Mining, Crafting and possibly Thieving can all happen when you play Dwarven Miner

Recommended Age:12+
Players:2-4
Cost:$49.99
Play Time:30-60 Minutes
Our Recommended Age:7+ (Reading required)
Company Site:www.ratherdashinggames.com
Contents:60 Resource Cards, 42 Patron Cards, 80 Item Cards, 8 Vaults, 4 Backpacks, 1 Game Board, 4 Scoring Pawns, 6 Dice (with stickers for them)
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Rather Dashing Games is behind one of our go to game night games and I have to say they did an excellent job. Dwarven Miner is a resource management type game that involves Dwarves, mining, thieving, Orcs and fun! Roll dice to “mine” for Resources but avoid getting Orcs if you can, then make all the times needed to finish your customer’s order to score points! Be the first to 30 points to win and have bragging rights!

Dwarven Miner is similar to resource management games in that you have to gather resources in order to make items to get points so you can have the most points to win…but that’s pretty much where similarities end. The twist, which is awesome, is you have to roll dice to get your Resources but you can re-roll them as many times as you want! Well unless you get an Orc…then that die just dies for your turn and you mutter about it while pouting.

2015-05-18 21.21.21 copyThere are other differences of course. You get a backpack card to store Resources in (instead of cards in hand) as well as a couple of items but space is limited. Which is why they let you buy a vault…which also protects better against thieves. There is a wild card item known as an Artifact, that can be whatever you want it to be.

Each customer is worth various points with more points being given for harder to complete customer cards. Each customer has text on that explains what that card does… and while some of them just award extra points some allow you to gain free Resources, items or even a vault. Very handy and makes gathering resources a LOT more fun.

The game is meant for ages 12 and up but my son (who is 6) can play just fine with a little help reading some of the cards. He IS still learning strategy but he picked up the basics of the game quickly and easily enough…which makes game nights much more fun!

 The box is standard issue lift the top off kind of box…so pretty sturdy and easy to open. It does not have a place for everything but it does have a two compartment insert so you can put all the large cards on one side and the tokens and small cards in another…of course we put everything in little baggies for extra organization. This split compartment is in fact enough organization in a box though and with the baggies nothing gets all mixed up.

The Backpacks and Vaults are thick cardboard (but not really) material and the Patron, Item and Material cards are all standard card stock type cards in various sizes. The pawns are also pretty standard generic head with a torso and arms type of pawn. Overall fairly well made.

My ONLY complaint is the dice…You have to put stickers on blank white dice. This is not actually the problem unless you can’t put them on straight and have to try several times…like me. The problem is after playing the game, a lot, the pictures start to rub off.2015-05-18 21.25.00 copy

I feel like a bit of modge podge or something would help seal them in or maybe even paint over them with a top coat of clear nail polish…but then it would probably upset the balance of the dice. Not sure what to do when they rub off completely…although Rather Dashing Games does include a second set of stickers.

Enough about the contents…they are all well made and we play too much to keep the dice pretty…moving on.

Objective:

Be the first player to get 30 Victory Points.

2015-05-18 21.11.35 copySetup:

Lay the board where every one can reach and make sure it is facing a way that is fair for everyone playing. The Item, Vault and Resource Cards have a specific place on the board so put each pile in its place. These are face up. Shuffle the Patron Cards and pass out 3 to each player.

Everyone chooses their color and their pawn goes on the Start place on the board and they get the matching backpack. Now everyone can look at their Patron cards and decide if they want to keep any or all of them. If they don’t they can exchange any or all of them but must keep the new ones. The number at the bottom is the points they are worth.

If you have never played before you will have to put the stickers on the dice. There are instructions in the rule book for the order on each dice. It isn’t that hard to do but if you are a perfectionist…then be careful and take your time.  Now the hard part…decide who goes first. We see who rolls the most Orcs to determine who goes first.2015-05-18 21.00.14-1 copy

Play:

There are three phases for each player’s turn, the Mining Phase, the Crafting Phase, and the Fulfillment Phase. The goal is to get to 30 points so you want to fulfill as many Patron orders as you can or at least the ones worth the most points. No matter which one you are trying for you will have to create all the Items on that card to complete it.

You get the Resources during the Mining Phase by rolling dice. Roll all 6 dice as often as you want until you either get what you are looking for OR you roll an Orc.

Each die has an Orc on it and means you cannot roll that die anymore for that turn. My son likes to try for Thieves so he can steal items he needs…stinker. His goal is to steal a whole Vault by getting 4 of them. He will probably end up doing just that some time.

Once you have what you need you can either make your item (in the crafting phase) or take the cards for the Resources you rolled. If you roll at Artifact it can be used as anything and is essentially a wild card.

2015-05-18 21.06.22-1 copyIf you roll 1 Thief than you can steal a resource card from another player. We usually end up having this a lot but really only use it when we actually need the item.

If you roll 2 you can steal an item card, if you roll 3 you can choose between a resource or item from someone’s vault, and like my son wishes, if you roll 4 of them you can steal another player’s entire vault, along with everything in it. You only get one chance to be a thief…so choose wisely.

Once you have the Resources you want you start the Crafting Phase. Here is where you make all the items you can using the resources you got during the Mining Phase. Place any items you crafted in your Backpack or a Vault if you have one. Also put any Resources you didn’t use in either place.

During this part you can also discard any Resources or Items or even rearrange them if you want. If you have enough Resources you can craft a Vault during this part of your turn as well….which is a handy thing to have.2015-05-18 20.57.18-1 copy

Now for the Fulfillment Phase. During this Phase you can complete a Patron card…assuming you have all the Items needed to do so. Simply turn in all the Items and lay the Patron card in front of you unless it says to discard it. Each Patron card has text on it and can do something so read carefully.

If it says to complete and gain something do so now otherwise it will say extra points for everyone one in play or discard to gain or do something. You always get the points though. If you cannot fullfill a Patron card your turn is over and play continues clockwise.

Winning:

The first player to reach 30 points wins! There CAN be a tie due to the point system of the Tale Smith, Brew Maiden, or Monk. These are the three types that give extra points for more of the same Patron. If you play a Brew Maiden and one is already in play then each one is worth 4 points and everyone gets their points. IF a tie happens the current player is the winner. We haven’t had that happen yet.

2015-05-18 21.02.19-1 copyThis is a favorite for our Family Game Nights that I host as well as ones at home. My daughter is a bit young to play but she helps me or her dad sometimes…and by help I mean announce what Patrons we are holding and rolling for us. That actually does help me as I suck at rolling.

If you are playing with younger kids I would recommend around 7ish or older. My son understood the game and even won (it was very close…like 4 points and possibly one turn away) against his dad.

He wasn’t letting him win either. We do have to give suggestions and remind about a few things but the more we play the more we don’t have to do those things and need to pay attention to our own cards instead.

You can always leave the Thief part out by declaring no theft until they get the hang of it and don’t count the text on the cards. Maybe use the Vault one or free Resource to start and slowly explain and add in the others. But if your child can read then they can play.

This is a great game if you are even slightly a fan of resource management games…plus Dwarves. You CAN add the RPG element to it and talk in a Dwarven accent and yell at the Patrons when you complete their orders…not that we do that…much. Ahem…

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Tweet us (or Instagram) your Dwarven Mining adventures or your winning Patron. @MyGeeklings @Sir_Barnaby #DwarvenMiner

“The goal is to win, but it is the goal that is important, not the winning.”
~ Reiner Knizia

Author: sandyz

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