Playing Time: 30 minutes
Category: Dice, Strategy, Fantasy
"(Basically, it's a Dice Building Game.) -Some Lawyer Guy"
You start by placing the three Basic Resource Cards in the middle of the table (known as "The Wilds") and adding the appropriate dice to the top or side of these cards. Then you shuffle the Creature Cards and place them face up in "The Wilds" until you have one of each class (discarding any duplicates as you go). The Spell Cards are then shuffled and the same thing is done with them, discarding duplicate classes as you did with the Creature Cards. This leaves you with seven different classes of Creature Cards and three different classes of Spell Cards, each of which have their own colored Quarry dice which are placed on or to the side of their matching cards.
Each player then chooses a colored marker and dice bag, placing the marker on square one of the Glory Tracker and adding eight Quiddity Dice and four Assistant Dice to their dice bag. After deciding who goes first, the game begins. There are six phases to each turn; Score Creatures, draw and roll dice, ready Spells and/or Creatures (if applicable/desired), attack rivals, capture one Quarry dice from the Wilds (if applicable/desired), and move dice to used pile.
There are no Creatures to score on the first turn, so the first player reaches into his bag and pulls out six dice, which he then rolls. These dice may give him Quiddity (which can be used to purchase Creatures or Spells, as well as to ready a Creature), a Creature (which he can choose to ready), or allow him to reroll or even draw another die from his bag and roll it. If a Creature is rolled and he wishes to ready it, he simply moves the required Quiddity dice to the used pile and places the Creature die in his Ready Area. Then he may choose to purchase a Creature or Spell from the Wilds with his remaining Quiddity, placing the new die and the Quiddity dice in his used pile as well. There are obviously no rivals to attack on the first turn, so that phase is simply skipped.
The turns continue and the first couple of rounds typically consist of purchasing Creatures and Spells and setting up your gameplay. After this, the game becomes more exciting as you roll and ready various Creatures and Spells with varied abilities. Spells may be readied as soon as you roll them and kept in the Ready Area until you use them. Creatures are used on the turn they are readied in and must attack all rivals. They are readied by paying the Quiddity cost, which is equal to that Creatures level. This is the number that is found on the top left of the die. The attack damage is located on the top right of the die. If this number is higher than your rivals readied Creature's defense (found at the bottom right of the die), you have destroyed your opponents Creature and he must move it to his used pile. If your readied Creature stays alive throughout an entire round, you then score his glory points at the beginning of your turn.
The combination of luck and strategy makes this a really fun game. The Creature and Spell cards all have different abilities and your gameplay is determined by both how the dice roll and how you choose to spend your Quiddity. For instance, do you choose to go with a strong defense and purchase a Devotee of the Holy Query die which gives you +2 to defense? Or would you rather go on the offense with a Quake Dragon and destroy all level 1 Creatures in your opponents Ready Area before your opponent chooses a defender? Perhaps you prefer to buy more and want a Mighty Questing Wizard whose ability allows you to purchase more Quarry Dice at a reduced cost every time he scores? How about the Spells? The Growth Spell grants you two Quiddity and the chance to draw and roll an extra die. The Life Charm returns your destroyed Creatures to the Active Pool rather than the used pile.
I've played it with someone choosing to focus on rerolling and Spell abilities and I've played it with a heavy concentration of Creatures (my preferred gameplay). The great thing about it is that no game is the same because the combination of cards is always different, making the replay value huge. That's always a plus in any game.
The Bottom Line
This is a game I can play with my friends and with my kids. Although it says 14+, my 11 year old daughter had no trouble playing and really enjoyed it as well. There was a slight learning curve (we weren't counting the levels correctly for the first couple of games) but once you grok the game it's an easy one to just pick up and play. Sometimes we want a longer game and will choose to go to twenty Glory Points with four players, other times the twelve Glory Point game works just fine. And I haven't tried playing with only two players, as no one has been too excited about that idea, but it works really well as a four player game and we're usually able to drum up that many (I'd love to hear how it works for two).
I was first attracted to this game because of the dice. One hundred and thirty two beautiful dice is a great selling point, you must admit, but thankfully the gameplay is as great as all the dice. We've really enjoyed this game, it's a keeper.