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Review‬! TMNT Playmat and Dice Building Game Box

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Greetings Fellow Dice Fans!

I have the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Playmat and all-inclusive Dice Building Game box that I'll be reviewing for you today. This is the first set of its kind in Dice Masters and I am not disappointed! This box is set up so that four folks can play together, and they don't need to have any Dice Masters of their own. This is a wonderful gateway to the collectible game. Super kudos to WizKids on this product.

I'm going to review most of the cards from this box from an in set view and not focus so much on the current constructed meta.

Playmat

I want to look at the deluxe playmat before getting into the box set. This is the mat I wish I had for the WKO2. I was decked out in TMNT goodies - only missing the playmat. Now I have the playmat and I will definitely be using it now, and forever (unless I get a very specific custom mat made). I love the color scheme! This playmat looks like it fell right out of the 80s! This is totally my playmat, dude!

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Dice Building Game Box Set

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Box Contents

~ Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Rulebook
~ 4 Color Coded Paper Playmats
~ 12 Basic Action Dice
~ 48 Character Dice
~ 32 Sidekick Dice
~ 48 Character Cards
~ 10 Basic Action Cards
~ 4 Action Reminder Cards
~ 4 Dice Bags
~ Collection Tray


Rulebook

I don't usually discuss the rulebook in detail in these reviews, but this particular rulebook has the rules for Doubles in the back. Most of the other rulebooks make mention of the various types of play, but don't go into the quick start rules like this one does.

New Ability Keywords

Turtle Power:
While a character with Turtle Power is active, all other character dice with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles affiliation cost 1 energy less to purchase for each active character with Turtle Power you control. This is a very handy keyword, since almost all of the Turtles with abilities cost quite a bit. I don't see this keyword being very useful outside of the set, but it will be very useful for a sealed type event with only the TMNT set being used.

New Affiliations

We have one new affiliation with this box set, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The only characters in this set that have this affiliation are the four Turtles.

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Paper Playmats

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Each of the four paper playmats has a color scheme to match one of the four Turtles, which seems really fun! I can use the purple playmat and dice bag because, #TeamDonnie and #DonnieBestTurtle.

Characters

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April is definitely an iconic character with the Turtles and as one of their biggest allies, it's fitting that she's an Ally on each of her cards. Her dice are super cute and fit her character perfectly with the TV camera as her symbol and the base yellow color. I like Channel 6 Reporter if I'm using Overcrush with some of the Turtles. Her purchase cost on all versions is fantastic. Ninja in Training is probably one of my favorites though for in set, because there isn't a lot of churn in the set and we don't have access to Professor X.

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Baxter Stockman is one of the early cartoon Villains and is infamous for creating the Mousers that went after Master Splinter. Not surprising, he does things with Mousers on all versions of his cards! This guy is a must have if you're using Mousers. My favorite is Mutagenic Researcher because his ability is 'While Active', he pumps up the Mousers attack, and makes them free to field. Baxter's fielding cost is super cheap too at 0/0/1. He's got a nice beefy defense with a little bit of a punch too. The other abilities are 'When Fielded' abilities and they're good, but I definitely prefer the Mutagenic Researcher's ability.

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Bebop and Rocksteady are super iconic, almost as much as Shredder, as Villains and both characters' cards do things in relation to the other. I think that's very thematic and I love it! Rightfully so, Bebop has a large purchase cost, but I feel like his best ability is on his four cost version. Troublesome would definitely be my favorite of the three Bebop cards, but I do like the direct damage that Mutant Warthog can do. I just don't like the five cost of Mutant Warthog. He's got a huge defense and a decent attack for what it costs to field him. If I was going to use him or Rocksteady, I would definitely use them both.

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Casey Jones is another great character that aligned himself with the Turtles in the comics, cartoons, and movies. I like each version of his card and it's hard to choose a favorite, but I could see myself using Pain 101 or Mutant Hunter. The ability to gain life can cause the tables to turn drastically in a game, especially if you're only playing with this set. But on the other hand, Mutant Hunter has serious advantages as well. Being able to arrange blockers in your favor with your Casey Jones dice could also turn the tables in a big way.

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The first of the Turtles and my favorite of all the Turtles - Donatello! He was the super smart and creative one of the four brothers and that's why he is my favorite. Here we see our first Turtle Power as well on Donnie. Turtle Power reduces the cost of your other Turtle dice, and while this is useful, I wish it wasn't on a Turtle that already costs five to purchase. For the five purchase cost, I would much rather use The Mad Scientist. I like spinning my characters up a level and then if they're already level three, I get an additional die from my bag!

I want to talk about the blank version as well. Does Machines, as well as the other blank versions of the other Turtles, are great if you're just wanting lower purchase costs and want to play with your favorite Turtles. There is another reason I love the blank versions though. While looking at the blank cards, I thought about my little one and how much she loves TMNT. We have a 'vanilla team' that only has characters with a cost of two and no abilities on them. As soon as she can count, she has a team! But what if she wants to use the Turtles? Well, with the blank versions, she can play with her favorite Turtles and not have to worry about reading an ability. I think that's a great way to play with younger children that can't read very well yet, but know their numbers.

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Foot Ninjas! The Shredder can't battle against the Turtles without his army of Foot Ninjas. In the cartoon, they were just robots so the two that have the Ally keyword make totally sense. I like their abilities too, but my favorite is Shredder's Army because it has Swarm and - it's a Bolt character! My local players know how much I love my Swarm team and being able to add an additional energy type is great. I wish the Foot Ninja had a maximum of four dice instead of three. Swarm is doable with three dice, but most effective with four. I still plan on adding him to my Swarm team. If I'm picking one to play in set, it's still going to be Shredder's Army. Being able to Swarm into some extra dice when you don't have churn or ramp is invaluable.

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I totally get why this Villain works against other Villain dice. He was a character that eventually sided with the Turtles, but he's still kinda not very nice. I actually prefer Professor Honeycutt if I'm using him with other Villains, but on a team with the Turtles, Neutrino Scientist would be my pick. Making an opponent pay to attack with their Villains in this format is really beneficial. High Tech Body is okay, but if your opponent is attacking with Rocksteady or Bebop, -1A isn't all that helpful.

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Krang was a gruesome Villain in the 80s/90s cartoon series. I remember seeing him and thinking, 'Gross!', which says something because I don't get grossed out often. Ruler of Dimension X and Technodrome Commander are probably the best of the three. Ruler of Dimension X is my favorite though, because he has an interesting and unique ability. The problem with all three versions is how much it costs to purchase one of the dice. But he's a major Villain - the 'brains' of most of the operations, so I would expect him to be expensive. He would be one of your finishing characters, and that's why I don't like Utrom Warlord. His ability doesn't seem like it would be very useful in late-game. If I play a TMNT Villain team, you can bet that I'll be playing Ruler of Dimension X.

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Here we have the leader of the Turtles, Leonardo. I'm not sure if they intended to print Leo and Big Brother the way they did though. The description of Turtle Power in the back of the rulebook says, "While a character with Turtle Power is active, all other character dice with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles affiliation cost 1 energy less to purchase." Now, Big Brother has that ability, but not the Turtle Power keyword. Leo has the Turtle Power keyword, but has a different ability. I'm curious to see if there will be an errata on Leo, because if not, I would assume that he grants the Turtle Power ability plus the other text. To me, it looks like Big Brother was supposed to have Leo's ability and Leo was only supposed to have Turtle Power. But until I know for sure - I'm going with Leads as my favorite.

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Michelangelo is the party turtle! He's the radical brother that likes to crack jokes and have a good time. Par-taaaay! definitely embodies the spirit of this Turtle, and he's my favorite of the three. All of the five cost Turtles (Leonardo excluded for the moment) have the Turtle Power ability. This works well if you want to use Par-taaaay! but need help buying him. You just add Donnie or Raph to your team and purchase them first. It will help reduce the cost of your Michelangelo and then it will most definitely be a party! Michelangelo has some radical offensive stats that would go great with Overcrush. If you use Michelangelo, you gotta use his crush, April. April, Channel 6 Reporter gives a nice +1A but if you wanted to boost his defense, you could always use Part of the Family instead.

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Here are those nasty little machines, the Mousers. Of the three versions, the only one I really like is Spare Parts. For his cost and stats, I would much rather use him than either of the other two. All versions rely on another player using a character with a 'When Fielded' ability and there are not many in the set. April and Splinter are really the only 'good guys' with 'When Fielded' abilities. They could have added one with Swarm because the Mousers did kinda swarm in on Splinter and April. I was not impressed with the abilities on these cards but then again, they're just Mousers... they aren't that much of a threat... right?

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Raphael is my second favorite Turtle because he's cool and a totally awesome fighter! Anger Issues is definitely my favorite here. I love direct damage abilities and he can spread the anger around, using his brothers to deal damage directly to other character dice. His purchase cost is one of the cheapest among the Turtles with an ability. The one downside to using this version is that he can cause your other Turtles to hurt your other characters if your opponent doesn't have any characters in the Field Zone. But I'd expect no less from Raphael, being the hothead that he is. If you're worried about him hurting your characters, go with Cool But Rude. He cost the same to purchase, just without an ability.

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Here is Bebop's other half - Rocksteady. You really can't have one without the other. While I like Rough and Tumble a lot, I would say that I like Armed and Dangerous much more. He gains Overcrush and doesn't take damage from blocking characters as long as Bebop is bebopping around in the Field Zone too. There just doesn't seem to be a better choice for my favorite here. I like Mutant Rhino's ability to KO an opposing level one character, but I would much rather use Armed and Dangerous or Rough and Tumble. I can't wait to throw these two on a team with Baxter, some Mousers, and Foot Ninjas!

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Here is the big bad guy himself in all his evil glory, the Shredder. Oroku Saki wants to punish you for his purchase cost of six, so he's a no-go for me. Old Rival and Foot... Join Me! seem like they're both fun to use but I would go with Foot... Join Me! over Old Rival, unless you knew you were facing Turtles! I like the ability to move all my Villain dice from my Used Pile to my Prep Area, and with a purchase cost of eight (!!!), there will probably be quite a few to move. His stats are really good too, if you can manage to purchase him and then field him.

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This is the cartoon version of Splinter, and his dice are super cool! The little bonsai tree is so cute and the dice are translucent too. Splinter is the sensei and father to the Turtles. He's wise, reserved, and very skilled in the art of Ninja! I like Hamato Yoshi and Radical Rat, but Hamato Yoshi is the one I would rather have with my Turtles, especially with Mikey and Raph. Hamato Yoshi has a more doable purchase cost of five than Radical Rat's seven.

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This is the comic version of Splinter and I really like his Ninja Master version the best. If you were to use Ninja Master with April, Channel 6 Reporter and then give your attacking Turtles Overcrush with Cowabunga! or Enraged, you could do a good bit of damage. Ninja Master's purchase cost of five is the most reasonable in a format with little to no ramp or churn. I like Master Splinter, but his purchase cost of seven hurts a little bit. So for me, I'm going with Ninja Master as my overall favorite Splinter card between the six versions.

So, why two different Splinters? I can only assume it was so folks could use one with Raph and Mikey, and the other with Donnie and Leo. That makes the most sense to me, and with news coming through the grapevine that there is a second TMNT box coming, we could see more Turtle friendly characters and maybe a Shredder or Krang repeat. That would definitely balance out the character ratio.
Basic Action Cards

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I like a lot of the Basic Action Cards in this box, but I have three clear favorites. It's also worth mentioning that if some of these seem familiar, it's because they are! There are a few that are practically direct reprints of previous Basic Action Cards, but they have a different name. That means, if you really love using Gearing Up and can't buy enough of those Action Dice, throw Special Delivery on your team as well. If you're one of the players that missed out on the Avengers vs X-Men starter and don't have Gearing Up, you can get this box set and have a card that does the exact same thing.

On to my favorites! My first one is Lethal Blow. This Basic Action costs a whopping five to purchase, but with cards like Blue-Eyes White Dragon, Monstrous Dragon and Thousand Dragon, Noxious Nostril Gust, you can get the cost down to one energy. One of the reasons I absolutely love this Action is that you can clear a character die out of the Field Zone without KO'ing it. It specifically says 'move' target character, so you can get rid of any character with a KO ability and your opponent won't get the benefit of the KO ability. This is a huge benefit in my opinion, but I'm not certain if this Action will see constructed play.

My next favorite Action is Pizza! I think the ability to gain life is a little underrated, but as the game stands, most folks won't attack until they can do lethal damage. But this Basic Action only cost one energy to purchase! That's crazy! Getting a potential two energy for the cost of one is fantastic. I hope to see constructed change a little so that a Basic Action Card like this could see some play. As for the TMNT set play, this is for sure going to be one of my Basic Actions!

My last favorite Basic Action Card is the Turtle Van. This Continuous Basic Action has the ability to protect a small defensive character against a large attacker with Overcrush. With a purchase cost of two, this may be my second go-to Basic Action while playing in set. I don't think this particular Basic Action will see play in the constructed meta, but I could totally see someone using this in draft, along with the Pizza! Basic Action. I just really like the idea of stifling Overcrush damage and keeping my character die in the Field Zone.

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The Action Reminder Cards have the colors of our four favorite Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!

Dice Bags

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These bags are so cool for the box set. I love the comic art watermark on the front and their signature weapon on the back. Each person can use a different Turtle color! Dibs on Donnie!

Action Dice and Sidekick Dice

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We got our standard Sidekick and Action Dice. I'm not even disappointed that they aren't 'premium' colored. I like that they included enough for four players instead of two, because this box is meant to be a single purchase type game, as well as an expansion for Dice Masters. And look - ORANGE! Yay!

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I wanted to show a close-up of the four Turtles' dice. I love that each one has their signature weapon in their signature color from the cartoon with the green base color.

I like that the collection tray is different from the Collector's Boxes. This has a cubby-hole for all the different items in your TMNT Box. The paper playmats and rulebook can be placed easily under the tray for safe keeping.

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I enjoy most of the Dice Masters products that WizKids produces and even if I wasn't a huge TMNT fan (*shudders at the thought*), I could still see myself buying this box set to try the game out. I think this was the best way to go with the first bit of TMNT product for Dice Masters. It appeals to TMNT fans and provides a gateway to Dice Masters. If you have friends and family that are TMNT fans, but haven't tried Dice Masters, sit them down for a game with this box set!

What are your favorite cards?
What do you think of the Dice Building Game box?
Leave me a comment here or message me on Facebook at Dice Dice Kitty and thanks for reading!


Roll on, Dice Masters!

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Comments

  1. Zauriel's Avatar
    Is the box the same size as the other Collector Boxes?
  2. pk2317's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Zauriel
    Is the box the same size as the other Collector Boxes?
    Yes, the outer box is the same size, but the insert is designed differently.