The saga of Mike and his dice…

22Feb07

I played the minis game Heroscape last night for the first time. It uses special attack and defense dice. Attack dice have 3 skull sides and 3 blank sides. Defense dice have 2 shield sides and 4 blank sides. Each shield counters one skull, with any skulls left becoming damage. I had 3 figs. Each got attacked once. In total for all 3, I rolled 24 defense dice. I scored 2 shields. Total. I was dead 5 minutes into the game.

Did I mention that my crappy die-rolls are infamous among my friends?

After that, I played two games of 10 Days in Africa–a rummy-like game from Out of the Box. I won both of those, with a lot of luck. Then, seven of us played Cancellation Hearts, where I succeeded in taking zero points in the three hands we were able to squeeze in.

Contrasting these two games–and just Heroscape vs. Mechaton–I find that I like, and am better at, choice-centered games. The feeling of control is a powerful thing. Even when the handful of cards are so bad that your control doesn’t help you to prevail. Choice forces you to make a decision about how to allocate your resources, no matter how scant they may be. And decisions promote engagement.

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4 Responses to “The saga of Mike and his dice…”

  1. It seems like this was made just for you.

  2. Hi Michael!
    That’s one of the reasons that the Settlers of Catan boardgame is so popular — even when it’s not your turn, you get to choose whether or not to trade with the person who’s currently playing their turn. All the players are engaged in the game both during their own turns and during everyone else’s turns too.


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