In Dice Kingdoms of Valeria, you play as an Earl in charge of managing a small Duchy just south of the Bol Mountains. Despite the wars taking place in Valeria and the Western Regions everything in your Duchy seems at peace. The Queen is aggressively building castles in the south in a case a retreat is needed. The finest castle will be awarded the prestigious title of the Southern Capital of Valiera and this is your chance to ascend the ranks to become a Duke or Duchess. Hire citizens, build roads, construct structures, and clear the land of monsters. Now is the time to fulfill your destiny.
Dice Kingdoms of Valeria is a roll and write game in which all players will be simultaneously using the rolled dice to advance on the various tracks to score points. At the beginning of the round the active player rolls all 6 dice (4 coloured dice and 2 black dice). The value of each black die and the sum of both black die are used to activate the citizen track and are used to mark of the matching citizens on the Guild track. Then the active player chooses the yellow, red or green die and activates one of the corresponding sections on their sheets.
The yellow die allows you to recruit another citizen on the citizen tracks. The red die is used to slay a monster on the corresponding track with the green die being used as build action, marking off spots on the building track .The value of the blue die can be added to the other three die to increase its value. When marking off any of the spots on the track an additional bonus/action may be granted in the form of additional recruiting actions, gold, building, knights or stars (which are victory points).
Performing the build action may allow you to complete a domain which gives you the ability to mitigate the dice rolls. Other actions may allow you to gain a statue card which is taken from one of the several on display These statue cards grant you additional end game scoring points or a one off immediate action.
Games continue this way until one the players completes their third guild track which triggers the end of the game. Points are awarded for stars crossed off, the number of claimed domains, defeated monsters, and statute cards. The player with the most points is the winner.
The Valeria games now encompass a multitude of genres, expansions, mechanisms and games. Dice Kingdoms of Valiera is the roll and write entry into this universe. So, how does this entry play? Well, read on to find out what I thought of the game.
It seems to be that roll and write games (including flip and write) with two pages is becoming more and more common recently. Dice Kingdoms of Valeria is no exception. You have two, relatively, decent sized sheets that you will be marking and crossing off. Despite it being fairly generic and abstract in its nature there is a lot of game here. I enjoy the flexibility in what you can do with the dice, and as with other Valeria games, you can bolster your dice rolls with the Holy dice. I always feel that there are options open to you within the game despite it being based on luck.
I do think that Claiming Domains should be a part of your gameplay though. This is probably the biggest way of mitigating the dice rolls. They allow you to flip or add and subtract to the dice you rolled. Mitigation such as this plays an important role in dice games and it is implemented very well here.
There are many paths to victory, keeping the game fresh and interesting each game. There are multiple sources of victory points that can be picked up along the way and they all seem viable. In the long run you will end up doing most of them to a lesser or greater extent giving the game an easy feel to it. Dice Kingdoms of Valeria will not put you through the ringer, but it will give you a nice gaming experience. Not all games need to melt your brain but Dice Kingdoms of Valeria does give you enough to think about without it being hard to play or learn and Dice Kingdoms of Valeria feels refreshing.
Overall, Dice Kingdoms is a pleasant experience. Could it have been a bit tighter? I think it could, but despite this I still enjoy it and keep coming back to it time and time again. For a small box roll and write game that plays quick, it scratches an itch and it does it very well.