Sunday, December 18, 2011

Dice Town Expansion Review

“I'm shakin' the dust of this crummy little town off my feet and I'm gonna see the world. Italy, Greece, the Parthenon, the Colosseum. Then, I'm comin' back here to go to college and see what they know. And then I'm gonna build things. I'm gonna build airfields, I'm gonna build skyscrapers a hundred stories high, I'm gonna build bridges a mile long...”

Too bad George Bailey did not build an old movie theatre where inconsiderate parents would leave crying children at home or exit to the lobby. I invoke Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan wisdom, “logic clearly dictates that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few”. Why should the entertainment of crying kid family outweigh the rest of the theatre audience?  I must have since It’s a Wonderful Life twenty times before this weekend, but it was a treat to watch it at the Redford Theater. Luckily, I was there I gambled with the purchase of a 50/50 raffle and won two prizes: A Three Stooges T-Shirt and It's a Wonderful Life Christmas bell!

With a segway secured I transition into this week’s review of a gambling related game: Dice Town Expansion or as the box says “Extension.” The Asmodee website, semi-fluent in Engrish, “See the Exploded” allows web users to switch between box cover and the contents pics.

First, a recap of Dice Town. It is a two to five player poker dice game. In each round five dice are rolled and with each roll one dice can be kept for free and additional dice cost one dollar a piece. My favorite style of game play is slamming the dice cup down hard on a wood table. With each roll players can decide to conserve cash keeping only one die or when a good hand is rolled pay the cost to keep more dice potentially forcing other players to keep bad hands. After the first player has kept five dice one more round of rolling happens and everyone is stuck with the results of the final roll. The rolled poker hands correspond to action locations on the board. The person with the most 9's receives the action on the first location, the Gold Mine and this continues for 10's, Jacks, Queens, Kings, and overall best poker hand.

The Gold Mine gives a player gold nuggets which is victory points, the Bank earns a player additional cash, the General Store grants players card which bend the rules, screws other players or victory points, the Saloon allows players to steal cards from other players, the Sheriff decides ties on dice rolls (and like the Mexican policia can be bribed) and is worth five victory points at the end of game, the Town Hall gives players property claims or victory point card(s), and finally for players who were busy combing the desert (We ain't rolled shit) instead of rolling a good hand receive a small fringe benefit from Doc Bad Luck. The game ends which either the gold nuggets are  or property claim cards are exhausted players add up gold nuggets, victory points from property claims and/or general store, and money derived victory points. 

The Dice Town Expansion adds an additional cup and game dice, money, and gold nuggets for inclusion of a sixth player, but adds a whole new level of strategy to the game by adding one additional action to each game board location previously mentioned. The second best player get an action at each location. This expansion results increased depth of game strategy and reduces the likelihood of Doc Bad Luck. In fact, the Doc Bad Luck actions are added as a new choice of possible actions at General Store location.

The action highlights include: panning for gold at the Gold Mine. This is more rewarding choice if few gold nuggets at going to be retrieved at the Gold Mine. Instead of robbing the bank players can now rob the stagecoach. Players can recruits outlaws at the Saloon to change dice rolls and after used the Sheriff can capture the outlaws for monetary rewards. A new type of card, Ranch cards are added to the property claim deck and score progressively. The extra action at the Town Hall is the ability to draw a card from the top of the property claim deck.

Some claim the additional player and extra actions lengthens game play. I call shenanigans. The first time playing with the new rules adds some time to the game, but once learned the game is still quick. 

This expansion also includes the Indian expansions only available at the 2009 Gencon and Essen. The player who won one or more property claims can discard one gamble by rolling the Indian die. There are some fun effects such as forcing another player to reroll a die or negate a location effect. 

Thumbs Up
Adds a sixth player
New location options adds additional level of strategy
Excellent Party game
Dice Rolling

Thumbs Down
Cosmetic. My base game has misprinted dice instead of Aces denoted by spades my dice have clubs.
Inescapable mentions of Yahtzee are made when describing game to new players.

Dice Town and Dice Town Expansion are available on the market.

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