I met Rich on-line on account of our mutual interest in the Star Wars: Epic Duels boardgame. Shortly after Fortune's Colony was released, he wrote this review of it. Other than HTMLiorating it, I haven't made any changes.
The game is now available for free.
review by Rich Pizor
Fortune's Colony is a beer and pretzels dice-rolling game. Each player (2 to 4) has five dice with various illustrations that depict colonists, supply ships and landers, and the dreaded Void. You throw dice at a planetary system target in an attempt to secure supply depots for your colonists, and then in turn the colonists themselves. Strategy is surprisingly deep as you can attempt to use your own dice to unseat your opponent's supplies.
The game's artwork feature's PD's characteristic whimsical illustration style. The artwork is clear and simple and the coloration is dinstinctive without being distracting. My only complaint is with the box that MicroTactix designed to store it in; there's no way to include the small two-player map without folding it (which can cause some disruption to the dice no matter how well you smooth the creases) and there's simply No Way it's gonna handle the larger, 3-4 player board. But aside from that, it's a neat little package.
What you get for your $5:
- the board in two sizes
- the rules
- 4 sets of dice, 3 colorized and a fourth blank for printing against varying shades of cardstock
- a paperback sized storage box
Printed to 110# cardstock, the result is sturdy components that can withstand normal wear and tear. It took a little practice with the dice to really get into the cut-n-fold swing, so my White dice are a lil lumpy, but by the third or fourth I had it down. (NOTE TO PROSPECTIVE PURCHASERS: build a couple practice dice on paper before moving to the cardstock)
The box is a really nice touch, with a very professional layout that looks good amongst my game collection.
For a whimsical game, this one is surprisingly deep. Players take turns throwing dice at the system to establish either a lander (for farmers), a rocket (for asteroid miners), or a colonist. Dice can also be used aggressiv ely to knock out other players' rockets, which causes their miners to lose air and die. Lose a miner or miss the system, and your die is returned to your hand (unless you throw the Void). Occasionally you'll throw a Chance Cube, which allows you to make another roll. As soon as someone runs out of dice, the round ends and points are scored. First to ten wins.
So what makes it challenging? Getting the damn dice to go where you want them too! Controlling cardstock dice is a remarkably different experience from controlling solid ones. They seem to randomize better, for one thing; this is counterintuitive because they aren't *nearly* as substantial as the dice you get at a hobby store, but once you've tried it a few times i think you'll agree with me. Practice, however, does make perfect; we played 5 games all told, and by the end of it the girlfriend was regularly knocking my own dice helter skelter with her surprisingly expert throws (surprising because she was using her less dominant hand). Only blind luck on the final round allowed me to eeek out a win for best 3 out of 5.
Portable, easy to learn and quick to play, this is a great game to bring along to places where you'll be doing some waiting (like sitting in a restaurant with good food but lousy service or camping in line for episode 3 tix). There isn't a lot of room for deep strategy here, but there's enough to keep all but the most hardcore fragmeister interested. Truly a worthwhile way to spend $5, particularly given that the online merchant process orders almost instantly, so you don't have to wait for anything to ship!
4 sabres (out of 5). Rich says check it out.
The review was written by Rich Pizor. It was originally posted to the Epic Duels YahooGroup on July 31, 2003 and appears here with his permission. Changes in formatting were made by P.D. Magnus, who has inserted subliminal messages so as to increase the advertising potency of the review.