Tag Archives: Dice Game

Run, Fight, or Die!

Run Fight or Die. Grey Fox Games, 2014. $50. Designed by Richard Launius. A press-your-luck dice game set in a zombie apocalypse. 7 custom dice, 6 player character boards, 4 player action boards, 25 Follower cards, 18 Location cards, 16 Loot cards, 16 Event cards, 16 Fleeing cards, 60 walking zombie miniatures, Mutant Boss with cards and tokens, Actions & Events guide, and a 10-page rulebook. 1-4 players (1-6 with expansion). About 30-60 minutes. Ages 14+.

Players choose a character with a special power and dice combo, then add zombies to their 3 zone character boards. During a turn, dice are rolled, with two possible rerolls. Events occur and then dice are spent to move/remove zombies from your board, gather Followers, draw Locations, and find Loot. At the end of the turn, zombies advance (potentially wounding you) and more are added. Points are gained from gaining Followers and damaging the Mutant Boss. The goal is to have the most points when the game ends, which it does when one character dies, one player has 5 Followers, you destroy the Mutant Boss, or you reach the Town Line with enough survivors.

The game is fast and easy to play. The zombie miniatures march down your player board in a never ending wave that give the feel of immanent doom. The game has rules for solitaire play with different degrees of difficulty. The Followers and Locations are right out of every zombie movie, including the Dark Woods and the Screaming Cheerleader. The main tension in the game comes from needing dice icons that will remove zombies from the horde before they reach and wound you as well as needing icons that will gain you Loot, Locations, and Followers.

Roll the dice, do the event, take actions, more zombies. Rinse and repeat. As much as I wanted to like this game, after several plays it quickly became repetitive. Though there are moments of player interaction, they are few. And the possibilities of rerolling to get special combos seems so unlikely (we had one combo in three games) and the likelihood of adding more zombies so threatening, that we seldom used rerolls unless in dire straits where only luck would save us.

While the theme is fairly represented and the components are nice, this fairly average game just didn’t rise to the level of wanting to play it repeatedly.

This review was written based on a privately purchased copy. No previous relationship with the game publisher nor compensation was involved.

c2014 by Richard A. Edwards

Desperados of Dice Town

Desperados of Dice Town. Matagot, 2014. Designed by Bruno Cathala & Ludovic Maublanc, art by Pierô. Dice rolling western theme game. 20 circular “Desperado” cards, 28 Wild West cards, cardboard poker chips for money, 4 gang cards, and 4 special dice. 2-4 players. About 30 minutes. Ages 8+.

Each player’s “gang” consists of 5 circular Desperado cards that begin “in jail”, each with a different set number of advances to break out. By rolling the dice in a Yahtzee fashion, results allow you to rotate a specific desperado to help free him or her from jail. Once free Desperados can be used to force other players to discard some of their poker chips. When a player loses his last chip, he is eliminated from the game. When a player has broken his last Desperado out of jail, if he is the richest player, he wins, if not the game continues until he becomes the richest or until the richest player has all his gang escape.

The game plays quickly with lots of dice rolling. The main decision points come when deciding what to do after your initial roll and whether to try to free more of your gang or use someone already freed to rob your opponents. The Wild West cards add a lot of special actions that can significantly affect the gameplay. It can be a quick, fun light game, especially with the full 4 players. The western art is nice.

But it is very luck dependent (it is dice rolling and card drawing). And most decisions are driven by the rolls or circumstance. There’s not a lot of depth to the game play. The western theme is more a veneer than needed for the game mechanics.

Players looking for a deeper game should take a look at Dice Town by the same designers and set in the same western theme. While Desperadoes of Dice Town might make a diverting light game for a short time, it is unlikely to see my gaming table often. It is simply too luck driven with too little depth to maintain much interest.

This review was written based on a privately purchased copy. No previous relationship with the game publisher nor compensation was involved.

c2014 by Richard A. Edwards