Dice City is a board game to build the best city, using dice. Its theme and mechanics are similar to Machi Koro, another good dice game, but the feeling and the game system is completely different between Dice City and Machi Koro. In short, Dice City is a game in which players build and use their cities to beat others, and Machi Koro is a game to build cities.
Dice City Rule
The basis of the rule is quite simple.
- Players have their own "city" board.
- Roll dice and place them to prepare.
- In one's turn, use dice to obtain resources, build new buildings, and attack others (players or bandits).
Starting cities (personal game boards) already include full of buildings, and when new buildings are purchased, new ones must be placed on the boards and override old buildings. Buildings overridden would not work for any purposes, including scoring.
There are 3 types of resources; woods, stones, ingots. Players could harvest them by using Lumber Mills, Quarries, Mines, and rob them from other players. Upcoming expansion, All That Glitters will introduce golds and Gold Mines.Players can store only 1 of each resource type.
Each game board consists of 30 grids, 5 rows corresponding to the colors of dice and 6 columns corresponding the numbers of dice rolls. Dice rolled should be placed on the spots where their colors and numbers indicate. To help the player whose day is not coming yet, dice can be moved by spending another die and a die can be spent to obtain a "Pass" token which has special abilities; gain any resource, increase army powers by 1, and force others to reroll a die.
Once at least one of game-ending conditions triggered, a game ends after the last player (right of the starting player) plays his/her last turn. Game-ending conditions are;
- All bandits are taken.
- Two piles of ships are taken.
- "Location" deck runs out. (not all locations are gone.)
- A player has two or more rows filled with non-starting buildings, without deactivation markers on them.
Scores of players are the sum of buildings, bandits they destroyed, ships they fulfilled, and totals of score chips they obtained through attacking others and effects of buildings.
Points of rule
In my opinion, the arts in Dice City which make the game more interactive and fun are;
- Players roll dice and place them on their boards at the end of their turn.
- Players know what others would like to perform.
- Players can ask to reroll a die by spending "Pass" tokens.
- Players can only store 1 of each resource.
- Players basically should harvest them by themselves.
- Players can deactivate most buildings by attacking them.
- To prevent overwhelming and to obtain victory points.
- And reactivation is not very difficult, in that not too many frustrations for the attacked player.
- There are no strong armies available.
- To keep the game going quick, still gives enough interactions.
In each turn, the active player takes actions in the following order.
- Dissolve dice to obtain resources, attack power, and victory points.
- Use pass tokens
- Attack bandits or other players.
- Consume resources.
- Dump excess resources.
- Roll 5 dice and align them on the board.
Each die can be used in any of actions by removing the die;
- Use building on that spot.
- Move another die to the next spot. (The die must stay in the same color)
- Replenish 4 location cards out of 8 cards in the display. (once a turn)
- Remove a deactivation token.
- Take a pass token. (once a turn)
And the active player continues to play until all dice are removed. (Probably it is better to keep the dice for army strengths since the game does not provide a method to keep track the army strength.)
Two pass tokens can be used to;
- Get a resource of any kinds.
- Add 1 army strength.
- Force all other players reroll a die of the active player's choice.
All effects are quite useful, in that players feel not bad for their "unluckiness".
There are 3 options of battling.
- Attack bandits to get victory points. Attacking bandits is a way to end a game. The player spends a number of army strength at the same as the defense strength of bandits, shown in the shield sign and obtains the card.
- Attack other players' location. Every location card except for starting locations has a defense strength. The attacking player spends army strength, obtains victory points shown in the star sign, and places a deactivation token on that location card.
- Rob other players' resource. The attacking player pays 2 army strengths for each resource to take.
Then the player takes a new building to be placed on a spot on the board and a ship card to obtain victory points, paying the number of resources shown on the cards. Players can take as many cards as possible.