Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Quarriors! Review - A Dice Fest

  • Designed by Mike Elliot and Eric M. Lang
  • Published by Wizkids
  • 2-4 players
  • Plays in 20-40 minutes

Quarriors! is a deck building game that uses dice rather than cards.  Players start off with basic dice containing either monsters or Quiddity which is the currency of the game.  Monsters require Quiddity to come into play, and Quiddity also allows you to buy a new die.  If you bring a monster into play, it has to survive attacks from all other players.  If it does, it scores points and you can cull a die from your pile. This helps you get better dice in play more often.  There's a good amount of luck here, as you'd expect from dice, but there's also some strategy in what you purchase.

I'm going to start with the bad.  The dice bags are a bit small for my hands, but they are high quality.  Now, the transition is to awesome.  130 custom engraved dice in the base game, and more in each expansion.  The dice are a bit small, I think they're 12mm when most people are used to 16mm, but I find they work just fine at that size.  All the dice come in a metal tin in the shape of a die, which is nice, but hard to store with other games.  Amazing components and a 10/10.

The Mechanics of Quarriors aren't great, but they are good.  Every creature die has several faces (typically 3) for the creature with different levels of attack and defense.  The other sides are Quiddity, so you'll always get something from a die roll.  You then spend Quiddity to activate creatures, and buy a new die.  Then you attack every other player.  If they have a creature with more defense than your attack, the creature takes the blow and lives on.  If they don't then you kill their creature which causes them to put the die in their used pile.  This goes on until one player gets enough glory points to win.  
The problem here is that players don't have much control.  You can have the perfect set of dice, but roll all Quiddity and you're stuck.

The original rule of buy only 1 die got frustrating since only a specific spell card allowed you to buy more, but I believe that an expansion has modified that rule.  I give the mechanics an innovative but lacking options 6/10.      

Starting three cards that are in every game
The interaction in Quarriors! is a bit subtle.  Sure, there's the obvious attacking and defense with your creatures, but even the way you buy dice is affected by the actions of your opponents.  If someone buys a lot of high attack monsters, you might choose to buy more defensive ones, or choose to go after the same things to beat their own attacks.  This is certainly a game a subtleties, and the creature and spell interactions take a while to see.  
I'll give it a 7/10

Quarriors has about the same theme interaction as Dominion.  Sure it's there, but it's not really integrated into the game.  The creatures give it a bit stronger theme, but it's still very generic.  The one part that does differentiate it is the use of terms like Quiddity and a whole bunch of Q's.  I give it a bland 4/10.

Just a few creatures

Learning Curve
Short learning curve.  Why?  Dice are easy and understandable.  It may take awhile to get the strategy, but the game is teachable in under 5 minutes.

Why I like Quarriors!
I really enjoy the dice variety and the options present.  There don't seem to be dominant paths, but there are some good ways to play.  It's a bit more random than Dominion, but I like that for the style.

Why I don't like Quarriors!
I feel that the game is playing me, not the other way around.  Maybe it's the group, but I feel that there are few meaningful choices.  Turns are fairly obvious aside from what to buy, but I feel that the buys are less meaningful than Dominion because you just have to keep buying creatures and spells.

There's good variety with the creatures and spells. There are 53 different creatures and spells.  Some of them use the same dice, so they can't be in the same game, but there's good variety.

Will you like it
If you like randomness and rolling dice while liking a deck building game like Dominion or Thunderstone, then you'll probably like Quarriors!

Somehow Quarriors! feels like less than the sum of it's parts for me.  I like the dice building aspect, I like the dice, I love the variety, but it just didn't come together for me.  Perhaps I needed an expansion or two for the game, maybe I need to play it not with 4 players.
Overall Quarriors! gets a 6/10 for me.  I'll still play it, but it's not my favorite thing.

Want to buy Quarriors or some expansions and support BoBG?

1 comment:

  1. A lot of people who have similar issues with the game have a twice around the board rule. It opens up a LOT more strategy in the game. Might give that a try and see if the game still feels "predetermined" or just luck based.