• Resource Management in Dice Masters

    This is a part of a series geared towards players of all kinds who want to play the game better. Whether you are a kitchen table player or desire to play the game competitively, the concepts in these articles are applicable to you. Your fun thematic team that you put together isnít as fun if you canít make it work well. These work no matter what or how youíre playing. Good decision making is a part of the game regardless of your desired mode of play. Thatís what weíre promoting here - making good choices for good reasons. Enjoy!

    Itís about the resources

    As Iíve said from the very beginning, this game as as much if not more in common with deck building games like Dominion rather than with Magic: The Gathering. At times, while itís worth drawing on the experience and knowledge granted by games like M:TG, there are others where it just isnít appropriate. There are some major differences - and one of those is resource management.

    In our game, your resources are somewhat variable. You could roll a lot of dice or a few. You could have them come up with lots of energy or a little. You need as much as possible in order to be productive, and the dice that give you that energy move on and off the field, in and out of your bag. You need to make sure of two things:

    1) My dice are moving through my bag quickly.
    2) Iím maximizing the amount of dice Iím rolling each turn.

    Early on, we dubbed this ďchurn,Ē though others refer to it as ďramp.Ē Still others say they're different things and they kind of are, though very closely related. We donít really have a preference in term. Itís all good.


    How do I churn?

    There are many ways to keep dice moving and increase the amount of dice that you will roll next turn. Most of them go hand-in-hand.

    1) Professor X Global - This is by far the most popular. When using this global, efficiency is key. You need to ensure that youíre both getting enough sidekicks into used to be able to use it well and you need to ensure that youíre using it exactly the right amount. The key that many seem to miss is that the global states that you can move ďup toĒ two dice. A 1:1 trade is acceptable.

    2) Resurrection Global - Brought to us by D&D! The benefit of this card is that, with an empty bag and everything else in transition (not a difficult situation to make happen), you can get a just-purchased die in your prep area. Getting to roll your bruiser quickly instead of waiting to draw it is a big deal. Important ruling with this one: If both you and your opponent bring Resurrection, you can use it twice, once per instance of the card on the table, this despite it saying ďonce per turn.Ē Weíll also mention here the Silver Surfer global, which is similar but requires you to take damage, and Villainous Pact, which requires that no dice are in prep to be used.

    3) Beast Mutate 666 - The classic, especially when paired with the Mr. Fantastic or Phoenix global. Force someone to attack into him, draw dice, do it again. While he has been bypassed by the existence of Professor X, he nonetheless remains an important card in the game.

    4) Swarm - Kobolds especially make swarm appealing. At worst, they cost 2 and they keep the dice a-coming. When combined with other churn efforts, they make huge, unwieldy buys possible that other teams just canít do. That said, if your swarm gets interrupted, it can be a bit of work to get back on track. Of note here are cards like the common Wererat, which allows you to draw an extra die when swarming for the first time each turn.

    5) Blue Eyes White Dragon Global - This helps you in two ways; it discounts a purchase, and it gets something into the prep area by knocking it out. In early turns, played correctly, this can help correct a poor roll, or allow you to consider being forced to field a sidekick as a benefit. Knocking out your own characters isnít a bad thing. Not always, anyway.

    6) Thousand Dragon - He has two ways to help you; one is a pure discount on action dice, not really churn per se but it does help you more efficiently allocate your resources, which is just as important if youíre running actions. Red Dragon is also good here. His uncommon form allows you to prep two dice when fielded; he seems expensive himself at 6, but with tools like Blue Eyes White Dragon at our disposal, that quickly becomes moot.

    7) Red Tornado - Not the most traditional option, and perhaps he is best in draft, but the uncommon that lets you move a draw containing three or more sidekicks to the used and draw again is pretty handy - certainly makes up for his fielding cost.

    There are plenty of other options; the Gearing Up basic action was quite popular in its day, as was Gambit. We have some things new with DC, such as Villainous Pact or Zatanna. These abilities continue to come up in sets because theyíre important. If youíre not getting dice to cycle through at a similar-or-better speed than your opponent, you could be at a significant disadvantage regardless of the format that you're playing.


    Roll Early, Roll Often

    Itís very easy to roll seven dice on turn two and ten dice on turn three because of the resource management tools that we have at our disposal. Sometimes, it comes down to order of operations to ensure that your dice are moving where you need them to be exactly when you need them to be there. Sometimes this is difficult to visualize, but if you put yourself in these situations while play testing alone, you will start to see them take shape.

    With enough plays of critical decision points, you will realize when certain globals allow a ďmissed rollĒ to be reclaimed and set you back on track.

    Whatever team youíre using, make certain that it has an economic engine at the heart of it.
    Comments 10 Comments
    1. Stormyknight's Avatar
      Stormyknight -
      Amazing article! This is one thing some people in my area struggle with most so I'm going to link this article to them. Keep up the good work!
    1. SarkhanMad's Avatar
      SarkhanMad -
      Video tutorials showing different game states and purchase options would be awesome!
    1. metalman42's Avatar
      metalman42 -
      Quote Originally Posted by SarkhanMad View Post
      Video tutorials showing different game states and purchase options would be awesome!
      I'll second that!
    1. Shadowmeld's Avatar
      Shadowmeld -
      I always envisioned churn and ramp to be two different things. Churn is moving dice through your bag quickly, while ramp is increasing the maximum number of dice you roll each turn. PXG does both of these things by nature, where Red Tornado, for example, is mostly churn, with a small chance to ramp 1 die if you draw 3 sidekicks and a character on your first draw. Just the way I see it though, and I'm interested to see if WK keeps breaking the PXG global down into those separate parts, this card preps things from bag, that card churns through your unwanted sidekicks.
    1. Dave's Avatar
      Dave -
      They are different but closely related. Many cards that help you with one primarily also positively impact the other secondarily. In general it's all about getting to what you want more efficiently and faster.
    1. RJRETRO's Avatar
      RJRETRO -
      Quote Originally Posted by metalman42 View Post
      I'll second that!
      Third. Great idea. Some people need to see it in action.
    1. Dave's Avatar
      Dave -
      Welllll... Maybe I'll find some time to do that. Go through a few scenarios on different turns in the game?
    1. Shadowmeld's Avatar
      Shadowmeld -
      The, don't resurrection turn 1 so you can resurrection turn 2's buy more efficiently play always gets me.
    1. SarkhanMad's Avatar
      SarkhanMad -
      Quote Originally Posted by Dave View Post
      Welllll... Maybe I'll find some time to do that. Go through a few scenarios on different turns in the game?
      Yes. Record a game in which both players are discussing every purchase option available to them, and why certain possible options are better or worse than others.

      Video #1, should probably be on using PXG properly... to get that out of the way...
    1. SarkhanMad's Avatar
      SarkhanMad -
      another idea: Field Management
      aka... should I attack?
      my son really struggles with this one. He thinks that he should never attack if he's outnumbered... And if I do convince him to attack, if/when he looses the game, he gets all ROTy on me. Maybe a video from (someone other than me) will help.

      EDIT: geared towards limited stalls