Weekly Challenge #4: My top 6 Thematic "Dice Chucker" Games

Premium User

My group tends to play euros and well balanced low luck games.

But sometimes you just need to involve yourself in a story.  Maybe you are a cowboy in the wild west, a space marine commander, Jack Burton, or stalking anomalies in the Zone.  It's fun to chuck a few dice, and see where fate takes you.  The big moments, huge rolls, cheers of victory, and groans of defeat are a ton of fun and win or lose you will have a good time and a story to tell.

My criteria are that you play a specific protagonist in the game, there is a luck factor, and the game has a strong theme that weaves a "story" for your character.

Here are my top 6 thematic dice chucking games:

  1. #Zona: The Secret of Chernobyl: This one for me is carried a long way by its theme.  I love the STALKER video game series, the Roadside Picnic book, and the entire genre built around it.  The game play is really good solo and I think it will be even better multiplayer.  The game rules are not perfect and if the theme wasn't so strong for me this might be down the list a bit more.  The game creators are currently producing a lot of variant and additional rules to spice it up a bit which is super exciting because it's already a good game and headed towards great!
  2. #DOOM: The Board Game: A great game.  I've painted all the miniatures and read the help guides.  It suffers a bit from uneven scenario desiign which has the Invader player really having to play well for most scenarios to be even.  However, the theme is amazing and I can't think of too many other games that have had the table cheering or groaning as the game is won or lost on the last roll or card pull more than this one!
  3. #Big Trouble in Little China: The Game – Deluxe Edition: Another game where the game is good but for me the theme makes iit great.  The rulebook could have been a bit better with this game but after a couple of plays you'll have it down.  The two stage gameplay is interesting and if you like the movie then you will love this game.  Plays well solo or as a co-op too.
  4. #Mansions of Madness: Second Edition: I love Cthulu but I tend to find most of the FFG cthulu themed games don't do it for me.  I've tried most of them before getting Mansions of Madness second hand.  This one really hit home for me!  I love the scenario exploration, the app adding to the atmosphere, and the tiles being guilt up as you go.  The pressure that builds up as you desperately try to stop whatever the old gods are up to while the dice may hurt or help you is great.  Highly recommended.
  5. #Western Legends: While this game doesn't have as much dice chucking as the other games it has luck with the cards you draw along with the poker games that are played during combat or actual poker.  So I decided to include it anyway. I haven't personally played or seen a game that allows you to tell your own story in the wild west like this one does.  Definitely recommend it!
  6. #Fortune and Glory: The Cliffhanger Game: I was going ot make this a top 5 but realized I couldn't exclude Fortune and Glory.  Based on the old serials this game has your character exploring the world fighting off nazis and racing against each other trying to grab the most treasure and end the game with the most fortune and glory!  We've had a ton of great moments with this game and it deserves to be mentioned!


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Supporter3 months ago

I feel like I have no experience in this field of gaming. That makes lists like this helpful for me. 

Premium User3 months ago

I don't know if my top 6 would be everyone elses top 6.  The key things for these games I find are:

1) Do you enjoy the theme?  

2) Can you lose or win a game due to luck and still have fun?

3) Do you have a group of players that can get in to it and be excited about the outcome of their characters rolls even if they aren't likely going to win?

4) Do you enjoy creating your own story when you play a game?

If you can get in to it and tell a story about your players journey then win or lose you wiill have fun.  It's not everyone's cup of tea though and my top 6 won't be everyones cup of tea either.  The most "main stream" game in my list is probably Mansions of Madness.  

#Star Wars Imperial Assault would also be in this category.  Similar to Doom except it has an app to play the mastermind.  It's also extremely popular and could be another way to get in to the genre.  It's not on my list as I haven't played it.


Supporter3 months ago

Interesting! I would add#Star Wars Imperial Assault to this list. 

Premium User3 months ago

I mentioned it in my other comment.  It's one I haven't played.  Someone in my gaming group had it but he has since left the group so I might have to look at getting it at some point. 

We really enjoy DOOM but the scenarios are a bit unbalanced and the Invader (me) really has to do their homework to know how to make the given scenario challenging.  

The app in Imperial Assault interests me as it makes it solo ready as well.

Linked Games
DOOM: The Board Game
Western Legends
Fortune and Glory: The Cliffhanger Game
Mansions of Madness: Second Edition
Zona: The Secret of Chernobyl
Big Trouble in Little China: The Game – Deluxe Edition
Linked Topic