Saturday, December 15, 2012

Martian Dice: Tasty Minstrel

I must admit one thing before I get too far into this review. I love dice. It's a pretty one sided love affair. Dice are a cruel mistress. Never fails that I seem to roll what I don't need only to see my opponents luck out every time. With that said, I was really drawn to this game once I saw the title. I mean come one, you get to be aliens who come to Earth tying to abduct animals and humans. It's got to be fun....right?


Components

Not much to it. You get 13 dice, a cup that doubles over as the container for the game, and a rule book, nothing fancy.



The dice are normal dice size and all 13 fit fine in your hands. That is as long as you don't suffer from tiny hand syndrome. Then you can just use the can it comes in.

Each die has the following on the sides.

1 Tank
1 Chicken
1 Cow
1 Human
2 Death Rays

The can itself is nothing special and I guess it could double over as the rolling cup as already stated, but there's something about having a fist full of dice and scattering them all over the table. Maybe it's a man thing or it's just a me thing. Either way I love it!

Game Play

First choose how many points you wish to play to. The instructions say 25, but hey it's your game. We do usually go to 25 because it seems to make the games go fast, but not too fast.

To play all you do is take all 13 dice and roll them. Depending on what's rolled you will take the following actions.

1. Set all tanks aside.
2. Pick one group of the other dice and set those aside as well.
3. Check on how many tanks there are compared to how many death rays.
4. If you have more or equal death rays to tanks you may either roll the remaining dice again or just score.


One thing to note is that once you take a certain item, you can no longer take it again. However, you can always take Death Rays. Tanks come out no matter what. I have an example below to explain in better detail.

Scoring

You will score 1 point for each Human, Chicken, or Cow you abduct. If you are lucky enough to get 1 of each, you score a bonus 3 points!

Remember, you will only score if you have more or equal Death Rays than Tanks.

Here is an example of just how a round takes place.


Example - sorry for some of the blurry images, camera was having trouble focusing for some reason -

Here I rolled all 13 dice.



I will first take all tanks and place them aside.



Then look at all the remaining dice and decide on one group that I would like to keep as well. Mmmmm...chickens.



Now, because I don't have any death rays set aside, I must roll all remaining dice.
Uh-Oh, more tanks!



Set them aside first and then see what you've got left.



I'm thinking that keeping Death Rays will be a good idea this time around. Otherwise I might not score any points. Remember, you must have equal or more Death Rays than Tanks to score any points.



Now I can decide to roll again, or score what points I do have. I decide to roll.

Ahhhh...good roll, no Tanks. I can't take any Chickens because I already took them. However, I have Humans that I can abduct now. I think I will.



Now Ill decide if I want to continue or stop and score what points I've already scored.



I press on!
More Chickens and Humans! Well, better than Tanks. I stop here because I've already taken those two items. I have enough Death Rays to destroy and Tanks. My total score here would be 5.




Conclusion

I really like this game. Nothing fancy, but it's really fun. Dice are just cool. The picture of the Human on the dice always make me laugh and it's one of those games that everybody enjoys. It can be frustrating to roll 4 Tanks on your first roll, but that's what you get when you play a dice game. Randomness is implied in the title.

The only thing I regret about this game is that I didn't grab two of them while at Gen Con. Other than that, it's a total hit that everybody should own.

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