Welcome to The Game Shelf!

After getting into the board game hobby at the end of 2014, we've decided to share our thoughts on the games we're collecting on our shelves. The collection has certainly expanded over the last few years and we've been making up for lost time!

Sometimes our opinions differ, so Amy will be posting reviews every Tuesday and Fi will post on Thursdays. We hope you enjoy reading some of our opinions on board games - especially those for two players.

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Tuesday 3 October 2017

Luck is a fickle goddess to please:- Dice Forge

Game: Dice Forge

Publisher: Libellud

Designer: Régis Bonnessée

Year: 2017
Dice Forge is a 2-4 player dice game in which you seek to gain resources to gain the favour of the gods. You’ll spend those resources on performing the various heroic deeds which in turn will enhance your powers to further your goals. The truly unique part of Dice Forge is the fact that it is a dice crafting game, you start with dice with rather weak faces, but you can remove the faces from your dice and replace them with better ones as the game progresses.

At the start of any one players turn every player rolls both of their dice and adds their resources to their resource pool. Resources come in 3 main flavours: gold, fire crystals and moon crystals, though you can also get dice faces that simply provide victory points. After rolling you get to perform an action, either buying a new die face or recruiting a creature. New die faces cost you gold, you simply pick the one you want, use the edge of it as a lever to pry off the die face you want to remove and then slot the new one it. The dice faces work a lot like Lego, in fact if anyone has played the old Lego board games you’ll see that dice forge isn’t the first game to produce constructible dice!

Dice forge set up for a 2-player game, the game box becomes a shop for all your die-face needs!

If you do not wish to upgrade your dice then you can instead spend either moon and/or fire crystals on performing heroic deed cards. These have various effects, some give you bonus resources straight away, some have ongoing effects that you can use every round, others have ongoing effects that trigger from certain events and some simply give you a huge amount of points. When you perform a deed you move your player marker to the relevant island, essentially blocking the space. Should anyone else want to buy from that island they will have to oust you from that spot, giving you a free roll of your dice in return! After a set number of rounds the game will end, you add the victory points you gained throughout the game to the ones on your heroic deeds to give your total score.

Dice Forge has a wonderful insert which not only holds everything together, but utilises the box as part of the game’s setup. This makes the game an absolute dream to set up... if you are playing with 4. Unfortunately for 2/3 player games there is a bit of extra fiddling, removing some die faces from the pool and removing some of the cards. Ultimately it’s still a fast game to set up, and to play. It can be very frustrating when your opponent buys a good face and rolls it every round, while you have upgraded all but 1 face on your dice, yet never roll them, but there are enough die rolls in the game that this evens out a lot.

There are alternate cards for more advanced players, fortunately all the cards have artwork that match beautifully with the game board!

Dice Forge has some lovely art, and thanks to the box being part of the setup does have amazing table presence. There is clearly a lot of love put into creating this game, unfortunately the gameplay is not quite as elegant as I would have liked. It ends up giving me flashbacks of Mystic Vale, it’s introduced a great new system for playing games with, and one day I do believe that a truly amazing game will be produced with this system. Dice forge isn’t that game, it’s still good, and nothing plays quite like it, but history will remember it as a stepping stone on the way to a greater game.


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