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IRONDIE» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Is the game as cool as the dice? rss

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Dan Has
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First of all I'd like to mention this is my first review, so go easy on me. I'll try and organize my thoughts into a comprehensible fashion. I figured those curious about this game could benefit, so here goes.

INTRODUCTION
Irondie is a two player, collectible dice game consisting of the highest quality dice I've ever owned. Each player has their own set of nine dice, which they use to basically battle each other, simple as that. The only restriction is there has to be one of each type of die in your set of nine.


COMPONENTS
If you are like me, the dice are what got your attention, and yes, they are that amazing. They are gorgeous to look at and feel good in your hand as you are about to roll.

The player mat is a basic folded piece of paper, functional, but nothing amazing. I plan on printing my own off the website on some nice photo paper, perhaps laminating it.


RULES
The rules are quite well written and I had no trouble at all understanding any of the game play. I'm not going to go into a lot of detail on the rules. Basically there are three classes of dice, attack, defense, and life, and you are trying to eliminate all of your opponents life dice in play.

The two main phases of the game are BATTLE and SKIRMISH:
Battle is basically rolling dice. Then your attack dice minus the opponents defense dice deals damage to their life dice and vice versa.

The skirmish phase is what makes things very interesting. During the skirmish phase players take turns playing one or two dice in various duels that can attack, boost, weaken, or destroy dice already in play. This effects the dice rolled for the above battle. There are nine different dice and each has a different ability during the skirmish phase.

Of course this is just a cursory overview of the rules, you can download them from the Irondie website. I didn't even mention the different effects of colors.


MY EXPERIENCE
I purchased a purple set, red set, and an expansion cube. I figured this would give quite a few options for tweaking the two sets, not to mention I got two rare dice!

First of all, building a set when you have all those dice to choose from is just plain fun. All the different colors, color bonuses, nine different types of dice, color specialization. How much life dice to use, how much defense, how much attack. Then choosing dice that work together for your type of game play and strategy.

Game play is quick and enjoyable and after fifteen games or so I'm just barely learning various strategies for set building and execution. Like I mentioned above the skirmish phase is where all the fun happens as players attack dice and defend and boost. While playing, deciding which dice to hold in reserve and which to use for the battle phase is huge.

What I'm trying to say is, this game has simple rules but a depth I am eager to explore as much as possible. Yes, there is a random element, but I've noticed experience makes a big difference when teaching others.


SUMMARY
I have to admit I am quite pleased with my purchase. Yes, the dice definitely are expensive, but I'm the kind of person that prefers quality components. I like collector's additions of games, as long as the game play is as good as the components, and in my opinion, this game is that good.

I had noticed some people wondering if they should just buy an expansion cube and make a set from that. The problem I see is you might get a cube that doesn't make a good set. I tried making one from what I got in my cube and it's alright, but quite limited on dice that work well together. So it would be a gamble, which is why I ended up buying two base sets and the cube.


PROS
Great dice that are fun to hold and play with.
Easy to teach and learn.
Variety of strategic options and game play.
Usable in any game that uses D6's.

CONS
Expensive.
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Cameron Chien
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Excellent review! I think you covered the basics and yet gave a good taste of what kind of depth of strategy the game can have.

He didn't go much detail into colors, but that's a good thing. Basically, if you're familiar w/ the color wheel used in art, you know the three basic colors are red, blue and yellow. "Child" colors are purple, green and orange.

In short, colors that are allied with each other, like red is with purple, can give each other bonuses. Colors that are opposed, like black VS white, cannot. So if you make a set that has white and black dice, if you trigger bonuses (by rolling a 1), the bonus cannot be applied to opposing or "hostile" dice.

Hmm, that wasn't as clear as I hoped, but that's probably because the colors are the most confusing part of the game.

Dan, what part of the country do you live in? I'd love to start to try and play some games w/ local people, as soon as my dice arrive.

Cameron
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Gunther Schmidl
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Zeede wrote:
Dan, what part of the country do you live in? I'd love to start to try and play some games w/ local people, as soon as my dice arrive.


If you hover the mouse cursor over the flag in his information block, it shows you: he's in Utah. That useful functionality's pretty well hidden.
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Cameron Chien
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Ah, thanks very much!

Cameron
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Nathan Morse
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gschmidl wrote:
If you hover the mouse cursor over the flag in his information block, it shows you: he's in Utah. That useful functionality's pretty well hidden.
...but it's useful functionality that is back from the grave! zombie
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Cory Hockman
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Where did you pick up your stuff from? I think the only place I've noticed so far has been the game's website, and it's pretty expensive to get them sent in if I do recall correctly.
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Ben Stanley
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Thanks for the great review! I have been really interested in learning more about this game. I have some questions that perhaps you or someone else can answer:

1. Where did you get some here in the US?

2. Are games actually 15 minutes, or are they shorter or longer than that?

3. What is the strategy to luck ratio? It sounds like from your review there is serious strategy in both building your nine, and in using them during a skirmish, which is encouraging. Can you quantify the relative proportions of strategy and luck?

4. Do you truly need the playmat to play the game? Once you (and your opponent) know how all the styles and colors and types of dice work, can you leave the mat behind to make the game more portable?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
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Chad Martinell
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I am also interested in finding out where to get these locally! My in-laws couldn't even get them IN ITALY! I gave them a nice map to a store listed on the game's website as a carryer of the product, and the store has been waiting weeks for their FIRST shipment to arrive.

I heard that they will be at Gencon, so maybe we'll see some local distribution shortly there-after.
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Nathan Morse
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OK, since you found the rules easy to digest (as I did, for the most part), what was your take on the way Regeneration Targeting works? Please click through to that thread to answer.

Thanks!
 
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Nello Cozzolino
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Custom Design Jewelry as dice (die) playing pieces -> in Italiano dadi da gioco in stile Bigiotteria Esclusiva..
Well done to Davide and Team behind Irondie.....
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Dan Has
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Wow, this is why I wrote the review, it seemed there was a need. :P

Blue Steel wrote:
1. Where did you get some here in the US?

2. Are games actually 15 minutes, or are they shorter or longer than that?

3. What is the strategy to luck ratio? It sounds like from your review there is serious strategy in both building your nine, and in using them during a skirmish, which is encouraging. Can you quantify the relative proportions of strategy and luck?

4. Do you truly need the playmat to play the game? Once you (and your opponent) know how all the styles and colors and types of dice work, can you leave the mat behind to make the game more portable?

1. I bought my dice directly from irondie.com, shipped all the way from Italy. So yes, it is costly. On the bright side the shipping was quite fast. I ordered them on the 15th and got them on the 23rd.

2. It does seem games on average are around 15 minutes. They can go longer or shorter, but not by much. Your first games will vary wildly as remembering what each die does and referencing the sheet takes time, but then players can make critical mistakes and lose in one round.

3. This is just my opinion, but I think the luck factor is not very high. Yes, they are dice and you can get some awful rolls, but planning and good set building strategies can mitigate the bad rolls a lot. Not to mention rolling during the skirmish you choose how much you want to press your luck by the choice of your target.

4. No, you do not need the player mat to play. It's nice though because on the right side is a reference for all the different abilities of the dice during skirmish. Unfortunately the color wheel is on the back so I scanned and made a copy of that. Players who have all the dice, color relationships, and color bonuses memorized don't need the mat. But I like having the mat to organize things.

edit: spelling
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Dan Has
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Zeede wrote:
Dan, what part of the country do you live in? I'd love to start to try and play some games w/ local people, as soon as my dice arrive.

Yeah, I live in Utah. A bit of a drive. But I do quite a bit of business trips down to the LA area. So perhaps next time I'm there, before heading home, we could meet up at an FLGS around there. Maybe even trade dice. I think my next trip will be around the end of August or first of September.
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Cameron Chien
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Sounds good, Dan! I hope to have my dice in my hands by the middle of August, if all goes well.

Edit: Theorycrafting is very fun, and in the case of certain games, more fun than the game itself, but real experience definitely helps with future theorycrafting

Cameron
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Mike Haverty
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Thanks for the review!

Question: how heavy are the dice? Are they dense like lead or more like aluminum or tin or something? The main reason I ask is I wouldn't want to ding up a nice wooden table rolling them.

Thanks!
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Dan Has
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SiddGames wrote:
Question: how heavy are the dice? Are they dense like lead or more like aluminum or tin or something? The main reason I ask is I wouldn't want to ding up a nice wooden table rolling them.

The dice are around half an ounce(15 grams), each type of die varies though. But no, I would not recommend rolling them on a table you like. I haven't tried, but they feel like they would dent and ding it.
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Stephan
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Blue Steel wrote:
2. Are games actually 15 minutes, or are they shorter or longer than that?
3. What is the strategy to luck ratio? It sounds like from your review there is serious strategy in both building your nine, and in using them during a skirmish, which is encouraging. Can you quantify the relative proportions of strategy and luck?
4. Do you truly need the playmat to play the game? Once you (and your opponent) know how all the styles and colors and types of dice work, can you leave the mat behind to make the game more portable?

BeanThere wrote:
2. It does seem games on average are around 15 minutes. They can go longer or shorted, but not by much. Your first games will vary wildly as remembering what each die does and referencing the sheet takes time, but then players can make critical mistakes and lose in one round.
I agree on all accounts based on my experience.

BeanThere wrote:
3. This is just my opinion, but I think the luck factor is not very high. Yes, they are dice and you can get some awful rolls, but planning and good set building strategies can mitigate the bad rolls a lot. Not to mention rolling during the skirmish you choose how much you want to press your luck by the choice of your target.
I agree. During the first few games you might feel that the luck factor is high. But experience will teach you risk management (and set building). I would compare the risk/luck element to blood bowl where inexperienced players might feel like they get hosed by bad dice rolls (which you still can) when often the decisions were not optimal/the risks taken to great.

BeanThere wrote:
4. No, you do not need the player mat to play. It's nice though because on the right side is a reference for all the different abilities of the dice during skirmish. Unfortunately the color wheel is on the back so I scanned and made a copy of that. Players who have all the dice, color relationships, and color bonuses memorized don't need the mat. But I like having the mat to organize things.
I used the color wheel and dice ability table as a reference for the first few games until I had them memorized. But I never used the play mat (even when teaching the game to new players, and it was never a problem). We just organized the dice on the table like you would your cards in Magic or other collectible cardgames. I always put my life dice in a row closest to my edge of the table, my defense dice in another row in front of the life dice, and the attack dice in the foremost row. And then the skirmish dice are placed a little to the side of the battlefield.
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Team Ski
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BeanThere wrote:
SiddGames wrote:
Question: how heavy are the dice? Are they dense like lead or more like aluminum or tin or something? The main reason I ask is I wouldn't want to ding up a nice wooden table rolling them.

The dice are around half an ounce(15 grams), each type of die varies though. But no, I would not recommend rolling them on a table you like. I haven't tried, but they feel like they would dent and ding it.


Yeah, I think I will pass on the game for this reason alone. I worry not just about wear and tear to the table, but wear on the finish of the die itself. I think that they should be re-released in colored plastics like any other dice. It would be a bit more affordable and more durable IMHO.

-Ski
 
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Nathan Morse
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Teamski wrote:
I think that they should be re-released in colored plastics like any other dice. It would be a bit more affordable and more durable IMHO.

Might need to rename them, then....
PLASTICDIE
RESINDIE
BAKELITEDIE

Actually, the second one kind of works.
 
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Cameron Chien
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Yeah, but having them be made of plastic would defeat the purpose of having really cool dice.

Most dice towers handle the IronDie just fine, or use a dice tray. The finish is fairly durable, you just have to use some common sense and not drop or roll them onto glass or nice wood tables.

The game itself is very good, and much deeper than it would appear at first.

Cameron
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Aaron Gelb
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Its not exactly clear...what does someone need to begin a game of this?

How many "starter" packs? How many expansion?

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Pell Bort
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Technically correct is the BEST kind of correct.
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This is an EXCELLENT question. Do I need one of each type in every color? Is it unheard of to roll a number of dice of different types in one color? This game seems like a completionist's nightmare to me.
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Cameron Chien
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You can play with just two starter packs.

Cameron
 
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