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Category Archives: The Dice are Trying to Kill Me

Entries in which it seems as though the dice are actively trying to destroy one or more of the players

There is a very interesting and frustrating thing that happens when Professor and I play games with his mom. Without meaning to, she manages to constantly spite me the entire game. I believe this partially happens because I take my turn after her.

When we played Qwirkle, she was consistently playing where I had planned to play which often resulted in her making a Qwirkle. I then would have to settle for far fewer points.

My zoo in Zooloretto was just a mess. Even though the first player in that game changes, I just couldn’t get the animals I needed and ended up with a bunch that I didn’t need. Professor and his mom, though, they did quite well.

Then there was Takenoko. Professor did spite me when he had the panda eat the yellow bamboo I needed, but his mom was spiting me all the time. She would move the gardener or the panda in a way that meant I would have to move them at least twice to meet my end goal instead of just once. I’m surprised I managed to complete so many quests by the end because that game was a real struggle for me.

I’ve had my plans ruined while playing games before, but never so often by the same person. I told Professor the next time we play, I want to take my turn before his mom. I’d like to see if my plans get destroyed as often.

This is the fourth in a seven part series on superhero games. This time it’s about Heroes of Metro City and the expansion Sidekicks and Storylines.

We’ve written about this game in a previous post.

This is another deck building game, but it isn’t tied to an existing superhero universe (like DC or Marvel). You’re “creating” your superhero. To start, you get to name your hero. Each player’s board has a place to write this in using a dry erase marker. Sometimes Energy Cards give an extra boost to characters with certain elements to their names (gender, animal, etc.), so you want to pick those before deciding on a name.

Each player is allotted a certain number of points to spend on cards at the beginning of the game to start building a deck. The fewer the points, the harder the game is going to be, but we’ll get to that. Some cards give you specific powers, some energy, and some give your character a “story” (hence the expansion name).

The goal is to defeat the Archenemy, but there are also Minions and Villains to deal with. Each of these has an attack that can trigger when you roll the dice. If the dice are always trying to kill you, this will be a rough game. If you’re really lucky at rolling dice, you just might save Metro City.

The premise of the game sounds awesome. I get to create my own superhero and fight bad guys.

The execution…
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This is the third in a seven part series on superhero games. Today’s entry is on Dice Masters.

To start with, we have 5 starter packs:

  1. Uncanny X-Men
  2. Avengers vs X-Men
  3. Justice League
  4. The Amazing Spider-Man
  5. Age of Ultron

And we’ve bought a lot of booster packs which give you more Character cards and dice.

Each starter set is basically the same. You get three different types of dice: Basic Action, Character, and Sidekick. You also get three different types of cards: Character, Basic Action, and Color Reminder. Finally, you get two dice bags which are okay.

You decide which three Basic Action cards you want to play with (they give you extra abilities during the game), then assign those card to three different colors (like Blue, Pink, and Green). You then place three dice of the same color on each of the cards. During the game you can buy these colored dice which then give you the chance to use the ability on the Basic Action card.

Each player gets 8 white Sidekick dice which go into your dice bag.

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I received The Oregon Trail game for Christmas, and I was pretty excited to play it. I remember all those times in the computer lab elementary school playing Oregon Trail. Sadly I never made it to Oregon. Not once. I probably died in all the ways you can die in that game: sickness, injuries, starvation (I sucked at hunting), dead oxen, broken wagon, drowning… Maybe I could survive the card game. Maybe.

Game play is simple. Everyone has trail cards and supply cards. If possible each player plays a trail card (the trail has to match and be continuous). If the trail card played has text written on it, you follow those instructions. If it’s blank, you count yourself lucky. There are also Town and Fort cards that can be played on the trail. Fort cards give you two supply cards of your choice, and Town cards give you one supply card or the ability to remove one Calamity card from play.

Many trail cards instruct you to draw a Calamity card which, unsurprisingly, are bad. Supply cards can help with Calamity cards. For instance if someone gets typhoid, they need medicine and clean water to get better. The player who drew the Calamity card can play the supply cards needed, otherwise she relies on the other players to save her. As a free action one or more players can turn in two supply cards for one supply card.

If a player either doesn’t have a trail card that matches or doesn’t have any trail cards, they draw a trail card as their turn action.

In this play by play, we’re skipping over a player putting down a trail card without text or drawing a trail card. We’re going to focus on the exciting stuff which is the stuff that could kill us.
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March 10, 1848

We’re on our way! We’ve left Independence, Missouri and are headed for Willamette Valley, Oregon. We know the trail is treacherous, but our spirits are high. I’m thankful Professor and I were able to find others to travel with (Space Cat, Clumsy Ninja, and Signing Monkey), otherwise I don’t think we’d have set out on this journey. I’m excited to see more of this great country and hope Oregon is as beautiful as people say.

Even though we’re traveling together, we agreed to keep our supplies separate. We each have our own area in the wagon, and we’ve clearly labeled our supply crates. Of course, that doesn’t mean we can’t share if something bad happens, though hopefully we won’t have to worry about that.


March 30, 1848

Everything was going so smoothly. I managed to drive the wagon without anything horrible happening, even though I’d never done it before. Professor led us safely across the first river we came to. It was quite impressive. Even when the wagon tongue broke, Space Cat had it fixed in no time. It almost seemed like luck was on our side.

Then Signing Monkey got sick. It wasn’t hard to tell she had measles, and we were pretty worried for a while. I’d packed some medicine which I gladly shared with her. I didn’t want her to die, and I certainly didn’t want anyone else to catch it. She seems like she’s on the road to recovery. I hope this is the worse we have to deal with.


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Professor and I recently finished playing Pathfinder Rise of the Runelords (the Adventure Card Game, based on the RPG Campaign of the same name). Before we started playing, we had to each pick a character. For me, it was tricky because I didn’t really know what to expect. I think I mostly chose based on the character’s story instead of stats.

There were many, many times the dice tried to kill me, and sometimes we forgot about special abilities or conditions of a particular location or scenario. We failed a few times (amusingly we failed the Local Heroes scenario), but thankfully we didn’t die.

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While Risk isn’t really my game, it was my husband’s birthday and his brother and cousin were visiting, so we spent an evening playing StarCraft Risk. I’m not terribly good at strategy games like this. Something like checkers, no problem. There are only so many moves you and your opponent can make. In a game like Risk with four people… I don’t even want to think about the number of possible moves. I’m also not terribly good when it comes to rolling dice. I know that’s all about probability, but I really think sometimes the dice just hate me.

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