Dice Hospital is a 1-4 player worker placement game where players aim to manage the intake of patients within their respective hospitals. The winner is the player who acquires the most victory points after eight rounds.
Dice Hospital Set-up
To begin, each player gathers a starting board, a player aid, three white 'nurse' meeples, and two score markers in their chosen colour. The first player marker is given to the player who most recently visited hospital. Players then place the score board and a number of ambulances into the centre of the board equal to the number of players plus one. Players may then place one of their scoring tokens on the '0' space of the track, keeping one by their board to indicate their colour choice for the game.
Next, shuffle the Specialists cards and Department tiles, and deal out a number of each equal to one less than the number of players. In a two-player game, the first player chooses to reveal an additional Specialist or Department.
Then add the three sets of coloured dice to the bag, removing three of each colour for every player less than four in the game. Players draw three dice randomly from the bag, setting these to the values of three, four and five and placing them on the untreated spaces on their hospital board. Players also draw two Hospital Administrator cards and place one next to their hospital, returning the other to the box.
All other Dice Hospital components (coloured Specialist meeples, blood bags and fatality tokens) are placed in a supply beside the board.
In Dice Hospital, by Alley Cat Games, play proceeds over eight rounds, each with six distinct phases;
1. Patient Intake
The first player draws three dice from the bag for each ambulance. These dice are then rolled, re-rolling any dice that show a value of one or six. These dice are placed on each ambulance in sequential order starting with the lowest values on ambulance one. When confronted with multiple dice of the same value but different colours, the player to the right of the first player will decide the placement of these dice.
Once all dice have been assigned to an ambulance, each player, in turn order, selects an ambulance and places its dice into the untreated section of their hospital. The player who selected the lowest-numbered ambulance takes a blood bag token and the first player marker. For any player whose hospital cannot take any more patients, they remove a patient of their choice from their hospital. For each dice removed this way, add a Fatality token to the Mortuary space on their player board.
2. Hospital Improvement
Each player, in ambulance number order, selects a new improvement and adds it to their hospital. This is either a Department tile to place workers on, or a Specialist with a unique ability. Players attach any department tiles to their player board, or gather the corresponding-coloured Specialist meeple if they took a specialist card. A player may also discard one of their improvements during this phase (new or existing) to take a blood bag token.
3. Hospital Activation
Using their nurses, specialists and departments, players should aim to heal as many patients as possible. Each Department can only be activated once per turn, and each meeple can only be placed once per round. Each department will heal a specific colour or number value of die. When healed, move a patient die from the untreated area to the treated area of the board. If any die is healed to a value of seven or more, move that dice to the Discharged section of the player board.
Blood bag tokens may also be used to either heal a patient one step, or temporarily change the colour of a die until the end of this phase. Changing a die's colour may allow it to be healed by Departments or improvements not normally available for use on their original colour. Blood bag tokens are also worth one point each at the game's end.
4. Neglected Patients
Once all players have activated their hospital locations, any untreated patients must have their values lowered by one each. If any patient of value one is lowered, return their dice to the bag and add one Fatality token for each die removed this way. Each fatality token will reduce your score at the end of the game.
5. Discharged patients
Each player counts the number of discharged patients and scores points according to the table on their player aid. Move each player's score marker on the round tracker to track these. Any player with an empty ward at the end of this phase scores five additional points. Return all scored patients to the dice bag once scored.
6. Shift Change
Players now prepare for the next round (unless this is eighth round, in which case proceed to scoring). Each player moves all nurses back to their nurse station and each specialist to their respective specialist cards.
Next, move patients from the treated section back to the untreated area. You should also return each ambulance to the centre of the table. Rotate the round marker to the next number, and replace any unclaimed Departments and Specialists with new ones from their respective decks.
After the eighth round, players will add one point to their scores for every blood bag token they own. They also deduct two points for every fatality token. The player with the most points is the winner of Dice Hospital!
Ties are broken first by whoever has the fewest patients remaining in their hospital. Still no winner? The player with the highest total value on their dice (adding the pips together) is the winner. If this doesn't resolve the game, players share the victory.