By March 18, 2013

Quarriors Dice Game Review

I mostly play either cooperative games or slightly competitive games. Yes, we have a few dickpunch games like Risk, China Town, Small World, Monopoly, etc but by and large we like to keep it friendly. I’ve seen too many people get bent out of shape over a board game to enjoy it any more.

We were visiting our pals wurmr and Beckers last fall, and after a nice dinner it was time to pick out a game to play. Wurmr produced a shiny metallic cube. “Let’s try Quarriors,” he said.

We were hooked.

Thousands of dice rolls later, Quarriors is one of our favorite “light competition” games in the house.

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Overview

Quarriors can be played by two to four players. Games usually last 20 – 30 minutes, depending on the number of players and the creatures and spells available in each game.

The object of Quarriors is to accumulate glory points. You earn glory if your minions survive a full turn. The first player to accumulate a certain amount of glory wins. The victory threshold is based on the number of players – the more players, the fewer points necessary to win.

You begin the game with four minions and eight starter dice that can earn you money, or “Quiddity” as it’s called in the game. You use money to buy better spells and monsters. If you’re familiar with deck building games like Dominion or Ascension, this makes sense to you. Quarriors bills itself as a deck building game but with dice, and I totally agree.

There are different monsters and spells that are randomly selected each game. This adds some variability to the mix, again similar to other deck building games. In addition, each monster and spell has several variations, each with slightly different abilities, powers, purchase costs, and honor values.

Gameplay

Here are the basics:

  1. Score any surviving minions / monsters. If you score, you may remove one die in your discard pile for every creature that scores. If you score with two creatures, you may remove two dice, for example.
  2. Draw six dice out of your dice bag. If you need to, replenish your dice bag with dice used in on previous turns.
  3. Roll your dice — this creates your “active pool” of money, spells and minions to potentially use for that turn.
  4. Cast spells and minions (optional). Monsters cost money to summon, so you have to weigh casting creatures with buying new spells or minions later. You may cast as many things as you can afford.
  5. If you cast minions, they immediately do damage to all opposing creatures. Power is added up and applied en masse to each opponent. Opponents decide how damage is dealt.
  6. Shop. Use whatever remaining money you have left that round to buy a new spell or creature. You may only buy one thing per round unless you have a spell or minion ability that states otherwise.
  7. Keep any creatures or spells cast in your “ready area.” Move all other dice to your discard pile.

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One of the may special dice from Quarriors.

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This is one variant of the Hag card. This particular one is the Witching Hag. Here’s a breakdown of the card:

  • Cost: 5 It takes five Quiddity (money) to buy one Witching Hag die. You only pay this amount once, when you buy the die and add it to your available dice pool.
  • Glory: 3 If your Witching Hag survive a full round of play (every player’s turn) then you will score three glory points.
  • Special ability / attributes: You get one Quiddity for each opposing creature you destroy this turn. If you knock off three monsters, you get three Quiddity this turn.
  • The bottom of the card shows each side of the die. The Hag has a 50% chance of rolling money. It has a 1 in 3 chance of rolling the base version of itself, and a 1 in 6 chance of rolling the “super” version of itself, which is tougher and deals more damage. It also costs more money to summon: two Quiddity instead of one.

The number in the top left corner is the cost to play the Witching Hag this turn. As we’ve already noticed, more powerful versions of the creature costs more than the weaker ones.

The number in the top right corner is the power of the Witching Hag.

The number in the bottom right corner is the Witching Hag’s toughness. That’s the amount of damage it can take from other creatures before dying. All creatures “heal” themselves back up to their full strength at the end of each turn.

Fun Factor

Let me put it this way: Bert, Sedagive? and I only played Quarriors over Thanksgiving break. Pretty much three days of nothing but rolling dice. It was a ton of fun, and I still love this game. We started with the base set. I added the first expansion a few days later. Bert brought over the next expansion. And then another.

Soon we had this:

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The variability of the game is a big reason we love it so much. I wonder how many games we’d have to play to utilize every possible combination of creature and spell, and every version of each creature and spell.

From a maintenance standpoint, it’s so much easier to add or remove a few dice or entire expansions than a card based equivalent. One of the reasons I stopped playing Dominion is that it was a pain in the ass to manage all the different expansions. With Quarriors you shuffle two decks of cards and then pick out a handful of dice. It also stores really easily.

Conclusion

Quarriors is a great game for two to four players. The base set became really hard to find around the holiday. The first printing came in a collector’s tin, which is now out of print. If you can find it for retail you should buy it. It’s functionally the same as the second printing, except you get the neat tin.

My big knock on the game is its price — close to $70 MSRP for the base game, and that just seems ridiculous. I bought my collector’s tin for $40 shipped from Amazon Prime (it’s about $80 now). You can get the newer printing from Amazon for about $45.

That might seem steep for a dice game, but trust me: it’s worth it.

Strongly recommended.

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