Review: Rajas of the Ganges The Dice Charmers

Rajas of The Ganges: The Dice Charmers is the roll&write version of the larger, original game. Collect goods, visit the palace and sail down the Ganges River in the battle for fame and fortune.

Publisher

Huch!

30 – 45 
minutes

€19,95
cost

2-5
players

Game explanation

Rajas of The Ganges: The Dice Charmers is the roll&write version of the larger, original game. In Rajas of The Ganges, players use 8 dice. With these dice you can develop your territories, collect and sell goods, ask for help from influential people and sail across the Ganges River. Just like in the original game, you compete for wealth and fame. 

Rajas of the Ganges: The Dice Charmers is a dice game where you use 8 dice with symbols on them instead of numbers. There are 2 dice of 4 different categories. Just like in dice games like Clever, you score points in these different categories in various ways. 

The player whose turn it currently is throws all 8 dice. The starting player chooses the 1st die. He places it in front of him on the appropriate dice tile. The 2nd die of the same colour is placed on the elephant. So if the starting player takes a blue die in his first turn, the other die is not available to the other players during this round. The starting player then takes the action shown on his die. These can be different actions. The colour of the die determines where you can carry out that action. Do you score fame or money as a result of your action? Then you will immediatly cross them off. 

There are 4 different colours of dice, so 4 different categories: 

The purple dice let you gather new goods
When you choose the purple die, you get two new goods (tea, silk and/or spices). You circle these goods in your market space (the purple space on your paper). You always circle the free goods that are the most to the left on the market space. The goods you have circled are in stock. You can sell them later to get money for them.

With the green dice you build roads 
If you choose a green die, you can build roads in your province. These roads connect your residence with buildings and markets. The first road you draw should always start from the residence. The roads you draw after that should either connect to the residence or to a previously drawn road. The die has sides with curved roads, straight roads or 2 half roads. With these options you can expand the road network in your province. 

In the green category, you can score in different ways. When you connect the road network with buildings, you can score fame. There are also various bonuses to be earned in the green category. You can end up with a bonus that allows you to sail on the river, but you can also end up with the purple tent that allows you to sell goods. 

With the blue die you sail on the Ganges River Ganges
If you choose a blue die, you immediately advance to the first free river space with the indicated symbol. You then immediately receive the bonus shown on this space. You may not sail back to the river unless you earn this action in the palace or through a specific bonus. 

Use the orange die to perform a palace action
When you choose the orange die, you may visit the palace. You take the palace action indicated there. These are favours from influential people. There are 6 different people and therefore 6 different palace actions. 

The Great Mogul: Perform 1 of the 5 other palace actions.
The Maharani: Immediately sail 1 or 2 spaces further down the river and receive the bonus. 
The Trader: Immediately sell 1 or 2 goods of your choice. 
Raja Man Singh: You immediately get 1 money and you can upgrade a building. 
The Master Builder: Draw 2 half roads in your road network.
The Portuguese: From your current position, sail back one or two empty spaces on the river and receive the bonus. 

There are many different bonuses to be earned in the various categories. In addition, you can also encounter other actions such as upgrading buildings or receiving karma. If you can upgrade a building, you indicate this on the parchment roll. This means that you will receive more fame if your road network connects to the building you just upgraded. Karma is written at the top of your score sheet. Karma allows you to roll again. 

The game ends when a player succeeds in crossing over the money track and the fame track. Then the round is played out and the game ends after that round. Does another player also manage to cross the two tracks? Then the player who crossed the tracks furthest wins. 

Our thoughts

Rajas of The Ganges: The Dice Charmers is a very special and elaborate dice game. We are very enthusiastic! At first we thought the score pad looked a bit intimidating. If you are used to roll&writes like Qwixx and Clever, then Rajas of the Ganges is a bit of a shock. But after the first game we were immediately convinced. We are very happy that we were not deterred. If you like roll&writes and are looking for a bit more challenge and depth, then this is definitely a must-have!

The roll&writes we have played before mainly revolved around numbers. We really like the fact that Rajas of the Ganges takes a different approach. You don't roll numbers but symbols. This game really revolves around the theme. We have not played the original board game yet, but as we heard, the theme and tactics from the original are well reflected in the dice version. We can imagine this, as the theme is well developed and a lot of tactical choices are involved in the game. After playing the dice version, we are convinced. We definitely want the original board game in our collection! 

This really is the perfect game if you are looking for a smaller, faster game that offers a lot of challenge and tactics. Some roll&writes may be a little simple for you or not challenging enough in the long run. In that case, Rajas of the Ganges is a perfect addition to your collection. You play a roll&write but still have the feeling that you are playing a mini board game. Perfect for when you feel like playing a game, but don't feel like or have time to set up a big game. 

In addition, Rajas of the Ganges offers even more challenge through the 2nd score block that has been added to the game. There are two different score blocks: an easier and a more difficult version. We think this is great! This increases the replayability of the game. It is very nice that this score block is already included in the base game and that you do not have to buy it separately. 

As far as we are concerned, Rajas of the Ganges: The Dice Charmers is perfect for anyone who loves roll&writes and is looking for a more challenging and elaborate game. Rajas offers a lot of tactics, fun chain reactions and challenging choices. If you like the chain reactions in Clever, you should definitely try this game. For every fan of roll&writes and original, challenging games this is a nice addition to the collection! 

Playing with 2 players

Rajas of The Ganges is a perfect game for 2 players. The 2-player game has different rules. When playing with 2 players, you may not choose 1, but 2 dice per round. This increases the pace. If you don't like to wait for a long time or to play the same game for a long time, this is perfect! With more players, Rajas of the Ganges might take longer than you are used to. We are curious to see if we would still like it with more players.

 Pros and cons

Extensive and original roll&write
+ Challenging and tactical 
+ A lot of fun chain reactions
+ Extra scoresheets in the basegame 

– Hard for beginning players
- Error-sensitive