It seemed so simple. Roll some dice, plant some seeds, grow some veggies. But now your opponent has a bird eyeing your eggplant seeds, and you’re wishing you’d watered them when you had the chance. You could place your scarecrow to protect them, but if you harvest your carrots and tomatoes now, you’ll complete another set. Those bonus points could make all the difference at the end of the game. And unless he rolls just right, your opponent won’t be able to get his bird to your seeds on his next turn... What to do? What to do??
Garden Dice is a dice-rolling, tile-laying, and set collection board game for 2 to 4 players, ages 10 and up. Players take turns rolling dice to buy, plant, water, and harvest five different vegetables with differing point values. The board shows a garden on a 6x6 grid where players place their tiles using dice rolls as coordinates. Four special tiles give players additional options and create new game dynamics. At the end of the game, bonus points are awarded for collecting sets of tiles, and the player with the most points after all tiles have been played is the winner.
Garden Dice uses simple rules, but involves a surprising amount of strategy. The more you play, the more nuances you will discover. Even the most seasoned gamers will find something new in Garden Dice.
With your help, Garden Dice can be published this year and in the hands of board gamers everywhere. The artwork and rules editing are nearing completion, but I need the financial assistance of supporters like you to manufacture, market, and distribute the game.
If this campaign is successful, anyone who pledges at least $35 will be playing Garden Dice by October 2012 . After that, the game will go on sale to the general public. If you pledge $150, you can get a signed copy of the game four full weeks in advance!
In Garden Dice, players roll 4 dice each turn. Based on that roll, players can perform a variety of actions:
- Buy seed tiles
- Plant seed tiles
- Water seed tiles, flipping them to the veggie side
- Harvest veggie tiles to score points
The game also includes four special tiles:
- The bird and rabbit tiles can eat other players' seed and veggie tiles - but not without paying a small penalty!
- The sundial allows a player to modify dice rolls used for planting
- The scarecrow protects seed tiles from the bird and awards bonus points when veggies are harvested
Garden Dice also has a novel chaining mechanic that really shines: whenever a tile is watered or harvested, any adjacent tile with a lower value is also watered or harvested. Using this tactic, a player can water and/or harvest multiple tiles with a single die. But you have to be careful, or your opponents’ adjacent tiles will get watered and harvested, too! Whom will it help more?
Bonus points are awarded at the end of the game for sets of veggie tiles, and the player with the most points wins.
The artwork for Garden Dice was created by Joshua Cappel, who has done the artwork or graphic design for over two dozen other board games, including Belfort, Pandemic, and Wasabi! I think you’ll agree Josh has done an excellent job with Garden Dice:
- The board with 6x6 garden grid and scoring track
- 50 seed/veggie tiles (47.5mm square)
- 4 sundial/scarecrow tiles (octagonal)
- 4 bird/rabbit tiles (round)
- 4 sun tokens (sun-shaped)
- 2 rock tiles (square)
- 4 wooden dice with indented pips
- 36 wooden 15mm discs in player colors
- 4 large player aids
- The color rule book
As a bonus, the box, board, tiles, and player aids will all be printed with a linen finish!
Below are some of the testimonials I've received from play testers and reviewers:
- "Garden Dice is a great little game with lots of tactics, punk factor and lasting family entertainment" - Chris Kirkman of Dice Hate Me
- “I love how much strategy there is to Garden Dice. It’s an easy game to learn, but you learn quickly that you really need to stay on your toes and think ahead about how best to use your rolls and where to plant. My type of game!” – Andi Newton, co-author of Cthulhu Invictus
- "Garden Dice has some novel mechanisms — and as someone who has played well over a thousand different games, this is not a statement you should take lightly — and grants the players interesting, difficult choices about how to use their dice, and exactly how they want to gamble in order to be king or queen of the crops!” - Nathan Morse, play tester
- "Clever, fast-paced, and surprisingly addictive, Garden Dice is easily among the best dice-based games I've encountered." - Ben McJunkin, play tester
For more information about Garden Dice, please visit one of the links below:
- Garden Dice on BoardGameGeek.com
- Meridae Games website (rules available here)
- Garden Dice Rules
- Review on GamerChris.com
By participating in the Kickstarter campaign to fund the game, you can also receive special rewards such as a 100% organic cotton Meridae Games or Garden Dice t-shirt or a burlap dice bag with extra dice.
The 100% organic cotton t-shirt is available in your size on a white t-shirt, with either the Meridae Games or Garden Dice logo, your choice. The Meridae Games logo is 4-color and the Garden Dice logo is 6-color. You will be asked for your preference and size as the delivery date approaches. Mockups are shown below.
The burlap dice bag and dice reward includes a 4x4 double-drawstring burlap dice bag with 16 colored wooden dice, 4 for each player. For rewards with multiple dice bags and dice sets, you'll get one burlap bag and 16 dice for each copy of the game. Actual bag with representative dice shown below.
Lastly, if anyone is interested in supporting the campaign at the highest level, I will send you a signed copy of the finished game, a Meridae Games or Garden Dice t-shirt, the burlap dice bag with 16 dice, and the earliest surviving prototype that I carried around with me. This includes the prototype board, tiles, dice, and cubes, as well as the cardboard box I kept everything in. Notice the scribbles on the board and the two-point tile featuring a vegetable that is not grown from seeds!
First, each game will include a set of four garden gnome tiles, one for each player. I am still working on the play testing for this tile, but what I can say is that it will give additional dice options for players. Here's a look at the red player's gnome, done by Josh:
Red Ladybugs, Green Crickets, Blue Butterflies, and Yellow Bees
I do not have the sticker images at this time, as Josh has been working very hard to finish up the box art (which I can't wait to see!). However, you know he'll make them look great, and I will post them as soon as he can work them up.
- Transplant - Switch the location of any two veggie tiles on the board.
- Gentle Rain - You may water an opponent's tile. If you do, you may also water one of your own. Chaining effects still occur.
- Sunny Day - Take another turn immediately after this one, but only roll two dice that turn
- Shoo! - You may pick one bird or rabbit to be removed from the board. Return the tile to its owner along with any ownership marker(s) on it.
- Midnight Raid - You may switch the ownership markers of any two veggie tiles on the board.
- Lucky Break - add one pip to a single die that is used to water or harvest a tile this turn.
Publishing Garden Dice has been a dream of mine that started in late 2009. With your help, I can make that dream a reality. From the bottom of my heart, I thank each and every one of you for your support, whether financial or simply getting the word out. I truly appreciate it.
Special thanks to Chad Bowser, Chris Kirkman, Andi Newton, and John Coates for their guidance on launching this campaign and to the many who play tested the game and gave me ideas to improve it. I am very grateful.
I've been asked this a couple of times, and though I didn't make it explicit, the answer is definitely Yes.
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