Rajas of the Ganges: The Dice Charmers is one of the most combotastic roll and write games we own. Seriously, one turn can take days……haah only kidding! But it can definitely take a few minutes to complete your chain of box crossing goodness. And there is nothing more satisfying than turning 1 action into 4, 5 or more!
Good thing too as you’ll need to if you want the money and the fame you need to win the game! SO how do you become a box crossing boss? Read on to find out!
This game has minimal set up (once you have assembled the 3D dice holding jubby jumbo elephant (oh yeah, there’s one of those!).
Give each player a sheet (daytime or night-time – they work identically but there are a few track bonus differences) having chosen which side to play, and a pencil. Each player also gets a dice depot tile. Having assembled the elephant, place that and the 8 gorgeous custom dice on the table. There are two of each colour showing posh palace folk (orange), road sections (green), market goodies (purple), and/or river icons (blue).
Each round, the active player rolls all 8 dice and picks one to activate on their turn. The matching colour die goes up on the back of the elephant which means it is also unavailable for other players to use that round.
Then in clockwise order, every other player selects a die from those remaining and performs the action(s) their chosen die triggers.
If any action(s) grant you wealth or fame, you immediately cross off the next available space on the relevant track. And remember to check the tracks themselves for bonuses too!
Note that if you have some Karma stored up (one of the bonuses to collect as you go through the game), before selecting a die, you can spend it to re-roll the dice stored on the elephant as well as one unused die from the pool. The unused one goes back up on the elephant until the end of the round.
Note also that 2Player mode is a little different – in that instance, the active player chooses 2 dice per round so you alternate picking until each player has taken two. There are also a few other minor tweaks regarding karma and end game scoring but I’ll let you discover those!).
The dice in Rajas do different things to the various sections of your sheet:
Purple – these give you 2 goods (tea, silk and/or spices) to sell at the markets located in your province. In order to sell goods to make money and rocket up the wealth track, however, you need to have collected them first.
Green – these are sections of the routes you will take through your province to trigger bonuses – you must connect your residence to various buildings and bonus actions including markets where you can sell up to 3 goods you have previously collected, and upgrades that will allow you to collect more fame every time you connect a new building! And you can only connect new road sections to either your residence or an existing road. Note that one single half road section can’t be used to pass into a new province square.
Orange – these influential palace folk each offer favours like selling goods, sailing on the river, drawing half road sections in your province etc. which you then use as immediate actions (there’s even one that allows you to trigger another palace dweller!); and
Blue – the river track is another way to trigger bonus actions, and the bonus you get to use elsewhere on the sheet is that shown in the next unoccupied space.
The game of Rajas continues with players picking dice each round until someone’s fame and wealth tracks cross over. At that point, all other players finish their turn for that round and then it’s track tracking time! If more than one player’s tracks have crossed over by the end, the true winner is the one with the biggest overlap between their money and their fame!
I hope this quick guide helps you through the main elements of your first game of Rajas and gives you a flavour of the flow. There are quite a few icons to familiarise yourself with (which I can’t cover here), but rules booklet is very thorough. As such, if you have any queries over a particular action, head there for all the details!