Awesome Dice Announces 1-Sided Dice

Today Awesome Dice announces 1-sided dice:

We here at Awesome Dice HQ are thrilled to announce the launch of 1-sided dice. Yes, the fabled d1 is finally here!

Why do you need 1-sided dice?

Imagine this all too common scenario faced every day by D&D DMs around the world: your group is in a dungeon crawl. There’s a room with a pie in it, and the pie is guarded by an orc. If the characters open the door, one of these things happen:

1. The orc attacks

That’s it, there’s only the one option. So the characters do indeed open the door and the poor DM consults the chart. Unfortunately the smallest die type he has is a d4, so our DM has no choice but to roll the d4 over and over until he gets a 1 before he knows what the orc is going to do.

This is exactly the situation that 1-sided dice are designed to solve. Now the DM can grab the d1 and quickly roll just one time, see what the orc will do, and get on with the action of the game. In this way 1-sided dice make your game move faster and better.Read Full Article.

Shuriken Kickstarter Ends

With Shuriken raising just over $30k at 30 days in and with 15 days to go, it is clear that the project will not be funded, and so we are regretfully pulling the plug on the Kickstarter today.

It’s been a heck of a ride, we’ve learned a lot and tried to correct and adjust for backer needs on the fly, but even making the whole project Kickstarter exclusive gave us only a small spike in backers. In the end I suspect that to actually raise all the funds for a big box game requires a large pre-existing audience, and preferably a funding goal much lower than the cost of producing the Kickstarter.

… Read the Full Post.

Shuriken Kickstarter Launches

Shuriken BoxAfter nine months of continuous effort, the Shuriken Kickstarter has finally launched! You can find the Shuriken Kickstarter project Here.

Shuriken is a board game of ninja warfare that will come with 250 plastic ninja. Awesome Enterprise has been funding development of the project since late 2012. We have contracted artwork and graphic design, put together playtest prototypes and managed nation-wide blind playtesting. The game is now in excellent shape and gathering great reviews from playtesters, and we’re now ready to show it to the world.

Check out the Kickstarter page or the Shuriken page here on Awesome Enterprise to learn more about how the game plays or even download the entire rulebook, and see graphics from the game.

Most Popular Dice

Today Awesome Dice shares data on the most popular gaming dice, breaking it down to the most popular dice set types, most popular colors of dice, and the top 10 most popular dice sets:

It’s no secret that we gamers love dice — heck, we built a business around it. So we thought it would be fun to take a look at exactly what kinds of dice gamers like the most. With the tens of thousands of dice we sell each year, we figure there aren’t many businesses around that sell more dice than we do so we’re in a unique position to know what kinds of dice are most popular to gamers. And we love sharing data!

This data is all based on sales on Awesome Dice, and we’re counting number of purchases for each dice type. This data set is looking at all of 2012 sales — if there’s enough interest, we’ll continue posting this kind of information every year. … Read Full Post.

Shuriken: Call for Playtesters

Development of the Shuriken board game is now entering the final phase: open blind playtesting. We need volunteers to blind playtest prototypes of the board game.

In the blind playtesting phase players play the game without any help from the designers — they just have the prototype and the rules. Blind playtesting is a good way of finding poorly worded sections of the rules.

In open blind playtesting the game is played by complete strangers — and as many of them as possible — to gather as much feedback as possible from as many new eyes as possible. The more people who see the game before production, the more errors they can spot, and the more the game can be balanced.

What’s Involved

We have made a limited quantity of hand-made prototypes of Shuriken. These are not finished games. This is cards printed out on a desktop printer, cut out, and put in card sleeves. Board on cardstock rather than actual gameboard. The figures are spraypainted plastic zombies standing in for ninjas. Prototypes also do not included finished art (some, but mostly not).

If you just want to try out a fun new game, blind playtesting is not for you. In blind playtesting we’re asking you to play the game in a timely fashion and provide detailed feedback on the game — not just if you liked it or not, but feedback about everything from ability balance to spotting typos to things unclear in the rules to length of gameplay and just everything else.

We want playtesters with a reliable group of gamers willing to test out a game prototype, play at least one game within a week or so of receiving the prototype, and who can play multiple games.

If this sounds like you, we’ll be happy to mail you a prototype of the game. And for your assistance we’ll also send you a free copy of the published game if the Kickstarter is successful, as well as giving you playtester credit in the rulebook.

How to Apply

If you’d like to be a blind playtester for Shuriken, just email the following information to shuriken@awesomeenterprise.com:

  • Indicate your interest in the Shuriken playtest
  • Tell us your name
  • Do you have a reliable group of gamers?
  • Will you be able to playtest the game within about a week of receiving it?
  • Are you willing to email us detailed feedback?
  • How many times do you think you’ll be able to run the game?
  • Do you have more than one group that you can playtest with?

Please be aware that we have a limited number of prototypes (they take a ridiculous amount of time to make by hand, even in their crude format) and will not necessarily be able to send everyone who inquires a prototype.

Shuriken Board Tiles

This is a Shuriken preview post. We are beginning to get some of the artwork in for the Shuriken board tiles, from the fantastic Cyril Van Der Haegen. Here is the first tile to come in, the Zen Garden:

Shuriken Zen Garden Tile

The Shuriken game board is made up of 12 of these tiles (each tile is 8″ by 8″) laid out 3 tiles wide by 4 tiles long. Each tile has a 1″ grid of squares, and each square can hold one ninja figure. In addition each tile has a special ability that affects ninja on that tile.

The Zen Garden is one of only two tiles that can’t be destroyed during the game, in which players may not fight each other, and into which any play may place new Unarmed Ninja.

These two starting tiles are mechanically important because they give players a safe place to regroup after a particularly bloody battle and ensure that players will always be able to bring new ninja into the game (outside of the starting tiles, players may only bring new ninja into a tile on which they already have ninja).

Tiles & Combat

One of the ways that Shuriken makes combat fast and easy is by embracing the notion that ninja are martial artists who can leap through the air, off walls, and attack from range or up close. When a player initiates combat, all of that player’s ninja fight all of the opponent’s ninja on the same tile.

This way there is no counting spaces or determining who is adjacent to whom — you can very easily see all of the ninja that participate in the fight at a glance.

Combat is dangerous, however. Not only might you lose to the opponent, but if the dice take a bad turn you could end up damaging the tile itself. Every damage result on the dice (1 in 6 chance) places a damage marker on the tile. If a tile takes 5 damage, it is destroyed. A destroyed tile is flipped over to the destroyed side and all ninja on the tile are returned to their owner’s pool of available ninja.

This mechanic is both fun and practical. Fun because you can see the board slowly get destroyed over the course of the massive series of battles. Practical because it creates a danger to attacking with a huge force of ninja at once. Saving up a giant unstoppable force is likely to wipe out the tile and your forces with it — instead this mechanic encourages players to strike with smaller (but not too small!) forces of ninja, which keeps the action happening. It also sometimes presents interesting tactical choices: perhaps it’s worth engaging in combat not in an attempt to win, but just in an attempt to finish off a tile that’s already heavily damaged, and thus wipe out a chunk of the competition.

Players catch on very quickly to the dangers of trying to save up too large a force — and quickly afterward begin to see the possibilities of using the mechanic against others.

With 12 tiles in the game, the Shuriken game board uses 22 unique pieces of art (10 double-sided tiles, and 2 single-sided ones). Awesome Enterprise has invested to have Cyril begin the board artwork, but the Kickstarter will be needed to pay for the entire collection of board art.

Leather and Chainmail Dice Bags

Today Awesome Dice announces new dice bag offerings: chainmail dice bags and a wide range of leather dice bags:

Here at Awesome Dice we spend a lot of time trying to find not just the coolest dice to sell, but also the coolest dice bags — and in our humble opinion we have one of the best dice bag selections out there. But there have been two obvious things missing from the beginning: chainmail dice bags, and good old fashioned leather dice bags.

Happily, we have recently found solutions to our problems with both of these types of dice bags and we’re happy to announce we have both stainless steel chainmail dice bags for sale as well as a big selection of leather dice bags. We’re very happy to have these holes in our dice bag selection filled. … See Full Post.

Shuriken Miniatures

This is a Shuriken update post. One of the most exciting things about the Shuriken board game is the 250 plastic ninja that come with the game. Here on the Shuriken design team we’re incredibly excited to finally have the chance to show off what these plastic ninja will look like!

Unarmed Ninja

Shuriken unarmed ninja mini

The Unarmed Ninja is the basic unit of Shuriken. When players spend an action to bring new ninja onto the board, it is Unarmed Ninja that are brought in. The Unarmed Ninja are the weakest of the four ninja types in Shuriken, with only a one in six chance of scoring a hit. However they are essential in combat if for no other reason than to soak up the casualties dealt out by the enemy.

As you might imagine, Clans have more Unarmed Ninja than any other type.

Shuriken Ninja

shuriken-shuriken-ninja

The namesake of the game, Shuriken are one of the advanced ninja. Players can spend an action to train two of their Unarmed Ninja into ninja of another type. Shuriken Ninja have two in six chances of scoring a hit in combat, but on one of those two chances they can get a double hit, taking out two enemies.

The greatest strength of the Shuriken Ninja in the game is that they attack first in combat, before Sword or Unarmed Ninja, so a strong force of Shuriken Ninja has the chance to clear out all enemies before the enemy has a chance to attack.

We chose to have the Shuriken Ninja sculpted in a crouched down position to give it a substantially different silhouette, to make it easy to stop the ninja type at a glance.

Sword Ninja

shuriken-sword-ninja

Sword Ninja are the heaviest hitters in Shuriken. They have a two in six chance of scoring a hit in combat plus an additional one in six chance of getting a double hit. Thus a Sword Ninja hits half the time on average.

The Sword Ninja is sculpted with particularly large upraised sword again to make it easy to stop the figure’s silhouette on the game board. Because the figures will be injection molded with soft plastic rather than resin, the sword on the figures will bend rather than break when dropped — at which point you can just straighten it out again.

Master Ninja

shuriken-master-ninjaMaster Ninja are the strongest ninja in the game, as it should be. Each Clan can only have one Master Ninja on the board at a time, and Clans only have access to two Master Ninja (so if both are captured, you must then do without).

Master Ninja participate in every phase of combat: shuriken, sword, and unarmed. Players want to avoid having their Master Ninja captured, and as such it’s safest to make sure your Master Ninja travels in the company of other ninja that can be chosen as casualties in battle.

Shuriken Dice

This is a Shuriken update post.

The Shuriken board game makes use of custom dice to resolve combat and each game will come with ten dice. The dice manufactured for the game will be debossed plastic dice (these are standard high quality gaming dice); however, for the prototype we have to make due with stickers.

shuriken dice

NOT final dice: these are just prototypes with stickers. The final dice will be debossed plastic 16mm dice.

In Shuriken combat, players roll one die for each ninja they have participating (all ninja on a tile participate). Combat happens in three phases: shuriken, then sword, then unarmed. After each phase casualties are removed, and the player who took the casualties gets to choose which of his or her ninja are removed.

The six custom dice phases are:

  • Shuriken: represents a hit during the shuriken phase of combat
  • 2 Shuriken: represents 2 hits during the shuriken phase of combat
  • Sword: represents a hit during the sword phase of combat
  • 2 Swords: represents 2 hits during the sword phase of combat
  • Sword + Damage: represents a hit during the sword phase of combat, but also a damage token is placed on the board. This damage is placed if this result is rolled during any phase of combat.
  • Fist: represents a hit during the unarmed phase of combat

Experienced players know to always have at least a couple of Unarmed Ninja on a tile to use as casualties. Some players prefer to stack Shuriken Ninja for the first strike capabilities while others prefer Sword Ninja to have the heaviest hitters. Both strategies have their strengths and weaknesses, as does a balanced approach of Sword and Shuriken Ninja — but always have those Unarmed Ninja on hand for casualties.

And you’d be surprised how often the Unarmed Ninja manage to polish off the enemy forces in the final phase of combat.

Shuriken Mission Cards

This is a Shuriken preview post. In Shuriken, Mission Cards give players an additional way to gather victory points, and to accumulate techniques that will aid them in combat.

Shuriken Mission Card

Shuriken comes with a deck of 80 Mission Cards. Players have a hand of Mission Cards and as they are completed players lay the Mission Cards face-up in front of them, gaining the benefit of the technique. Each Mission Card has three elements:

  1. A Mission, or what a player needs to do to get the benefit of the card.
  2. A Technique, representing some kind of in-game advantage granted by the card.
  3. Victory Points, which along with number of captured ninja, determine the winner at the end of the game.

Many Mission Cards offer both a useful technique and victory points. Others, like the example above, don’t grant victory points and instead offer only an in-game advantage. All of the discard (one-use) Mission Cards give zero victory points, so players are encouraged to use them.

In terms of game play, Mission Cards help give players direction as they play. Most missions require some kind of combat, often against specific other players, to keep the players interacting with each other. Players have a choice between working to complete Mission Cards, or just launching into combat against the best target on the board.