Dice Throne has got quite a bit of play around BGQ-HQ. Many of us own at least a few characters. Some have gone all-in on the full seasons and the cooperative Dice Throne Adventures. Alex recently listed it in the Game We Shouldn’t Like… But Do! article.
Lots of love for Dice Throne around here. And much of that can be attributed to the fact that the very simple system of rolling dice, playing cards, and defeating opponents has so many different characters that all feel distinct in their own way. Pyromancers, ninjas, pirates, and so many more. But now Dice Throne is introducing licensed Marvel characters into the game. And if there’s something BGQ-HQ also loves, it’s Marvel stuff.
If you haven’t played Dice Throne before, Tony does a great job explaining the game in more detail over at his review of Dice Throne Season 2. The very brief version is: roll dice Yahtzee style, play cards to upgrade attacks or mitigate dice, and attempt to remove all the hit points from your opponent. For this review, we will mostly focus on the characters we had a chance to play and what makes them unique.
Let’s start with Captain Marvel—the most powerful superhero in the universe. Her cosmic powers give her the ability to deal out significant amounts of damage. Captain Marvel’s Cosmic Ray status allows her to roll two dice and use the higher value of the dice to the total damage. Cosmic Flares are easier to acquire and deal out damage in smaller bursts at the beginning of every turn.
Captain Marvel’s deck gives her a lot of cards that help acquire the status tokens to keep firing off additional cosmic damage. When it comes to defense she doesn’t block a lot, only when she rolls a 6, but when it is blocked it is also dealt back to the attacker. So if you come at Carol, you better be ready to leave with some bruises.
In the battle box we got to try out, Carol was up against the Black Panther. T’Challa is certainly no slouch and is able to go toe-to-toe with Captain Marvel thanks to his Vibranium Suit and Kinetic Energy. While it’s possible to gain kinetic energy tokens through your offense dice rolls, Black Panther has a passive ability giving him one of these status tokens every time he is dealt damage. These energy tokens have two abilities. First, every attack is increased by one for every two tokens you have. Second, once you reach eight tokens you immediately lose all of them—but you get two cards, two combat points, and deal five undefendable damage.
Black Panther doesn’t really do the defense thing—he only rolls three defensive dice and will deal damage back at his attackers but not prevent any of it. However, if you do manage to gain your vibranium suit you can discard it to prevent up to three damage.
Let’s start with the obvious: it’s more Dice Throne. The system is unchanged so if you like it, you are going to love this. If you don’t… well… fighting Black Panther against Captain Marvel is still pretty cool.
Just like the other Dice Throne characters, these each feel unique. Obviously, it’s also important that they feel like the licensed characters they represent. Captain Marvel draws on these cosmic forces and quite literally radiates damage. Black Panther’s abilities focus on his attack and he gets more and more dangerous as he takes damage, eventually exploding all of his energy into an attack.
As a battle box, these two are well suited to go against each other. My son loved playing as Black Panther and routinely defeated me in our first couple of plays. So I assumed Black Panther was clearly overpowered so when I had the chance to play him against my step daughter—well, I lost again. So the characters seem well balanced and I continue to be unable to win. But every game has come down to the last turn or two with a make-or-break roll to finish off the fight. This careful balance and stand-up-at-the-table type of dice rolls are what really make Dice Throne shine.
While we haven’t had a chance to play all of the characters we are looking forward to seeing what makes all of them unique. Marvel is also fully compatible with existing Dice Throne characters. Want to fight Miles Morales against the barbarian? Go for it. Add them into Dice Throne Adventures. Battle Royale with whoever you want.
Marvel fan who hasn’t tried Dice Throne yet?—this is the perfect place to hop in. Dice Throne fanatic that wants more compatible content to play with?—here you are. The Marvel Dice Throne battle box seems like a great place to dip a toe in. Both characters are a lot of fun, feel different from each other, and are relatively low complexity.
But the Kickstarter launched today with six other heroes to explore as well if you want to start fighting all of your favorite Marvel heroes against each other.