By Rick Teverbaugh
The Herald Bulletin
— Scripts & Scribes: The Dice Game is a reimplementation of the card game Scripts & Scribes, which later has come to be known as Biblios. Confused yet?
Well there is nothing confusing about the dice version of S & S, which is being published by Doctor Finn’s Games and has been created by Steve Finn.
From the publisher: “As a medieval monk, you are charged with increasing the prestige of the abbey's collection of historical and sacred texts. By acquiring the resources for manuscript illustration and reproduction, your abbey produces and sells its valuable works, thereby bringing in finances necessary for maintaining a fine abbey. Will you succeed in making your abbey the most prestigious of all?
“The goal of Scripts and Scribes: The Dice Game is to acquire gold and to collect resources – scrolls, manuscripts, pigments, quills, ink – to exchange for gold. Players compete in five different categories and the values of the categories change during the game. In addition, depending upon the dice roll, there may be many or few auctions during the game in which players auction their resources for gold or auction gold for resources.”
Although some of that may seem a bit chaotic, in practice it is not.
Players make choices depending on the faces showing on the dice rolled. As players gain an advantage in collecting a certain resource and fall behind in another, they will seek to increase the value of each of the former and decrease it for the latter.
Gold is also a resource used to re-roll dice or to win auctions held when certain die faces are exposed.
There is a game board that tracks how each player is doing in collecting resources and it is that progress that will determine when the game ends. There can be two to five players for a game of Scripts & Scribes. Game time is about 30 minutes, though it does run a bit longer if there are four or five players. The box lists 10 as the youngest to be able to play and that seems a reasonable estimation.
The game retails for $29.95. You can find out more at: http://www.doctorfinns.com/ As of this writing, there was an offer of both Scripts & Scribes: The Dice Game and Biblios for $45 with free shipping in the U.S.
I found this game to be challenging, tactical, easy and enjoyable to play. It can be taught easily to gamers and non-gamers. Though any dice game will have its share of luck, there seems ample ways of mitigating the effects of luck so that it isn’t the determining factor in winning the game.
This will be a game that will return to my tabletop often and usually with multiple plays each time.