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.

Relic – the game, not the players!

Relic - box coverEdmund and I played Relic, the recent release from Fantasy Flight Games, with our friend Steve earlier this week.  If you’ve played the old Talisman board game from Games Workshop, it’s very similar.  Instead of two stats you now have three, and the “flavour” is the universe of Warhammer 40,000 rather than fantasy, but it plays the same way.

I don’t really know why I loved Talisman so much — I can list the things that are wrong with it, but for me it remains a great beer-and-pretzel game.  I guess it’s associated with memories of a lot of fun times with friends.  Really, you’re at the mercy of luck (or poor shuffling of the cards), and you wander around hoping your fellow players will be hit as badly as you are by goofy die rolls.

Anyway, Relic plays the same way but offers a tiny bit more opportunity for strategy.  Not much more, mind you, but it’s still fun.  You know have more choices of gear and options for powers, plus missions to complete in order to acquire “relics”, the WH40K equivalent of “talismans”; and as before, you want to wait until the right time to advance to the end section of the board.  I don’t have too many complaints (at least not ones that would not apply to Talisman as well!), except that the graphic designers have put in way too much purple for my taste!

We finished the day with a few rounds of Race for the Galaxy, a fun and quick card game which I’ve discussed before.  In the end things were pretty fair: I think everybody won a round of one game or another in turn.