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Monday January 16, 2006
I'm at Dragon's Keep right now -- I know, it's not Friday, but I got seven and a half rows of pencilling done here. Anyway, I was about five rows in and Shaggy asked me to try out his new Dragon Dice.
I say "new." Apparently TSR came out with this game back in 1995, and many of the packages being sold now are original inventory, dusted off from the WOTC warehouse (for those not in the know, Wizards of the Coast [WOTC] bought TSR several years back). The core game pack has the old TSR branding on it, but a new company, SFR, has purchased the inventory and the rights, and the once-discontinued game is now being supported again.
The game may have a sordid history, but what I played was lots of fun.
I played Shaggy's out-of-the-box dice and Michelle played her out-of-the-box dice while Dan read rules to us. The first two turns were a little slow, but once we twigged to the rules it picked right up. It plays a lot like any other collectible game (the dice are not all the same, and some are rarer than others) except for the fact that you're throwing dice around. It's very satisfyingly tactile. Plus, the dice look cool, and that ALONE had me excited about it.
I made some tactical blunders. The dwarves guarding my home terrain had no ranged attack die-faces, and I only figured that out the SECOND time I tried a ranged attack on the invading hordes. After that I carefully examined the dice I was throwing, something I suppose a seasoned player would have done FIRST (provided he or she didn't already have all his/her unit dice memorized).
Still, I ended up winning. My lava-elves and a dwarven mage captured the frontier, and then successfully summoned the dragon AND cast Wind Walk on my horde, allowing them to capture the enemy's home terrain.
All told, I give the game a "go ahead and spend disposable income on it" rating, assuming you a) have disposable income, and b) are willing to drop $20 or $30 so you've got enough dice for two players. I'm not about to suggest that you start collecting it, though, because I want you all to have sufficient funds for this summer's Schlock Mercenary book.