Space Cadets Dice Duel
Publisher: Stronghold Games
Designer: Sydney Engelstein, Geoff Engelstein
What a game! I've never had 6 people at my table sweating so profusely. Dice Duel is FILLED to the brim with tension and stress, and it's absolutely and exhaustingly wonderful. I thought Game Of Thrones was stressful, but Space Cadets Dice Duel takes the crown for most heart attack inducing game.
This is a team vs. team game where you pilot a spaceship and attempt to destroy your opponents (and not die in the process). Each player has their own control station that they are responsible for: Engineering, Helm, Weapons, etc. The game sort of revolves around the Engineering station. The Engineer rolls his dice over and over again (there are not turns by the way, the game is played in real time) trying to roll a specific value to power each specific station. He rolls, then passes out dice to his teammates stations and then when his teammates use those dice up they pass them back to him. His teammates are also rolling dice (once they get some power from Engineering) in order to do... things. Like fly, or shoot, or raise shields, or tractor things. There are lots of dice, constantly rolling, clattering and falling everywhere. There is lots of screaming, counting and general panic. And then someone shouts "FIRE TORPEDO!"
At these two fateful words, all action ceases. Dice rest for a few precious moments as eyes scan the board, brains do incredibly basic arithmetic and the destiny of your team is resolved. Usually a mistake has occurred on the part of the offender ("We're facing in the wrong direction! We can't hit them even if they didn't have shields up!"). Sometimes a mistake is made on the part of the defender ("Aha! You can't hit us because we have jammers! Oh wait... no, those are sensors. Uh... are the shields up?).
The roller coaster of tension is awesome. It climbs and peaks and then you resolve attacks. And then you do it again. This is not a game that I'll have at the table often, as it is very literally exhausting, but when we do have it out it is pure entertainment.