Published by: Grey Fox Games
# of Players: 2 to 5
Grey Fox Games introduces us to treasure hunting through the game and it's art. The different areas you can assign dice to have beautiful illustrations that show the mystery and intrigue of venturing them. Dice are good quality and each player gets 8 dice of their player color. Besides the dice, everything else is cardboard punch-out tokens or boards. The game does come with an insert but I have yet to figure out how to properly store the game inside of it. The game also comes with plastic baggies for some of the tokens, but due to being unsure about what goes in the insert, I am unable to figure out if I am using them right for storage. They seem to be very tight when storing some of the tokens. The game contains many different modules that make up the game in various set ups. This means that for the first few times you play, you will be referencing the game guide on what tokens you need. The guide itself is very well done and explains the game in great detail with lots of bold headings to make finding what you are looking for very easy. The game also comes with a mission tile supplement that explains what each mission tile means. While there are a few minor issues with storage, Order of the Gilded Compass does a nice job of setting you up on a treasure hunting expedition.
Order of the Gilded Compass is a easy to learn, dice assignment game. A game is played over 5 or 6 rounds and during each round, players will be taking turns rolling and assigning dice to various locations. Setting up the game has players each selecting a color of 8 dice that they will use for the game. Locations will be placed in the middle of the table. Archives, University and Library are always included as locations but two other locations will be randomly chosen. This allows for a different feel for each game and altering your strategy for winning. Starting with the first player they will roll there dice and then assign dice to a single location. Any dice remaining will be used on a later turn. The next player then gets to do the same thing and it will keep going around till one person assigns all their dice and everyone has had an equal amount of turns.
Now everyone will resolve the locations from left to right and top to bottom. Each location has it's own criteria on how dice can be assigned, how it resolves and what your receive/score from it. For example the Archives require dice of the same number and the player with the most dice assigned of the same number gets first pick of map tiles that are displayed next to the location. For example: Player A plays 4 1 side up dice and Player B places 3 6 sided dice. Player A would get first pick of location due to more dice assigned to the location. Map Tiles will list two point values for scores. The top number is if you attach a specialist of the same color to the map, the lower number is if no one is assigned to the map. Once everyone has resolved all the locations, the first player marker will be given to the next player to the left of the previous first player. This will start a new round and you will play each round the same way. After 5 or 6 rounds depending on player count, the game will end and you will total up all your points from treasure, maps, and any other bonuses/rewards you may received. The player with the highest total wins the game.
When I opened Order of the Gilded compass for the first time, I was very overwhelmed by the various tiles and rule book. Once you read the first few pages of the rule book you will understand that the game is actually quite simple to play. The reason for all the tiles and larger than expected rule book was due to the various locations that can be used for each game. Order of Gilded Compass does a great job making what appears and feels to be a complex game, and make it simple and easy to play and learn. The art on the locations is very nice, I had issues matching some of the map colors with specialists of the same color, but symbols are provided for color blind so that they can tell everything apart. The insert and baggies are confusing and I still do not think I have it stored right. The actual gameplay is quick and fun. The game can easily be played in under an hour. I like the risk/reward feel of when and what dice to play at the various locations. Fighting for first pick can make a huge difference and I found games to be scored very closely. I would have liked some sort of score pad to tally up scores but it can be done with paper and pen. I would recommend this to anyone who likes dice games or the exploration theme. This will be staying in my collection and I have a few friends that wanted to steal my copy. Order of the Gilded Compass gives you the feeling of being Nathan Drake or Indiana Jones while still be being an elegant dice game.
+ Interesting theme that is portrayed nicely for a dice game
+ Art on the locations look great
+ A complex looking game that is easy to learn and play
+ Various locations to create different set ups each game
+ Rule book and Mission tile guide explain everything in detail and easy to find what you are looking for
- Confusing insert and baggies that do not seem the right size
- Various locations means set up will take some time to learn and need to reference guide
- Some may feel the game is not complex enough for them
- No scoring pad