Posted by: marksmithtn | August 25, 2011

Quarriors – Thoughts

By:  Mark Smith

I didn’t play Quarriors Thursday, but would rate it a 4 based on previous plays.  I really like the idea, but not the execution.  It’s a very deterministic game with little to no control, and really only one (fairly obvious) path to victory.  Die rolls determine who wins the race to the most powerful dice, then that person wins the game.  The scoring, which rewards the more powerful dice with more points when they survive (and they SHOULD survive…they’re more powerful!!), only exacerbates the problem.  I guess to look at it another way, the scoring provides a mercifully quick end once someone’s acquired the game-winning die – why prolong the inevitable?


  1. One thing we did that resulted in more tactical options was this: a player may buy more than one die with their quiddity. So with a roll of 8, you could buy the big 8 monster, or buy a couple smaller ones. I look forward to seeing the first expansion for this one!

  2. My response was almost exactly the same as Mark’s. I wanted to like Quarriors because of the concept, but after a couple plays, I would always choose Dominion or Ascension over it.

  3. Comments by Sheila Morton:

    I think Quarriors has some problems that could easily have been hammered-out in good play-testing. Of course it is random — it is dice. But in addition, the cards are wildly uneven and the end-game conditions FAR too quickly achieved. Spells aren’t nearly as valuable as monsters, though cost is equivalent. And card variations (for example, three dragons) are not different enough to provide lasting variation and interest. Moreover, the ability of those who have scored a monster to then cull their dice serves to make the rich richer, whereas if they had made culling an ability of those who have LOST monsters, it could help those trailing to get back into the game.

    I feel the game has so much potential and is so cute, but these are flaws that seem to me to be silly. Why weren’t they ironed-out before during development? It feels like a lazy game production to me, though with house rules, I think it could be great.

    • I thought the variation within a monster set was pretty interesting. Changing out for new monster cards really impacted the games I have played.

  4. Well, I hate to admit it, but the Emperor may not be wearing any clothes.

    I think all the comments are dead on, but still, for some reason, I enjoy the game. Maybe it’s because I *want* to enjoy it so much. I keep looking for that good tactical dice game and this is about as close as anyone has come to creating it.

    I keep hoping that someone will come up with some sort of “fix” that will solve the runaway leader problem. One of the things that struck me today as I was thinking about the game was how Dominion solves some of these same issues.

    In Dominion, the person that is in the lead is choking up their hand with “useless” victory point cards; this is missing from Quarriors. Quite the opposite, the person in the lead gets to tune their dice to make it even more efficient. Sheila’s idea of the loser getting to cull is interesting, but I would have to think about the consequences of that (intentionally losing?) I was thinking that maybe a restriction on how many monsters a player can put out (2?) or even, rolling less dice (6?) to make it more difficult to actually bring monsters into play. Right now, I think it’s pretty easy to bring monster into play to attack other players. I almost never have a shortage or Quiddity. In fact, I often don’t spend it all.

    In spite of all of these problems, I still find the game to be quite fun…and I can’t figure out why.

  5. My feelings about this game are somewhere in the middle at present. I do think it has flaws, but I also think it’s cute and there is fun there. The variable cards to go with each set of dice is a nifty idea that results in more game variety. Shaking up a bag of dice is definitely easier and more fun than the constantly shuffling of most deck builders!

    Some of the flaws I see – games seem to end abruptly. Almost every time I’ve played I’ve felt like it should go to a higher point value before ending. (This might also give enough time for luck to equalize out a little so it’s not just the case of the first person to get the big monster working wins. Also on that topic I’ll note that I played a game with Kevin where I was significantly behind and he had the dragon out first, and by the end I was only one point behind him.)

    I think it seems weird and possibly flawed that culling out poor dice is tied to having successfully earned points. If you’re doing poorly it’s like just getting kicked when you’re down!

    Portal seems weak compared to its cost and placement as a die set used in every game.

  6. Quarriers – Strategy.
    Buy the most expensive thing you can each turn.
    Pray that you get to use your big purchases.

    Did I miss anything?

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