I grew up playing card games like Yu-Gi-Oh, Pokemon, and Magic the Gathering so when I was introduced to Dice Throne Season 2 I was super excited. I love a good 1v1 dueling game. The problem that I ran into with these other games is that they are ever-expanding. If you don’t keep up with the latest meta then you will be left behind. Enter Dice Throne, where all of the decks are prebuilt and meticulously crafted for each hero. So, how does Dice Throne stack up against my old favorites? Let’s find out.
What is Dice Throne?
Dice Throne is a dice rolling combat board game series made by Roxley. Dice Throne Season 2 is a stand-alone expansion that features 8 new heroes. Each of which has their own deck of cards and play styles. Players roll dice, trying to roll a specific pattern in order to attack their opponent. You have cards that will help mitigate some of the luck factors and the game has a Yahtzee like dice-rolling mechanic where you can reroll up to three times. The last player standing wins.
From the box:
Dice throne is a game of intriguing dice, tactical card play, powerful heroes, and unique abilities. It’s a fast-paced 2-6 player combat game. Select from a variety of heroes that play and feel completely distinct from one another. Attack opponents and activate abilities by rolling your hero’s unique set of five dice. Accumulate combat points and spend them on cards that have a large range of effects, such as granting permanent hero upgrades, applying status effects, and manipulating dice directly.
- Age: 8+
- Players: 2-6
- Play Time: 20-40 Min
- Designer: Nate Chatellier, Manny Trembley
- Artist: Gavan Brown, Manny Trembley
- Publisher: Roxley
- Year Published: 2018
How to Play Dice Throne
What’s Inside the Box
Dice Throne includes 8 heroes and each is unique and includes these items:
- Player Board: Each player board is unique to the chosen Hero. The player board lists your Heroes abilities in the form of dice patterns.
- 5 Dice: These dice are unique to the hero and are used to attack and defend against players depending on which pattern you are able to roll.
- Deck: Each hero has a unique deck of cards which includes upgrade cards, attack modifiers, and other cards to help you win the game.
- Status Tokens: There are both positive and negative status effect tokens. These tokens can be gained by card effects and hero abilities.
- CP Dial: Combat Points are the currency in Dice Throne and are used to play cards. The dial keeps track of how much CP you have to spend.
- Health Dial: Keeps track of how much health your hero has.
There are 8 phases on your turn:
- Upkeep Phase: Resolve any status effects.
- Income Phase: Draw a card and increase your CP dial by 1.
- Main Phase: Here you can play main phase cards, upgrade cards, or sell cards (discard them) to gain CP.
- Offensive Roll Phase: This is where you get to deal damage. Roll all of your heroes dice. You get up to 3 re-rolls and may re-roll any or all of your dice. You may play any roll phase cards as well.
- Targeting Roll Phase: This is if you are playing with more than one opponent. You roll 1 die. If it is a 1 or 2 you attack the player on your left, 3 or 4 your right, 5 your opponents decide, and 6 you decide. Roll phase cards may also be played.
- Defensive Roll Phase: If you are being attacked by an opponent you will get to perform your defensive ability listed on your player board to try and deflect some of the damage. You do not get to re-roll your defensive rolls. You may also play any roll phase cards.
- Main Phase (2): This is identical to the initial Main Phase.
- Discard Phase: Sell your cards until you have 6 or fewer left in your hand.
After completing each phase, your turn is over and the next
player takes their turn.
If at any point your Health Dial reaches 0, you are eliminated from the game.
The last player left in the game wins.
Our Thoughts on Dice Throne Season 2
Art & Components
The artwork in Dice Throne Season 2 looks great. It has a very anime and comic book art style that I really enjoy. Some of the character designs remind me of some of the champions that I would find in a game like League of Legends.
Since every character is unique, they get their own set of cards which are all illustrated. In season 1 the cards were only text-based and included no illustrations, so this is a huge improvement. As of writing this review, Roxley is coming out with a “rerolled” edition of season 1 which will include illustrated cards.
My only gripe with the artwork is that some of the artwork is reused. For example, half of the deck is what I like to call common cards. These cards can be found in all of the hero’s decks and they tend to have the least visually appealing art in the game. I know that it’s for consistency, but the artwork on the hero specific cards look so good that it would be nice to see some more.
All of the components in the game are top-notch. The player boards are trifold and look great. They are very sturdy and they also have excellent artwork for all of the different abilities the hero has. Even the dice for each of the heroes are all uniquely themed and look amazing.
The gameplay in Dice Throne is very simple. You roll your dice and try to match your roll to one of the patterns on your player board. They went with the Yahtzee style mechanic found in other dice battle games like King of Tokyo, where you get to reroll up to three times. This helps to mitigate some of the randomnesses that is inherent to dice games.
The player boards have about eight different abilities with each of them requiring a specific dice pattern you need to roll to use it. Each hero also has an ultimate attack which can be used by rolling all sixes. It’s hard to pull off, but it’s extremely satisfying when it happens. The same goes for any of the abilities you are trying to roll for really.
The dice mechanics work great and the Yahtzee style reroll system adds a bit of a push your luck element to the game that I enjoy. You usually have to make a decision when rolling your dice if you want to play it safe and deal a decent amount of damage or go big and aim for the high damage rolls.
There is a ton of player interaction in Dice Throne. This is a dice and card battle game so you are able to mess with your opponents. Every hero has a defense ability which allows them to roll one or more dice when they are being attacked to potentially deflect some damage. This keeps you in the game even when it’s not your turn. That is if you are playing with two players, but more on this later.
The cards in each of the heroes’ deck also are able to manipulate the dice. This helps a lot especially if you are like me and can’t roll to save your life. The cards use a combat point system where you must spend CP in order to play a card. This is a pretty common feature found in most card games and works well for the most part.
The key component of the game for me was the status effects. These are what gave each hero their personality and unique game mechanic. The Gunslinger, for example, has Reload which she can spend to increase her attack damage. Or the Tactician has Tactical Advantage which he can use to reroll his dice amongst other things. They all are well themed and are my favorite part of the game.
While I do enjoy the gameplay quite a bit, especially the dice mechanics, I did have a few problems with Dice Throne.
I do think the game is pretty well balanced. Most games end where the winner only had a few health points left. While it does add tension to the game always coming down to the wire, the more I played Dice Throne the more it began to feel like the decisions that I made didn’t matter that much. While some of the abilities are better than others and you want to roll for those, I felt that even in games where I rolled horribly and played very few cards it would still be a close game.
I love that they included unique decks for each of the heroes. It really adds a lot more to the game, but I found that some heroes have a hard time being able to actually find and play their cards. Unless you are able to find the cards that help you burn through your deck then your kind of out of luck.
It can also be hard to play cards. You are able to sell cards from your hand to gain CP but the problem becomes when you have to sell most of your hand in order to play a card. Then you are left with no cards and there aren’t many ways to draw cards.
The rules themselves also leave quite a few things up to interpretation mainly when it comes to when you are able to play cards. For example, most cards allow you to manipulate the dice so it can be frustrating to go through your free rerolls and start applying damage and effects only to have your opponent force you to reroll again. Then you have to backtrack and reset.
The main reason why I enjoy Dice Throne is how quickly it moves and the amount of interaction there is between players. But this starts to fall apart once you start playing with three or more players. It really makes the game drag. I’m also not a big fan of elimination games because if you lose early on then you just have to sit there and wait for the game to be over.
The Heroes of Dice Throne Season 2
Each of the eight heroes in Dice Throne is unique and has a very different play style. To help understand some of the other game mechanics I wanted to go over some of the basics of each of the heroes’ play styles.
The Huntress includes a second health Dial for her pet saber tooth tiger Nyra. The Huntress is able to use Nyra to take any incoming damage for her. Nyra cannot be killed but she can be knocked out and her effects are nullified until she regains her health. Nyra also allows you to deal extra damage. So when you are being attacked you have to choose between losing your health or potentially your powerful ally.
The Tactician’s main mechanic is using his Tactical Advantage status effect tokens. These have different effects Depending on how many of these tokens he spends. Spending just one of these allows him to reroll any one of his dice which could mean the difference between winning or losing so these tokens are extremely important.
The Gunslinger is my favorite hero. She relies mostly on luck, but she can be extremely powerful. She uses her Reload tokens to add extra damage to her attacks. She also has Evade tokens which allow her to ignore all damage from an opponent’s attack. The catch is that these tokens rely on you rolling a die to use. If you roll poorly then your Evade fails or your Reload doesn’t do much extra damage.
The Samurai is probably the toughest hero to face. He’s got an extremely strong offense and defense thanks to his status effect tokens. He is able to inflict Shame on his opponents which decreases their damage. He can also gain Honor which he can to heavily increase his damage. He can also use his Back Strike tokens to deal damage to those who attack him.
The Cursed Pirate is unique in that she has a double-sided player board. She has a stash of Doubloon tokens which slowly run out throughout the game. And if she runs out of these tokens then her board flips to the cursed side. This increases her damage output but she also loses a lot of health at the end of her turn.
The Artificer is probably the most difficult hero to play. He uses three different types of robots to aid him. One helps him gain health. The other deals damage. The final one helps to deflect damage. Each of these robots can be upgraded to increase their effects.
The Vampire Lord is similar to the Tactician in that they both need to gain a bunch of their tokens to win. She utilizes blood power which depending on how many she spends give her abilities like draining the health points from her opponents to regain her health.
The Seraph is arguably the most overpowered hero. She has a whole arsenal of tokens which allows her to deal massive damage, dodge incoming damage, and remove negative status effects from herself just to name a few.
I’m currently working on a strategy guide series for all the season 2 heroes so be sure to check back soon or follow us on social media where I post all our latest news.
Dice Throne Season 2 includes 8 heroes and each of them is extremely well themed. They all have there own unique deck of cards, status tokens, and attacks that all make total sense for each of their personas and play styles.
The story for Dice Throne is this:
For a thousand years, the Mad King has sat atop his high throne seeking a worthy challenger. Each year, he hosts a tournament of champions with the greatest prize a hero could ever want: The Throne.
Over a thousand tournaments, the Mad King has never lost. Heroes come from all corners of the globe, each with their own reasons for seeking supreme power. Will you be the one bold enough to take the throne?
Although the world of Dice Throne isn’t really fleshed out the heroes do have their own backstories and reasons for fighting. It’s an extra step that a lot of card dueling games don’t take and it really adds to the game.
I would recommend Dice Throne to anyone looking for a two-player game. Although you can play it with more people, it plays best at two players. If you go beyond two players, then the combat just doesn’t flow very well and there can be quite a bit of downtime in between turns.
Or if you like dice games and you are looking to add a new one to your collection this will make an excellent addition. Everything in the game is well themed and looks great.
Similar Board Games
- Star Wars Destiny: This game has currently ended its run, but if you are a Star Wars fan then this game is a must-play.
- King of New York: This is another dice battling game. There is also King of Tokyo, but King of New York has a bit more depth.
- Quarriors: This is an excellent dice drafting game that features some really cool artwork and unique dice.
- Dice Masters: This game is a spin-off from Quarriors, but it is quite different and features characters from DC, Marvel, & TMNT.
- Cage Match: This is a fast-paced MMA fighting game for two players.
Dice Throne Season 2 is one of the best 2 player games I’ve played. You can still have fun with more players, but if you want to get the most out of the game then 2 players is the way to go.
Dice Throne Season 2 is a great 1v1 game that should definitely be in your collection.
- Well themed.
- Doesn’t scale well.
- Some of the rules need further clarification.