Blitz Stop Mechanic: Roll and Move

January 24, 2018

This is a new segment featured on The Dice Tower's bi-weekly Throat Punch Lunch videos about games where I pick a mechanism and then talk about games that use that mechanism in a cool, thematic way. 

Games discussed:
Formula D
Camel Up
Winner's Circle

Hi! This is Ambie from Board Game Blitz, and today I’m gonna try out a new segment where I pick a mechanism and then talk about games that use that mechanism in a cool, thematic way. This time, I’m talking about roll and move.

Roll and move is an infamous mechanism where you roll dice and whatever you roll dictates how you move on a board. There are plenty of games that use roll and move in a non-fun way, but it’s not always terrible, and can actually enhance the theme of a game. I’ve found that roll and move actually works really well in a lot of racing games, like Formula D, Camel Up, and Winner’s Circle.

Formula D is a Formula One racing game where players are racing cars to get to the finish line first. But instead of rolling just one normal die to determine how much you move, there are different sized custom dice to represent the different gears that your car is in. For example, gear 1 is a 4 sided die with values from 1 to 2, and gear 6 is a 30 sided die with values from 21 to 30. You want to get to a higher gear to go further, but you can also damage your car from going too fast around turns, so you’ll need to downshift just like in real racing.

Camel Up is a betting game where players bet on the winners of a Camel race. During the race you can be betting on camels to win or lose, but the dice rolls make it unpredictable which camel will come out ahead. In each round, you’ll roll dice one at a time using a fancy pyramid shaped dice roller. What keeps the race exciting is the fact that each die corresponds with one camel in the race, and they each get rolled once before you put them all back in the pyramid. This ensures that each camel will be running some each round, and that simulates a real time race.

Winner’s Circle is an older horse racing betting game that also ensures each horse runs each round. But in this game, instead of a numeric die, the die has symbols on it that represent the different characteristics of the horses. Each horse is different, so one face of a die could be 12 movement for one horse but only 2 for another. The active player gets to choose which horse to move after rolling, so you can get to choose between helping a horse you bet on have a really good run, or having another horse fail miserably that round.

So even though roll and move is generally frowned upon, it can help make some exciting games, especially when they involve racing. Comment below with other ways roll and move is used thematically! Thanks for watching Board Game Blitz! What mechanisms should I discuss next? And help me think of a good name for this segment!
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