Spiel 2014 Preview: Desperados of Dice Town

Posted by James (admin) on October 14th, 2014

Desperados of Dice Town coverThe original Dice Town is a great little dice-rolling game of second-guessing your opponents.  Desperados of Dice Town is set in the same setting but is a completely different game.  Players each have 5 desperados (each a different type) who begin locked up in jail.  During the game, players will free their desperados and start gaining money (and make other players lose money).

On their turn, a player rolls the 4 dice (with up to 2 re-rolls of any of the dice).  Each dice has an ‘Action’ icon on 1 side and a character icon for each of the 5 different desperado character types (bad, ugly, brains, lady and boss) on the other 5 sides.  Once they’ve finished rolling the dice, a player then chooses which action to take.

For each action icon rolled, the player can have any character who’s icon was also rolled take an action.  For example, a player rolls 2 action icons, 1 bad character icon and 1 lady character icon – the player could either have the bad character act twice, the lady character act twice, or have both the bad and the lady characters act once each.  If a character is in jail, an action moves them one step closer to escaping.  If a character is free, an action makes all players lose money if their character of the same type are still in jail.  Alternatively, instead of actions, a player can use 3 or 4 matching icons to draw cards which have special powers.  Players also get a card if they roll rubbish too (4 different character icons and no action icon).

A player wins as soon as they have freed all of their desperados and has the most money.

Desperados of Dice Town sounds like a very simple and light game.  Whilst I like the original Dice Town game a lot, setting this game in the same world didn’t guarantee anything.  However, on reading the rules, I really like the sound of this game as it’s a simple push-your-luck game with quick choices and some screwage between the players as they make each other lose money.  It plays in 25 minutes for 2-4 players so I’m hoping this is a nice, little filler or finisher.

The designers of Desperados of Dice Town are Bruno Cathala and Ludovic Maublanc who together designed Dice Town, all of the Mr Jack games, Cyclades and have another game appearing this Spiel called Madame Ching.  Individually, both designers have created a wealth of games – a few of Bruno Cathala’s include Abyss, Shadows Over Camelot, Longhorn, Mow, Prrrt; and a few of Ludovic Maublanc’ include Ca$h’n’Guns and (co-designed) Rampage.

You can read the rules, game details on Matagot’s game page using this link: bga.me/dodt

For more Spiel 2014 previews, check out my Spiel 2014 Previews page which lists the games on my radar with links to their previews too.


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