What is Dice of Arkham?

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Okay, now that we’ve figured out how to roll dice and assign them let’s try taking that up the mountains of madness, in the shadow over Innsmouth and most importantly try to Re-animate my last post on solitaire, print and play titles. In this game you play an intrepid investigator racing around the globe to stop an evil cult from resurrecting one of the old gods, an ancient evil from before mankind walked upright, whose return would begin an age of chaos and madness.

In truth the bulk of the game plays similar to Delve as you roll your dice put some aside depending on what you want, re-roll up to two more times and then make do with your rubbish results. However there are a few clear differences from the off. The first is that along with your own dice you must also roll for what evil you will encounter this turn. The second is that as you are only one man each dice you roll will go toward you, meaning that you must only try to work out what of your own stats you want to shore up. Unless you roll a one or two of course in which case it goes toward the enemy cultists. You can put your dice toward increasing your progression on your quest or increasing you physical or mental prowess. Both of these stats have their advantage in what dangers you may encounter with your physical skills working well against cult members and your mental health working against the demons they may summon. Fortunately you can use either against either but if you go against type they will cost you two for one, so for instance two physical will count as a plus one against demons and vice versa. Once you have added these bonuses it comes down to a roll off that can end up being a fair few dice that only need adding up to work out who has won.

The other main thing you will be progressing as noted is your trail across the globe to seal the gates and the cult members hunt for relics that will aid them. These are marked by two paths denoting the two separate races taking place. However your path is marked with danger as not only ones but specially marked spaces will add to the dangers you must fight at the end of each turn. Once each race reaches the end of its track an event will happen that will often need a dice roll to see what happens, adding to the replay ability, however whatever you get will usually fall to a gain or bane for you depending whose end of the track we’re talking. Once this is reached said person goes back to the start and goes again with the third time being the proverbial charm. Note that their track is a good deal shorter than yours but seen as how you’re in charge of rolling and rerolling the this tends to balance out nicely.

The game comes with a few sheets of rules and one for the game itself with markings and such for where your pieces should start. It isn’t a hard game and the rules aren’t too much to wrap your head around but I would say that there are a few over wordy sections and contradictions between the base board and the rules themselves.

Now one of the joys of print and pay games knocking around the internet is that they can be worked upon, improved and collaborated on meaning that it has a new reworked board that ends up looking up a whole lot better. But if we’re going to talk about improving the game I think it would be remiss not to mention GalactiDice which moves the whole thing to the universe of Battlestar Galactica(reboot). Now you must put your dice into Galactica and Vipers, guard your own ship and the fleet around you whilst fighting off Raiders and Base ships. The end of track results are now flavoured by the show in such a way that will be familiar with anyone who has watched the series but may puzzle anybody who hasn’t. Not that anyone who saw the show understands what was going on with the Bob Dylan track anyway.

I don’t think it makes much difference which version you play though my Galactidice beats my Dice of Arkham map so that’s the one I’ll probably end up dragging out more. It also has had a few more redrafts so it reads a bit clearer. Once you’ve learnt the game you can probably drop down to just the map and fortunately there is no marking required so there is no need to reprint each time or work a system with laminating and markers.

the game is available from: http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/128419/dice-arkham

While the Battlestar variant is available from: http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/148580/galactidice-bsg

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