Posts Tagged ‘Dice’

Greetings Fellow Board Gamers!


Our next featured game for the weeks of June 21 and June 28 was a fun economy and city building card game from IDW Games, Machi Koro (with Harbor and Millionaire’s Row expansions).

Machi Koro on Board Game Geek – here.

* Note – This is not a ‘How to Play’ or tutorial type article. This is a review of the game components and brief review of game play.

Box Art

You CAN build Rome in a day.

Machi Koro is a fast-paced, dice-rolling city builder. in the game, players compete to be the first person to build up their simple village into a sprawling metropolis. Originally designed and released in Japan, Machi Koro has developed a dedicated fan-base around the world. Excited fans have been eagerly anticipating an English translation, and the game has already garnered a “seal of excellence” from The Dice Tower among many other accolades.

Armed only with your trusty die and a dream, you must grow Machi Koro into the largest city in the region. You will need to collect income from developments and build public works, and steal from your neighbors coffers. Just make sure they aren’t doing the same to you! Machi Koro is a fast-paced light-hearted game for you and up to 3 friends. They say you can’t build Rome in a day, but Machi Koro will can be built in under 30 minutes!

I like city building computer/video games, like Sim City, and this beings a city builder to the table. It also brings in the randomness that having other players adds as opposed to the AI of a computer game.

Please keep in mind that this review is covering the base game and two of the expansions.



The rules are actually really well written and easy enough to follow. The only confusion I’ve encountered is when we added the expansions and had to differentiate between ‘constructed landmarks’ and ‘landmarks’. The constructed landmarks are the properties that you build in order to win the game. The purple cards and City Hall are landmarks but not constructed landmarks. All the red, blue, and green cards are establishments.


There aren’t many components to this game, but what there is, is plenty! You have a large deck of cards and they’re standard quality card stock. My copy has held up well over time without card sleeves. Sleeves for this game are not easy to track down, so if someone knows what size fits Machi Koro, please feel free to share that in the comments.

There are two plastic dice that are basic plastic board game dice. I got a green and blue one in my game, and I’ve yet to figure out why they included two different colors. The color of dice has no bearing on game play that I know of.


The coins are standard punch board coins, and over time, they will wear down a little. Several of mine are showing definite wear and tear. If you can, substitute plastic or acrylic coins which is a great solution for worn coins.


The ‘Renovation’ tokens are standard punch board tokens and probably won’t see a ton of wear and tear because there is only a few cards that use them.

Renovation Tokens

Setup & Clean Up

We played with two expansions and the rules (including set up) are somewhat different when you add in multiple expansions. Set up isn’t too difficult for one person to handle. You shuffle the deck and reveal ten different cards (stacking duplicates). Each player takes a set of starter cards and three coins. Set all the Renovation tokens to the side. Randomly select a first player and begin play!

Game Play

Game play is super simple. You roll one die (or maybe two if you have your Train Station built) and check for cards with that number and follow the instructions on the cards. The cards trigger in a particular order: RedBlue & GreenPurple. Then you build a structure or construct one of your landmarks.

Turn Order
1. Roll Dice
2. Check Red Cards
3. Check Blue and Green Cards
4. Check Purple Cards
5. Build
6. Pass Dice

Super simple, super easy – but there is chaos that can ensue when there are a bazillion different cards on the board. You want to build establishments that help you earn coins to construct landmarks. Once someone has constructed all their landmarks, they win!


This game was heavily played when I first bought it, but after a while, we did get a little bored with it. It’s only because the game play is very simple and playing this game once a week is still a little too often. But – That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t own it! We play Machi Koro at least once every few months on average and everyone has fun. We just limit how often we play it to avoid burnout.

Overall, it’s a fun and entertaining game, just don’t make it your only game.

What the Players Said

Wednesday – Love the game. It’s a business simulator that’s easy on the brain.

Allie H. – I like that it’s challenging to win sometimes, but not how it can be stressful. I do enjoy playing it though.

Olivia – I like how you need strategy and a variety of cards to win and you can’t just buy all of one card to win.

Buy or Bye?

This is a game that I’d recommend folks have in their collection, but as I mentioned before, be careful and don’t over play it!

Have strategies or tips for this game? Leave them in a comment!
Have cool accessories or custom pieces? Show them off!
Thanks for reading and be sure to like, follow, and subscribe for more Dice Masters, HeroClix, and Board Game related content!

Board out and game on!


Greetings Fellow Board Gamers!


Our next featured game for the weeks of May 24 and May 31 is a great family co-op game from Fireside Games, Castle Panic.

Castle Panic on Board Game Geek – here.

* Note – This is not a ‘How to Play’ or tutorial type article. This is a review of the game components and brief review of game play.

Castle Panic Box Art

Castle Panic is a cooperative tower defense board game for 1 to 6 players. The co-op element makes Castle Panic a great family game, and the perfect kick-off for your weekly game night.

You must work together to defend your Castle, in the center of the board, from Monsters that attack out of the forest, at the edges of the board. Trade cards, hit and slay Monsters, and plan strategies together to keep your Castle towers intact.

Win or lose as a team, but only the player with the most victory points is declared the Master Slayer. Players must balance the survival of the group with their own desire to win.

This game is all about cooperation in order to protect the towers of the castle. While you can rebuild walls and fortify them, you aren’t going to be so lucky with the towers. Once a tower is gone, it’s gone for good, and you have to defeat all the monsters before your last tower is destroyed.


I found the rulebook easy to read and follow. It’s easy to find what you need to know while playing and just about everything you could think of is covered in the rules. There are great player aid cards included in the game as well as reminder text on the board for Boss Monster abilities.


The board is well made and sturdy with bright colors and easy to see markings and text. As many times as this game has been played, it’s in excellent shape. I use my copy for conventions and various events at my FLGS, so it’s seen its fair share of play. I don’t have any major damage anywhere on the board.


I absolutely love the reminders on the board. They’re in opposite corners of the board and each reminder box explains the special tokens and the boss tokens. This is invaluable while playing – we never need to pull the rulebook out! There are Order of Play reminders in the other two corners, but with the player aid cards, these aren’t needed. They do add a visual balance to the board though.

Player Aid on Board

The castle towers and walls are standard punch board material and they each fit into a small plastic stand. The stands are not too tight so they don’t cause pealing and don’t leave any dents on the castle pieces, but the pieces don’t fall out of the stands either. This prolongs the life of the pieces.

Towers and Walls

The monster tokens have taken a beating over the years, but they’re holding strong! They’re made of standard punch board material with thematic art on the front and back. The special tokens are easy to understand and the boss monster tokens are easy to pick out from the basic monster tokens while on the board.

Monster Tokens

I haven’t looked into sleeves for Castle Panic, but as soon as I do, I’ll update this article with the information. The cards are easy to read and have great thematic art with bright colors. While the cards say what color and what ring you can target, I wish they had made the colored gems different shapes. Color blind players don’t have the benefit of glancing across the table at your cards’ colors. They usually have to ask because the text is too small to read from across the table.

The player aid card has the turn order listed on it, which is such a great tool to have. Even though I’ve played this game a bazillion times, I still need a reminder for the turn order until we get a few turns in. I can’t express enough gratitude to Fireside for this detail.

Deck and Player Aid

The die isn’t anything fancy or special – just a white, plastic D6 with black numbers. I’m glad it has numbers and not pips, since the board displays numbers for the pie sections. The tar token and Fortify tokens are standard punch board and have held up better than expected over time. The Fortify tokens look great and fit perfectly on the wall sections.

Dice and Tokens

Setup & Clean Up

Castle Panic is easy to set up, and it only takes a few minutes. Clean up doesn’t take long because it’s just gathering cards and monster tokens from other players and putting all the pieces in their bags. It’s easier to set up and clean up if the other players help.

Game Play

Game play is very simple. Hand size and trading capabilities depend on the number of players. That’s the one thing I would have asked that they added to the board in place of the turn order – the player chart. Checking that is literally the only reason I pull out the rulebook.

The turn order is very strict and once you proceed beyond an optional step, you can’t back up! Each player takes their turn individually in a clockwise order, following the turn order.

1. Draw Up – Each player begins their turn by drawing cards until they have reached their hand size. Again, the hand size depends on the number of players you have. The more players, the smaller the hand size.

2. Discard and Draw 1 Card (Optional) – Once the turn player has drawn up to their hand size, they then have the option to discard one card in order to draw a new card. This is a once per your turn type of thing. It’s handy if you have a blue card and there aren’t any monsters in either blue arc. You can discard it to draw a new card in hopes of something more useful.

3. Trade Cards (Optional) – Once the turn player has used or passed their option to Discard and Draw, they now have an opportunity to trade one card with another player. This is also a once per your turn thing, but you can make a second trade in a six player game. The other players don’t have to trade with the turn player if they don’t want to. You also can’t give cards to other players – you literally have to trade.

4. Play Cards – Once the turn player has completed their trade(s), they get to play those cards in their hand! Each card tells you which color and ring they can be used it. There are plenty of special cards, like Tar and Missing, and they’re card text is pretty easy to understand. You can reference the back of rulebook for any specifics you might need to know.

5. Move Monsters – Once the turn player is done playing cards, all the monsters that are currently on board will advance one space forward, or one space clockwise in the castle ring. If a monster hits a wall, they take one damage and remain in the Swordsman ring if they didn’t die. If a monster moves into the castle and takes out a tower doing so, it moves into that space where the tower was – after taking a point of damage.

6. Draw 2 New Monsters – After the monsters on the board move, the turn player gets to add more chaos and panic to the game by drawing two new tokens from what we call, “The Bag ‘O’ Death”. The turn player draws the first token and if it’s a monster or boulder, they roll the die and place the monster in the forest ring or advance the boulder through the arc (killing all monsters and the first wall, tower, or fortify it hits). Boulders are nasty in arcs that don’t have a wall or tower because they advance into the arc directly across from the one it started in. All the other tokens trigger effects like plagues or forced movement for monsters on the board. There are even tokens that increase the number of tokens you draw for the turn! This is why the token bag is called “The Bag ‘O’ Death” by me and my locals.

After the new monsters are drawn and resolved, the next player begins their turn. This continues until either the players win or the game wins. Players win when all the monster tokens are removed from the board AND the bag is empty. The game wins when the last tower has fallen to the monsters… or a boulder.


This has been a favorite alongside King of Tokyo during both years of the Dyersburg Comic and Pop Culture Convention. I’ve taught several groups of new and experienced players how to play Castle Panic and I’ve never heard a player say they didn’t like the game. I’ve heard more family groups have gotten the greatest benefit from the game because it’s a co-op game, meaning those siblings that like to compete with each other have to work together now! It cultivates a different gaming atmosphere when you play a co-op vs competitive game. Castle Panic still has its ‘competitive’ side with each player collecting their slain monsters, but it also creates a dilemma of sorts. “Do I trade this card and let them kill the Troll that gives them three points, or keep the card and hope we don’t lose.”

This is a great game with a small learning curve. Younger players can play this game, even if they aren’t reading age yet. They only need to remember the pictures and what those pictures mean the card does. I’ve seen kids as young as seven play this game with no trouble, but the age limit is 10, so please inspect the game to be sure you’re okay with your younglings playing it.

There is one glaring problem, or at least with older copies – can’t speak for newer prints, and that’s the lack of a bag for the tokens. I had to purchase a dice bag for us to use for the monster tokens. I’m not sure why they didn’t include this in the base game. Check the box contents and see if it includes a bag before you purchase it. At least then you’ll know if you need to pick one up before heading home.

What the Players Said

Wednesday – 90% panic, 5% castle, and 5% “Why’d you draw all the wrong tokens?!” – but 100% family fun game. I love the co-op mechanic to this game.

John H. – I like everything about this game.

Sean – I like that it’s simple to play and that it has player aid cards and reminders on the board too for the monster token abilities. A game is always great when you don’t have to pull the rulebook out while playing. I also like how everything can go wrong or seem to be going bad, but you still have a chance to turn the game around and win.

Olivia – I like that there is panic and how a real struggle can ensue but in the end, regardless of whether you lose or win, everyone is still friends.

Buy or Bye?

This game is probably the second most played game in my collection. It’s easy to learn and easy to play, making it a favorite among my fellow board gamers and also a favorite for gaming tables at conventions.

Have strategies or tips for this game? Leave them in a comment!
Have cool accessories or custom pieces? Show them off!
Thanks for reading and be sure to like, follow, and subscribe for more Dice Masters, HeroClix, and Board Game related content!

Board out and game on!

Greetings Fellow Dice and Clix Fans!


A friend of mine that plays Dice Masters decided he would try his crafty hands as making dice trays. While I’m more of a tower person, I’m totally not opposed to using a dice tray for the other various games I play, like HeroClix and Dragoborne. Dice trays are super convenient and very mobile, where towers need assembly or careful transport.

I can honestly say that I was impressed with the quality and speed of his work. He uses various types of wood and can stain or paint the dice trays to suit. He stained the one for me and then coated it with a beeswax finish. Oh my goodness! It’s so soft, I almost want to cuddle it like a stuffed toy! I would most certainly recommend staining as opposed to painting because it looks so natural and it’s just gorgeous!




These are the details on the dice tray you see in the pictures. Measurements are not going to be exact as this is handmade and not mass produced, so each dice tray will be slightly different. The measurements will all be very close though.

Dimensions (Inches):
Outside Wall – 6 3/4′ x 6 1/8′
Floor (Inside Wall) – 5 1/2′ x 6′
Outside Height – 1 1/2′
Inside Height – 1′

I took some pictures for size references. That is a Skyscraper Wonder Woman HeroClix figure that’s standing in the tray. These trays would make for a great HeroClix box to transport your pieces between matches, and also roll your dice in!



Stain Color: Cabernet

Finish: Beeswax

Floor Cover: Bare

For a dice tray identical to this one (stains can possibly be interchanged), he charges around $20 not including shipping. Shipping prices will likely vary, so be sure to check with him on the shipping.

If you want a dice tray that’s sanded and ready to be stained or painted, he charges around $15 not including shipping. Now, that’s just a bare bones tray – no paint, no stain, no finish – just assembled and sanded. It’s stain and paint ready though, so if you want to get crafty on your tray, you can!


Normally, the sound of dice rolling on wood can be loud and distracting, but this dice tray has a nice, soft sound to it. I still wanted to add felt to the floor for that additional sound buffer, and also to help that gorgeous stain color stand out. I grabbed a few sample colors to see which one I would prefer:



I couldn’t possibly decide between them so I made three floor covers that I can change out. I actually like all three colors equally. They all have their own charm about them. And the felt fits so well because of the size of the tray, that I don’t have to glue it. It doesn’t move or buckle when the dice roll across it.



Craig also told me that he can do wood burning as well, so he can burn designs into the sides of the tray or into the floor of the tray and seal it. Anything extra that he does will increase the price of the tray.

Contact Info and Ordering

Craig just recently created a Facebook page so that players from across the country can get in touch with him to place an order or ask him about making a custom piece. You can find it listed under Daten’s Game Supplies.

If you want a dice tray with different dimensions or a completely different custom item, you will have to discuss the pricing with Craig.

Final Thoughts

Even though I prefer towers to trays, I have discovered that I actually can use a tray like this in a variety of games. This tray made for a great HeroClix team tray to carry my team around between matches and as a dice tray to roll my dice in during the matches. I even plan to use it when I play Dragoborne, to roll my three tiny dice in. I can roll them, then set the tray to the side until I’m ready to assign the dice. This tray will definitely come in handy! Mr. DDK is absolutely tickled with it. He told me that he was feeling a little accessory neglected because I had a tower and he didn’t, but he’s totally a tray person so everything works out! He used the tray and put it over his Reserve Pool while he was playing and it kept everything neat and tidy.

One of the things I love most about this accessory is that it’s all hand crafted and all the materials are local materials. He uses beeswax from a local beekeeper and he uses mostly aged and reclaimed wood. He is very good at his work and he aims to please his customers!

If you would like to see it in action, check out these two videos from our Saturday Dice Masters featured matches, Round Two and Round Three.

What do you think of the Dice Tray?
Are you a Tray or Tower person?

Do you have a unique accessory or an accessory you adore?
Leave me a comment here or on Facebook at Dice Dice Kitty!

As always, thank you for reading and watching. I wouldn’t be doing this without all of you out there that are reading my articles and watching my videos. You’re all awesome!

Roll on Dice Masters!
Clix, may your crits never be misses and your probs never wasted!