Thursday, August 1, 2013
When I first saw this game I didn’t know what to think. It has a very unusual theme. There are a lot of different colored dice and I was afraid I was going to be playing something similar to Yahtzee. But when someone sends us a prototype, we like to tell them what we think… and Greyelephant enticed me by comparing it to a dice-building game like Quarriors. Let’s dig in:
Forge by Clever Mojo Games
2-5 players in roughly 30 minutes
The goal of this game is to be the first blacksmith to craft 4 (or 5 in a 2 player game) items for the waiting customers, represented by craft cards.
The game consists of different colored dice, craft cards, black market cards, gather cards, and player storage.
Now for the Gather Cards. These are used to acquire dice and special abilities. When you choose a gather card you must choose whether to use the action on the top or on the bottom of the card. The squares represent the dice you must assign for the round or sacrifice permanently (as demonstrated by the red X) in order to claim the reward.
A round consists of three phases: Gathering, Crafting, and Clean up.
In the gathering phase I can gather a card from those on display, use the black market card to trade for dice or advantages, or end my turn by passing which gives me one black dice or an ability to add +1 on two different dice. On my turn I will choose a gather card, picking either the top or the bottom and assigning the appropriate dice to the task. If the chosen action yields new dice then I will put them into my storage for use in the next round. Then I will replace that card with the top of the gather card deck and my opponents will have a chance to choose cards.
In this round I decide to take these two gather cards (and I placed the dice gained into my storage) and then I pass so that I will have dice left to roll for the Shield card.
In the crafting phase I roll my available dice to see if I can match or exceed the numbers on the craft cards. I can manipulate my dice by using the cards or chips that I acquired during the gathering phase. If I can allocate the appropriate color and value die to every square on the card then I have completed the job! Other players now have a chance to exceed the numbers that I rolled and snatch my customer. if they do not exceed, then I claim the card at the end of the crafting phase.
In the clean up phase I put my completed job cards under my storage card and return the dice I used to craft to my storage card. Then I move to the gather cards and return the dice either to my storage or the dice stack if they were placed on a red X.
Gather cards are collected from all players, shuffled and made ready for the next round. The next round begins and I remove my dice from my storage in order to use them throughout the round. Play continues until someone wins by crafting 4 (or 5) items.
Wow, that looks pretty boring. Blacksmiths? Dice? Well, I ended up getting addicted and playing this countless numbers of times. Now you and I may have different tastes. I enjoy relaxing games. I am full of enough adrenaline from teaching kids all day that I don’t need more coming from gaming. I don’t know how to relate this to you but it is one of those games that I just find relaxing.
I can’t tell you how much I enjoy this game. In the end I would not compare it to Quarriors at all, but you are building a supply of dice. You have to manipulate trades and purchases to get your dice pool to where you need it and as you can see, on one round you might need to trade your black dice to get a red, and then in the next round a craft card might require a lot of black dice. You also have to make sure to acquire gather cards that are going to help you get the dice roll you need by manipulating the results. You have to pay attention to what the other players are doing because they could grab the card before you or snatch your customer by rolling higher!
We have 6 friends that come over on a regular basis and they all said that they enjoyed it and would like to play again.
I love it! I love it so much in fact, that this game is the one that made me start doing reviews.
I am looking forward to seeing what Clever Mojo Games improves with the final version, and I wouldn't mind a one player variant. If you want to a game to play with your partner or while enjoying time with a group of friends, I recommend this game.