With isolation and limited ability to go outside the home, I find myself in a position (along with the rest of you) of nervousness and boredom. One can only watch so much Netflix before you develop bedsores and a stiff neck! So, I’ve set myself a challenge to play at least one board game a day during this time and if possible pair it with a good beer, wine, or cocktail. Why not! Feel free to play along. Today marks day 16 of quasi-quarantine. Just so my readers know, I’m not actually in quarantine yet–I’m a pediatrician and am still going into work on my regular work days. So while I’m not technically stuck at home, I am in a high-stress work environment these days and really need game playing as an outlet when I get home.
One Deck Dungeon
For yesterday’s game of the day to pass the interminable time of quarantine, we broke out One Deck Dungeon from Asmadi Games. This is a small publisher, not the monolithic company that owns just about every other board game company, Asmodee.
I bought this when looking for small but engaging games to take to taprooms. We played it at Wabasha Brewing once, but found that with all the tiny dice involved, we ended up having to jump down off our high chairs a lot to gather strays. I think we will keep this one at home where only the cats will cause problems!
This is a tiny box, easily portable, and has a lot of replayability. Each game takes place in a randomized dungeon of a certain number of cards. Each final boss has an associated overarching dungeon effect for each of the three levels of dungeon, adding new challenges each time you play in addition to the random monsters and traps in the dungeon deck. Time is a commodity in this game, with each exploration, and several other effects making you lose time tokens. When those are out, you need to keep going deeper in the dungeon or start taking damage…but the lower levels are harder!
Each player has a character card fitting classic D&D tropes like thief, sorceror, warrior, etc. Interestingly, and cool in my book, all the characters are female. Each have skills in certain areas–warriors have more fighting ability for instance–which give them more tiny colored dice to roll when exploring the dungeon. These cards will have little colored boxes with numbers inside them–you accomplish these feats by placing your rolled dice inside the boxes (according to number). Any unfilled boxes at the end of the encounter leads to consequences. Consequences are usually lost time, or wounds for your characters. Rewards can be potions to heal you, boosts to your stats (more dice to roll), skills, or experience points which can let you have more upgrades and skills. When taking cards as rewards, you will place them beneath your character to show increased attacks or skills. Pretty cool idea!
At the end, you have to fight the boss monster with whatever skills and boosts you have grabbed along the way. This can take a couple of rounds depending on how tough you are.
To pair with this darkest delve into the black depths of a dungeon, we opened our last two cans of Bent Paddle (Duluth, MN) Black. This dark colored beer is somewhere in between a porter and a stout, with a robust roastiness, but not too harsh of an astringency. Very drinkable now that the weather has turned cold again here in Minnesota. Then again, I’m not one of those who feel you can only drink light colored beers in warmer months!
I really like how they fit dice rolling, leveling up characters, monsters, traps, and more into such a tiny and well thought out package. However, the rule book is difficult to follow and our first few tries were filled with unanswered questions. This is also now an app and I play it solo on my iPad often. Much easier to learn with the tutorial on the app!