Players: 4 to 8
Game Length: 30 minutes
Best enjoyed: With 6 or 8 players who want to engage in real-time space combat!
Space Cadets: Dice Duel is a space combat game that sees two teams of rival starships compete in the field of battle, in real time, by frantically rolling dice and executing commands! If you tried to make a board game out of a combat-centric episode of Star Trek, with players taking the roles of various officers, you’d end up with something similar to Space Cadets: Dice Duel.
Each player will be responsible for manning one or two stations on the ship; these are Engineering, Shields, Weapons, Tractor Beams, Sensors and the Helm. It all starts with the Engineering player, who is responsible for rolling numbered dice and assigning them to the various stations. The players in charge of those stations may then start rolling their own dice until they get a result they want, after which they hand the numbered die back to Engineering so the process can repeat anew. Bear in mind this is all happening in real time, while working against a rival ship, so the more focused and coordinated team will be able to take actions more quickly and have a better chance of victory!
While the game is played in real-time, should one of the two commanders of the ships shout ‘Fire!’ everything stops. The attacking ship checks whether the opposing ship is in range by checking their Signals score against the target’s Jamming score, then determines whether the missiles it’s loaded are pointed in the right direction – they can be loaded in the front or back. If all is good, you’ll score a hit! Otherwise, you’ll just vent your missiles into the void, the game starts back up again and you’ll have to spend a frantic few seconds either reloading or getting out of the way as fast as possible to avoid a counterattack. You’ll need to combine all the stations to have the best chance of success – the Helm to manoeuver in close, Sensors to get a target lock, Weapons to actually have something to fire, and so on.
Space Cadets: Dice Duel, as a real-time competitive game, can be stressful to play. You’ll need to have a solid understanding of all the stations of the ship, and you can feel overwhelmed when you first start. However, it is an exhilarating game, and outmanoeuvring your opponents to score a hit on an unshielded flank will have you on the edge of your seat. You’ll need your entire team to pull together to win, and you’ll be howling with laughter (or just howling) when your navigation officer shoots past the enemy ship and you fire all your torpedoes off into the void to no effect, putting you at the mercy of your opponents.
Space Cadets: Dice Duel is also memorable for being able to accommodate a large number of players. Typically, you will want 6 or 8 players, making it one of only a few strategy games that work well with larger numbers. If you like the idea of a tense team game that plays out in real time, and have a bunch of similarly-minded friends, Space Cadets: Dice Duel comes highly recommended.