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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Thursday 21 March 2019

Thoughts from the Yellow Meeple:- Dice Forge: Rebellion

Game: Dice Forge: Rebellion

Publisher: Libellud

Designer:  Régis Bonnessée

Year: 2019

I'm really enjoying twists on deck-building at the moment. Quacks of Quedlinberg has been a fantastic example of bag building, with Orleans and the Invasion expansion also ticking loads of boxes. Even standard deck-building is back in vogue at our table with Aeon’s End Legacy and some classic Dominion. Dice Forge: Rebellion has given us a great opportunity to revisit Dice Forge, where similar mechanisms are used to allow you to customise your dice with new faces to build up your chances of rolling a good turn, boosting your resources and ultimately scoring points.

It has to be said that Dice Forge: Rebellion is quite a pricey expansion, with an RRP that is the same price as you can buy the base game for, but it’s an expansion with a ton of content. As well as tons of new cards to increase variety in your game setup, it also includes two new modes of play to explore; The Labyrinth of the Goddess and the Rebellion of the Titans. With all this new content, no two games of Dice Forge need ever be the same. We’ve taken both new game modes for a test run and I’m excited to share my thoughts.

Dice Forge: Rebellion is a modular expansion, where the two modules are not inherently compatible. The key element of the Goddess expansion is the labyrinth. Each player takes a golem token to place at the start of the labyrinth and the starting dice are modified to give you a single face with a +1 movement through the labyrinth. If you ever ever roll this face or others you might gain throughout the game, then you move through the labyrinth forwards, or backwards, gaining the rewards on each space. A specific combination of rolls will also allow you to roll the super powerful Celestial Dice. The final space on this track is a 15 victory point bonus, but you need to really focus on this strategy to advance that far. To aid this strategy a specific set of four goddess module cards must be used in the setup, and additionally there is a recommended starting set of cards for the rest of the spots, to give you an easy first game setup.

The second module is the Revolt of the Titans. In this module you must balance your loyalty or rebellion to move left or right on a common track. The spots to the right result in positive end game points, whilst the spots on the left result in negative end game points. There are many benefits to rebellion though, including ancient shards, which are a wild resource, substituting moons or fire when buying more cards, as well as giving you victory points for buying cards. As with the goddess expansion, there is a set of four cards you must play with and the rest is up to you.

One of the key challenges for me with both modules was an over abundance of resources. There were times during the game where I just ran out of track for additional money, moons or fire which is ultimately pretty annoying. Wasting good rolls, especially when you've saved up and paid for great dice faces isn't fun. The fact that there are additional tracks on which to gain resources, as well as the Celestial Dice which is just a huge boost (eg. 12 money) which I was very unlikely to need all of, just felt a little over the top. I love a 'big money' expansion because of the satisfaction I get from doing bigger and better things, not because I never feel poor. I think I felt this most in the recommended setup for the Goddess module, where there was not other use for leftover gold. The Titans module had a card that converted gold to resources, as well as the wild resource track that allowed you to balance out your resource status. I'm aware that I could fix this problem by mixing in some of the cards from the base game that give you a track extension or a way to save up gold, but the setup straight out of the box really soured our first experience with the expansion.


With so many new cards in the box, there's lots of new tactics to try and I feel like many of the new cards promote additional player interaction. It's a little easier to identify possible engines you might build and focus on a strategy, although you'll still be limited by the faces that you roll to a certain extent. The shear variety in the box makes me excited to tray and mix and match to create new combinations to exploit. It's a shame that this is partly driven by some dissatisfaction with the recommended setup, but I'm also quite pleasantly surprised that a game can encourage me down this path that I typically avoid. Deciding on a spread of cards for me feels much like Magic the Gathering style deckbuilding - a lot of work before playing the game, but the Dice Forge combinations and possibilities do spark my imagination.

Ultimately, I think Dice Forge: Rebellion is an expansion that limits its audience to big Dice Forge fans. If you’ve played a lot of the base game and grown a bit bored of the cards in that box, then this expansion injects a whole lot of extra variety. Personally, I am happiest with the Rebellion of the Titans setup, but I can also see ways that I could customise the setup of the The Labyrinth of the Goddess module to provide a less frustrating experience for two players. Due to that level of customisation, I think there’s a game in Dice Forge: Rebellion to suit almost all gaming tastes, but you just have to be willing to explore and find your favourite bits. I still find a lot of joy in building up my dice and testing out new strategies so it’s definitely an expansion I’m excited to keep and explore – it’s just a shame I need to keep it in its own box! For the Yellow Meeple, Dice Forge: Rebellion is a 7/10.

Dice Forge: Rebellion was a review copy provided by Asmodee UK. It is available at your friendly local game store for an RRP of £29.99 or can be picked up at http://www.365games.co.uk/.

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