The Zorro Dice Game: Engarde!
“An aging and battle-weary Zorro can longer adequately defend the people from oppression. He seeks a worthy successor.” Will it be you?
Brian Henk and Clayton Skanck created The Zorro Dice Game, with artwork from Loic Billiau and Adrienne Ezell. 2-6 players can defeat villains (up to 8 players with the Heroes and Villains expansion) in this game from Pull the Pin Games.
Make pairs of matching Scoundrels and Villains, each holding a colored Hero die. Deal four equipment cards face up and place a Heroic Feat on top of each one.
How To Play
Your goal in The Zorro Dice Game: defeat the boss Villain and win the final duel. Each turn, you’ll perform three steps: Travel, Attempt and Collect.
Choose one of the four Heroic Feat cards and place your hero pawn on it. During this step you can request help from another player – more on that later.
Roll the six Zorro dice, plus any acquired Hero dice, to try to meet the requirements shown on the Heroic Feat. Players can re-roll up to three times and save any number of dice per roll. If another player joined you, you may use their equipment card(s). If you can’t meet a Feat’s requirements with your rolls, the helping player may roll any of the dice one time, including their own Hero dice.
If you succeeded, you get to collect! Take the equipment card that was under the Heroic Feat. If another player joined you (even if you didn’t end up needing their help), they draw an equipment card from the deck for being an awesome side-kick.
Draw a new equipment card and a new Heroic Feat to replace the one you just took. A player may only have up to three equipment cards (and only one premium card).
If the newly gained Heroic Feat card matches the location (color) of a Feat you already have, collect a Hero Die matching the location type and trigger a Scoundrel there.
Whether you collected or not, it’s the next player’s turn.
Once the first Hero die is taken, a Scoundrel emerges immediately to fight the next player in turn order. Fight a Scoundrel in the same fashion as a Heroic Feats – but you’ll need to fight alone.
The player who defeats a Scoundrel is rewarded with premium equipment. If the player fails, then the next player tries. Should all Zorro-wannabes fail their brawl, discard the Scoundrel back to the box and continue traveling to Heroic Feats.
The Final Battle and Dueling
A Villain emerges when both Heroic dice for a given location are taken, or when the last Heroic feat is drawn from the deck.
Each player gets exactly one attempt fight the Villain, but they can use equipment cards to overcome the challenge. If a player bests the Villain, they take their pawn and place it standing up in the center of the table. Then the next player trys their hand at subduing the dastardly Villain. Players who lost the fight are out of the game and lay down their pawns.
After the epic Villain battle, all players with pawns still standing duke it out in an epic duel.
Each player rolls all their dice (including Heroic dice) up to three times, trying for as many swords (“thrusts”) as possible, and using their Equipment cards as needed. A player is eliminated when they roll fewer swords than another. If any ties occur, keep dueling until one player is left standing.
The winner becomes the next Zorro and is awarded the mask. Don’t forget take a selfie with mask!
Two things drew me into The Zorro Dice game; first, the theme; second, its a family friendly dice chucker. I’m not sure why there aren’t any other Zorro games out there. This hero’s lore translates perfect into tabletop play, and we felt immersed in the experience. The artwork is great and everything gels nicely together.
I felt the action and tension building as I tried to win Heroic Feats. Since dice rolling is the main mechanic, there is a lot of luck involved, but luck can be mitigated with equipment cards.
The die symbols of charm, dash, leap, thrust, grab and taunt all seem like legit Zorro moves used to best adversaries.
Since Scoundrels and Villains require more challenging combinations of symbols, you’ll need equipment cards to conquer them. Premium equipment generally has better abilities and come in handy in the final battle. Choose those items wisely and look for combinations that will help defeat future bosses.
We struggled with a few elements, although The Zorro Dice Game flows well overall. The player who acquires a Heroic die doesn’t fight the Scoundrel or Villain immediately; the next player does instead, and it deflated our excitement. Since you did all the work, why should the next player get the first chance for premium equipment? There’s a chance that everyone could fail and the Scoundrel make it back around, but that was a rare occurrence.
Lastly, the war-like end of game didn’t work for us. You complete all these great heroic feats, only to get eliminated by poor rolls against the final Villain. In a recent play, I lost despite having awesome equipment compared to my opponent’s lackluster cache.
Stopping a runaway stage coach or recovering stolen jewels are courageous deeds and seemed to be diminished by this luck-driven ending. We wished players’ heroic accomplishments could have been acknowledged in some way, perhaps with a victory point system.
On the brighter side, a heavy dose of luck levels the playing field. Mom could be killing it as Zorro, perfectly snagging solid combinations of equipment, and selecting feats that link up for extra dice. When the final battle happens, Jace can still win by rolling more thrusts, despite using less strategy and getting random equipment.
Heroes and Villains Expansion
Expanding the play up to eight players, the expansion is a must for larger families, with more pawns, equipment, Scoundrels, and Villains. Setup changes slightly, with Scoundrels and Villains now placed face down. Reveal a single baddie only once a Heroic die is collected. Players won’t be able to plan their Heroic feats optimally, but it equalizes opportunities at higher player counts. Now two players can accompany others in attempting Heroic feats.
The equipment in this expansion splices in cool abilities such as converting die faces, discarding a card to gain extra rolls, and borrowing other player’s cards for a turn. Gamers will appreciate additional options to mitigate bad luck.
And the expansion also includes solo rules!
While the suggested age for The Zorro Dice Game is 10+, we say kids as young as 7 could easily handle it.
In the base game, kids can see what equipment will help, since Scoundrel die requirements are shown. Some cards have a little bit of text on them, but most information is communicated with icons. Parents can easily help new readers along.
Allowing players to request help on Heroic Feats is an ingenious design choice. It help ramps up the early game and moves things along.
The Zorro Dice Game is perfect for a lighter dice game. The end-game left me a little unsatisfied, but it’s easy to teach and fast to play. If you love Zorro and need to accommodate more players, the Heroes and Villains expansion becomes perfect for a larger group to play.
For this review, The Family Gamers received a copy of The Zorro Dice Game and the Heroes and Villains expansion from Pull the Pin Games.
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The Zorro Dice Game
Age Range: 10+ (We say 7+
Number of Players: 2-6, with expansion up to 8
Playtime: 20-30 minutes