• The Prep Area "Podcast" - A Textual Interlude



    Howdy Listeners, unfortunately, Trubie and I were a bit swamped these last two weeks with family activities and other things to keep us busy. One such activity was Dice Tower Convention, where I got to play a vast array of games. To that end, I've decided to write an article about board games that one can pull out to help practice their Dice Masters fundamental skills.

    Quarriors:
    The Ancestor of Dice Masters it self, there isn't any game better than Dice Masters itself to help you practice the Fundamentals. Rolling/Rerolling decisions, bag building, draw management, all of the skills one would need. However, it's also a bit too on the nose for one to feel like you aren't playing Dice Masters, so let's look at some games that give us a bit more of a different feel.

    Star Realms:
    This is the game that I used to practice deck building. The similarity of it's one on one nature, it's damage and outpost mechanics and of course the deck building lead to an intense competitive feel, but different enough from Dice Masters to feel like a break. In Addition, the mobile App works really well for my fix on the go.

    Tyrants of the Underdark:
    Looking for a way to get some Deck building skills, but want to play something heavier, more strategic? Tyrants is a great game for that. The Area control and combat style mechanics of Tyrants are a different stroke for deckbuilding.

    Attack On Titan:
    I played this game at Dice Tower's Hot New Games section. Dice, death and destruction. Push your luck to roll and reroll what you want, but don't reroll too much or you power up the enemy Titan. This is a great game to practice reading your opponent's team, planning your rolls and your rerolls and adapting on the fly to those inevitable awful rolls. I suggest playing both as a soldier and as the titan to play both sides of the prediction game.

    Blood Rage and Seven Wonders:
    Drafting games are great ways to bone up on your Dice Masters drafting skills. Blood Rage is even an Eric Lang game! Vikings and death! Seven Wonders is a great game for larger groups and one of the best draft cubes games I've seen.

    Riddler's Rumble:
    This wouldn't be a TPA episode without a Riddler's Rumble plug! But seriously, it's a great way to take the pressure off of DM and just enjoy the game for it's mechanics and theme.

    The options abound on what games to play, and almost any game can challenge a player to make difficult predictive decisions. It's these sorts of decisions and predictions that are the true skills of a DM player, and the more you practice them, even when you're not playing DM, the stronger you will be as competitor and player. Hope you enjoy craking some game boxes to get a break from DM, and don't forget to check out the Board gaming subforum here on the Reserve Pool.
    Comments 2 Comments
    1. Yort's Avatar
      Yort -
      Given that a core part of Dice Masters is the "Deck/Dice" building mechanic, I would recommend any of the DC Deck Building games, although personally I would start with the first one. This is the game that really got my kids into board gaming, as it had their favorite super hero characters, was simple enough for them to understand (they were ages 6 and 4 at the time), yet with enough variety to enjoy playing over and over again. The 4yr old actually got to the point where he would play the game with my wife during the day while I was at work and his brother was at school, and while he couldn't yet read, he had EVERY card memorized so he could tell her exactly what it would do. Transitioning to Dice Masters was made a lot easier, I think, because they had experience with this game.

      On the same note, since I think fan-service is hugely important when getting new people into games, the newer Harry Potter game Hogwarts Battle is also a great Deck Building game. That one is cooperative, so it gives you a different feel than Dice Masters and other "versus" games, but the core deck building mechanic is there.
    1. Shadowmeld's Avatar
      Shadowmeld -
      In addition, Wizkids is dropping a new Deck Builder at Gencon called Witching Hour. My friend Ken Shannon designed it and I helped play test it a few times. It's a great cooperative system that has you fighting demons as a coven of witches. A bit more adult than Hoggwarts, but much more brutal as a coop game. Balanced, but definitely brutal.