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A dice game that needs some help

4 replies [Last post]
Joined: 06/08/2011

First off, I want to introduce myself as this is my first post. Any applause and/or jubilation is appreciated. To say I am excited that I found this forum is an understatement...

Secondly, I want to share my stance on Board Game design. I do feel that there are a lot of board games out there that should never have been made for reasons X, Y, and Z. I contribute this largely to the fact that no one of notable intelligent told them that it would not succeed. I want to say that I am a grown man and that I can handle criticism and appreciate the community's honesty. That being said, please do tell me if this project (or any others I have) is just simply not worth fixing. I would rather cut my losses and run then to try and fix something that is doomed to fail.

Thirdly, I want to share my idea with you that I have been tinkering with for a bit that needs some TLC. Currently titled "Rails to Riches," it is intended to be a press your luck dice game akin to Zombie Dice from Steve Jackson Games. In it, 2 or more players are trying to roll dice to get the results they need to complete a train rout from New York to ::throws dart:: Denver, Colorado.

One of the elements I am looking at is the addition of a Saboteur die that one player can force another to roll in an attempt to negate their progress through the turn. I never really figured out a way to get this into the game (IE: How does a player acquire it?)

In the early days of the game, the idea was to have colored die that had different results on it - pulling from Zombie Dice. The 4 Main Icons were Railroad Crossing signs (Re-rolls), Box Cars (1 Train Result), Track (1 Build Result), and a Loco (Counts for either a Box Car or a Track). Also, there were blast icons that would be progressively more frequent as you eliminated the "Green" dice. These icons would be the harbinger of the end of your turn.

The original idea was to have a player claim a route by collecting enough Track Results to build the route, and then enough Box Car results to have their supply train move to the newly acquired city. So if at any time you had more trains then tracks, the train derailed and your turn was over.

Another idea that transpired was to have each route have a mandated color of dice that you rolled to generate results (representing building in the mountains and such). Harder routes meant harder dice.

My intent was to set out to make a fairly easy quick playing dice game to pass the time. I feel as if I am losing track of that and it is becoming overly complex. I encourage open discussion on this and appreciate your honesty. Thank you all.

Dralius's picture
Joined: 07/26/2008

[jubilation] WooHoo [/jubilation]

First off I would change the name “Rails to Riches" is the sub title for the rail game Steam.

I’m unsure from your description if having several different color dice for different terrain would work. It seems like it might make it too hard to get usable results. The sabotage die should cost the user something tangible like giving up track or boxcars to get it. There should also be a face or two with positive results so the sabotage could backfire and help the player.

Anyhow welcome to the site.

Joined: 06/02/2011
Welcome aboard!

I love the idea of having building costs increase in tougher terrain - that presents interesting choices for the players. Perhaps one of the dice has a pick-axe representing "excavation" which would need to be part of the roll before going through tough terrain.

Regarding the saboteur die, what if the last person to roll doubles or some special combination of dice acquires the saboteur die, then can force the opponent to roll it at will, but loses the saboteur die in the process? Then both players would have to wait for the special roll to come back up to acquire it.

I like the game's theme - do you have an image of some sample art? Are you going for a laid back cartoony feel, or more of an old-timey pioneer feel? Or something completely different?

Joined: 06/08/2011
Addressing All Concerns

On the name, I didn't even know it was being used. Tentatively, for the sake of not overburdening myself, we will use Rails to Riches with an asterisk to change it later. ;-) Thanks for pointing it out.

In terms of the different colors, I wanted (at least back in the early phases) to make it a press your luck type of game. The different colored die would show your chances of result success (just like Zombie Dice). However, with the mention of designated costs to gain routes, this aspect might go away.

The Saboteur Dice is still something that I am most intrigued about. It was always my intent to have three results that did something to the player rolling it that effected them negatively, 2 results that negated the roll (Fizzle or a Dud), and 1 that was a backfire (hurt the player that forced the other to roll the dice in some way). In terms of how it was acquired, I do like the idea of paying something. I also like the idea of having it be a roll on the dice. If you got a certain logo (or three locos in the same roll, lets say), then you would take the Saboteur dice and hold it until you chose to use it.

The idea about having to clear a path through the mountains is an interesting one. Maybe instead of a hammer you could use Blast icons to represent the detonation of mountain sides, and then lay track, and then roll for box cars?

The thing that I am mulling over now is whether I want to make a straight path or have it be like Ticket To Ride (except that all players are going after the same route). With the aforementioned building costs for certain routes, it would certainly add to the dynamic of the game. I just wonder if that is TOO complicated.

Thanks for the welcomes, the well wishes, and the advice. Please keep it coming.

Joined: 05/31/2011
Idea for Sab. dice..

How about at the beginning, someone rolls randomly and it doesn't count for their turn.. then say THAT partic. roll determines the roll that has to be matched to get the saboteur die.. then when someone hits it later.. repeat the process for a new " target" roll.

Just a thought :)

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