Relic: Stupid Dice!

Relic: Gargoyle encounterWe played Relic again, the recent release from Fantasy Flight Games; I’ve talked about it in a previous post. That little bastard here, the gargoyle? It was emblematic of how unfair the dice were. We had the classic spread that Edmund was complaining of in a comment on one of my other recent posts on board gaming: the breakaway player who levels up every two or three turns, the middling player just about holding his ground, and me—rolling only 1s unless I’m rolling on behalf of someone else’s enemy, in which case I get 6s. I levelled exactly once.

The gargoyle became the flag-bearer for this phenomenon. With a score of only 2, it should be easy to get rid of, but it rolled two 6s and a 5, handily crushing one player character. Then a second player fought it, and the same thing happened: two 6s and a 5 (rolled by a different player.) Then it was banished by an event and we never got our revenge!

Stupid dice.

2 thoughts on “Relic: Stupid Dice!

  1. Relic is Talisman 4th as I understand it, and it falls prey to the same problems. There really isn’t much strategy to it – “Go to the Sanctuary and heal a life whenever you can” about sums it up. Other than that, it is entirely down to die rolling luck. In our game one player just took off and never looked back, I was doing reasonably well until a couple of bad draws and an unlucky battle wiped out all my stat increases and left me stalled at about mid-level power, and Sophie – well, Sophie never got out of the starting gate. To give you an idea of the disparity of power, when we called the game our leading player had leveled something like nine times and had a couple of stats in double digits, I had leveled 6 times but had most of my stat increases wiped out by a few bad luck events, and Sophie had leveled exactly once and died twice.

    My issue here is that games like this are NEVER fun for the person who can’t get any sort of momentum rolling – and Relic is a game that can last HOURS. Sitting there for hours watching the other players slay demons and stack up relics while you are struggling with chaos cultists and ork boyz is just not the way anyone wants to spend a big chunk of time, and with games like this which are largely luck based, you can’t even learn anything from the experience other than “try to roll better next time”.

    1. Yeah, the lack of ways to improve for next time was what left me frustrated. I’ll be the first to say that sometimes I just don’t play certain games well; but this seemed all dice-based. On the other hand, I’ve seen it happen to enough people to not feel singled out by stochastic events…

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