Before I begin I was sent a prototype of the game, and will receive a copy of the production should it fund in exchange for an honest review. This is not a paid preview. If you would prefer to watch a video of this review, or a how to play video you can check it out below. Learn how to get your own copy here.
There are really not very many games that I can confidently say will play in 30 minutes or less every single time, AND have a significant amount of strategy at the same time. Off the top of my head I can think of two. Skulk Hollow (maybe 30 minutes), and School of Sorcery.
It not that there are not plenty of very good quick, and strategic games, but, usually they come in at around 45-60 minutes. Still quick, but not lightning fast. So I am always up to try a new one that promises to fill that niche. Dice Command was one of those that promised to land right in that 30 minute sweet spot, at least at the two player count.
Dice command is a semi abstract, worker placement strategic combat game. Each round you will be rolling the dice you have in your barracks and then assigning them to various worker placement spaces. These spaces might get you more troops, more money, research, or let you put troops out onto the map.
Your troop types are determined by the number you rolled on the die itself. 1-3 are light infantry, and can move two spaces per turn, but cannot harm armored units, 4-6 are heavy infantry and only move one space per move, and doubles can be stacked as armor units, which also move only one space and cannot be hurt by light infantry.
The first player to move 4 units behind enemy lines will be the winner. As you play you will use research to upgrade your actions, and each game will feature different facility cards that will offer different abilities and bonuses to keep each game different.
So what do I think?
This game is utter simplicity, and perfectly streamlined. There are no wasted actions, or useless rules in the game. It is tight and fast and each game allows for a wide variety of approaches you can use to approach each game. All of the strategies can certainly succeed, and I greatly appreciate that.
I also like the elements of worker placement, this makes the game always feel like there is something that you can do that is useful. It also creates a delightful decision each round as to whether or not you want to rush troops out, or try to gather resources.
The art is completely adequate. It is just not particularly exciting, there is certainly more space for improvement.
While there is a lot of strategy in this game, you do have to keep in mind that it is a light and fast game. Though it is deep for a quick game, if you are looking for the depth and detail of a game like Omicron Protocol you are not going to find it here.
Bringing it all together
Dice Command is a quick combat game with elements of worker placement mixed in. The rules are perfectly streamlined with no wasted actions, and it is very much more than the sum of its parts. This game just works. The art is adequate, and as long as you keep in mind that this is a sub 30 minute game you are in for a treat.
I rolled too well to have to read all that
* Perfectly streamlined rule set
* Delightful bits of worker placement opens up many options
* Adequate art
* Perfect amount of strategy in a sub 30 minute game