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Cody K. Carlson
DC Justice League Dice Masters is just one of the starter sets from WizKids. Others include Uncanny X-Men, Age of Ultron, Dungeons & Dragons, and more.

Dice Masters and Dozen Doubloons are two fun and engaging games to appeal to players of all ages.

*****

Dice Masters

Dice Masters, from WizKids, is a collectible dice building game for two players where the goal is to knock your opponent down from 20 life points to zero. Basic starter sets, with themes like Age of Ultron, Uncanny X-Men, DC Justice League, DC War of Light, Dungeons & Dragons and more are fully compatible and come with starter dice, character dice and cards, and two paper dice bags.

Players first select their team of up to eight characters, each with their unique dice and card abilities, then each selects two Basic Action Cards, which both players can use during the game. Players place their eight white starter dice into a bag, then pull out four and roll them. Players are allowed to reroll once, then must use their dice. The starter dice have sidekick characters on one side and different forms of energy on the other that can be spent to buy more character dice or Basic Action Card dice.

Character dice feature both characters and energy that can be spent. After players have spent energy and purchased dice, they can field characters by paying the character's fielding cost in the upper left side of the dice. Some characters give special abilities to the player while fielded. A player can then choose to attack his or her opponent, and if the opponent has characters fielded, he or she may block the attack. Players compare attack and defense values to determine if the attack is successful, and if any of the dice are knocked out and available for roll next turn. If the attack is successful, the defender lowers his or her life points equal to the attacking character's attack value.

Dice Masters is really a unique and inventive game that offers fun and unusual combinations with characters and abilities. In addition to the starter sets, players can purchase booster packs that feature two random cards and matching dice, making this game highly collectable. Because all the sets are also compatible, players can field teams with characters like Superman, Spider-man, Captain America, a Copper Dragon, and even Yu-Gi-Oh! characters. There are even plans to bring the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to Dice Masters.

This is a tremendously fun game to both play and collect.

Ages: 14 and up

Time: 45-60 minutes

Cost: Starter sets cost between $10-$20, booster packs cost $.99

*****

Dozen Doubloons

Dozen Doubloons, from Utah-based World Village Games, is a light card game with a pirate theme. The game includes cards and dozens of plastic gold doubloons. Two to four players attempt to be the first to acquire a dozen of the gold doubloons by playing cards.

Four stacks of numbered cards are laid face up between the players, and each player is dealt four cards. On a player's turn, he or she may take three actions. First of all, the player may play a card. He or she may combine any card in his or her hand with any of the top cards from the decks on the table in order to make exactly “12.” Players receive one doubloon for each “12” they make. Players may also play a block card to force opponents to only work with one of the decks, or a wild card to substitute for any number, or steal doubloons from other players. Players may also discard a card from their hand to draw one from the draw pile.

There is also a variation for solo play.

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Dozen Doubloons is a fun, quick, engaging game that is perfect for an opener on game night, or for younger players. While the game may be too light for some players, others will really take to the fast paced, engaging play and fun pirate theme.

Ages: 8 and up

Time: 5-10 minutes

Cost: $16.99

Cody K. Carlson holds a master's in history from the University of Utah and teaches at Salt Lake Community College. An avid player of board games, he blogs at thediscriminatinggamer.com. Email: ckcarlson76@gmail.com