The time for boring “dream homes” is over! They’re out – a thing of the past. The time for magnificent manors is now! Collect blueprints to expand your manor, advertise your manor to the public, and take people on manor tours. Prove you can build the best manor around!
What Is It?
Dice Rolling / Bidding – Each turn players will roll all of their available dice and choose all dice of 1 number to use. They can split the dice how they choose over 3 options. They can bid on blueprint tiles by placing dice of the matching number on the appropriate space. To be outbid, another player must big more dice. Second, they can bid on advertising for points, and to earn additional dice by placing dice in the center. A bid of more dice will beat less (i.e. 2 one-dice will beat 1 six-die), or a bid of the same number of dice at a higher value (i.e. 3 five-dice will beat 3 four-dice). Finally, players can place dice in their manor to score points or gain inspiration tokens.
Tile Laying (Routes) – When players gain blueprint tiles, they will place them in their manor. They want to create paths of the same number as much as possible because when they place dice in their manor, they can only place 1 number at a time (i.e. a single four-die, or 3 five-dice) and the more dice they place in a turn, the more points they get.
Who Is It For?
- 2 – 4 Players – While it’s playable at 2, 3, or 4, I don’t think it scales great. The board is so wide open at 2, so you rarely use your manor until the very end because you have to keep collecting tiles to remain competitive for colors/size. And you always get 1 o2 2 bumps on the advertising track, because there isn’t much competition. At 4, the center is so crowded, so you want to use your manor more, but sometimes it can be really hard to get tiles in the first place. I think 3 players is the sweet spot.
- Ages 13 and Up – Not too many rules, but there is a lot going on/a bunch of different choices, so it might be a bit much for younger players
- Fans of dice rolling, bidding, and tile laying
- Players who perhaps enjoy the game Las Vegas and want something that works similarly, but with more decisions
- Components – Nice quality across the board – tiles, dice, board, reference cards
- Aesthetics – I like the art on the room tiles
- Double-sided reference cards
- There is some compensation (inspiration token) for being outbid
- A lot of ways to score points
- Inspiration tokens like to mitigate dice rolls/re-roll
- Scaling – It feels too open at 2, and too tight at 4.
- Size – The room tiles take up a lot of table space for how little you interact with them
- Theme – Feels tacked on; I don’t really feel like I’m building a manor or bidding on advertising
- The compensatory inspiration token often doesn’t feel like enough if you have a bad round and don’t end up with any tiles
I thought this game sounded really neat. I love rolling dice, and the base mechanism sounded similar to the game Las Vegas, which I like, but with more to do, which sounded intriguing. Ultimately, I think the game is just fine. I like rolling the dice and deciding where to bid, and I like building the manor. I guess I just felt like I wanted a little bit more.
I wish that the theme stood out more; it never really feels like I’m building some grand home, because there’s no rhyme or reason for getting certain rooms other than “I want end game bonuses.” I also wish that you were interacting with your manor more. You have to choose between staying competitive for tiles and advertising or putting dice in your manor for some points (depending on how many dice you place), and often it seems much more beneficial to place dice in the center to try and vie for color and size majorities.
The game isn’t bad by any means, and I think a lot of people are really going to like it. I like it best at 3 players, and if someone suggested it, I’d place a game every so often. But personally, it’s not one I’m going to come back to myself all the time, because it’s just a bit middle-of-the-road for me.
My Final Rating – 5/10
Designer – Garrett Herdter
Artist – Damien Mammoliti
Publisher – Arcane Wonders
MSRP – $44.99
*I was provided a copy of this game to do this review*
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