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Customizing your dice rocks in Dice Forge!

Dice Forge board game

Ready to forge your dice to be the best?

A couple years ago we played a board game called Rattlebones where players evolved their dice during the game. Players start with standard six-sided dice and throughout the course of the game they remove sides and replace them with other sides that let them do different things.

Changing the face of their dice was a very cool feature. However, we found the game bland because it’s just a roll-and-move game where players roll their dice and move continually around a loop.

We wished the game would have been as exciting as the customizing dice feature was.

We’re happy to report that there’s now a game that uses that dice-changing feature and delivers what we were hoping for – Dice Forge!

Dice Forge has players customizing their dice throughout the game to make them more powerful as they compete to gain the most Glory points.

But it’s not all about the Glory points.

Players gain Gold, Sun Shards, Moon Shards, and Heroic Feat cards to increase their powers and influence their outcomes.

There are many reasons why we’ve had a blast playing Dice Forge by Asmodee. But we better not get ahead of ourselves. First, we’ll give a quick rundown of the game play.

Dice Forge board game

Customizable dice with fun game play – count us in!


How to play Dice Forge

The premise in a game of Dice Forge is that players are heroes competing to gain the most glory. So the objective is obvious – gain the most Glory Points to win the game.

Players can gain Glory Points in a number of ways. But most of their points will come from the cards they purchase during the game using Gold, Sun Shards, and Moon Shards.

Each player gets their own player board where they track all of their resources (Gold, Shards, and Glory) as well as 2 customizable dice to begin the game. They also place their pawn on the starting portal on the Island board.

Dice Forge board game

Each player gets 2 customiazble dice and a player reserve board for tracking.

Players then set out the Island board and Heroic Feat cards.

The Island board folds out and is placed next to the game box. The cards are placed in their respective locations around the island forming stacks of identical cards. It’s easy to know where each set of cards goes because they’re placed in ascending order by cost and their artwork matches with the Island board locations.

The board of die faces is placed inside the box and is referred to as the Sanctuary.

Dice Forge board game

Player pawns on the starting portal along with the round tracker.

The first time playing the game, it’s recommended to use certain Heroic Feat cards. In subsequent games, players can swap out Heroic Feat card sets with alternative cards.

Once the starting player is determined, players set their starting Gold reserve on their player boards. Unlike other games where players besides the starting player get a starting bonus, it’s reversed in Dice Forge. The first player gets 3 Gold, player 2 gets 2 Gold, player 3 gets 1, and player 4 gets 0 starting Gold.

Then players are ready to begin.

Dice Forge board game

Ready to start forging!


Player Turns

Dice Forge is played over a series of rounds where each player gets a turn being the Active Player. And each turn consists of 4 steps.

1. Receive Divine Blessings:

At the start of a player’s turn, everyone rolls their personal dice and receives the resulting items shown. That’s right – everyone rolls their dice every turn!

Players move their markers accordingly on their player boards to indicate their reserve levels.

Dice Forge board game

Roll your dice, get the resources.

The next 3 steps are just for the Active Player.

2. Reinforcements:

If the active player has one or more Heroic Feat cards with reinforcement effects, they can apply each effect one time in any order.

The reinforcement effect icon looks like a cog and is shown in the upper left corner of a card just under the Glory Points number.

Reinforcement effects are things such as rolling a die or directly gaining a resource.

3. Perform an Action

The Active Player may either purchase die faces from the Sanctuary or purchase one card from the Island.

If a player chooses to purchase more die faces from the Sanctuary, they spend their Gold (move their marker down the cost of the die face) and immediately take the die face and forge it to one of their dice.

Players can purchase more than one die face as long as they have the Gold to do so and they must be different faces.

Dice Forge board game

Buying a new die face at the Sanctuary.

If a player chooses to purchase a Heroic Feat card, they spend the cost (Sun or Moon Shards) by marking it down on their player board, they move their player pawn to that Island location, and they take the card and perform the effect shown on the card.

Players keep the purchased cards face down next to their player board. Some cards only have a one time effect while other cards have permanent effects that are activated throughout the game.

If another player’s pawn is on that space, that pawn is placed back on the starting portal. The player whose pawn is moved back to the starting portal then rolls their two dice and receives the results.

Dice Forge board game

Place your pawn and buy a card.

4. Perform Extra Action

If the Active Player would like to perform one extra action on their turn, they may spend 2 Sun Shards to do so.

The next player in clockwise order then becomes the new Active Player.

Once all players have had a turn being the Active Player, the round ends.

If it’s not the last round, the round marker is moved one space on the round track and a new round begins.

If it was the last round (9 rounds in 2& 4-player games, 10 rounds in 3-player game), players total up their Glory Points. Players add all the Glory Points from their player board and the Glory Point value of the Heroic Feat cards they’ve gained and the player with the most Glory wins!

Dice Forge board game

Some of the cards in Dice Forge.


Things we love about Dice Forge

It’s pretty obvious that the main game feature of customizing our dice throughout the game is something we love.

Like we mentioned in the beginning though – we’ve seen this feature in a game before but the game play was lacking. In Dice Forge, this feature shines!

We love the many options players have to upgrade their die faces. Obviously, the more coveted die faces cost more Gold. So players will want to add die faces that can deliver more Gold on subsequent turns.

Even though the game is based on the luck of dice rolls, it feels more strategic as players have more choices in how they customize their dice to influence the odds in their favor. Not only do players get to choose which new die faces they gain, they also get to choose which to remove.

Dice Forge board game

Changing out the die faces is easy to do. The tricky part is choosing which to swap out.

But there are also plenty of benefits on the Heroic Feat cards that can also include getting more resources. And since players must choose between either getting new die faces or getting a card on their turn, it makes for interesting choices.

Another thing we love about the game play is that everyone rolls on every turn!

Not only does this mean players are actively participating constantly, it also means resources stack up more quickly. So by the time it comes around to their active turn, players have more resources to spend.

This is also why the starting player in the game gets 3 Gold and the 4th player gets 0 to begin – because by the time it gets to the 4th player’s first turn, they will have gained more resources to purchase with.

Dice Forge board game

I love getting the power to extend my reserve board.

Changing the die faces is also an easy process. The die faces are constructed in such a ways that not only do they easily snap in place, but they can also be used as a lever to pop-off an existing face. Of course, this also means sometimes we’ve sent some die faces flying. But it’s fun in and of itself.

Another element we like in Dice Forge is that there are alternative cards to place around the Island. Rather than having the same cards to choose from every game, we can mix and match which cards (and therefore powers) are in play.

Backing up a bit, we were even impressed the minute we opened the box. While it may not impact game play at all, we love the wonderful components storage of the game itself. The custom game insert makes sure everything has its place and is well organized.

Dice Forge board game

Everything stores so nicely.

But perhaps the best aspect of the storage is the die face tray itself.

The tray is stored in a sleeve that not only keeps all the faces in place, but it also has a visual that shows where all the faces go. So when the game is over, it’s simple to put everything back in its place and slide the sleeve over to keep it all snug.

Dice Forge board game

The dice board is kept nicely in the sleeve.

Speaking of visuals, we’re also huge fans of the artwork!

The visual appeal and tactile feel of the game are fantastic!

We love that the art on the cards and the art on the game board match seamlessly. It’s easy to know where every card is placed during set up. Sure the number in the bottom corner of the cards indicate their cost and thus, where they go. But the art itself flows from the card directly to the board location.

The high quality of the art and components also continues with the game rules.

The set up, rules, and card reference sheets are easy to follow and provide clear examples where needed. And since there are many different die faces to choose from, the reference sheet is also very helpful.

Dice Forge board game

We love the artwork and how the cards flow perfectly with the board.

That being said, there are a couple things we wished were different.

First, we wish the game were longer than 9 or 10 rounds. We have so much fun customizing our dice, we wish we could go longer. It seems like just as we get our dice upgraded to where we want, the game ends. We wish we could go a couple rounds longer to make the most of our building-up work.

Secondly, there’s a bit of a solitaire feel to the game.

Perhaps it’s because everyone rolls their dice at the same time and collects their resources, but I felt I missed out on seeing what other players were doing.

Dice Forge board game

Each type of card has a unique effect.

Since the die face board and cards are all limited in number, players are impacted by the choices of others in the game. There are also card effects that impact other players. And when players get bumped from a location, they get to roll their dice again. So it’s not really a multi-player, solitaire game. But at times it feels like I’m only focused on my own stuff.

Of course, this same thing can be said for other games we love like 7 Wonders. The simultaneous play can create a sense of just doing your own thing without views into what other players are doing. But there are still interactions and the game moves along at a quick pace because of it. So we wouldn’t give it up at all.

Overall, we give Dice Forge many thumbs up!

Dice Forge board game

Did we mention the player boards are a slick way to keep track of ever-changing resources?


How does Dice Forge score on our “Let’s Play Again” game meter?

If you haven’t guessed yet, Dice Forge scores very high on our “let’s play again” game meter.

We’ve already mentioned how we wished the game were a couple rounds longer. Well, that’s one mark of a great game – not wanting it to end. If, at the the end of a game, you’re left wanting more, then the calls for “let’s play again” will echo around the table.

The fact that there are alternative cards to use also gives the game a good replay value.

But mostly what draws us back to the game is the chance to try different ways to customize our dice to pursue different avenues to victory!

We highly recommend Dice Forge as a great family board game!

We’d like to thank Asmodee for a review copy of Dice Forge. 


Between Two Cities: Capitals expansion review

Between Two Cities: Capitals board game

Does the Capitals expansion add to or detract from the Between Two Cities fun?

One of our favorite tile-laying games in the last few years has been Between Two Cities by Stonemaier Games.

There are a number of reasons why it’s such a great family board game.

It’s easy to learn, quick to play, requires coordination with your neighboring players, and allows up to 7 players to join in the fun.

And one of the best elements of the game is that it’s simultaneous play rather than taking turns. So everyone is engaged the whole game rather than waiting for others to take their turns.

So when Stonemaier Games published an expansion for Between Two Cities earlier this year, I immediately put it on my “must play” list.

Does Between Two Cities: Capitals live up to my high hopes? Let’s find out.

Read more »


Abyss: Kraken expansion board game review

Abyss Kraken board game

We found the Kraken in this deep Abyss.

Last week we reviewed one of our favorite board games in the last couple years – Abyss.

Well, we’re staying in the depths a little longer because we got a copy of Abyss: Kraken from Miniature Market earlier this year and it’s time to review it!

Since we just reviewed the Abyss board game, we don’t need to cover How To Play again.

Rather, we’ll just dive right into the new things Kraken delivers.

Read more »


Abyss board game review

SaltCon 2016 Abyss board game

Let’s dive into the Abyss!

It’s time to go underwater for our latest game review – we’re heading into the Abyss!

Abyss was published in 2014 by Bombyx and immediately got a lot a buzz in the board game realms. Some of the buzz was about the game play. But most of the buzz was about the evocative artwork.

After taking a closer look, I added it to my ‘want to play’ list and anxiously awaited a chance to play it.

That chance first came for me at SaltCon 2016 – and I loved it!

Near the end of last year I wrote about my Top 11 Game Experiences of 2016 and that first play of Abyss made the list.

Now that we’ve had this fun family board game on our shelf for over a year and a half, it’s about time we reviewed it!

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Exit: The Game – The Secret Lab game review

Exit The Game The Secret Lab game

What adventure awaits as you venture into the lab?

Escape rooms have popped up all around the world in the last few years.

They’re set up as entertainment venues that attract people of all ages. Families and friends venture into a trapped room and have to solve puzzles to escape within a designated time (typically 1 hour).

Most such venues offer multiple themed rooms so players come back again and again to experience the different challenges.

Well, escape room type games have exploded in popularity in the board game world as well.

Last year we reviewed Escape The Room: Mystery at the Stargazer’s Manor by ThinkFun and today we’re reviewing one of the many Exit The Game scenarios by Kosmos, Exit: the Game – The Secret Lab.

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Game Toppers full review

A few weeks ago I shared a Q&A with Burky about the upcoming Game Toppers game tables.

Well, since then our Game Topper has arrived and we’ve played many games on it.

To cut to the chase, we love it!

If you didn’t catch that post, no worries. Because we’re now ready to share our full review of this cool solution to having an immersive game experience without spending thousands of dollars on a high-end game table. (plenty of photos included)

Game Toppers let you turn any table into a quality game table in an instant!

NOTE: I purchased the Watson size table (38″ x 60″ playable surface).

Game Toppers

Even beautiful looking games look better on a Game Topper.

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Create stained glass windows in Sagrada

Sagrada dice game

In Sagrada players create their own stained glass windows.

Stained glass windows are a beauty to behold.

There aren’t many near where we live. But when we’ve visited historic cathedrals on trips, we’re always impressed by the amazing artistry of towering stained glass windows.

In the new game, Sagrada, by Floodgate Games, you and your family and friends get the chance to build your own stained glass windows!

Ok, so maybe not a real stained glass window. But these colorful dice and window patterns sure give you the feeling of doing so.

Sagrada is such a colorful and eye-catching game, it’s hard to pass by and not want to play.

And the best part is that the game theme and game play are a perfect match.

Sagrada dice game

Sagrada offers variable set up, public and personal objectives, and tons of dice.

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Emergence Dark Ops

Earlier this year, we posted about a Ultimate Board Game Giveaway. It was a joint giveaway by indie board game publishers where 1 lucky person would win 8 board games.

Well, now one of those game publishers has a new game ready to go.

The game is Emergence Dark Ops and is a standalone sequel to Emergence – which raised close to $100,000 on Kickstarter last year.

In Dark Ops, players compete in a Battle Royale: free-for-all format against one another.

Read more »