SNAP Review – Dice Hunters of Therion
[Andrew] Anitra, there are all sorts of amazing fantasy worlds in literature. Like Narnia, or Eternia.
[Anitra] Well, this one is called Therion.
This is a SNAP review for Dice Hunters of Therion. Dice Hunters of Therion is a press your luck die rolling and bidding game for 2-4 players. It was designed by Richard Garfield (yes, that Richard Garfield, who created Magic: The Gathering) and it’s published by Amigo.
So what about the art in this game?
Let’s talk about it. This game could really be themed as basically anything (We’ll get into that in a minute), but the art in this game by Dann May, who did Everdell, transports us to a world full of anthropomorphic animal heroes and villains.
There are four player mats with full color illustrations and seven of these line-drawn “wanted” posters.
The rest of the game is cardboard coins and special dice. They’re fine.
So let’s talk about mechanics of this game. How do you play Dice Hunters of Therion?
In this game, you play as bounty hunters in the magical land of Therion. And your goal, as a bounty hunter, is to have the most money.
[Anitra] So how do you earn money? There are two ways – by bidding on warrants and by rolling up coins on your dice.
On your turn, you roll your dice. Set aside any you want to lock. You may re-roll any dice that you want, once or twice.
[Andrew] Up to three total rolls of your dice.
[Anitra] When you’re all done rolling, you take actions depending on what the dice show.
Any dice that show swords are devoted to chasing a villain. Put them next to the current warrant… but only if the number of swords you have are greater than the number of swords already assigned there! If you beat out another player for number of swords, they must take back their dice.
If any of your dice show a coin, you are then collecting coins that the villain dropped while they were running away.
[Andrew] But maybe you’re a lover, not a fighter. Which is weird for a bounty hunter, but whatever. If none of your dice show swords after your last roll, collect twice as many coins as the number you’ve actually rolled!
[Anitra] Ooh, money!
[Andrew] Money is good in this game.
Lastly, some of your dice, the white and the yellow ones, might show – more dice! Every white that shows a yellow or yellow that shows a red (die symbol) means that you add another die to your “party”, which you can start using on your next turn.
[Anitra] Unfortunately, the yellow and red dice can also easily leave your party. Any time you roll an X on these, you immediately lose these dice back to the reserve on your player mat – with no re-rolling!
[Andrew] Those mercenaries!
Winning a Warrant
So what happens with the warrants?
If your dice are still next to the stack of warrants when it comes around to your turn, that means no one has outbid you, and you have captured the villain!
Grab that top warrant and flip it over so it shows coins. You’ll then start the hunting for the next bounty.
When the last warrant is taken, the game immediately ends. Everyone counts up their coins – including the ones on the warrants they hold – and the richest player wins.
Two Player Variation
There’s a variation for two players to keep the game more interesting – if your dice are still next to the warrants on your next turn, you take them back and put your Duel Marker in their place. Roll your dice as usual and commit swords to the warrant again.
If your opponent outbids you, you’ll remove your duel marker and your dice – but if your duel marker is there on your next turn, then you win the warrant!
Basically, to win a warrant, you need to not be outbid, twice in a row. This variation also uses fewer warrants to keep the game moving.
[Andrew] So Anitra, what did we expect from Dice Hunters of Therion?
[Anitra] This looked like a pretty simple dice game. But when I saw Richard Garfield’s name, I was immediately intrigued. I’m not exactly sure how the fantasy animal bounty hunter theme fits in, but it seems to work.
[Andrew] I agree. We said it at the top: this could have been themed to just about anything. It’s really basically a bidding mechanic. But if it’s Richard Garfield, it’s a pretty good chance it will be fantasy… or maybe sci-fi.
[Andrew] But what about this game surprised us?
[Anitra] I really liked the combination of press-your-luck dice rolling and the bidding. There’s a surprising amount of tension – do I want to commit a lot of swords up front, and maybe then no one will try to outbid me? Or do I want to try for mostly coins, right now?
[Andrew] I felt this too. I really liked the fact that you could be meaningfully competitive in this game just through getting coins from your dice. If the warrant bids go around the table a couple of times, you can build up a pretty impressive purse without ever actually winning a bounty. This is even more true with more players at the table. In a two-player game you have to be the outbidder…
[Anitra] At least once in a while!
[Andrew] At least once in a while, but that might not be the case for a game when you’re playing with three or four players.
[Anitra] So Andrew, do we recommend Dice Hunters of Therion?
[Andrew] This game is rated for ages 8+ and that feels just about right, though you could play with younger kids as long as they’re not super competitive kids. The mechanics aren’t complicated.
If your family likes dice chuckers and you’re looking for something a little more strategic than Strike or Roll For It, Dice Hunters of Therion might be just the ticket.
[Anitra] So Andrew – What’re we going to rate this game?
[Andrew] I think we’re going to give Dice Hunters of Therion 3½ Warrants out of 5.
And that’s Dice Hunters of Therion, in a SNAP!
Find it on Amazon or ask for it at your friendly local game store.
The Family Gamers received a copy of Dice Hunters of Therion from Amigo for this review.
This post contains affiliate links, which do not change your price, but help support The Family Gamers.
SNAP review music is Avalanche, provided courtesy of You Bred Raptors?
Dice Hunters of Therion
Age Range: 8+ (could go slightly younger)
Number of Players: 2-4
Playtime: 30 minutes