Dice Masters

DSC00927Dice Masters is a collectible Dice-Building game by WizKids. Players start with 8 generic dice, typically known as “sidekicks” (sometimes NPCs in other sets). These dice contain 4 faces representing 4 different energy-types in the game: bolts, shields, masks and fists (they have proper names, but nobody uses them) a question mark, which is a ‘wild’ energy (i.e. it can be used as any 1 of the other 4), and a character face, with 1 attack and 1 defence, which can be fielded for free.

On your turn you roll 4 dice, with the opportunity to re-roll once. You can then spend the energy rolled, or field dice that have rolled a character face. Fielded characters can be used to attack your opponent, or held back to defend against attacks by your opponent. Any attack dice that is not blocked by an opposing character will do damage to the opponent equal to the attacking character’s attack. Energy can either be used to field characters (most non-sidekicks have a “field cost”) or buy dice of more powerful non-basic characters. The winner is the first person to do 20 damage to their opponent.

Each game, players arrive with a team of upto 8 character cards, with upto 20 dice between them which they will be able to buy (with their energy) to use on future turns. These characters function like the sidekicks (field cost top-left, attack top right, defence bottom right), but generally have bigger numbers and special abilities.

The collectible aspect of the game is that each set comes in a starter box with 2 dice each for 8 characters, but there are a further 30 or 40 characters, and different versions of them available only in randomised booster packs, with different rarities.

Taking a specific example from the first set, Avengers vs X-Men. Anyone who went out and bought two starter sets could field the character Beast in his “Genetic Expert” incarnation as a cheap blocker, and have 4 dice with which to do so. Anyone wanting to have Black Widow in her “Tsarina” iteration would have to either buy vast quantities of random booster packs in search of this super-rare card, or else pay £25+ on Ebay.

Each starter set comes with more of these basic action dice, so you soon build up quite a collection...
Each starter set comes with more of these basic action dice, so you soon build up quite a collection…

At time of writing, we have seen 3 Marvel sets for Dice Masters, one for DC, one for Yu-Gi-Oh, and one for Dungeons and Dragons. Thematically there is an obvious split between the superhero and the fantasy franchises, although mechanically they are fully inter-compatible.

As mentioned above, Dice masters is made by WizKids, who do have a website, although it’s primarily just a sales tool. Far more useful sources of information are the Board Game Geek pages for the various sets,

https://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/148575/marvel-dice-masters-avengers-vs-x-men

https://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/158275/marvel-dice-masters-uncanny-x-men

https://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/138649/dc-comics-dice-masters-justice-league

and community resources like DiceMasters DB.

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