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Martian Dice

Background:
The background to this game feels simple ... over the past year I've been enjoying more and more dice games. I've loved the luck factor, but also the options they give to mechanics, etc. After purchasing Kingsburg and Alien Frontiers and enjoying them a lot, I decided to look for more filler type games. King of Tokyo is the pinnacle of filler dice games (that I've played), but a recent purchase of Zombie Dice also felt it had place in my collection. Then TMG announced that they were releasing a dice filler game. After supporting TMG through kickstarter and seeing an up and coming publisher doing so well I felt this purchase was a no brainer ...

Now, was it worth it!


Components:

As you can see from the image that there are a lot of components with this game! You get a tube, you get 13 dice, and a rule book/sheet (not shown). The dice tray isn't included but I would strongly recommend one if you enjoy playing lot's of dice games.

So what is so special about the dice ...


Here you can see 3 of the 6 faces, these faces are the scoring faces that your martians are trying to collect/abduct.


And here are the other 3 faces of each die. These faces are the attacking and defending faces for when the martians rain down on the earth

And that's it that is the components. Hopefully the pictures have done the dice justice, as the quality of the dice are superb.


Gameplay:
First roll all the dice ...

(sorry, about the pic, I had fun taking it today on continuous shutter setting)

Then set aside any tanks rolled. These tanks are important for the survival of Earth.

Then it's time to choose ...

You can choose one other face type and then remove all of them and set them aside too. If you choose Humans, Cows, or Chickens, you will not be able to choose them again in any subsequent rounds. (so in fact, that just leaves martain deathrays that you can set aside more than once, at this point.)

Then, pick up all remaining dice and go again. Though this action is optional. You can stop at any point.

So what are you trying to achieve once you've decided to finish rolling, or you have no dice left to roll.


So, this is a same image of how your turn may end. Now it's time to score!

Firstly, and most importantly, you must first check if you can score this go. In order to score you must have the same or more martian deathrays than tanks. Once this criteria is fulfilled, it's time to fill your boots on points (or earthlings).

Scoring is simple.

You get 1 point for each dice face showing either human, cow, or chicken. BUT, you can get an additional 3 bonus points if you have at least one of each type. Hopefully the image easily displays the scoring.

Once you've had your go, pass the dice to the next person and they do the same.

The first person to 25 wins the game (personally I'd play the round out as it gives a 'fairer' end results, if the scores are tight ... though people do go for broke at that point)

Thoughts:
Ok, how do I start without any comparison to Zombie Dice ... Doh, just failed!

This is a very simple filler game, but it does have some interesting choices that the above game does not. Choosing what other dice face to put aside is where all the fun of the game occurs. Do you push your luck and go for lots of scoring dice early on, or do you match deathray for tank!

This subtlety in selection (from the limited selection process) is where this game really does become a good fun filler.

There are a few negatives to highlight, if you push your luck too much, scorings can be few and far between and I've had a game with 5 of us playing for almost 30 minutes! I think in these cases that I'd recommend reducing the game winning score or not to lose the 'push your luck' aspect but not make the game outstay its welcome.

So, back to Zombie Dice, is there room in a collection for both Martian Dice and Zombie dice? Absolutely, you could begin a games evening for 10 mins with one dice game and end the evening with the other. Both games will feel different but both will feel light and relaxing.

I would highly recommend Martian Dice ... it's err, fun (sorry forgot to look in a thesaurus for a better word!)
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