Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.
Dice Wars is a free browser-based strategy game about conquering and defending territory with dice. You can play it here, but be warned that clicking that link will bring your productivity to an end for the day.
It generates a map for you to play on, you can select the number of opponents, and then you must clear the whole board of your enemies. You do so by clicking on any one of your controlled territories, which will contain a stack of die, and then clicking on one of its neighbours to attack. All of your territory’s die are rolled against all the defending territory’s die, and then the figures are tallied up. At the end of each round, your territories which did not attack are reinforced with one die for each territory you hold.
This means, of course, that it’s a game dependent on random number generation, as attacking with more die than your opponent promises but does not guarantee victory. Still, there is definite strategy to how you choose to progress. Each move you make leaves just a single die to defend the territory you attacked from. You must decide carefully when to capture territory so that you can gain more dice each turn, and when to wait and reinforce what you already have. And you can’t reposition your forces within your own territory, meaning you can only move them towards your desired frontline if they have a path of enemy territories to capture on the way. Games therefore tend to swing back and forth in great sweeps as enemies attack and counterattack, over-extending themselves and losing swathes of territory in single turns.
It’s exciting and fair, and its RNG is at least clearly depicted in those little piles of dice. What were you really going to accomplish today, anyway?