In this fantasy tactics game of war, players expertly maneuver randomly-generated armies across an ever-changing hex-grid battlefield to outwit, outplay, and outlast their opponents. Roll your units, discover synergies on the fly, then deploy merciless combos to command your forces to victory!
The Warriors: 28 jumbo polyhedral dice, a hefty 25mm in size.
The Battlefield: 9 modular hex-grid tiles that can be shifted, rotated, even flipped upside down.
The Modes: Duke it out in a battle royale free-for-all, forge and break temporary alliances, or engage in permanent 2v2 and 1v3 coalitions.
With hundreds of team compositions, hundreds of map layouts, a rotating set of bonus-granting cities to conquer, and seven optional gameplay challenges (including powerful magic relics, faction bonuses, and prestige units) to customize your gameplay experience, you'll never play the same game twice.
Some games, traditional and non, we like and took inspiration from when designing this board game: Final Fantasy Tactics, Warmachine, Hordes, Battletech, Heroscape, The Banner Saga, DOTA 2, Risk, and Chess.
The crown jewels of Dice Wars. Instead of figurines, tokens, meeples, or cardboard, each warrior on the battlefield is represented by an inch-tall polyhedral die.
This innovation enables the main mechanic of Dice Wars: each time you play, you pick up your forces and give them a roll. There are even abilities that re-roll units in the middle of the game!
(For those keeping score at home, this player rolled two Barbarians, a Lancer, a Paladin, an Assassin, a Wizard, and the hero Fata Mirari.)
How Dice Wars differs significantly from other tabletop games and war games is that your forces aren't the result of careful curation, but of random chance. It's your job as commander to discover your synergies and figure out a battle plan on the fly.
This means every game has a different complexion. Some will be defensive struggles, some will be battles of positioning and mobility, some will be all out offensive war. Sometimes you'll be strong and independent, and sometimes you may need to scheme, cut deals, and use subterfuge to achieve victory.
If you want it directly from the rulebook, check it out right here (5MB).
The Object of Dice Wars is to secure victory for your allies and defeat for your enemies, whether through strategic wit, overwhelming might, or silver-tongued cunning.
You're the commander: roll a random army and devise your tactics on the fly. Will you capture strongholds and control vital defensive positions, cut a swath through enemy forces, or bargain your way to the top with careful intrigue?
Getting started is simple:
1) Roll Your Army of seven polyhedral dice. Read the faces to see which units you've got, then grab your matching unit cards with artwork, stats and abilities.
2) Build the Map by sliding together the nine modular tiles. Beginners might want to use the balanced suggested layout, but you can shuffle the tiles and create your own.
3) Deploy Your Army, move your forces out, attack, defend, and watch your strategies unfold!
To encourage a diverse variety of playstyles and asymmetric gameplay, there are three win conditions. Discerning commanders will take stock not only of their own forces but of the whole battlefield and work toward ther best options:
- Regicide: Kill an enemy hero unit
- Domination: Kill an enemy player's last non-hero unit
- Diplomacy: Hold three captured cities through three of your command phases
The game's action takes place in Command Phases, wherein players take a turn as two units from their 7-unit army.
On their turns units may Move and perform an Action: attack, use a skill, guard, or in special cases capture a city. Physical attacks are rolled with 2d6, magic attacks are rolled using a d20 and ignore stats, and Skills use a simple 2d6 skill check to determine power and efficacy.
There are 26 unique warriors in the base game of Dice Wars: 6 basic units, 8 advanced units, and 12 heroes. Each army is comprised of 4 basic units, 2 advanced units, and a single hero.
Basic units are your bread and butter infantry units that can be dispatched in a single strike. Featuring classic standbys like Barbarians, Archers, Paladins, and mage Acolytes. Unassuming, but deadly in the right hands.
Each basic die has a solid color treatment with white paint.
Advanced units are specialized classes like Assassins, Alchemists, Knights and Wizards. They have access to unique abilities, area of effect spells, and can set up brutal combos using status magic.
Each advanced die has a pearlized treatment with silver paint.
Heroes are natural leaders whose wily and unique skills can quickly turn the tides of battle. Mirari shapeshifts into others, Sargassia broadsides using her naval army, and Vorn & Jorn smash walls with their dwarven power suit. Leaders are eminently useful and powerful, but the game is over when one of them falls!
Each hero die has translucent glitter treatment with gold paint.
Units are represented by a jumbo polyhedral, but each has a corresponding card that gives you quick reference to the character's name, art, stats, and abilities.
This is the hero Thistlecrown the Manslayer. This hulking wood and stone giant has unparalleled attack prowess at the expense of below-average speed. His cleaving Wild Swing can damage multiple units at once, and his Hurl skill is both an offensive and defensive weapon.
On the frontlines or bringing up the rear, where you will use him?
Split into 9 modular tiles that can be shuffled, rotated, even flipped upside-down, the landscape of Polyhedra is ever-shifted, as varied and unpredictable as its countless battles.
For basic games we've suggested a balanced square layout.
But more advanced players looking for a fresh experience can mix-and-match the map to their heart's content. Nobody said the map even has to be square! Try out a narrow 2x4 map, or give the tiles a shift to create a rhombus.
After you've mastered the original map, try flipping it over!
We've included an entire second map on the underside called the Hinterland, which features much more dense terrain and a new win condition. It's all a part of Challenge IV you'll read about in our Replay Value section.
Powerful defensive strongholds, not only are cities surrounded by walls that block movement and line of sight for unit targeting, city hexes also hinder movement for invading forces.
And don't be fooled! Cities aren't just window dressing for the Diplomacy win condition. Once captured, your cities grant you and your allies access to an array of flavorful and powerful skills and bonuses.
The Dice Wars map features 5 blank city capitals. Once a city is captured, a player randomly selects a wooden city sigil to determine the city's identity. Polyhedra has 6 cities in all, so every game will feature a unique rotation of cities in different strategic locations on the map.
Polyhedra's Six Cities:
- Solamyra - War-torn and razed to the ground, grants players access to secret tunnels which enable unique movements and guerilla strikes.
- Kordolith - Technology-rich, grants players access to faster movement.
- Doratheria - A mercantile city with a privateer problem, grants access to an area of effect arrow rain.
- Astramore - Polyhedra's religious capital grants skill check reductions as units cloister within its walls.
- Zenpaelo - Nestled between tall mountains and dense forest, grants improved defenses.
- Pyrus - Warmongering and currently engaged in "aggressive diplomacy" with Solamyra, grants improved melee attacks.
We've made various references to Dice Wars' replayability: the map shuffles and flips, team compositions are random, which cities on the map and their placements are random. The face of the game is never quite the same each time, presenting new challenges to overcome on the fly.
But we've also included seven Challenges: gameplay tweaks that can be flipped on or off for players familiar with the base game. Each challenge adds an extra bit of complexity and difficulty that we felt wasn't suited for the streamlined main game. Think of them as Day 1 free DLC, or a free expansion pack already in the box.
Every city card features a stone slab with a Relic condition. When playing with ancient relics, the player who fulfills that condition is granted a powerful magic artifact from Polyhedra's bloody past. There are six in all with wild, unique powers, though not all of them are beneficial!
Normally, when you choose an army color, it's purely aesthetic. When you play with faction bonuses, each die color gains a unique bonus reflective of their playstyle. For example, the ruthless Bloodblades grow stronger in mountainous highlands.
Our modular game board is eminently customizable. Those looking for a different experience than our balanced base map are welcome to shuffle, rotate, even change the shape of the map. We offer rules that support a random shuffle, or a competitive map build where players are all given tiles and place them in turn, vying for the best possible starting point. Cut off opponents with a river, or surround yourself with cities to capture.
For those who wish to visit a less friendly Polyhedra, the Hinterland is a map only those who've mastered all of the special terrain types should attempt to navigate, else you risk being humbled by mother nature herself.
Because the Hinterland has no cities, Challenge IV also introduces the Dominion win condition, which focuses on territory control.
The base game is structured as a simple 1v1 free-for-all. However, Dice Wars becomes rich, textured, delicious and friendship-ruining with the addition of Challenge V.
Alliances are temporary treaties amongst players to work together toward a common goal or enemy. When players enter an alliance, all instances of the word "Ally" rule text now applies to all allied units, and if a victory condition is achieved by allied players, those players win together. There are no negative effects for breaking an alliance, if you don't count burnt bridges.
Coalitions are for those who crave true 2v2 or 1v3 team play. At the very beginning of a game you may enter into a Coalition, which functions identically to an Alliance, but is permanent.
The base deployment phase is meant to be fast, simple, and approachable to tactics and wargaming newbies.
Challenge VI is for those seeking a more tactical and traditional deployment phase. Deployment happens one player at a time and is binding, which means the first player to deploy is often countered by the time they make their first move. Perfect for wily vets.
Unlocked by recording a kill with one of your advanced units, think of veteran units as a level-up, or a prestige class. These combat-tested units receive stat tweaks and skill boosts that make them more fearsome than ever.
When you think you've mastered just about every warrior in Dice Wars, add in veterans, and then think again!
In Dice Wars, normal attack and defense rolls use 2d6 and factor in stats and bonuses. Magic, on the other hand, is a phenomenon new to Polyhedra, still wild and not fully understood. Magic attack and defense rolls use a d20 and ignore all modifiers save for a rare few roll bonuses. These volatile attacks are an especially great way to cut through tough armor... when they succeed.
First available through this Kickstarter, we're debuting a 5-pack of Battle-scarred jumbo d20s. Each die measures 25mm flat to flat and is painstakingly designed to mimic the mysterious and magical stone die from the Dice Wars logo. They make magic rolls feel like a significant event, but you can use them for just about anything else a d20 is good for.
Crafted using a special 8 week production process, each Battle-scarred polyresin d20 is made to look like semi-precious stone, like an agate with mineral inclusions, that has been through the crucible of battle.
The faces are emblazed with rough, primal etchings, and each die is put through several steps of abrasion to add variation, imperfections, and character. Just as if they were hand-carved by a mysterious artisan, then pressed into service on the battlefields of Polyhedra, each Battle-scarred d20 should look a little unique.
If you're interested in supporting us further, leveling up your game components, or you just like big cool d20s, consider pledging at the $50 level to receive five (5) Battle-scarred d20s with your game.
Dice Wars out in the wild!
Full production of Dice Wars is anticipated to take 8-12 weeks, with the dice taking by far the longest amount of time. Shipping to our Indianapolis facility will take 4 weeks before we can begin backer fulfillment.
- December 1, 2017 - Dice Wars Kickstarter launches.
- December 30, 2017 - Wildly successful Dice Wars Kickstarter wraps and production begins.
- January 30, 2018 - First major production check in.
- February 28, 2018 - Production halfway point. There is a chance they'll have enough units finished to begin shipping to us. We will only fulfill early if all backers can be fulfilled early.
- March 30, 2018 - Third major production check in.
- April 30, 2018 - All units arrive in Indy and full backer fulfillment begins, if it hasn't already.