Dice Hospital

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Dice Hospital puts you in charge of your very own growing clinic! Here, the patients take the form of dice (come on, you’d guessed that already!). The aim of Dice Hospital is to welcome these ‘patients’ into your hospital, where you then try to heal them. There’s an element of dice drafting to this, from co-designers Stan Kordonskiy and Mike Nudd. In Dice Hospital you each s…
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Category Tag SKU ZBG-ALDICEHOS01 Availability Backorder
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  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You Might Like

  • The theme.
  • Simple rules, but enough
  • Dice as patients.
  • Quick playtime once you're familiar with the game.

Might Not Like

  • No
  • Patients can die if left untreated.
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Dice Hospital puts you in charge of your very own growing clinic! Here, the patients take the form of dice (come on, you’d guessed that already!). The aim of Dice Hospital is to welcome these ‘patients’ into your hospital, where you then try to heal them. There’s an element of dice drafting to this, from co-designers Stan Kordonskiy and Mike Nudd.

In Dice Hospital you each start with a default hospital set-up, which comprises of a series of hex tiles. You have waiting rooms for dice to, erm, wait in, and a bunch of rooms for healing patients in various ways. You also start with some nurse meeples and an asymmetrical Specialist card. This provides a corresponding medical meeple of some kind. You also have three dice already in your waiting rooms.

The higher the pip value, the closer the ‘patients’ are to reaching full health! Likewise, the lower the pip-value? Those patients are in severe trouble! If you can discharge patients – when they’re go above a ‘6’ – you can earn points. When a die is at ‘1’ and goes below that, the patient dies and you lose points.

Rounds consist of drafting an ambulance full of dice/patients. You also take on either a new hospital room (hex tile) or another Specialist (getting a new worker). In no time at all, your dice hospitals become modular, in an engine-building fashion. Once everyone’s drafted, then everyone tries to work medical miracles and heal their dice! Some staff members are better suited to treating different kinds of patients. Staff come in red, yellow and green, and so do the patients (red, yellow, and green dice). Will your staff meeples save the day in a worker placement manner? Will your shiny new clinics speed up recovery times? How will you spend your action points?

Dice Hospital is one of the most popular titles from publisher Alleycat Games.

Player Count: 1-4 Players
Time: 45-90 minutes
Age: 10+

Dice Hospital is a 1-4 player worker placement and action selection game published by Alley Cat Games. In Dice Hospital players will run and manage their hospital to treat as many patients as they can. Players have their own personal hospital board that can be upgraded with additional treatment rooms and a team of nurses and specialists available to treat the patients. Oh, and the patients are represented by dice that are drafted from a selection of ambulances.

Players will need to effectively utilise their hospital and staff to treat patients and discharge them from their hospital to gain points. The player with the most points at the end of the game wins.


Each player receives their personal hospital board, two score markers (one is placed on the score board and the other is used to remind the player of their colour) and three nurses which are placed on the nurse’s station in their hospital.

The ambulances are placed in the middle of the table equal to the number of players plus one. (i.e. a four-player game will have five ambulances). The Department tiles are shuffled and placed in a face-down stack, as are the Specialist cards. One less than the number of players of Department tiles and Specialist cards are drawn face-up. (i.e. a four-player game will have three of each).

All the other Doctor meeples, Blood Gag tokens and Fatality tokens are placed in the middle of the table. The dice (or patients) are placed in the bag with the number used dependent on player count.

Each player (starting with the first player) randomly draws three dice from the bag as their starting patients and sets them at three, four or five and placed on the “untreated” space in their hospital.

Finally each player is dealt two Hospital Administrator cards and chooses one which is placed face-up next to their hospital. These give players additional victory points when discharging certain patients from their hospitals.


Dice Hospital is played over eight rounds with each round consisting of six phases.

Patient Intake

The first player draws three dice from the bag for each ambulance and rolls them. If any dice show a one or a six, these are re-rolled. The dice are then placed on the ambulances one at a time starting with lowest value dice. The ambulances are filled in numerical order. When there are multiple dice of the same value (i.e. four dice with a pip value of two) but different colours, the player to the right of the first player decides which dice are placed in which ambulance.

Starting with the first player and going clockwise each player selects an ambulance to receive in to their hospital (The first player is not allowed to select ambulance one). Any unused dice in ambulances not selected are returned to the bag. The ambulance number dictates which order the players select upgrades in the next phase. Also, the player who has selected the lowest number ambulance receives the first player token and a bonus Blood Bag. All players then move their patients from their ambulances and place them in the untreated space in their hospital.

Hospital Improvement

In ambulance number order (lowest first) each player will select either a new department tile or a new specialist card from the face-up display. Department tiles are added to your starting hospital and the specialist card is placed near your hospital with the corresponding coloured doctor meeple, take from the supply.

After each player has taken an improvement, they can return said improvement to the bottom of the stack to gain a blood bag.

Hospital Activation

Each player now activates their hospital in an attempt to heal and discharge as many patients as possible. To heal a patient a player can use any available Nurses or Specialists in an empty department to trigger the effect. Each Nurse or Specialist can only be used once per round and each department can only be activated once per round.

The basic departments available in the starting hospital allow players to heal a red, green or yellow patient one pip or a one/two, three/four or five/six value patient one pip. Other Departments and Specialists that are acquired during the Hospital Improvement phase allow players to perform other actions, like heal three reds of the same value one pip, or when a green patient is healed heal another green patient one pip. With careful placement of specialists and nurses and using the rooms economically players will strive to heal many patients.

When a patient is healed above a pip value of six, they are discharged and placed in the discharge area on the player’s hospital board. When a patient is healed for the first time this round, they are moved from the untreated to the treated section of the hospital board so that is clear which patients have been treated and which have not.

Players can also use any number of Blood Bags to heal any patient one additional step or temporarily change the colour of a die until the end of this phase.

Neglected Patients

Any patients in the untreated section of a player’s hospital have been neglected and their health (pip value) decreases by one. If a patient is at value one and is neglected it becomes a fatality and a fatality token is added to the players morgue. Each fatality token in the morgue at the end of the game counts as negative points.

Discharged Patients

Each player counts the number of patients they have discharged and scores victory points. The more patients that have been discharged in a round the more points are gained. Discharging one patient gets one point but discharging two patients results in three points and discharging six patients results in 11 points and so on. All discharged patients/dice are returned to the bag. If any player managed to empty their ward of patients gets an additional five points.

Shift Change

This is the final phase in the round. All Nurse meeples are returned to the Nurse’s station, all Specialists are returned to their corresponding cards, all treated patients are moved to the untreated space and all the ambulances are returned to the middle.

The first player advances the round marker, removes any improvements that were not claimed to the bottom of the relevant stack, and draws new face-up Departments and Specialist cards.

Gameplay continues this way until the eighth round and the final scores are calculated. Each player must deduct two points from the score for each Fatality token in their morgue and adds one point for each unused Blood Bag. The player with the most points is the winner of Dice Hospital.

Dice Hospital – The Power of Healing

Alley Cat Games have done it again. Dice Hospital is a fantastic game. It plays well at two and four players (I have yet to try at three). From the beginning this game offers tough choices. Taking the lowest ambulance to gain first player token (and a Blood Bag) and get first pick of the improvements leaves you with patients that require a lot of healing. Take the highest number ambulance and you get relatively healthy patients but left with the minimal choices on the improvements.

The Departments and the Specialists are really good and give great flexibility and choices on how to use them in the most effective way. Discharging patients is also compelling as you want to discharge as many patients at the same time as possible to get the best score. This sometimes means purposely not treating patients so you can pull of a big move next turn.

The artwork is really nice and the custom meeples look great. The Deluxe version comes with 3D ambulances and upgraded components. There are also Event Cards which I didn’t mention above. These can be added in to the game and are drawn at the start of each round. Some of these are one-off immediate events and some last the remainder of the round. These cards really mix up the game and are a great addition. There is also a solo mode included in the game where players must complete Medical Report Cards which are basically objective cards focused on discharging a certain number of patients of a certain colour. I have not tried this yet but I am keen to give it a go.

As I said above, Dice Hospital is a fantastic game. I love the use of the dice to represent patients and their health, the Specialist cards and the Departments tiles are great and offer lots of options. The replay-ability is good with different ways to heal the patients via the Specialists and the Departments. The game is also pretty easy to teach to other players and takes about 90 minutes with the higher player count. This is reduced if playing with people who know the game and iconography.

The Hospital Activation phase is supposed to be done simultaneously but can be played in turn order for the 1st few rounds until everyone is happy, further reducing the playtime. Dice Hospital is a game that I can see hitting the table often with gamers and non-gamers a like. Highly recommend.

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.

Final Scoring

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.

Zatu Score


  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You might like

  • The theme.
  • Simple rules, but enough
  • Dice as patients.
  • Quick playtime once you're familiar with the game.

Might not like

  • No
  • Patients can die if left untreated.