Dice Wars

You remember the old board game, Risk?

I sure do.

What I remember about Risk the most, however, was that it almost led to my mom and my first stepdad to divorce.  They eventually did divorce later on, but at least we get to all say that it wasn’t over a board game.

I suppose there were two major problems with Risk.  The first was that my stepdad at the time was extremely prone towards gloating when he won, and as he won, which sucked given that he won nearly all the time.

The killer, though, was that it usually took somewhere on average of three to four hours for this to take place.  I don’t care how much affection you have for someone, getting your ass handed to you over the course of an entire afternoon, and getting mocked for it, is enough to grow homicidal.

My odd childhood aside, Risk was and still is, an excellent game of strategy, one of the few latter day board games like Stratego that provides as deep of a strategic experience of Chess without getting bogged down in novelty gimmicks that eventually fade into inanity.

But, as I said, Risk was also a time consuming enterprize wherein a single game could monopolize a whole day.  Which is where Dice Wars comes in.

The basic mechanics of Dice Wars is not very much unlike Risk, but thanks to some streamlining, you get the same strategic experience of the old Risk game squeezed into games that last only ten to twenty minutes.

Each game consists of a randomly generated “world” that is divided up into multiple regions.  Each region can be occupied by one to eight dice, and when you first begin, all regions are randomly portioned out between from 2-8 players, yourself included.

From there your objective is simple; conquer the world!

You do this by selecting your dice and clicking on a territory occupied by a different force.  You roll your dice, they roll theirs, the winner of the roll holds the territory.  There are a few more particulars to it than that, but not many.

Because the gameplay is so simple, you are really allowed to focus on the strategic aspects of the game.  Do you simply hold your starting territories and let your opponents beat each other up, or do you immediately head out for conquest in an attempt to build your forces up faster?  Hold the corners, and minimizes assailable fronts.  A plethora of strategies await your discovery.

What’s more, the randomly generated boards truly do make each game unique in its own ways and will force you to adjust previously successful strategies.  If you are the type that likes to pigeonhole yourself in a corner and wait until you can roll out a slow and brutal assault on your neighbors, getting landlocked with enemies all about will have you thinking on your feet.  Meanwhile, sometimes you’ll see two land masses connected by a narrow bridge which forces you to cope with bottle necking, while others boards will provide you with back door entrances that may let you sneak in and gut an opposing force without them realizing it.

And all in the course of a lunch break.

The downside to Dice Wars is that it your opponents are all computer generated, which means that after a while, you get pretty used to how the computer is going to react, and with some practice you should be winning a high percentage of your matches.

But never fear for if you are truly craving some head to head, in your face, trash talking competition, KDice offers an online multiplayer version that is almost exactly alike with a few small cosmetic differences.

In the end, both versions of the game offer a streamlined strategic experience that is highly addictive and enjoyable.  Once you get the hang of things, you’ll find yourself cackling evilly as you march across the board declaring in your best, southern fried gravelly General’s voice, “ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO US!”


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