From: Level 99 Games
Reviewed by: Barry Lewis
Have you ever asked yourself, “Do I need more dexterity games in my life?” If you answered “Yes!” then I have a review for you. If you answered “No” then you’re lying to yourself. Now it’s time to enter the world of “flicky” games with my review of Disc Duelers by Level 99 Games.
Disc Duelers is basically an elimination game where you try to eliminate the other players’ discs before they eliminate yours. The game has two versions-the basic game, or Classic Elimination, and the advanced game. I’ll talk about the basic game first since the majority of the rules are covered in the basic game.
For the sake of this review I’ll be reviewing this as if it’s a two player game. Before the game begins you and your opponent will have a chance to place terrain. Each player gets to place a piece of terrain anywhere on the board, with a few minor rules in placement. The terrain must be evenly distributed among the players. So if you have five pieces of terrain then only four will be placed and the fifth will not be used. Terrain can be small boxes, books or just about anything. I personally like using Legos or Duplo bricks. Once this is done you’ll then begin to build your team of characters. Once you’ve done this take the discs that correspond to your character cards.
When you look at your characters’ cards, the characters have two stats: Movement and Attack. The number of Attacks each character gets is listed on the red disc and each number of Movements is listed on the blue disc. Also on the character’s card at the bottom is a Special Power. The Special Powers vary and give the characters their own unique feel. All characters have 5 life unless noted on their card. Here’s a quick play tip – use unused character discs to keep track of a character’s wounds by placing them on the character’s card.
At the beginning of a game all character cards are upright or “Ready.” When you act with a character’s disc the character’s card is then turned sideways or “Unready” and cannot be used again until all other characters have acted. When all characters have acted then the round ends and all characters return to their “ready” status and can be used again.
You’ll then randomly choose who goes first, but before the first player acts each player will take one of their discs and place it at the edge of the table. The disc is then moved twice onto the board. This is repeated with all the players’ discs until all are on the table.
At the beginning of every player’s turn you must announce what you are doing with that disc, either moving it or attacking with it. This is very important for the sake of taking or doing damage. Movement is very simple – just flick where you want to go up to the number listed on the character’s card. You have to be careful and have good control when moving since if you hit another disc, including your own, the disc you’re moving will take a point of damage. Although, if you hit a piece of terrain while moving your disc will not take damage. The rules for attacking are basically the reverse of moving. To attack just flick your disc into another opponent’s disc. The opponent’s disc will take a point of damage. If you attack and hit terrain your disc will take a point of damage as well. Also, if anyone’s disc falls off the table either during movement or attacking that disc takes a point of damage.
One of the fun aspects of the game is doing combo damage to an opponent. For example you attack an opponents’ disc and hit it for a point of damage, the attacked disc continues to move then hits a piece of terrain for a second point of damage, it’s momentum then causes it to fall off the table for a third point of damage! The game limits you, though, from taking more than one point of damage from each kind of hit. For example, you attack an opponent’s disc and hit it for one point, it then hits a piece of terrain for another point of damage and deflects into a second piece of terrain, but since it’s already taken a point of damage from the first piece of terrain the third point of damage from the second piece of terrain is then ignored.
So that’s the basic game. The “advanced” game just adds in crates and items. So let’s talk briefly about them.
Set the game up as normal and then place as many crates half to the number of players, up to 3 crates, on the table. So in a two player game only one crate will be in play. The crate is then dropped by one of the players about two feet over the table. Where the crate lands is where it stays. To open the crate a player, during their turn, just has to hit the crate with one of his or her discs either during its movement or attack. When a player hits the crate they may draw an item card from the item deck and put it with that character’s card. Only the character that opened the crate may use the item. The crate is then re-dropped by the player to the right of the current player’s turn.
Items can increase attacks, modify movement, heal and protect. There’s also a few that are a detriment to your character if you’re unlucky enough to draw them. The items can either be used once then discarded, or used once per round depending on the symbol on the card. Cards that can be re-used are turned sideways when used and can be readied for use again at the beginning of a new round.
The game has, to me at least, a lot of replay ability since there are 50 characters to choose from and 48 different items. The discs slide nicely on any smooth surface and the game can be played on any sized table. The game does have other variants such as soccer, volleyball and racing, but honestly I haven’t played them yet since I’m having fun just playing the regular game. If there is any real “con” to the game it’s that you have to sticker the discs. The game is easy to learn and fun to play. It’s a great game for kids and adults, but it’s light theme may not fit those hardcore game nights.
Codex Rating: 14
Produced by: Level 99 Games
Designed by: D. Brad Talton Jr.
Illustrated by: Fabio Fontes
# of Players: 2-6
Suggested Age: 10+
Playing Time: 45 minutes
Retail Price: $39.99 (US)
About the author
Barry Lewis (Barry Lewis)
Barry’s turnons are long walks in game stores and board games with solitare rules. His turn offs are “diceless” RPGs and board games that require at least 3 players to play. He’s also the director of Storm-Con, a gaming convention in Charleston, South Carolina.