
This geeklist has a good bunch of games that might interest you, though maybe not exclusively what you're after:

Dice Placement Games
There is a lot to parse here and most of the ones that I know there come up short on multiple facets that you were looking for.

Some that might be more appropriate:

Waggle Dance dice are functionally equivalent, but you gain a fair amount over the course of the game, decent amount of opportunity for dice manipulation, but it is card draw dependent. Not much engine building (IIRC).

Artifacts, Inc. kind of a mini-Colony, you gain less dice over the course of the game, there is less dice manipulation, and very little engine building. Might still be the better game, almost certainly the quicker one.

The King's Abbey you roll a bunch of functionally equivalent dice (but don't gain many, if any, over the course of the game), dice manipulation is minimal and somewhat card dependent. Quite a bit of engine building in here though.

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Bill Eldard
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Burke
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Pandemic: The Cure -- each role has a set of 5 dice specifically representing their skills.

King of New York -- everyone uses the same dice, but players may have some bonus effects on certain results as described by "Keep" cards they have purchased.

In both games, the active player rolls a set of dice, but can select specific dice to re-roll twice. You then carry out the actions on the dice.
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Tim Relph
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You would probably really enjoy Dice Masters.

Especially the more recent sets.

Or Quarriors!, off of which the Dice Masters system is based.
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K S
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Wow, thanks for the very thorough analysis, Adam. It seems like Colony may be the most like what I'm looking for, but I wonder why you like it less than Roll for the Galaxy and Steampunk Rally? I have previously played Artifacts, Inc and it didn't seem to scratch the same kind of itch as the other two.

Also, Bill, thanks for mentioning Pandemic: The Cure. It is one of my favorite games (probably even more than Roll for the Galaxy and Steampunk Rally) but it doesn't really seem to involve the same sort of engine-building that I was looking for here.
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