D a v i d B u r k e y
I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it. Edgar Allan Poe
Ain't nobody here but us chickens...
The Wife (Cheryl) and I are very fond of dice games such as Can't Stop and To Court the King. Therefore, it made sense to add Dice Town to our game collection. The Wife and I were able to play a very satisfying initial 2-player game upon its arrival, and so we were anxious to try it out with more players. A visit from our gaming neighbors Amy and Mike over the weekend provided us with the opportunity. We were not disappointed, as our 4-player game was much enjoyed by all.
The initial rounds saw Cheryl jump out to an early lead by claiming several property cards from the town hall. Fortunately for the rest of us, these initial property claim cards were almost all worth only 1 or 2 points. Cheryl also used an early 4-of-a-kind in tens to secure a big bank heist that kept her flush with cash for the remainder of the game. However, Cheryl’s dice went cold after her quick start, allowing the rest of us to catch up in the middle rounds. Cheryl did utilize her several trips to Doc Badluck to secure four property cards from theft and to steal even more cash from the rest of us.
Amy and I struggled in the early rounds due to cash shortages and an inability to win property claims from the town hall. When I did finally roll the best poker hand, it was four jacks without and ace, so all I won was a measly 1-point property card. Mike, meanwhile, spent the first few rounds quietly amassing a nice collection of gold nuggets from the gold mine. A four-of-a-kind in nines followed by a nines-over-aces full house then let Mike to quickly add seven more nuggets, bringing his total to 15! His full house also won the town hall and permitted him to sweep up three big property cards worth 12 points. Mike then played the general store card that gave him a free visit to Doc’s and secured his 4 and 5-point property claims. Mike was now the big leader, with the rest of us scrambling to catch up.
Soon after, I won the town hall with a jacks-over-aces full house to claim a ten-point collection of property claims. Amy came on strong via three straight rounds with the most queens, allowing her to pilfer several high point cards from Mike and me. One of these rounds was especially entertaining. Cheryl saved three dice on the second roll to give her a full house, but Amy and I both had four queens. On the last roll, Amy lifted her cup to reveal a ten, but I had rolled a nine! When Cheryl the Sheriff astutely allowed my one nine to win the tie for the gold mine, I had but a single gold nugget for my round. In contrast, Amy was able to steal my 5-point wagon card and also claim a 5-point property card from the Town Hall.
Two more rounds in which multiple property cards were claimed left us with only two cards and two gold nuggets in the mine. On the last round, Mike won the last two nuggets from the mine. Cheryl won the Town Hall, but couldn’t roll an ace to go with her four-of-a-kind and had to leave behind a 4-point card. I saved three kings to take the sheriff from Mike and pick up 5 important victory points. I also won the General Store with a lone jack, but drew a useless action card. Amy made one more visit to the saloon to steal from Mike, but it was not enough, as Mike still had enough points for the victory.
Mike: 34 points (18 of the 30 gold nuggets!)
Me: 30 points (with the Sheriff)
Amy: 30 points
The Wife: 27 points
Some interesting tidbits from the game:
Outside of one round where the Wife won with a straight, winning the Town Hall required you to have a full house or better for your poker hand.
Most of the rounds were finished after three dice rolls—someone would usually save several dice on one of the first two rolls.
Not having enough cash to save extra dice on a roll is really painful. On the other hand, spending several dollars to save dice that end up not winning anything is just as frustrating. The having to spend money to save dice mechanic really does make the game both challenging and entertaining.
Don’t underestimate the value of the gold nuggets! Yes, they are only worth 1 point, but they are much harder to lose than the property cards.