(Editor’s Note: Yes, it appears that the “bad Dad” joke disease is back for this headline. Hopefully my prescription comes through soon and it is only temporary. Nothing is guaranteed in this current political climate surrounding healthcare, though.)
I don’t remember how Chris and I got involved in Dice Masters. I think that it might have been something that we played in order to have a Marvel tabletop game to discuss on the podcast and we had already talked about Heroclix. I might have it all wrong. I might have picked it up and played it with the boys first. However I became involved with the game, I enjoyed it very much.
I bought all of the starter sets that I could find. I got a booster box of Age of Ultron that I opened with the boys. We recorded it to put on our less than active YouTube page. I organized our dice and cards, joined a online community, did several articles on the game, and then (in my true short attention span style), promptly forgot all about Dice Masters.
Chris and I have played a few games since. I know because I remember digging through the tackle boxes that I use for storage of the dice. The boys and I have also played one or two games, mostly with the starter packs, but we might have played a pick up game or two during the Christmas break that we also rediscovered Heroclix. However, the interest has not been sustained like it is with Magic, or even the idea of Hordes/Warmachine. I think that might actually change.
As I said, in anticipation of our podcast about all things DC, one of my recent endeavors was to get one of the more recent DC Dice Masters sets. I lucked out and found a gravity feed of the set “World’s Finest” for a really good price. A subsequent text chain with Chris confirms it because he exclaimed, “That’s a really good deal!” The box sat on the floor waiting for the right time to be played and I started to worry that it might continue to be relegated to the back burner like my half of a box of Amonkhet that is sitting in the playroom unopened. However, the boys kept me honest. My youngest, especially, bugged me incessantly until I finally just gave in and we sat down to play a game.
I had only heard about the rainbow draft online and from various gaming stores in the area. Like an MTG draft, I’ve never actually been able to get out to participate in one. However, they sound fun and we had 90 (maybe plus) packs, so this seemed like as good a time as any to test the format. Luckily, I was able to introduce the boys to sealed format during our Pokemon event, so they were used to the idea. We sat down, busted open some packs, organized the dice, and picked some cards.
I have to admit that I have almost no idea when it comes to the strategy of Dice Masters. I know that there are often synergies between cards like there are with Magic, so I looked for them. It’s funny because I was focusing on a Superman type deck, but I actually ended up with a decent Batman deck without even realizing it. Now that I’ve seen what some of the cards can do (especially the Batcave card that I ended up with), I think I might be able to build a better deck. Nevertheless, it was enough to beat Liam in the first game.
Aiden beat Quinn in their first game, but I’m not entirely sure that they played according the the rules. In fact, I’m almost positive that they didn’t. How do I know? Well, I was looking at the play mat that we were using as a reference and Liam and I actually made a huge mistake by putting our KO’d characters in our used pile instead of our prep area. That would have fundamentally changed the outcome of our game in major ways. So, if two players who sort of knew what they were doing screwed things up, what does that say for the 6 year old who never played and the 10 year old who often plays for blood?
Bedtime prevented us from finishing our matches (as we were rightly going to play best 2 out of 3 to decide the winners of each round), but from the sounds of it, everyone had fun. Liam was a bit grumpy about losing. He might try to deny it or write it off, but he has a similar competitive streak as me. It lies just below the surface for the most part and when it bubbles up, the villagers run for higher ground. Luckily, he kept it in check this time. Because, I discovered our misplay the next day and we might just replay the game. Ultimately it doesn’t make a difference because it’s not like it is an officially sanctioned tournament or anything. Still, if I’m not honorable when playing against my own kids, what kind of person would I be?
Other than that, Quinn has been asking to play again daily. He also wants to crack open the other packs in the gravity feed. Aiden was less enthusiastic, but he’s had a bit of a “too cool” attitude lately regarding life. I had so much fun that I texted Chris to tell him that I’d rediscovered my joie de vivre regarding the game and he said that he wanted to play some more whenever we are able to get together again.
For such a simple concept, the game is so much fun. It is cheap. You get 2 dice and cards for 1 dollar booster pack. I got the gravity feed for 50 bucks, so that’s more or less half off. It might be one of those boxes that was gerrymandered by pulling out the foils or putting together a box without rares or super rares. I don’t know. I wasn’t keeping inventory of the cards as we opened them. The game is easy to learn. Even though he was overwhelmed, my youngest was able to pick up the basic concept and hold his own pretty well for his first time playing. There are hidden strategies in the game. As I’ve said before, the best games are those that are simple on the surface, but complex once you start to learn the intricacies. All of this boils down to one great game that I will try not to get distracted from for over a year again.