Forge your destiny! For the glory of the gods!
Dice Forge pits players against each other in the most eye-catching mythological showdown. The gods have deemed you worthy to complete.
Will you become the victor and ascend into godhood or will you be cast down and lost to the annals of history?
Dice Forge is probably one of the prettiest games I’ve ever seen published. Libellud Games always does an amazing job with incredible artwork and quality components and you’ll find a lot of the same here.
Brief Overview of Dice Forge
Heroes, stand ready! The gods are offering a seat in heaven to whichever hero defeats their rivals. Your courage and wits will be your most precious allies as you use divine dice to gather resources along the road to victory.
The name Dice Forge brings up imagery of dwarven smiths deep within dark mountains, hammering steel in fantastic forges.
In this dice game, you’re supposedly competing with your fellow players to impress the gods. The victor will ascend to the status of a demi-god.
The main gimmick of Dice Forge is the custom dice. I don’t mean just some cool looking d6’s with weird sides, I mean the dice themselves are customizable. Throughout the game, you’ll literally be popping off the sides of dice and changing the face of the dice throughout the game.
Gimmick or not, the game offers a fair amount of strategy and offers a lot of replayability due to the nature of the dice.
Think of it like a deck-builder or card-drafting game. Everyone starts off with the same chances to get the same number of resources every turn but as time goes on, everyone’s dice will be custom-crafted to reflect their own personal strategy. There are a lot of different paths to choose and there’s no right one.
- Do you double-down on money early?
- Should you try for cool abilities first or do you simply roll the dice and let fate decide?
Even dice haters should find something to like here. If the dice gods have always hated you, simply change the values on the dice.
On top of the cool mechanics and components, the game is very accessible for all ages. The rules are simply: roll some dice, get some stuff. There is, of course, more to the game than that but if you play with the younger crowd they’ll be able to hop in without holding a lecture on the rules.
The dice are also super fun to play with. If your gaming group is really young, make sure you don’t lose any pieces or let them get swallowed. That’ll be a bad day.
Versions & Expansions
Dice Forge: Rebellion
Dice Forge: Rebellion adds a lot of new content to Dice Forge. This expansion offers two new modules that can be played by using an additional board. Each player controls a golem that moves up and down a track to gain various rewards.
In keeping with the amazing production value and components, Rebellion’s box is set up next to the original box. This adds a literal expansion to the overall size of the game and extends the pool of dice faces that can be added to the customizable dice during the game.
- Interaction- Your actions have a strong impact on other players.
- Strategy- Explore new strategic possibilities.
- Adaptability- Choose your game modules and cards as you like
Unboxing Dice Forge
Dice Forge is probably the prettiest box with the best storage solutions you’ll ever see in a board game.
The instruction booklet literally has a small section advising people to put everything back in its proper spot to help with game setup.
There are so many moving parts and fiddly bits but luckily there’s a place for everything and it makes me so happy.
That Box Though
Everything fits perfectly into the box. There’s a sleeve to keep all of the extra dice pieces neat and the main game board has sections cut out that fit all of the cards used throughout. If that wasn’t enough, all of the card artwork matches up perfectly with the board. Even if you didn’t read the rulebook, you can clearly see where each card stack is supposed to go.
Every component is some of the highest quality I’ve ever seen in a game. From the amazing dice, player mats, cards, and just how everything fits together, the components are simply fantastic. I’m smitten.
Another really cool thing that the designers did was to include the box itself as part of the setup. The box itself is designed to be a holder for all of the dice chips that are included. Once set up, everything is in easy reach and literally, everything in the box fits perfectly somewhere.
There’s a sleeve insert that will cover the spare dice pieces which makes storage even easier. Storage is incredibly important in board games and even more important in Dice Forge. The designers did a great job. Set up and clean up are a breeze, making playing this game that much more fun and easy.
How to Play Dice Forge
Dice Forge is played over a series of rounds (9 or 10) depending on the number of players.
To begin, each player chooses a color and picks up their corresponding player board. This is where you will keep track of all of your resources. Instead of having a lot of little tokens floating around, everything is tracked using a single cube per resource.
When you gain gold, you move your gold tracker up one spot on the chart. If you can’t move it any further down the line then you’re maxed out and you should probably spend it before you try to gain any more resources.
There are ways to increase your limits using cards. If you manage to do that, there’s a separate board that is simply placed at the end of your player board and becomes a natural extension of the board. It’s a very simple design and it works perfectly.
Each turn, players roll their dice and score whatever resources are shown on the dice; gold, sun, and moon points. These are considered the “Divine Blessings” from the gods you’re trying to impress.
Every player will roll and score their resources on every turn. This is an often-overlooked rule. Everybody is getting some kind of resource every turn.
Sun & Moon Money
If you roll some gold, add it to the tracker on the board. The same goes for Sun (red) and Moon (blue) shards. They all act like a currency.
- Gold allows a player to upgrade their dice by buying and adding new faces.
- The Sun and Moon shards allow players to buy cards that will give bonuses.
The Sun and Moon resources are used to purchase cards at the top (Sun Points), at the bottom (Moon Points), or cards at the right of the board (costs both sun and moon).
After you purchase a card you can place it by your player board. There are a lot of different effects and bonuses that you’ll receive from various cards.
Some of the cards have permanent effects or they’ll have instant effects. Instant effects will simply give you the effects on the card right away.
The more valuable/expensive cards can give some pretty impressive bonuses. These are usually in the form of a permanent bonus or effect. Some of the cards will allow a player to add an extension to their player mats that extend the maximum amount of resources that a player can have and others offer additional ways to pick up glory points.
At the end of a set number of rounds (9 or 10 depending on the number of players), all of the glory points are tallied up and the winner is determined by the player with the most glory points. If its a tie, you both win. YAY!
Your First Game of Dice Forge
Your first game of Dice Forge is going to be a monster to set up. There are so many punch boards and fiddly bits that need to be put into the proper places. All of the dice pieces need to be organized, assembled, and placed on the board. This alone can be a daunting task but the first game setup should be the longest and afterward if you keep everything put away neatly, it’s much faster to set up and tear down.
Use the Basic Cards First
During setup, you may notice that some of the cards have a blue dot on the back of them. These are going to be your basic cards. The ones without the blue dots on the back are considered the advanced cards and are slightly more complicated.
For your first game, it’ll be easier to play with just the basic cards to get the rules settled. There are a few rules that are easily missed.
You may have noticed that the box artwork and the board actually match up. It’s designed that way so that the box becomes a holder for all of your dice pieces.
The number of players determines the number of cards in each space on the board. So if there are three players, each stack will have three cards. It’s a pretty simple concept and a great way to scale the game. All of the artwork matches the respective locations on the board, so setup should be relatively simple if you keep everything organized.
During your first game, you’ll notice that there are a lot of symbols. At first, it can be rather difficult to figure everything out. After your first game, they’ll be much easier to recognize, though, and you’ll be able to identify them simply on sight alone.
As with most games, I highly recommend jumping right in and just being completely reactionary with your strategy to start. Dice Forge is actually a pretty casual game where anyone can really hop in, start rolling dice, and having fun.
Pros & Cons
- BOX ORGANIZER
- Really cool dice
- Great for younger kids and family game night
- Simple rules
- Beautiful artwork
There are certain games that just perform well with younger kids. It’s all completely subjective but there are certain characteristics that can attract younger kids to a game:
-Easy to learn
Dice Forge has this in spades. The only respect in which I wouldn’t call this game kid-friendly is all of the component pieces. If you don’t take care of the game, you’ll find yourself quickly missing a lot of important pieces. The designers must have known this and that might be one of the reasons they went above-and-beyond on the box organizers.
Dice Forge has hands-down the best box organizer I’ve ever seen. Everything about it is perfect. It’s also 100% necessary. If you didn’t have the organizer or had to just put everything into little baggies, it would take longer to set up the game than it would to actually play it.
- Finicky dice (kinda)
- Lots of symbols to figure out
The dice are so cool. I’ve never seen anything quite like them. There are, however, some inherent flaws that I’m worried about with the custom dice. At first, they’re a little difficult to pop off and even the rulebook advises players to use another dice side to pop off the others. I haven’t had any issues and the few times I’ve heard about anything breaking was after quite a while the pieces look a little chipped.
I was, however, unable to actually find or talk to anyone who had their dice break! I had to dig deep on the interwebs to see if anyone actually had a piece that was broken and still couldn’t find anything.
The only thing I could find was one person who had a blank die face shipped with their game and the publisher immediately sent them a replacement.
So why did I put that as a con? It doesn’t matter that my dice are fine. It’s the fact there’s a possibility that the dice could fail and I just get so nervous about breaking something I’m throwing. I’m an absolute lunatic but there you go.
JUST TO BE CLEAR!
There’s nothing wrong with the dice. I’m just so incredibly paranoid about something going wrong that it makes me nervous every time I play it.
Luckily there’s an online version available now. The electronic version will probably calm my nerves a bit. It’s not as fun as throwing some dice with friends but it’s still a nice way to test out the game before you commit.
Dice Forge is a gorgeous dice game. It uses a simple mechanic in which players roll some dice and get some resources.
The dice themselves can be customized mid-game. Players will upgrade their dice and literally pop off individual sides of the dice to replace them with upgraded values throughout the course of the game.
The game itself is relatively simple and can be described in about 5-10 minutes by a seasoned player.
The game is absolutely gorgeous.
The dice are a bit gimmicky but they’re a lot of fun and hold their own in a game. Some gimmicks lose their flare after a single playthrough. Dice Forge manages to keep it going strong and they’re actually very sturdy, despite my paranoia.
Gimmicks historically are designed to get as many eyes on a product as possible. They aren’t always successful but even a terrible gimmick can gain notoriety (although maybe not in a good way).
Dice Forge creates a game with a mechanic that is new and exciting. If it was just that then it wouldn’t last. The hype around something new will only last for a short while. If you don’t believe me, then look up a game called Rattlebones. It has the same concept of customizing dice but Dice Forge does it better. You can’t base a game (in the long term) solely on a gimmick. There has to be enough game beyond the gimmick that makes it compelling enough to play more than once.
An Enduring Dice Game
Dice Forge is still around and has expansions, which is a testament to the game itself. The gameplay is quick, the setup has been streamlined (if you’re neat and organized), and the gameplay is fun and simple enough for anyone to be able to jump into it without too much of a learning curve.
I’m not sure if popping off the sides of dice and adding different values will catch on but I wouldn’t be surprised if someone in the future takes that concept and expands it to the next level.
Have you tried Dice Forge or the Rebellion expansion? We’d love to hear your thoughts so drop a comment below and edumacate us.