After deciding i didn’t enjoy shuffling cards but i did enjoy deck-building games, i auditioned a number of dice-builders – Quarriors!, King’s Forge – but none of them fit the bill, until Dice Forge. i was thrilled to receive a copy of the expansion from Libellud. Here’s my rundown of the rules. If you want to know more about the base game, Dice Forge, watch my How to Play Dice Forge video first.
Hi! It’s Ryan from Nights Around a Table, and this is Dice Forge: Rebellion, an expansion for Dice Forge, a deck-building game with customizable dice instead of cards. Click the link in the description below or at the end of this video to watch my How to Play Dice Forge video if you’re not caught up. As for Dice Forge: Rebellion, let me show you how to play.
In Dice Forge: Rebellion, the gods run our heroes through the second season of their tournament to perform heroic feats and bribe them with gold. The expansion comes with a slew of new heroic feat cards that you can choose from when dealing out the game, as well as two special modules. In The Labyrinth of the Goddess, send your golem through Hera’s maze to earn fabulous prizes. In Revolt of the Titans, side with either the established gods or the titular Titans as they launch an uprising to steal the pantheon.
This expansion comes in three main chunks. You have a deck of 20 new heroic feat cards that you can substitute into most of the sky island slots. So if the possibility map for the base game looks like this, the map for Rebellion looks like this, where every node is a different set of cards you can substitute into that island. As with the base game, you can pick and choose which feat cards you want to use whenever you sit down for a game of Rebellion.
Then there are the two extra gameplay modules called Labyrinth of the Goddess and Revolt of the Titans. They’re printed on either side of this narrow board, so you can’t play both at once – you have to pick one or the other – or neither, if you just want to use the new heroic feat cards. Let’s take a closer look at these three additions one by one.
Here’s what each of the new heroic feats cards do, starting with the new sun shard cards:
The Tree is a buddy you can call on every turn to get 3 gold and 1 point, as long as you have less than 8 gold in your reserve. If you’re already rich, you get 2 points instead.
The Merchant is a cool card. Imagine that the pools in the sanctuary are numbered: level 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7. Every turn, the merchant lets you pick a face on one of your dice and replace it with one from the next pool up for free. So if the face you want to replace came from level 2, you can replace it with one from level 3. If the next level up is empty, you skip up to the next pool with an available face. Any of the default faces on your dice are considered level zero. And if you have multiple merchant cards, you can upgrade the same face multiple times on your turn. If you decide not to upgrade a face, you can take 2 points instead. OR, you could stock your game with the new wood nymph, who nets you 4 gold and lets you pay to forge a new face from the temple for whatever amount of gold that new face costs.
The Light is a creature you can call on every turn that acts like the Mirror of the Abyss face from the base game: you get to copy the top face on one of the dice – either yours or your opponents’ – but unlike the Mirror of the Abyss, you have to pay 3 gold to do so.
The Goldsmith gives you 2 points for every unique heroic feat card you’ve collected so far, including itself.
The Omniscient gives you 2 points for each die you rolled that has the points symbol on it – even if it was, say, one of these multiple choice faces and you didn’t choose to take the points when you rolled it.
The Abyssal Trident completely drains all of the gold from your reserve to let you forge any face from the sanctuary or garden – except the ones that are normally gained by buying cards – for “free.” How is that free, you ask? Well, the abyssal trident card works even if you have zero gold.
The eternal fire gives you a free extra turn as the active player. Not an extra action, like spending two sun shards gets you, but a whole extra turn. You hang on to the new active player token for that turn, and you’re the only player who gets to roll a divine blessing – both dice, in other words.
The First Titan, who we’ll talk about in a minute, has had both his arms ripped off. His left hand on the sun side lets you oust everyone from the islands they’re on. Anyone who got ousted rolls both dice, but you get all the rewards they roll, including from your own dice if you got ousted. If you’re using the Great Bear from the base game, which gets you 3 points whenever anyone gets ousted, it kicks in just once per Great Bear card you have, if you manage to oust at least one other player using the Left Hand, but it doesn’t work if you’ve only ousted yourself. Is that rule clear? If you got bear, there’s no special benefit to ousting yourself with your left hand.
On the moon side of the board, you can claim the Twins. After you roll dice – either one, or both, or the new special Celestial Die, which we’ll look at in a moment – you can spend 3 gold to ignore the effect of one of those dice and re-roll it. Whether you decide to re-roll or not, the twins give you a moon shard or a point. If you daisy-chain multiple Twins cards, you have to stick to re-rolling the same die for each Twins card, and you still get a moon shard or a point for each card you activate, but you only get what’s on the die the final time you roll it.
The blacksmith’s scepter is similar to the blacksmith’s hammer from the base game. Every time you earn a gold, instead of storing it in your reserve, you can move this weird eyeball token up the scepter track. If it gets to the 4th space, you can cash it in for a sun shard or a moon shard when you buy a heroic feat card, or when you use sun shards to buy an extra action. If it gets to the 6th space, you can spend it to act as two sun or moon shards. In either case, you reset the token to zero. The shards you gain can be spent, but not stored – you can combine them with shards in your reserve when you buy something, but you can’t ever bank them in your reserve.
This is the solid-gold doggie Companion. Every turn, you move this little token along the track on the back of the card. This space marks as far as it can go. Whenever you’re the active player, you can cash in the companion to get the reward printed on the space beneath the token. Doing this kills the doggie. I mean … it sends him to a big farm where he can run and play with all the other gold doggies.
The Wind lets you force everyone, including you, to roll both dice. No one gets anything, but you get to pick a single resource – gold, glory points, or any single type of shard, including the new ancient shards and loyalty icons, which we’ll look at later – and reap the full amount of that resource that’s showing face-up on all dice. So if you pick points, you get all the points that everyone has rolled. You can only reap rewards from the light-coloured corner of these conditional dice if they get rolled.
Buying the Celestial Die card lets you roll the new Celestial Die, which is packed with big fat goodies: 5 points, upgrade a die face by two levels (so it’s like having a double-merchant), turn your light or dark die to any face you want and get the goodies, get 12 bucks, get 3 points and either 3 gold, or 1 sun or moon shard, and gain the benefit of one of your opponents’ face-up dice.
The Mists card lets you steal up to 5 glory points from the player with the least money. Gold amassed on the blacksmith’s scepter doesn’t count. If there’s a tie for who’s the most broke, multiple players can cough up five points each to you. If you are the poorest player, you probably shouldn’t have bought this card, because it doesn’t do anything.
The Ancestor lets you forge the cheapest die with a glory point symbol on it for free, and then roll the die you just forged and get the benefit. If there aren’t any point faces left to forge, you still get to roll one of your dice.
The Eternal Night lets you steal 1 sun shard and 1 moon shard from all other players, as long as they got ‘em.
And the right hand of the First Titan lets you blow as much gold as you want to buy points at a 1:1 ratio. You can even drain gold from the Blacksmith’s Hammer or Scepter to buy points.
Finally, the First Titan himself gives you a big 20 points and lets you grab one of the 1-cost sun or moon shard feats for free, without having to move your pawn to the island the card comes from. And the Goddess card gives you a divine blessing – rolling both dice – where you get to set both faces to whatever you want! Both of these heavy-hitting cards cost 5 sun and moon shards each to buy.
That’s it for the 20 new heroic feats. Now let’s look at the two new gameplay modules, starting with the Labyrinth of the Goddess.
In the Goddess module, white-armed Hera, who you may know from The Iliad as someone not to be jerked around, has constructed a maze for you to navigate. Each player gets a stone golem token that starts on this space. Your light die is configured the same as in the base game, but your dark die starts out a little differently: the moon shard face gets replaced with this thing.
Four special Goddess-themed feats get dealt out to the islands. You’re free to populate the rest of the islands with any stacks of regular cards from either the base game or the expansion.
When you roll this blue symbol, you get to move your golem forward through the maze. If you reach a fork, you can choose which way to go. For every space you move into, you get a reward. Most of them are straightforward, but here are a few tricky-to-interpret ones:
Here, you steal 2 glory points from all other players, if they’ve got ‘em.
These symbols let you roll the Celestial Die a certain number of times.
Here, you can spend 6 gold for 6 points exactly once. Or spend 2 moon shards for 8 points.
Here, get a point for every die face you’ve forged.
If you’re the first to reach one of these Treasure Hall spaces, choose one of these tokens and take the reward, then flip it to its less-rewarding side and put it in the labyrinth. From now on, that’s what everyone will get if they land there.
If your golem reaches the final space, you get 15 points. If you’re the first one there, you get to set both of your dice to any face you want, and take the benefit.
Here’s what the special Goddess cards do. The Sun Golem and the Moon Golem let you forge one of these faces, which let you advance your golem one space through the maze. If you roll both at the same time, you get to roll the Celestial Die as a bonus, even if you’ve reached the final space of the labyrinth.
The Great Golem lets you move two spaces the moment you buy it, and gain the rewards from both spaces in order. The Time Golem is the opposite: it lets you move back two spaces, gaining those spaces’ rewards in order. If you come to a fork, you can choose which way to go, even if it’s the path you didn’t originally take.
Instead of navigating the labyrinth, you can play a part in the revolt of the Titans. The titans were the OG celestial beings. You may have heard of Prometheus, the titan who the gods chained to a rock as punishment for stealing fire and giving it to man, and every day, a bird comes and pecks out his liver, which regrows to become bird food again. So on a related note, the titans and the gods don’t get along. The titans want to steal the pantheon away from the gods. You’ll have to choose who to side with: the titans, or the gods. Or perhaps you’ll play both sides.
Revolt of the Titans adds a new Ancient Shard currency to your reserve. The sun stone face on your light die gets replaced with this ancient shard face, while the 2 point face on your dark die gets swapped out for this 1 point/1 loyalty face.
Everyone starts with an allegiance token in the dead center of the new underground board. Six of the islands get these special Titan cards and, as usual, fill in the rest with whichever heroic feats you want to play with.
During the revolt, these loyalty symbols move your token closer to the gods, while these ancient shards send your token one space towards the titan side. The difference between them is that every ancient shard you gain is also banked in your reserve, where it acts as a wild currency; you can spend ancient shards as either moon shards or sun shards to buy heroic feat cards, and you can even spend two ancient shards on their own or in conjunction with sun shards, to gain an extra action on your turn.
It’s small and subtle, but at each end, the Titans board has these thin blue paths. If your token is on a space, and you’re about to move a direction matching the arrow on one of these alternate paths, you have to take the alternate path instead of the thick yellow path you usually take. The net effect is that when you’re in deep with the titans and you start supporting the gods, the alternate pathways make it slower and more difficult to dig yourself out of the hole. Conversely, if you’re way up in the gods’ good graces, and you tip towards the titan side, your fall from grace happens faster.
At the end of the game, if you’ve sided with the rebellion, you lose the number of points that your token is sitting on. If you’ve remained loyal to the gods, you gain that many points towards your final score.
So then why would you ever side with the titans? The rebellion board is split into zones, and depending on how far you drive your token to either side, you get more powerful perks. On the loyalty side, if your token is within this zone, every time you gain at least one gold when you roll your dice, you gain an extra gold. If you roll both dice in a divine blessing, and both dice turn up gold, you get two extra gold as a perk. In this zone, it’s the same thing, plus a glory point to sweeten the deal. And if you’re here, in addition to that last perk, you can rack up another point when you roll a die that gives you at least one point.
In this rebellion zone, you get 3 points if you’re the first player to buy any given heroic feat card. Or, if you claim a card and you’re not the first player to do so, but this is the first time you’ve claimed that particular type of card, you get 2 points. It’s the same story at the extreme end of the rebellion board, but the reward is bigger: 5 points for being the first to claim a card type, or 3 points if you’re not the first, but the card is new to you.
Finally, we’ll look at what the six special titan cards do, starting with the sun side:
The Dogged lets you forge one of these two die faces, pending their availability.
The Guardian is a buddy who gets you either an ancient shard or a loyalty movement once per turn, if you so choose.
The Mirror of Misfortune will remind you of the Tenacious Boar from the base game. You force another player to forge one of these faces onto their die – pick the one that matches the card’s colour, and the forced player chooses which die face it will replace. Whenever that player rolls that face, he or she gets a loyalty point or an ancient shard, and so do you. You also get the reward from the forced player’s other die.
Now onto the moon side of the board:
The Memory lets you grab two tokens matching the card colour, pick a side for each token (because there are different rewards on either side), and place the tokens on two different islands. If you buy a heroic feat card on one of those islands, you take the token matching your card and cash it in for the reward.
The Oracle is a buddy that gets you an extra minor blessing (roll one die) every turn. If you roll an ancient shard or a loyalty symbol with that minor blessing, you additionally get to bump all other players one slot towards the titan side of the board.
And the Chaos lets you forge one of these faces, which are very similar to the ones from the base game – if you roll a resource matching the coloured corner on your other die, you get that corner’s resource. Otherwise, you get what’s in the uncoloured corner.
Set up the base game the way you normally would, except for the cards. Watch my setup guide for Dice Forge if you’d like a refresher.
If you just want to play with Dice Forge: Rebellion’s new heroic feat cards, you can mix and match the cards from the expansion however you like, making sure that you match the cost of the card with the cost on the island, and remembering to only put out as many cards in each pile as there are players.
To set up the Labyrinth of the Goddess module, park the Rebellion box next to the base game’s temple box and add the expansion board labyrinth-side-up. Everyone puts their golem token on the starting space. Put the treasure room tokens nearby, with the higher-value prize face up. Put the special Goddess cards out in stacks that match your player count. If you want to play with all the expansion stuff, the rulebook recommends using the heroic feat cards with the little goddess triangle on them. Everyone keeps their light die the same as in the base game, but replaces their moon shard with this moon golem icon.
To set up Revolt of the Titans, flip the expansion board to the titans side. Everyone puts their token in the center space. Hook up the ancient shard tracker to your player board, and pop in the extra tracking cube. Everyone replaces their light die’s sun shard with an ancient shard, and their 2-point face with this loyalty face. Put out the special titan feats in stacks matching your player count. As with the goddess module, if you want to try out all the expansion cards right off the bat, add in the ones with the little titan triangle in the corner. Otherwise, you can mix and match feats from the expansion and the base game.
In both cases, the starting player also gets the new active player token, which gets passed around clockwise as everyone takes a turn.
And now, you’re ready to play Dice Forge: Rebellion! Get rolling!
At 3:26, i incorrectly explained the Omniscient card. You don’t get 2 points for each VP face you rolled when you buy the card… you actually get to look at all 6 faces of each of your dice, and score 2 points for every VP symbol you find!
And at 3:38, i failed to explain that the Abyssal Trident card does let you take a die face from the garden (that’s the area that houses special faces connected with cards, like the x3 Helmet of Invisibility and copycat Mirror of the Abyss), provided the card that would normally get you that face isn’t present in this game. So if you haven’t dealt the Helmet of Invisibility to the table for this game, the Abyssal Trident lets you forge those x3 faces.
Thanks to YouTube viewer rav3style for pointing out both of these flubs!
Get Your Own Copy of Dice Forge: Rebellion Expansion
If you’re a completist like me, you’ll want to add Dice Forge: Rebellion to your collection. Follow the Amazon link below to get your own copy, and i’ll receive a small commission!
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