Matt Carlson: Preview of Dice Masters – War of Light

Dice Masters – War of Light
Designers: Mike Elliott, Eric Lang
Publisher: WizKids
Players: 2
Ages: 14+
Time: ~20 minutes

Dice-Masters--War-of-Light-Starter

Dice Masters – War of Light is the newest (upcoming) version of Dice Masters, tied in with DC Comics Green Lantern Corps series. Dice Masters is a collectible dice game which is based loosely upon Wizkids’ Quarriors. I was recently given a starter set and a couple booster packs of the upcoming War of Light version, and here are my initial thoughts on it.

In Dice Masters, each player starts with a set of dice and use them to either attack one’s opponent or to purchase more powerful dice. These dice come into play later and are then used to attack (and/or use their special effects) until one’s opponent runs out of life points. Of course, your opponent has their own set of dice and is trying to so the same thing. For a more detailed look at how the game plays, feel free to look up last week’s Review of Age of Ultron by Dale Yu, or my own older review of the Battle for Faerûn version over at GamerDad.com.

War of Light – Unboxing and First Impressions

As a huge Green Lantern fan, I was excited to get a chance for a preview of the upcoming War of Light set. For those unfamiliar with the modern Lantern storyline, awhile back it was discovered there were many more colors of Lanterns than the original green (good) and yellow (bad) Lanterns. In a storyline some called “Skittles in Space”, it was revealed that the colors are connected with different emotions and there was a whole range of colors of Lanterns around… green, yellow, red, blue, pink, orange, indigo, as well as black and white. All but white (which was a “temporary” color in the comic) are represented in this new release. (For some strange reason, the “Teen Titans” are also included in the set.)

Ooh it's a dice bag

4 Color Dice Bag

The first thing I noticed when opening the starter set was the dice bags. Yes, they’re pitiful little paper things (they work, though) but this time around each bag sports a different graphic design relating to the set. The poor, simple “red” vs “blue” bags from previous sets are gone.

the icons from that set up close

the icons from that set up close

Six of the of the eight “colors” of Lanterns can be found in the starter set, lacking only the black and pink. Of note, at least four of the eight “super rare” cards feature Black Lanterns: Batman, Superman, Aquaman, and Wonder Woman. Other symbols in the set include the standard Villain (V) symbol and the aforementioned Teen Titan symbols (none of which are in the starter, but I have both a Wonder Girl and Beast Boy card/die.) In keeping with some of the War of Light lore, familiar superheroes appear as colored lantern characters as well. For example, the starter’s demo game consists of Batman (yellow lantern) and Lex Luthor (orange) against Guy Gardner (red) and Kyle Rayner (indigo.) It appears that a die’s color indicate its Lantern affiliation, so since Guy’s die is red, all his cards will be tagged as Red Lanterns.

The starter pack comes with one character (2 dice with 3 possible cards) for each color (other than black and pink) with the exception of yellow, which has 3 characters. This is understandable as Yellow is the classic “bad guy” color of the stories.

Some cards from another set

Example cards (Note the interactions with Lantern Symbols)

Unsurprisingly, the Lanterns and the colors of the Lanterns are an important part of this set. There is a general “Lantern” symbol as well as a symbol for each color. Some card effects will key off specific Lanterns present or off any general Lantern symbol present (or even something for each.) For example, each of Kyle Rayner (a blue lantern – traditionally a support color) key off of other Lantern dice present. He increases in power or does extra damage if a Green Lantern is present, while his third card prevents dice of a chosen Lantern color from blocking.

It is hard to extrapolate “themes” of each color from such a small set, but I’ll do so anyway. Most themes seem to be expected. Red Lanterns are all about aggressively attacking (either forced attacking or effects keying off attacks.) Orange Lanterns look like they may key off of players’ life (gaining life, benefit for having most, etc…) The Yellows seem to be all over the board, but still tending toward offence rather than defense. Blues look to be support, even to the extent that one Green card is powered up if Blue is present.

Along with the “Villain” symbol (which looks to never appear by itself) and the “Teen Titan” symbol (which seems to be their only affiliation), there is a new symbol called Emotional Conduit. This fits the theme, as each color of Lantern keys off a different emotion. Unfortunately, the symbol doesn’t appear in the starter set and I only have one red card which eliminates all of that symbol in play.

Thoughts on the set: As a fan of Green Lantern (and a sucker for bright colors) I like this new set. I haven’t played enough times (or even seen more of the card interactions around) to be definitive, but I see some possibilities. I haven’t played other Dice Masters sets other than the earlier Faerun set (of which I own a moderate amount.) Like the Faerun set, I feel that the War of Light set would be most fun to play if both/all players are using it. From my limited experience, the War of Light set has even more inter-card dependencies than other sets, making it a great set for someone to dive into, but not as attractive to Dice Masters players who just want a bit more variety in the set of dice they already own.

Ratings from the Opinionated Gamers
I love it!
I Like it. Matt C.
Neutral. Dale Y
Not for me…

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About Matt J Carlson

Dad, Gamer, Science Teacher, Youth Pastor... oh and I have green hair. To see me "in action" check out Dr. Carlson's Science Theater up on Youtube...
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