12 April 2021
A wonderful little Eurogame dressed up in roll and write clothes.
Roll and writes have never hit home with me, it’s just been too much like doing vlookups in Excel by hand. Until now that is. Troyes Dice is the best roll and write I’ve ever played, and I’ve tried to love so many of them. The game uses a circular board of plazas split into day and night, each turn consists of rolling three transparent dice and one black dice – transparent ones correspond to the colour they land on white (wisdom), yellow (money) or red (influence), while the black flips the plaza it’s on.
Players simply look up in the grid of colours and numbers as to what choices they can make. For example a red three offers the choice of gaining some population, gaining three influence, or using the castle action to protect column three from future attacks. And these attacks are what makes the game exciting. In later rounds this black dice will begin destroying the plaza on your player sheet, meaning you’ve lost your chance to gain any points that way for the remaining rounds. The groans around the table as someone’s key means to victory points is destroyed and they grumpily cross it out is frankly one of the highlights of the game – as is the smugness when you’ve wisely already protected that part of your player sheet.
This isn’t a translation of 2010’s Troyes, it’s its own beast, and one which takes away some that that decade’s fiddliness and replaces it with our current decade’s scribbliness to great effect. It’s a game that begs to be played repeatedly and has, components wise, been beautifully and thoughtfully put together. A wonderful little Eurogame dressed up in roll and write clothes.
Christopher John Eggett
PLAY IT? YES
Designer: Sébastien Dujardin, Xavier Georges, Alain Orban
Publisher: Pearl Games
Time: 20-30 minutes
This review originally appeared in Issue 49 of Tabletop Gaming. Pick up the latest issue of the UK's fastest-growing gaming magazine in print or digital here or subscribe to make sure you never miss another issue.
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