Dice Miner by Atlas Games
‘The Dwarves once lived beneath the three mighty mountains. After centuries of war they defeated their age-old enemies the Dragons. Moving to the surface, the Dwarves built magnificent cities and won renown for their heartening beer. But the Dragons have returned. Now, the Dwarves must remember their roots , clear old tunnels and return to ancient caverns while fighting their primeval foes.’
Dice miner is a drafting dice game where you take on the role of a Dwarf hero, drafting dice for your trove.
You can be one of 6 characters: engineer, treasurer, prospector, surveyor, alchemist and dragon slayer. Each Dwarf hero has its own skill which will help you when selecting dice from the mountain.
Dice miner bag
6 Dwarf hero cards
27 Tunnel dice (white)
10 Hazard dice (black)
7 Tool dice (green)
8 Treasure dice (yellow)
8 Magic dice (blue)
Components may vary. In the deluxe version, there is a dice cup and a plastic moulded mountain.
N.B I do worry with the original version that the cardboard mountain is not sturdy enough to withstand a lot of game play. Our box got a bit squished in transit and this meant that the cardboard inserts were also bent on opening the box. I know this won’t happen to everyone and this was a review copy so we could hardly complain but it just goes to show that the cardboard might be a bit flimsy to withstand a lot of in and out of the box and dice being dropped onto it.
Dice Miner is played in three rounds and each round has four phases:
Having first filled the mountain with dice, a cool gimmick, players start but picking dice from the mountain. The dice chosen must be from the top of the mountain. You complete this until you have emptied the mountain. Next any players who have been lucky enough to collect magic dice can spend them to reroll dice (except for hazard dice). Then you move on to the scoring phase. Each type of dice scores differently for example tunnel dice score for sequences, treasure dice score one point per gem but if you have more treasure than the other Dwarf heroes then you get to double your points. Hazard dice can cause you to lose points unless you have the correct tool to protect yourself.
After scoring, then is the replenish phase. In this phase you cache dice depending on if you have any chests, reroll all dice, choose a new starting player and then filling the mountain again.
So the cycle continues until the end of the third round where you add up the totals of all three rounds and work out the overall winner.
There is a lot of hype around dice miner at the moment and it certainly is fun but for me the there is something lacking and I can’t quite put my finger on it. The game play is fine. I don’t have many dice drafting games in my collection and so it’s a nice change for our collection. I certainly will play it again and who knows it may become a firm family favourite yet but after a few play throughs it just leaves me wanting more.
An easy filler game with a cool dice filling mountain. Easy to teach and easy to help others play. Overall a fun little game for 1-4 players.
Please do let me know in the comments your thoughts and if you have played it let me know what keeps you coming back!