(Editor’s Note: I avoided making the obvious inappropriate joke title for this article because we are trying to cultivate a family image here. Plus, nothing brings in the youth audience like a 30 year old white guy rap reference!)
A couple of months ago, I was feeling the loneliness of the gamer who lost his usual gaming buddies. I went through the usual stages of grief before Chris and I finally just said “Eff it” and got together a few times. Kevin and I have talked about a gaming night here and there, but still haven’t been able to actually make it happen. Part of it is that I’m not sure if the new computer can handle some of the games we play and I can’t yet afford a new laptop. Oh well, it’s only a matter of time.
During my lonliness, I started researching games that I could play solitaire. I tried to do a D&D campaign solo. It was fun, but the real magic of RPGs is the interaction between different personalities. However, during my search, I found an entire page dedicated to dice games that can be played solitaire. Apparently, I’m not the only gamer who gets the shakes when I haven’t been able to meet with my buddies regularly.
I went to Amazon to buy another “pound o’ dice” since I only had about an eighth of a pound or so left from the original that I got a couple of years ago. I downloaded a few of the game boards. Yes, all of them were free to download! I took a day or two to familiarize myself with the rules. Then, I got to playing a few of them.
The Long Road to Reno
Okay, so this one uses only d6s, but I promise that they aren’t the only types of dice out there. In fact, I have all manner of dice in my pound of dice. There are d10s that I can use to play Marvel Super Heroes RPG. There are d20s that I can roll initiative, saving throws, or THAC0! There are d4s that I can use to stab you with my trust dagger in D&D if you don’t watch your mouth! Wait, no, come back, I’m sorry. I’m just trying to justify an insane purchase of a “pound o’ dice” and I took it out on you. I’m sorry.
This game is tough! I mean, I understand that games are supposed to offer a challenge, but I have played this game 3 or 4 times, and I rarely make it to that second green square. I don’t know if I have the instructions wrong, I’m just unlucky on my rolls, or it is intentionally demoralizing, but my party gets gunned down, dies of starvation or heat stroke, or just wanders off into the desert in seeming record time.
For the record, I also played the sequel and lost badly in that one, too. I mean, I like the games, and I have fun with the various scenarios presented by the die rolls. However, I have yet to approach anything even remotely resembling a victory. Perhaps I will try again when I got through another dry spell.
Dice of Arkham
I’ll admit it. If there were actually old gods who whispered sweet crazies into our ears, I’d probably eventually succumb to their madness. I’m already pretty crazy as it is, so it wouldn’t take many “your family will abandon you” or “your toaster is plotting your demise” before I threw out the toaster and started walking around with an emergency blanket like Chuck from “Better Call Saul”.
In all seriousness, though, this game seems a bit more balanced than the d6 Shooters games. I felt much more comfortable playing the game, that I actually had a chance to win, and that added to my enjoyment of the game. I think that, between the three games that I got to play, this one was my favorite. Maybe it was also due to the fact that it was a setting that I preferred. I like cowboys, but I’ll always go for the fantasy/horror game.
Random Zombie Related Dice Names
There were a few games that revolved around killing and/or becoming zombies, depending on your preference, but I didn’t get around to playing them. I will say that they all looked very entertaining and I will probably give them a chance in the future. I’m a bit burned out on zombie stuff recently. However, in the comic book store, I was trying to find where I left off on The Walking Dead comic. I thought that I had sworn that one off for good. But, it appears as if the bitey folk virus is infecting my brain yet again.
If you want to check out any of the games yourself, you can download them atDice Game Depot(a good starting page) orBoard Game Geek(a good resource overall for table top games).