The year on Boardgamegeek ends traditionally with the fun Dicember challenge. Everybody plays 15 (or 31) dice games - together, solo, digital, whatever way you can. It took a while this year before I was able to participate, but now I'm off. 🎲
There was however another mission I wanted to finish first. By playing D-Day Dice Pocket 15 times, I would get to 100 plays for that game in 2020. So today I stormed the beaches.
D-Day Dice Pocket is a quick and simple game using six custom dice from D-Day Dice. The six faces are one soldier, two soldiers, courage (medal), star, tool and skull. The game comes with six beaches to conquer. Each beach is divided into six sectors, where you'll go up against Axis enemy soldiers. In the first sector you roll one Axis die, in the second two dice, etc. You try to match the enemy symbols by rolling your dice to take them out. The sectors all have some unique obstacle to overcome which brings variation to the rounds.
You can also try to recruit specialists, for dice mitigation. Whenever you end up with the same symbol in three colours at the end of your round, you pick the corresponding card. Some specialists let you change the face of a die, some the colour, some will sacrifice themselves so you can go on without matching the Axis dice.
So, for example in the picture above, I was storming Utah Beach. Normally you'd roll three Axis dice there (the grey ones), but there's an extra star to match as unique obstacle. You've got three tries to match the grey dice. As you can see, I managed, and not only that, but I also rolled a red, white and blue soldier. This combination let me recruit the Corporal card, and from now on all my end results would have one soldier face extra.
Every sector will be harder, so you'll try and recruit as many specialists as possible in the beginning. When you manage to reach the bunker in sector 6, you'll have to match all six Axis dice.
A game will take somewhere between 2 minutes (loss) to 6 (win). It involves some very light planning but is mainly push your luck. It took me eight tries to conquer Utah Beach. Next up Gold Beach, then Juno Beach. I was really enjoying myself. Until I hit Sword Beach. The obstacle in sector 5 is that you have to recruit a specialist. If you don't, you roll a die to see which sector you restart in. I got back to the landing area a few times. And I was not thinking right. The game went on and on, and I recruited specialists in other sectors as well. Until there was just one left. From then on, every time I landed on sector 5 I had to match five Axis dice, while also try to roll a red, white and blue soldier. Yes, I needed a lot of luck. And no, I didn't have it. So every time I got to sector 5, I had to roll at the end and see what sector I had to restart on, etc. etc.
After more than 30 minutes, I rolled sector 6. Yes! "Starting over" in sector 6 meant I had finally reached the bunker. The bunker on Sword Beach had reversed rules. This time all my dice would have to show results that were not on the six Axis dice. I rolled four different symbols with the grey dice, which left two for me. But of course I could use all kinds of dice mitigation now, with my row of specialists. So I managed to clear the bunker and even recruited the last card in this final round.
I really like D-Day Dice Pocket. But you should not play a session of over half an hour. It becomes very frustrating. As I had put myself in this position, I won't hold it against the game. And it sure did feel like the longest day, which of course is thematic in itself.