Tumble Town Board Game Review

Back then, in tabletop games, they used dice for nothing but a randomizer. We roll them and the dice face will tell us which random event will affect the game.

For example, in Monopoly, the dice will tell us how far we can go from our current position. The problem with this idea is the randomness can determine the winner.

If one player is very lucky they get a good roll or keep getting a good roll and eventually win. The other player will then feel bad, not because they play poorly but only because they got bad roll.

Nowadays, designers have found more and better ways of how to use dice in their game. They can also add more ways that allow players to change the dice face in certain ways, mitigating these bad rolls.

In this next one, Tumble Town, the dice is not just a randomizer but also a component to build. It’s like playing a Lego but there is a challenge of how we can get the pieces and restriction for how to use the pieces to build.

So, what is this Tumble Town game? How do we play the game? Can we play the game solo? Are there any expansions for it?

Those are probably just a few questions that came to mind after hearing about the game. Well, in this article, I’m going to share with you my Tumble Town Review based on my experience on playing the game and what I can find from the internet.

Hope this helps. Is Tumble Town going to be the best dice game out there?

Click or tab on any sections from the table of contents to jump right to that part. Use the red arrow button on the bottom right corner of the screen to head back to the top.

Overview

Game’s Title: Tumble Town
Genre: Dice Rolling, American Western Theme, City Building, Competitive, Solo Variant, Contracts, Set Collection, Card and Dice Drafting, Dice Manipulation, Tableau Building.
Designer: Kevin Russ
Artist: Katy Grierson, Katie Khau, Kevin Russ
Publisher: Weird Giraffe Games
Number of Players: 1 – 4
Playtime: 45 minutes
Official Page: Tumble Town (weirdgiraffegames.com)

Release Year: 2021
Price: $50

Contents:
1 Rulebook
7 Dice Tokens
1 Variant Sheet
14 Penalty Tokens
1 First Player Marker
100 d6 Dice:
Brown Dice (28)
Gray Dice (24)
Black Dice (24)
Gold Dice (24)
69 Cards (57.5 x 89mm):
Building Plan Cards (52)
Horse Cards (4)
Plan End Cards (3)
Game Setup Card (1)
Icon Reference Cards (4)
Turn Reference Cards (4)
Best in the West Card (1)
1 Scorepad
8 Town Player Mats
1 Dice Tower Cardboard Set

Expansion:
Round Up Promo Pack (2020)
Playmat (2020)

About Tumble Town Game

The game of Tumble Town is set in American West setting. Players are mayor of a small community town trying to construct the best town possible with a lot of buildings.

We will be constructing those buildings using dice of 4 different colors, representing different building materials. In addition to that, the buildings require certain combination of value or pips from the dice as the guideline.

We can still construct them without following the rule, but there will be a penalty for each. Each building will also give a special ability for the player after they have successfully built them.

The abilities allow the players to get more dice, switch to different color or manipulate those dice value. Some only give more points at the end of the game.

Players can then choose to place those buildings on their Main Street or not. The Main Street has further city guidelines as how and where specific building materials and building height should be placed on. If we can follow those spatial guidelines, we will get extra points at the end.

The main mechanism of the game is the drafting. Instead of drafting just the building card or the dice, each player will have to draw a pack of both, one card and 3 dices. Of the 3 dice, one of them is already set while we can still choose which color for the other two.

This is an interesting system because sometimes we have to draft the card but we do not need the dice or we need the dice but not necessarily the card. After we draw the dice and roll them, we can choose to either use them or store those dice for future buildings.

But there is a limit of how many dice we can store. Within that limit, we can still change those dice to different faces or just discard them.

The game will end after a number of dice or the number of building cards have been depleted. Whoever score the most points wins.

Tumble Town was designed by Kevin Russ, who also designed Calico which was a huge hit in 2020. The publisher did a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter in February 2020.

The campaign got funded with the help from over 2,000 backers, raising almost $70,000. Up to this point, there is a PnP file of Tumble Town for those who want to give it a try before buying that we can find on this Kickstarter page.

This next video is a short tutorial by Brittanie Boe from Be Bold Games Channel for Tumble Town with the prototype copy. The second video is a bit of interview with the designer, Kevin Russ.

Components

The game comes in a medium size vertical box, which is about 27.5 x 19 x 8.1 cm. On the box cover, we can see a deserted American West town with a row of several buildings in water painting art style.

The bottom or back of the box has more info about the game. We can find an illustration of what a player board will look like at the end of the game. This includes several of the building cards and how they are built using those dice.

There is also a QR code on the back and many other places of the components that leads to the video above. This way, anybody can find more info without opening the game. The video itself was using prototype copy of the game, so it is not up to date.

Inside the box, there is a custom plastic black insert with slots for most of the components. They also leave some space for the constructed dice tower. So, we can assemble the tower and put it as it is in the box.

The insert itself, its wall is not very sturdy. It’s not a problem if we just put it in the box but not so much if we take it out.

I feel like there is inefficient use of space, especially the big well for the tokens. It is definitely to big, unless they are planning to add more components with expansion.

The slot for the cards can hold sleeved cards but barely cards from the base game. If we use card sleeve with just about 60 micron thickness, they can fit in the insert.

For those who buy the Kickstarter copy with the extra promo cards, I have to put those cards in extra space of slot for the dice. I’m not sure about putting sleeve for them yet.

There will be two cardboard sheets, mostly for the tokens and to construct the dice tower. The only thing that does not appear to have specific way to put in the box is all of the player mats in a plastic bag.

I think it is supposed to stay at the top of the two big wells because the size definitely fits. Somehow, the dice tower and the cards that we have to put vertically will hold it. If it was intentional, I guess, it’s a smart design.

Between the two big wells there is a slot for finger to lift the component up. For the card one, it doesn’t need any of it as the slot only covers the bottom half of the cards so we can easily pick them.

Based on the position of the insert and the dice tower, if we put the box standing, that leaves the dice tower at the bottom of the box, taking the load of other components. Maybe it’s not going to damage the dice tower but we can always just flip the position so the dice tower will be at the top.

The sleeve actually help hold the cards to stay in their slot if we want to store the game standing. All of the cards use the same size, which is 57.5 x 89mm or the Standard USA Chimera size.

My copy also came with like 11 zip lock plastic bags. I think they are too many but we can always use them for other games. Unless, of course, they are planning to add more components if this game ever get an expansion.

Rulebook

Typical for most board games, the first thing we can find inside the box is the rulebook. As far as I know, there is only one version of this game at this point which is in English version.

We can find the digital copy of the rulebook on BGG via this link. The same goes with the additional sheet for variants. On that page, we can also find several translations for either Germany, French and Spanish version, but not sure if they are official.

I also cannot find any digital file of the rulebook from the publisher’s official webpage for the game.

Typical to any board game rulebook, the size is almost the same as the box footprint, which is 26.1 x 17.5 cm with 8 pages. Here are the table of contents for the rulebook.

Game Overview (Page 1). This gives the general idea of what the game is about.

Components (Page 1). This is the list of components for playing the base game. Not every component has illustration. Some have the amount listed as well but others are not.

Game Setup (Page 2 – 3). The setup has two parts, for the communal market and for players setup. These are for the standard game mode. The variants can be found on the different sheet.

While there is a good illustration for each, I think there are some missing element there like the Penalty and Dice Tokens are not mentioned. One important point is additional setup rule for 2 player mode where we have to remove some cards which can be found on page 2.

Turn Phases (Page 4). This explains all of the 4 phases that each player need to resolve during their turn. I think there are several important points from this section.

For example, we can have more dice than the storehouse capacity during phase 3. The limit only happens during phase 4 where we have to discard the excess.

Another thing is about activating the Building Power. It can be done on the same turn when it is constructed for the next building.

Gold Pan Dice Manipulation (Page 4). This only explains the dice manipulation from the Gold Pan which can be found on the Player’s Main Street Mat. I guess the important point from that section is the Gold Pan can be used as many times as we want as long as we have enough dice to trade.

Additional General Rule (Page 4). This is like a reminder or further clarification of the overall rule. For example, how the penalty token works, rolling dice from the supply, build as many building cards in a single turn, etc. This will be helpful if it is placed on the last page.

Game End & Scoring (Page 5). This part explains the standard end game trigger, how to score and the tie breaker. Unfortunately, there is no example.

There is a question about whether the end game is reversible. The general consensus seems to say it is not but it should be available in the rulebook.

Building Value Requirements (page 5). This is a good summary for all of the building requirements that we will find from all of the building cards in the base game.

The reference card actually misses a couple of things. They also provide some examples at the bottom part of the page.

Poorly Constructed Buildings (Page 6). This part gives further information about how the penalty token works. Basically, one penalty token for each dice that does not meet the requirement.

Main Street Placement Rules (Page 6). This explains how to place the constructed dice on the Main Street Mat. I think the important part of this is that we can mirror the dice placement and that we can choose not to place the constructed one on the Main Street.

The game assumes that each player will have another street that will not contribute to scoring later for the placement on Main Street. It still counts for other scoring criteria.

The rule also doesn’t mention that the building can partially occupy the Main Streets. It also doesn’t say whether we can extend to both ends or just one.

Building Heights (Page 6). This part explains how each building height counts, for scoring purposes. If the building has multiple different heights, it counts for all of those heights. They also provide two examples for this topic.

Building Powers (Page 7). This part explains almost everything we can find from each Building Card or at least the general idea. There are a couple more variations of the powers listed on that page.

Some people have been asking about whether the change of dice value wraps around like from 1 to 6. There is also a question whether +/- 2 means up to 2 or exactly 2.

Quick Start Guide (Page 8). This is a good way to use the last page. We can see the summary without having to check the entire rulebook again. It is more elaborate than the setup card.

However, I think they missed out the starting dice for different player counts. That last page itself still has a lot of empty space that they can put on.

They could have used it not just for the quick set up guide but for summary of everything.

This information can also be found on their Setup card but only for 4 players. I don’t know why both sides of that card shows the exact information instead of the setup for other player counts.

Because of this one thing, we still need to check the rulebook again. The last page also has a link and QR code that leads to video tutorial.

At the bottom there is also a link for EXTRA CONTENT, which is at this point of time, is still not available.

Overall, I think the rulebook does a good job explaining the game in general. It’s not perfect, with a couple of minor missing part. Some parts still need further clarification in detail which is very common for any game.

Variant Sheet

This sheet has the same size as the rulebook but only with 4 pages. As stated on the first page, this covers rules for VARIANTS, SOLO GAMEPLAY and MISSION MODE.

They also use the sheet for CREDITS and THANK YOU notes, instead of on the main rulebook. The digital file of this sheet can be found on the BGG page for Tumble Town as well, in English.

Here are what we can find from this sheet.

NO MAIN STREET VARIANT. This is for multiplayer and solo mode where we will not be placing the constructed buildings on the Main Street.

SURPLUS VARIANT. Instead of using the fixed amount of dice for different player count, we will use all of the dice regardless of the player count.

EXTRA CONTENT. It says that they will put a link to a page for more content of Tumble Town. Sadly, they do not put a QR code for this one.

SOLO PLAY RULES. There are also a couple more variants for playing the solo mode. We can play against an automated player where we have to beat their score, but also beat our own score.

They also offer a way to change the difficulty setting of this automated player in 4 different level. Lastly, instead of surplus variant, there is also an EXPRESS variant for this solo play.

MISSION MODE. This is more like a campaign game where we will be playing several sessions of Tumble Town. On each session or mission, we have to complete an objective before moving on to a new mission with different objective.

This can be used in both the multiplayer and solo game. For solo specifically, there is even a more difficult way to complete these missions.

It seems that the publisher has a lot of plan for future content of this game with a lot of links. Unfortunately, at this point, there is no additional content yet.

Dice Tower Construct

The next thing we can find from the box is the two cardboard sheets. These are mostly for constructing the custom dice tower and Penalty tokens, Dice Tokens and 1 token for a different game by the same publisher. I will discuss about the tokens in later sections.

Unfortunately, they do not provide a step by step guide as how to construct the dice tower on the rulebook. At this point, nobody was making the video either. Luckily, it is not that difficult to do. If we look at the sheet themselves, they point out what part each of them are and a number which is supposed to be the steps for building this tower.

The sheets themselves have a number with number 1 for the one that has a green Dice Token and number 2 for the sheet with blue Penalty Token. There are only 7 parts for this Dice Tower, with 4 from sheet 1 and 3 from sheet 2.

1st. To construct the dice tower, we start with the BASE, which is the big part from sheet 2. We can punch them out and fold it. This base includes the side walls.

There will be a smaller parts that we can take them out near both ends of both side walls.

2nd. From sheet 1, we can see the two identical parts which has a number 2 and it says DICE TOWER BASE END CAPS. We can punch them out and take away the smaller parts to create a hole.

Those holes will become a hook that we need to connect with the counterpart on the side walls of the base part. If we do it correctly, it already become a long dice tray.

3rd. It’s time to punch out the biggest part from the Sheet 2. This is the TOWER PART mostly the three walls of the tower and the inclined base. We can punch them out and fold it which will be 4 folded parts.

The side walls of the tower have two smaller slots that we can punch them out as well. These are for the inner part of the tower or as the sheet says, the MIDDLE TUMBLE PLANK and the ROOF.

4th. The next step is to take the MIDDLE TUMBLE PLANK from the Sheet 1. We can punch it out and slot it in to the two middle holes of the tower’s side walls. I think this should be done with the next part.

5th. Next, we punch out the ROOF part from Sheet 2. We can put it on the two top holes of the tower. Notice that the roof is intended to be able to flip while the middle plank isn’t. When we put on several dice, it will flip so the dice will fall and roll while the roof will flip back.

After we put the roof and the middle plank into the tower part, we can put them all on to the base. The two side tower at the bottom has a hook that match the hook on the base, specifically on the BASE END CAPS. It doesn’t matter which end caps as both has the hook.

6th. The final part is to put the FRONT WALL of the tower from SHEET 2. This part has 4 hooks facing downwards that we can put on the 4 hooks facing upwards from the tower.

That is it with how to construct the tower.

The overall footprint size is about 7.5 x 18 cm. For the base or tray, the height is about 1.8 cm, while the tower is about 12 cm.

I think the room for the dice to enter the tower is less than 2 cm after the roof has flipped. So, if we use dice not from the game that is bigger, the dice may get stuck.

If we use the dice from the game, which is typical 1.5cm d6, the roof might not flip with just 1 dice, unless we drop the dice from certain height. With 2 dice, the weight of both will do.

I’ll be honest. I’m not actually a fan of any dice tower because it is unnecessary. However, this one looks definitely nice on the table. At some point I was thinking about putting this just as decoration.

Or, I can use it when playing other games like roll and write. It is unfortunate that some games that use bigger dice might not fit in this. I also tried a set of dice with different number of faces where the d6 is about 1.5cm. From that set, d20 cannot go through this tower. It will stuck on the roof.

Usually, my problem with the dice tower is that, it is easier and faster just to roll using our hand especially if we roll a lot. It is also an issue with more players as we need to place them where everybody can reach.

However, in this game, the rolling is not that often. Rolling only happens during taking a new dice from the supply. There is a bit of reroll as another dice manipulation in this game from some of the buildings. We can just ask the other players to do it for us.

Dice Tokens

From the cardboard sheet 1, we can find 7 Dice Tokens. They are the green tokens with a dice icon and a question mark on it.

They are circular token with about 2cm in diameter and 1.5mm thickness. These tokens are one of the way to manipulate the dice face.

Whoever has this token, they can spend it and rotate the dice to any face that they want. In order to get the tokens, they need to build certain buildings to get 3 tokens each.

There are actually only 2 Buildings that allow us to get this and both of them are SALOON, which are both from Level 1. There is a chance that those cards might not even be in the game because we will be removing some cards based on the player count.

So, it is reasonable just to have 7 tokens. My complaint is that they should use this idea even more instead of stuck with just those 2 cards.

The tokens themselves are worth nothing for scoring. So, if we do get them, we might as well just spend them. The thing is that we might not even need them.

While it gives some flexibility but only for changing the dice face. In this game we also need to use specific dice color to build a building. So, the token is useless for that purpose.

There is another way to change the dice color, of course, like the Gold Pan. However, we will lose the amount of dice that we need, which is another consideration.

In the rulebook, because this token is a minor part of the game, they do not actually have a dedicated section to explain about this feature. Of course, it is not that complicated to use, but it feels unnecessary to have this at all.

Penalty Tokens

The other tokens with the blue color are the Penalty Tokens. As we can see, each of them says “-2” with a star icon which indicates losing 2 points at the end of the game.

The size of the token is the same as the Dice token, which is about 2cm in diameter.  From the sheet, we have 14 penalty tokens from the Sheet 2 and 1 more from Sheet 1.

In this game, we will construct a building using multiple d6. The buildings may require certain color and certain value of the dice.

However, we are allowed to break that rule and use different dice to construct. For each dice that does not meet the requirement, we will have to take one Penalty Token.

The base point we can get from each building is about 2 up to 6 points. However, each building may generate more points based on their size or features on the card.

That means, for 6 points, if we use 3 wrong dice, it’s almost worthless. Of course, we might want to avoid that or at least minimize that.

The thing is, maybe the Building Power that we get from constructing that building is worth it. If the power is an ongoing ability, we can immediately activate the power on the same turn, which can probably lead to build another one.

Another consideration is that, if it is the last turn, maybe losing a few points is better than get no points at all. The game itself is also very fast and other players can be the one to trigger the end of the game and maybe we don’t have enough turns to build.

So, there is a use of these tokens, not just something to avoid. With that being said, from my experience, I rarely use them.

While the use is there, it is not easy to tell whether the point we lose is worth it or not. It is not like we can violate the rule for every building hoping that we can build more.

Most of the time,  the difference on the number of built buildings between players is only 1. There is no mechanism in this game where we can take more cards which we can then build later. So, the number of building cards that we get is equal to the number of rounds.

I think the tokens will be more useful for the solo play, when we are playing against the automated player. We will not need all of the tokens but it can take a couple of them, depending on the dice roll.

Since all of the tokens are worth the same, usually, I just flip the automated player’s card to indicate that they get the token.

Cat “Klaus” Token

Apparently, they include a single token with a cat on it from the Sheet 2. The sheet also says that this is for another game from the same publisher called Big Easy Busking, completely unrelated to Tumble Town.

They didn’t say anything like how to use the token. There is also a link to the publisher website that if we go to that link, it will just go to that game’s page.

So, I think Klaus is the name of the cat. But somehow, if we check the components of that game, I don’t see anything like this one.

I don’t know anything about Big Easy Busking game. We can learn more about it from this BGG page or their official page. Or watch this next video by The Cardboard Herald channel.

First Player Marker

I think we can find this token from the insert well below the Scorepad. It has a green color with a cactus shape with 2 branches. The size is about 3.6cm tall, 2cm wide and 1.3 cm thickness.

While the shape is nice but I think the use of this token is very minimum. The reason is that in the game, there is no mechanism to change the turn order. We will not be passing this marker to other players.

The starting player always starts first every round followed by the next one. Only until the end game has been triggered, this will be a reminder so every player will get the same number of turns.

Maybe the designer has a plan for content that allow us to grab this, but I don’t know. As it is, I guess it looks nice next to the dice tower.

Dice

Next is the component with the most amount in the box, which is the dice. In this game, we will get 100 D6 with 4 different colors, Gold, Gray, Black and Brown.

Brown has the more dice with 28 dice while the other 3 have 24 each. Each color comes in its own zip lock bag.

The dice are standard plastic D6, with rounded corner, and the size is about 1.5cm each. Even I have bought those same dice just with different colors.

The Gold ones are probably the special one. Maybe for the other 3, we can still buy them in any store. None of them are translucent dice.

It seems that a big portion of this game’s price came from these dice. So, it’s about $20 for 100 dice.

My problem with these special color is that, is the game still playable if we lose some of them? I think we can still play it but for some people, it will be a bit annoying to see that one or two slightly different dice. Instead of all Gold, we see  a few yellow.

In this game, these are the resources that we need to collect, manipulate the value in order to build and construct the buildings.  I thought they were meant to represent building materials like wood, stone, metal and gold.

Unfortunately, not a single part in the rulebook that mention the material. They only refer to them as their color. The building themselves and the required materials are not thematic at all. We will not even notice their name, let alone the correlation between the buildings and their materials.

We will be stacking these dice as if they are a single storey building. The buildings are up to 3 stories.

I guess the pips are meant to be like the windows or ornaments. It’s not like we have to decorate the buildings with the exact pip value.

As an example, the building requirement will be like less than 8 as the total sum, or exactly 9, or all even or odd dice. It must be a pair or in ascending order or such.

As long as we have the dice with those pips, we fulfill the objective and build the building. Some buildings will then require specific color to be in specific position of the whole buildings. That can affect the scoring.

As I have mentioned previously in the Penalty Token section, we can break the rule and build with a wrong dice. However, we will lose 2 points for each dice that is not the right one.

Some people were concerned about the idea of stacking the dice with the possibility to bump the table and ruin them. For the most part, it’s not a big deal.

However, when we place the constructed dice on the mat, the mat may have specific requirement like black dice on second floor or such. If the building card itself says something specific and we follow them, it may not be a big deal.

The problem is when the building card says that we can build them using several colors while the mat require a specific one. Then, if we bump it, we lose track and the scoring only happens at the end. So, it can be an issue.

The different colors of dice are not equal for various reasons. Gold is the most valuable one because only the Level 3 buildings which is the highest will require them.

On the other hand, we can always trade 1 Gold dice to any color while we need at least 2 dice to get a Gold one. The other 3 colors can be in buildings of any level. Brown has the most on Level 1 while Gray and Black on Level 2.

Here are the details about the number of buildings that require each color for each level. This is just from 52 building cards from the base game.

Brown
1 Cactus (or Level 1): 16 buildings, up to 32 dice total required.
2 Cactus: 12 buildings, up to 28 dice total required.
3 Cactus: 4 buildings, up to 6 dice total required.

Black & Gray
1 Cactus: 5 buildings, up to 7 dice each required.
2 Cactus: 10 buildings, up to 36 dice each required.
3 Cactus: 4 buildings, up to 6 dice each required.

Gold
1 Cactus: 0 building
2 Cactus: 0 buildings
3 Cactus: 20 buildings, 66 dice total required.

Based on the number’s above, I guess we can say that Black and Gray are more or less equal, just like a variant. We need mostly the Gold and Brown dice to build all of the buildings, with 66 dice each while black and gray need just 49 each.

The dice are also considered as limited supply and we will not be using all of them in a session depending on the player count. We might want to get those specific dice early or either we cannot build the buildings or we build them but suffer the penalty.

Maybe we might want to store those dice to ourselves. But our storage has limited capacity as well  so we will be less flexible. We have to return the excess by the end of our turn.

As Timer

The dice as general supply has a different purpose. They will become the timer of the game in the regular mode. If any 2 of the colors has 2 or less dice left, it will trigger the end of the game.

In a regular mode, for 4 players, we will be using all of the dice, while with lower player count we have to return between 6 to 12 dice each. So, with just 24 or 28 dice per color, if a building takes like 5 dice to build, with 4 players where each take buildings from the same level, one color of dice can be depleted after just 1 or 2 buildings.

We can definitely build more with the Level 1 or 1 cactus buildings as each only needs like 3 or less dice. Each player can only take 3 dice per turn.

If they take from just 1 dice pool, the pool will be depleted in just 2 rounds. There are more ways to take dice aside from the general phases.

Some people say that this rule makes the game end too fast. Because of that the rulebook suggests the SURPLUS variant where we will be using all dice regardless of the player count and the game end will be triggered in different way.

However, from my experience, even with surplus variant, at most, we will build only 5 or 6 buildings total for each player.

There is definitely a way to return some dice so it can prolong the game. The thing is, I don’t thing it is a good way to play the game.

Scorepad

The game comes with a scorepad with 100 sheets but only single sided. Here we can find 4 columns for 4 players and 6 categories for scoring. The size of the sheet itself is about 10.2 x 10.2cm.

So, these are how we can get scores in Tumble Town.

HORSE. Each horse cards has an icon type. Each built building that has that icon, will give us 1 extra point. We can have all of the buildings with this icon or none of them.

BUILDINGS. Each building has base point. These are points that we will immediately get by just building them. The base point is between 2 up to 6 points per buildings.

It is very unlikely but if we build like 6 buildings each with 6 points, we can get 36 points. From all 6 categories here, this one probably contributes the most points.

GOLD OBJECTIVES. From Level 3 (3 Cactus) buildings, the building power is a Gold Objective which will give us more points if we meet the requirements.

These bonus points are based on objects depicted on the background of built buildings like cactus, wind tower, water tower, barrel, animals and many more. For each object the bonus is about up to 2 points each.

Since each building card can have 0 up to 3 objects, we can get like 6 extra points per buildings from this category. That is assuming we do get to build those objective cards. It is useless to have the object but not the objective.

Most of the time, we can get like 10 points from this.

MAIN STREET. Each Main Street can give 20 points if we meet the criteria for each 20 slots whether with built buildings or as single empty slot.

We can probably get 10 to 15 points from this one.

PENALTY TOKENS. Each penalty token that we have is worth -2 points. This is the only way to lose points. So, it can be zero or losing a lot of points.

OTHER. As far as I know, the rulebook itself only mentions the first 5 scoring categories. I guess this is meant for future expansions.

So, we can tally the scores from all of those categories. Whoever gets the most point wins, or as they say THE BEST IN THE WEST.

From my experience, the score can go around 50 points. From the Mission objective, the score can go even higher than 58 points and no outlaw variant for solo play can go 65 or higher.

We can also use this Scorepad for the solo play. The Automated player will only score from the first 3 categories.

I guess if we play mostly with 2 players, we can use each side of the sheet twice. Even if the other side is just blank, we can still use it without the row and column. It is recommended not to use markers or pens with inks that may go through the other side.

Main Street Player Mat

These components come in a single sealed plastic. We get 8 double sided cardstock mats, not cardboards, with linen finish.

I thought these are all unique and different but according to the rulebooks, it seems there are only 2 different variants. The first variant has EASY on one side and  HARD on the other while the second variant has CACTUS and DUELING STREET side.

Both variants have 4 identical mats each to support 4 players. As a setup, the rule says that all players should be using the same side of the same variants.

While we can totally just mix and match them if we want but that means the replay value is not that many from this component.

In Tumble Town, we are trying to construct a building using dice and for the most part, we can choose to place them on this Main Street mat. Each mat will have two lines of land plots with dice requirement on each.

If we can match with the requirement, we will get 1 extra point at the end of the game. That is just the basic idea. The different variants will have extra rule like the DUELING STREET requires the dice on one line to match the opposite line.

On the other hand, there is no penalty for placing a wrong dice on that plot. We also have a choice not to place the building on this Main Street at all.

Maybe the plot doesn’t fit with the size or shape and we have another one coming that will fit in instead. There is even a variant to play the game without using the mat at all.

We definitely cannot meet every requirement. However, the mat will give extra consideration when choosing the building cards to build.

The size of each mat is about 23.5 x 10.3 cm. Back then, with the prototype copy, they use several standard size cards instead of this single long one.

As it is, there is definitely no card sleeve for this size, not that we need them. For solo, at least we can just put them inside the plastic that they came in.

In the game, we will not be moving the mat and all of the dice on it at all. We will be busy moving the cards from a plan side to the built one.

As mentioned before in the dice section, there is a possibility of bumping the table and the dice will fall down. This can be problematic but only if we do not break the rule or the buildings can be constructed with various dice color.

Each Mat has 3 parts, THE MAIN STREET, STOREHOUSE and GOLD PAN.

Storehouse

This part can be found on the top left side of the mat. We can see that there are 6 slots. These are for storing the dice that we cannot use at the end of our turn which makes this game a resource management game.

In this game, we will start with at least 2 dice and every turn we will get 3 more dice. If then at the end of our turn, we have leftover dice that we cannot use, we can store them in the Storehouse but only up to 6 dice.

Any excess dice must be discarded back to the general supply. So, we can definitely have more than 6 during our turn but at the start of next turn, we can start at most 6, plus 3 from the drafting.

If we are lucky enough with the initial dice roll and play efficiently, we may never be out of space to store. The problem is with the dice value.

We might need a 6 but we rolled a 1. Of course, we can manipulate but in limited way. It is possible that every turn we can only increase it by one and the dice just stay there over several rounds.

What makes thing worse is that because we are waiting for that one dice, most of the time, we also have to store several other dice just for one building. So, the limited resources that we can keep requires us to be flexible in our play.

We can also try to build a different building first with more dice manipulation power or we just use that low value dice for different buildings. While the dice are limited, we can keep as many building cards as we want, not that it is a good strategy as well.

We also can build multiple buildings in a single turn. Considering that we can get more or less 9 dice per turn, we will build like 2 or 3 buildings at most. Maybe this is just my playstyle but it is very rare to build even 2 in a turn, let alone 3.

There is actually some building cards that allows us to store dice on those buildings if we built them. The two Blacksmith buildings will give us not only free 3 dice but 3 dice spaces for future storage. But that is the only way to increase this storehouse capacity.

The limited capacity will definitely force players to return some dice back to the general supply. In a way it can be a bit punishing, considering that the game is a fast one. The other players can keep building while we are losing dice.

Gold Pan

This part is the one at the bottom left corner of the mat. Back then, with the prototype component, they did put the name next to it. I don’t know exactly why it is called Gold Pan though.

The Gold Pan serves as a reminder that  we can always manipulate the dice color in 3 ways.

One. Trade 2 of the same dice color (black, gray and brown), into 1 dice of any 4 colors.

Two. Trade 2 dice of the same value of any color, into 1 dice of any 4 colors.

Three. Trade 1 Gold dice to 1 dice of any of the other 3 colors.

All these 3 can be activated many times, as long as we have the required dice. For the most part, the trading will definitely reduce the number of dice, except for the last one. But the last one is only one way trade.

Combined with the other ability or power to manipulate the value, this opens to a new strategy. Instead of using the dice that we have and try to change the value over the course of several turns, we can change to a value so that we can trade two dice.

Then we can get a new dice, hopefully with a better value from the roll. This is also a way to get a Gold dice without drawing the Level 3 card.

For example, if the building requires 4 Gold dice and we can only draw 3, we can get the fourth one using these Gold Pan and two dices of other colors. In that case, we don’t have to wait for another turn, which may not happen because other player can trigger the end of the game.

The challenge is, that we still need the amount of dice to build. We can break the rule for the value but if we don’t have enough dice, we still cannot build a building.

Losing 1 dice to get a specific color might be handy but if we lose too many dice, we are not building as fast as other players.

The Main Street Part

Now, to the main part of the player mat, The Main Street. This is where we will be placing the dice of constructed buildings.

Each player mat, regardless of the variant, has 20 dice plots with 10 on each two lines. Both lines are not identical, even in the same variant.

The name of the variants can be found on the right middle part of the Main Street. There are a couple of rules that apply to all variants.

One. Plot with Matching requirements is worth 1 point each.

Two. A single plot space between buildings is worth 1 point.

Three. We may mirror buildings from how it is depicted on the card but not upside down, obviously.

We can read all of these and the additional rules for each variant on the mat.

The EASY side only requires a color on 1st level or just specific height while the HARD one has some plots with specific color on specific floor level. I’m not sure if the next two variants can be considered as more difficult than these 2.

The CACTUS variant has several Cactus on specific plot. If we can leave them empty with no part of the buildings at all, we will get additional 1 point per plot. This can be combined with the single alley between buildings. If we can accomplish that, we can get 2 points.

The DUELING STREET variant only has one line while the other is empty. However, we can get 1 extra point if the HEIGHT AND 1ST LEVEL DICE COLOR are different from the opposing line. The rule about matching requirement and single alley still apply.

For this last one, we definitely want to fill the bottom part first. Then we can try to fill the top part and differentiate from the opposing side. There is a chance that we might not build enough buildings.

It seems that we can try to find the best combination of buildings to get the most point from any variant. However, not every card will be played in any game sessions even with full player count.

The order of how they come out will be different and there is a big chance other players will just take what we want. While we can keep the cards, but we still have limited storage for dice. There is also no mechanism to let us get more than 1 card per turn.

What that means is, we still have to play tactically for this part. There is a more strategic part with the ability and how we get the dice but not about getting the maximum points from the mats.

I do feel there is an issue with this final form. The prototype version was made of 2 smaller cards to create the Main Street. That form factor will give more flexibility for different setup.

Maybe like half of it using the Easy variant and the other half is the Cactus. Players can even have different Street even if with the same variant level.

We cannot do that with this final product.

Another issue is about placing a building only partially on the mat which is allowed, like on the end of the plot line. For one, we have to separate the dice, if the width is more than a single plot. The thickness of the mat will ruin how the building will look.

The bigger issue is whether we can place the building extended to the other end, which is close to the Storehouse and Gold Pan part. My issue is not that we can or cannot, but in my experience, the dice can get mixed up between a building and the one on the storage.

What we thought will be a free dice to play, turns out to be a constructed building and we only realized that during scoring. If then we assume that the rule forbids to extend in that direction, then maybe the best way to build is to start from that end, which can impact the player’s strategy.

What I’m saying is that maybe it will be better to separate the Main Street and the other 2 parts of the mat. While combining it will help in production perspective, but not the best for the gameplay.

This is also a minor complaint. Mostly because we probably can only build like 6 buildings every game which can fit entirely on the available plots.

With 10 plots on each line , and we try to have a single alley, we can get 3 buildings with a width of 3, 3 and 2. Alternatively, we can also build 4 with a width of 2, 2, 2 and 1.

That means, at most, we can build up to 8. The issue with the corner will only impact like several points. That is also assuming we can build that many before the game ends.

Best in The West! Card

Now, we get into the final components, which is the cards. I start with this one, the Best in the West! card.

This card basically serves as kind of trophy for the winner, which is unnecessary. The front of the card has a great art with a great looking horse and a hat with a giant title.

On the back, however, there are a couple of text. It is basically an invitation to share any picture of the game on social media. So, this is more like an attempt from the publisher for their marketing.

Maybe it is a good thing for those who have a Twitter or Facebook account, they can tag the publisher account. Hopefully, they will then share our tweets or post to get more exposure.

I guess it’s not really helpful for the player if they have more followers than the publisher.

Game Setup Card

The next card that we get is a reminder how to setup the game. Here we can find the summary for the number of dice, building cards for 3 levels and the starting number of dice for each player count.

I already mentioned this before. The problem with this card is they only show the number of dice for 4 player game. For the other player count, we have to look it up again in the rulebook.

The card itself is double sided but with identical information which is a waste of space. They could have used the other side for other information. Otherwise, we have to check the rulebook again and the card become useless.

I also have a problem because of the way we store the cards within the insert. If we just lay them flat, we can probably put this setup card at the top of the pile to remind us that we can just look at the card.

But because they store the cards standing, I always forgot that we have this card. Since I rarely play with 4 players, I don’t even bother.

Turn Reference Cards

For this one, we have 4 cards, one for each player. The Turn Reference Cards will remind us the general turn order of the game with the 4 phases we need to resolve during our turn.

This card is also double sided with also an identical info, which is wasteful of space. They could have used it for other things like how to use the Gold Pan, and more details about activating any Building Powers.

Another thing that needs a reminder is how the endgame is triggered, the scoring, the Main Street and how penalty token works. The game itself is not that complex but those details can be tricky.

Personally, I don’t think we need one for each player but some people might not like being interrupted with their play just to pass those reference cards. I just wish that if they have a better way to use them.

Icon Reference Cards

These are another reminder cards, specifically for the icons that we will find in the game of Tumble Town. There will be 4 cards as well, one for each player.

In this one though, the two sides are different. The icons on these cards are from the Building Power, Horse Card, Building Requirements and Gold Pans but not all of them.

For example, the dice storage power is not on the card. Dice token is there but a bit different, without the green circle from the token.

There are 3 Gold Objectives that we can find from the rulebook but not on the card and those three are the tricky ones. For the building requirements, the card doesn’t tell us about ODD, EVEN, NON EQUAL, and EXACT sum.

I think the Exact one needs to be on the card at least because it is confusing.

So, they are right for using both side of these Icon Reference cards but apparently, they are not enough to include all of the icons. It’s like they need one more card at least. Otherwise the card will be useless as we end up having to check the rulebook again.

Again, personally, I don’t think we need to have 4 identical cards for each player but other people might disagree. I just thought, instead of identical but incomplete information, they could just use 1 copy of each but contains all of the icons.

Horse Cards

These are the cards with a horse on either side with identical illustration on any cards. Unlike the art on the Building cards, the horse art is more realistic.

Some people might say that it doesn’t fit.  I don’t know why they have to use a slightly  different background from the other side.

In this game, each player will be taking one of these randomly. Players then put the card in the middle of their tableau that they are going to build with cards with the brown color on the bottom part facing up without revealing what is on the other side.

One of the purpose of this card is to separate between the unbuilt plan cards and the constructed building cards. The unbuilt one will be placed on the left side and once we built them, we move the card to the right side of the horse.

So, it is actually a smart way. Instead of placing the building cards in a different rows or columns, they could just use a single row.

I kind of wish that the Horse card is a bit different with the background compared to the background of building cards. The horse art itself doesn’t use a striking color that are clearly different than the buildings.

Of course, it is not that hard to tell them apart but I just wish it can be more clearer.

As Secret Objective

Each card is almost identical. The only difference is the STYLE ICON for the scoring later. There are 4 different STYLE in this game, the HAT, BOOTS, HORSESHOE and the PICKAXE.

Each building that we are going to build will have one or two of these 4 styles. So, if we build buildings that have the same style icons as the one on our Horse, cards, we will get 1 point for each icon.

Each player will have a different icon everytime and they have to keep it a secret. We know what we have but not exactly what the opponents will have.

I guess it is very easy to tell in the 4 player mode. With just, 2, the other player can have one of 3.

Somehow, each horse has a different name. We have GAMING GOAT (Hat), KERMIT (Boots), NEVAEH V. (Pickaxe) and REPERTOIRE (horseshoe). Not that it matters as we have to keep it a secret.

This secret objective will give a bit of direction as which building card we need to choose. Most of the building cards have variants based on these Style Icons with the rest of the cards being almost identical.

It is possible that the market will show the same buildings but just with different icons. If that is the choice, we might want to take the one with the same style. But that is only one of the considerations.

We might want to pursue other things from the building cards. There is a chance we can get more points from other objects on those same buildings.

I guess this opens the possibility of Hate Drafting, where a player choose a card or any resources not because they need it but only to prevent other players to take them. The other players might get a great benefit from that card if we do not prevent them.

On the other hand, doing so seems not a wise strategy. Mostly because taking cards is very limited. If we ended up cannot build them, we will not get points either while other players can pursue different ways to get more points.

At most the impact would be just 1 or 2 points.

Starting Power

The other side of the Horse cards are identical for these 4 cards. It actually shows the Starting Power that every player can use on their turn.

The power allows players to change the value of a dice, increasing or decreasing it by 1. We can activate this once per turn, indicated by the rotating arrow on the top right corner of the brown box at the bottom of the card.

To keep track that we have activated it, we are supposed to slide the card down as indicator. That means we have to keep the row of cards neatly.

I actually rather just tilt the card but then we need to leave extra space next to every card, not just the horse card.

This is an essential card to have. We will need it to do a lot of manipulation from the dice roll. As I have mentioned earlier that we may need multiple turns just to change one dice value, like from 1 to 6. The change of the value doesn’t wrap around, sadly.

That is if we only have this one card to do it. It is recommended to build another building to do the same. Not only it can make more changes to a single dice but we probably need to manipulate multiple dice.

As I have mentioned as well, we also need to combine it with the Gold Pan powers to trade dice to other colors. Maybe the roll from getting a new dice will be much quicker to get the right value instead of just manipulate the dice one by one.

Plan End Cards

The next type of cards are the Plan End Cards. These 3 cards are almost identical and the only difference is the number of cactus symbol at the bottom.

They are either 1 Cactus, 2 Cactus, or 3 Cactus which indicates Level 1, Level 2 or Level 3 building type in that respective order.

The cards are also double sided with the same info on both, and have the same purpose. In this game, the general market where all players will be drafting the cards from have 3 different decks based on  those 3 different types of buildings.

The 3 different types of buildings will be discussed more later. At the bottom of each deck, we will be placing one of these PLAN END CARDS.

They serve as a reminder that the deck has run out of cards and the market will not be refilled.  Each card also tells us how the game end will be triggered for the regular rule, which is based on the number of dice from the general supply.

The card also tells us the number of cards that we will be using for different player count. I think this is more for the setup.

At the top of the card, we can see 3 DICE ICONS, all with 4 COLORS. In this game, whenever we take a card from a building type or level, we will also get 3 dice indicated by what is shown on the deck.

When the deck runs out of card and we can only see these PLAN END CARDS, everytime we take the card, then we can choose any colors for those 3 dice. This is different than when the deck still has some cards.

At level 1 building or 1 Cactus, we usually have to take 2 Brown dice and 1 dice with either Black, Gray or Brown color. From the Level 2, we have to take 1 dice with either Black or gray and 2 dice from the three colors.

As for the Level 3, we have to take 1 Gold Dice and two dice of any 4 colors. All of those are when the corresponding deck still has a card.

That means, when the deck runs out, the rule changes. We can now take even 3 Gold dice from the Level 1 which is impossible previously.

In a way, this creates a tension or an arc to the game. Before we see the Plan End card, the Level 1 deck might be not that valuable. Then suddenly, taking the card from that row, becomes a better option than taking the Level 3.

At the same time, we cannot keep using it forever. It only applies for the remaining 4 cards in the market. That is with the regular mode, where the end game is triggered by the leftover dice.

If we use the Surplus Variant, these PLAN END CARDS becomes the trigger itself. In that variant, if two of these cards have been revealed, that triggers the end game. So, with the surplus, we probably cannot use the different dice that often.

We will be using these 3 cards in every session of the game.

Building Cards

That leaves us with the last component type of Tumble Town, which is the 52 Building Cards. These are the cards that has a 3 dice icons on the back side with a number of cactus, similar to the Plan End Cards.

The difference is that on the front side. From the building cards, we can see different kind of buildings, with their style icons, name of the building, Victory Points, illustration, Building Requirements, background objects and Building Powers at the bottom.

I will discuss each feature one by one.

Building Level and Drafting

As mentioned earlier that the number of Cactus indicates the deck that the card is going to. There will be 20 Level 3 (3 Cactus) cards, and 16 for each Level 2 and Level 1 cards.

In this game we will not be using all of them, depending on the player counts. Here is the details.

4 Players: 13 Building Cards per deck.
3 Players: 11 Building Cards per deck.
2 Players: 9 Building Cards per deck.
1 Player: 11 Building Cards per deck.

So, there will be 3 up to 11 cards that we will not see in a game. Combined with the random order of how they come out from the deck, this gives quite a lot of variability.

Also as mentioned before, in this game, players can get one of this cards from the general market per turn. There will be 3 different face down decks and from each, the market will reveal 4 face up cards.

Everytime we take a card from any row, we also take the 3 dice shown by the top card of the associated deck. I thought this could increase the variability  because even if we take the same card, we might not take the same set of dice.

Apparently, the variety is not that many. From the Level 3, we always take 1 Gold Dice and 2 of the any color. With Level 2, we take 1 dice, either the gray or black and two dice of 3 colors and from Level 1, 2 Brown dice and 1 dice of any color.

So, the difference is mostly when taking the Level 2. At least, there is always one or 2 dice that we can choose their color from.

Most of the time, the dice that we take alongside the card are meant to build that said card. However, the card itself might require something different or more than 3 dice.

Buildings from Level 1 always require between 2 or 3 dice to build, mostly with brown and just 1 dice of either black or gray dice. The Level 2 requires at least 4 dice up to 5, so it may take 2 turns to build.

This Level is what makes it tricky. We can take a card that needs mostly gray dice but the top card says that we need to take 1 Black dice.

In a way, we need to find a way to use that dice that we don’t need know. On the other hand, it is less appealing to take from this Level 2. It is not rare to just skip this Level and go straight to Level 3.

From Level 3, there are a couple buildings that only need exactly 3 Gold dice so we probably can build them immediately. However, the other buildings require at least 4 dice and at most 4 Gold dice.

I think it is more appealing to just take from Level 3 because even if we take unnecessary Gold Dice, we can trade the Gold dice later for other color. While with Level 2, we might get stuck with that gray or black dice or waste them for trading.

Of course, we might have to choose the Level 2  card for the ongoing Powers. The Building Power from the Level 3 are mostly just Gold Objective, which is not helpful in the game but can generate a lot of points at the end.

Because of that the choices between the 3 are rather equal, I guess. We can build the Level 1 with cheaper but less powerful or Level 2, more difficult but with more powers. Or we can choose the Level 3 for the flexibility and higher score.

The challenge is that there might be multiple cards that we want to take. If we take one, the other players might take the leftover one.

By the time it comes back to our turn, the card might not be there anymore. Either we take it now or lose it. So, this drafting system gives a lot of things to consider.

Also, there is a chance that after we take a card, the next one is even better and we are giving it to the next player. It could also be the same card but just different variant.

Style Icons

I already mentioned in the Horse Card section. There are 4 different Style Icons, Hat, Boots, Pickaxe and Horseshoe which becomes a secret objective that players will have differently from each other.

Each of these building cards can have one or two icons which we can find at the top left corner of the card, below the Victory Points. If the building that we build has the same icon as our secret objective, we will get 1 point per icon.

I don’t know why but apparently, the number of icons for each style are not the same throughout these 52 building cards. Here are the details.

Boots (Green): 6 Level 3 cards, 4 Level 2 cards, 5 Level 1 cards.
Hat (Brown): 4 Level 3 cards, 5 Level 2 cards, 5 Level 1 cards.
Horseshoe (Blue): 5 Level 3 cards, 5 Level 2 cards, 5 Level 1 cards.
Pickaxe (Pink): 5 Level 3 cards, 4 Level 2 cards, 5 Level 1 cards.

Based on that numbers,  for Level 1 cards, all style icons have the same number of buildings. For the Level 2, Green and Pink only have 4 cards each while the other 2 have 5 cards each.

Then in the Level 3, Green has the most with 6 and Brown has the least, with just 4. The other two have 5 each.

Based on that numbers alone, I feel like maybe the Blue one is better, probably the best option. Maybe the designer has other consideration but it is weird.

If each icon is worth 1 point then Green and Blue will have a total of 15 points while the other two only give 14 points. I thought maybe the overall points will make them evens out.

But then if we check the Brown cards, the total points are less than other icons with just 55 points while green can have 57 points. It gets worse if we add the bonus from the the horse cards.

Of course, these are not the only way to get points. Also,  there are Buildings with Gold Objective based on these style icons like DANCE HALL and CHURCH.

Background Objects

Aside from the illustration of the building itself, each building cards may or may not display other objects on the background. If we have built the Building with the corresponding Gold Objective, we will get extra points for each objects on any built buildings that we have.

The number of objects can be zero or up to 3. Each object can worth 1 or 2 points. It is possible that a building can have up to 2 of the same objects.

Here are the details for each object, the Building cards with that Gold Objective, point value per object, the number of Buildings that have that object, and the total number of objects in all cards.

Barrel (Sheriff’s Office): 1 point each, 15 buildings, 17 objects.
Bush (Courthouse, Black): 2 points each, 7 buildings, 8 objects.
Eagle (Bath House, Pink): 2 points each, 8 buildings, 9 objects.
Short Cactus (Bath House, Green): 2 points each, 8 buildings, 9 objects.
Shrubs (Hotel): 1 point each, 15 buildings, 17 objects.
Tall Cactus (Church): 1 point each, 16 buildings, 18 objects.
Water Tower (Courthouse, Gray): 2 points each, 8 buildings, 8 objects.
Wind Tower (Bank): 2 points each, 7 buildings, 8 objects.

As we can see that each object are worth more or less the same in total. For objects that are worth just 1 point each, we can find them in more cards while the 2 point object, there are only half the number of buildings.

So, if we have a chance on choosing any of them, the next consideration would be whether to go big with the 2 points or play safe with the lower point. It is possible to play strategically.

Which is, immediately build these Level 3 cards for those Gold Objectives first and then try to pursue other buildings with that object. As alternative, which is the one way that I tend to play with is to build other building first being more tactical.

Then, from those other buildings, I can count the object and see which objects that I will get more score from. The latter is more flexible and early in the game we are pursuing buildings to give us on going power instead of just score at the end.

Each object only has one building card with the corresponding Gold Objective. That one card may not be available in any given session. So, the former or strategic play is safer as we are more likely to find the objects themselves than the scoring.

While in theory, from each object we can get like 16 to 17 points but in reality, we will only build like 6 buildings per game. If each building has that one object, we can get like 6 to 12 points at most. That is based on more tactical play, not sure how good the strategic play will be.

Dice Requirements for Buildings

Each building has several dice related requirements that we need to fulfill in order to build them. The card will tell us the shape, the dice value for each or in total, and the dice color.

For just building purposes, the shape requirements are just for the amount of dice for each color. Other than that, if we can meet those requirements, we can probably get better score for placing in Main Street and from some Gold Objectives.

For the color, we can see from the illustration of each card. As mentioned before, that each building may require from 2 dice up to 5, with just a single color or up to 3.

For the dice value, each building may require specific value for each dice or some limit in total. From the rulebook, we can find several different value requirements.

Here are the details.

ABC Patterns, 6 buildings. It means we all of the dice needs to be in ascending value like 1-2-3 or 4-5-6. For buildings with just 2 dice, we can use a combination like 3-4 or others. It will be easier if we can choose the color instead of just specific.

Pair (AA-BB), 4 buildings. All of the buildings in this category will require 4 dice, so we need exactly two pairs. These cards also require just one color for each building, so it is a bit difficult. If I understand correctly, the pairs must be in different value like 3-3 and 6-6 but not double 3-3.

Specific Total Sum, 4 buildings. From cards in the base game with this requirements, all of them requires 4 dice each with all Gold color. The total sum is either 9 or 19.

That means each dice must have a value of 2 or 3 for the 9, while not impossible with 1-1-3-4. For the 19, each dice should be about 4 or 5.

Maybe trying to build both of them will be a good combo with the 9 for the low value dice and the higher value for the 19 variant.

Ranged Value, 14 buildings. This one is more flexible as they don’t require specific value from each dice. The possible ranges are 1-3, 2-4, 3-5, 4-6. As an example for the 4-6, we can use all dice with 6 value to build. None of the 14 buildings are from Level 3 buildings.

Usually, we can immediately build any of these with just manipulating one dice and up to 2 points.

Limited total Value, 12 buildings. For this, as an example, the limit total value can be like must be bigger or equal to 20 or 24, or equal / less than 8, or 11.

While this one is more flexible than the specific total sum requirement, but the variation for the number of dice makes the average value per dice more or less the same. Each dice should be either has a value of 2, 5, or 6.

If all 4 or 5 dice are not within that limit, it will take a while to manipulate each of them just one by one. We need to use the flip or reroll power or even trade them  to get a new dice, hopefully with a better value.

All Even or Odds, 6 buildings. I think this is probably the easiest one. They only ask for either Even or Odd value per dice but not specific. That means, if we get the other one, we can just manipulate the value by 1.

Maybe working on 2 building with both requirements can be a good combo.

All Different, 6 buildings. This is a bit harder than the Even or Odd requirement if somehow all of the dice value are almost the same. We probably want to build the dice first before choosing this one to build.

This may not be a big deal for the Level 1 buildings with just 3 dice. But with the Level 2, where each requires 5, with 4 of a single color, it can be harder to complete. I guess, we might want to work on this alongside other requirement type like the all high or all low.

Basically, the requirements are a set collection mechanism. We need to get collect the right set of dice in order to build the buildings. The combination of dice value, color and amount give a lot of things to consider.

Maybe it is obvious that we will have to check these requirements and how fast we can build them. The storage of dice limit will dictate which  building we should pursue to build first.

We might want to check the dice that we already have in the Storehouse that we didn’t use. Then, we also check the power that we have to manipulate those dice and the three we will draft.

At this point, it is possible that we have to switch plan. Instead of continuing to work on the previous buildings, we abandon it, and focus on the next. Maybe if we complete the next one first, it can help to work on that previous building.

That next building may have a power to give us more dice, or more ways to manipulate any future dice. Since we will always take 3 dice each round with almost no other way to get more, we cannot always build buildings where we have to spend all of those 3.

We need to find a way to save up some dice for future buildings so we can build multiple in a single turn.

All of these considerations and trying to find these combo is what makes Tumble Town an interesting game.

Building Powers

Each building in Tumble Town will give us a special Power that we can use right after we build them. These powers can be found at the bottom part of the card.

In the same turn as we build them we can activate some of them to help us build another one. So, if we have 2 or more cards, there is probably a right order of which to build first based on these powers.

In general, there are 3 types of Building Powers from all of these cards. Each type also has its own background color and icon at the top right corner of the power box.

One. ONGOING ABILITY or once per turn power, with a rotating arrow and brown background color. Most of these will allows us to change the dice value or color.

We might need them early in the game so we can use them more often. If we build them at the end, we may not have the chance to use it at all.

There are a few powers of this category.

Increase or decrease value by 1 or 2. There are 6 buildings with this power and all of them are from Level 1. As mentioned before, the value does not wrap around like from 1 to 6 or vice versa.

The rule doesn’t say but I assume for the 2 point change, we have to change exactly that amount, instead of up to 2 points. There are also variants of this power where we have to choose the power, just decreasing or increasing. Other variants will allow us to do both, so it can be used for 2 dice.

Even though the power is similar to the one from the Horse, having one more of these will not hurt. Especially if we do not have any other way to manipulate the value.

Flip the Dice. There are 4 buildings with this power, which are two from Level 1 and 2 from Level 2. The Level 2 is combined with Reroll power.

The position of each value on the dice is very standard, with 1-6, 2-5, and 3-4. So, this is very useful, especially to change between 1 to 6. We just activate this once instead of increasing or decreasing several times over several turns.

The 3 – 4 combination is not very useful, but at least, this becomes an alternative to the other power.  This is also a better option than just getting another dice because we know exactly the end result while with new dice, we have the random result.

Reroll Power. There are also 4 buildings with this power, which two of them are from Level 1 and 2 from Level 2. At first, I do not like this power that much because of the random result that we can get.

It still can be useful if we already at one end, like a value of 1 or 6 but we want a different value. The worst case scenario, we will still get the same value.

In this game, having more control of the dice result will lead to a more efficient play. Sure, this is better than nothing but taking the card itself already take a single turn. It is very unlikely to pursue the building card just for this ability.

Get New Dice Color. There are 4 buildings with this power, all from Level 2. This allows us to discard one dice with either Brown, Black or Gray color to get a new one with any of those 3 colors.

This is a powerful one because we don’t need to lose the amount of dice just to get a different color. There is a second benefit to this which is the same as rerolling if we choose to get the same color as the one we discarded. Like the rerolling power, it is possible that we still get the same bad result.

Discard 1, Get 2 New Dice. There are also 4 buildings with this power, also all from Level 2. While we do get more dice but it has less flexibility.

Unless we have the right color of dice to discard, we cannot activate this ability. Because of that, the 2 buildings that require brown dice to discard are probably the better options.

For the second dice that we get from this trading, we can choose 1 of the 3 color including the brown. That means, we will always have a dice that we can discard in subsequent turns.

Two. ONE TIME ABILITY. The power box has a gray background color and an icon that says “1x”. For these powers, right after we build the building, we have to resolve the power.

Most of them will give us more dice. So, unless we have room to store the dice or to spend them for other buildings, we will forfeit the benefit. There are a couple of buildings that will give more than just the dice.

Get 1 or 2 Dice. There are 8 buildings with this power, which 6 of them will only give 1 dice and the other 2 will give 2 dice. The dice bonus that we can get can have either Brown, Black or Gray color.

For this, maybe the Level 1 building is a better choice, even though the Level 2 with this same power will give more points at the end. But the Level 2 requires more dice to build.

We can consider this more like a discount for the building itself where we can spend less amount of dice. The problem is that we still get a random dice value which may not be useful.

If we build one of the HOTEL where we can get points from the leftover dice in Storehouse with the same color, this power can be useful for that.

Get 3 Dice and 3 Storehouse Spaces. There are only 2 buildings with this power and both of them are variants of Blacksmith building.

By building this, we have 3 more storage spaces alongside 3 new dice, one from each color of Brown, Black and Gray. Later in the game, we can use the storage again for any color.

While having more dice to store can be a nice thing. However, we also need to find a way to get more dice. Otherwise, these will be empty, unless we get a very bad luck from the roll and cannot build anything with the dice.

In that case, we can store without losing the dice. It will be better if we combine this bonus with the Power to trade 1 dice into 2.

I think there could be an issue with this idea. It is very easy to forget later that the storage is there if we only use the additional space occasionally.

Get 3 Dice Tokens. There are only 2 buildings with this power. Both of them are Saloon buildings which is from Level 1.

By building it, we can get 3 Dice tokens once. Later in the game, we can spend one token to change one dice to any value. So, it is like limited wild resource.

But it doesn’t change the color. It can be handy to have but once they are gone, we will not have any. Personally, I would choose other ongoing power to manipulate the dice than this, especially early in the game.

Three. Endgame Scoring or Gold Objectives. The power of this category will have a gold background and all of the come from Level 3 buildings with an arrow pointing to the end of the line as the icon.

If we build any of these, we will not get any benefit until the end of the game. They may not help us be more efficient during the game but they can contribute a large amount of scores.

From 20 Level 3 cards, we can basically put those powers into 5 categories. So, each card will tell us the requirements that we need to meet in order to get those additional points.

Leftover Dice. There is only 1 building with this power where we can get 3 points for  each pair of dice that we still have in our Storehouse.

The rule is a bit unclear for this one because it doesn’t say whether we need to have the exact dice or not. Is it based on the color only or the value as well?

Assuming, we can get points with just any dice, at most we can get like 9 points plus 3 or 6 from the additional storage. On the other hand, I think playing to keep the dice without using it is a bit weird. So, it is very unlikely we get a lot of points from this.

Background Objects. This has been discussed in the previous subsection of Building Cards. There are 8 building cards that can give points based on specific object on the background of any built buildings.

We can score between 1 or 2 points per object and each building can have 0 up to 3 objects. Without building those additional Gold Objectives ourselves, we will not get any score.

The problem is that some of these cards may not be available in any given session. Instead of focusing on just 1 object or 1 card, we can try scoring multiple objects.

Specific Size of Constructed Buildings. There are 6 buildings with these Gold Objectives where we can get additional points for having constructed building with certain height or width.

Each card will only require like either width or the height but not both. If the requirement says specifically two spaces, then we will get score only from buildings with that specific size.

However, each building can have multiple heights but only the same width so each building can score additional points from more than one objectives. The score is just between 1 up to 3 points per matching constructed building.

There is only one, the Land Office that requires a pair of buildings with a width of 2 spaces. Like the background object, I’m not sure that getting these gold objective first and then collecting buildings that matches the requirement is a good idea.

More often than not, we will build buildings first, and then later, based on what we have built so far, we try to get the corresponding Gold Objective. Playing the other way around is just going to limit the options.

Complete Set of Style Icons. There is only 1 building with this power, which is one of the Church. We will get 6 points for each set of 1 Pickaxe, Boots, Hat, and Horseshoe icon from the constructed buildings.

I don’t know why but it seems the rulebook imply that the icon from the Horse card also counts. Regardless, I think while 6 points is very huge, I’m not sure how likely we can complete more than 1 set.

Especially because the horse card itself will lead us to focus on probably just one style icon. So, then if we chase every style icon, we are losing the points from the Horse.

Since we will build like only 6 buildings at most, if each of them only has 1 icon, we cannot even get the second set.  Yes, there are a couple of buildings with 2 icons. But at most we will only collect 2 sets.

Style Icons from Other Players’ Constructed Buildings. There are 4 buildings with this power, one for each style icon. All 4 of them are Dance Hall.

In the game, we will not use this in less than 3 players because we need a third one to score from this. What this does is, the card will tell an icon, and if our two players next to us have any buildings with this icon, we will get 1 point from each icon.

So, ideally, we want to get the one that has the same icon as our opponent’s. Getting the one with the same icon as ours might not be a good idea, except for preventing the other players to get score from us.

While we do not know our opponent’s secret objective, but what they build is an open information. So, this building or the additional scoring condition will encourage player to pay attention to their neighbor’s tableau.

Details of Level 3 Buildings

Bath House
Number of Variants: 2
Dice: 1 Gold, 2 of any 4 Color
VP: 6 Points
Style Icon: Green / Pink
Requirement: 3 Gold, 2 Brown, Limited Total Value
Object: none
Height x Width: 1 or 3 x 3
Power Type: End Game Scoring
Building Power: Score 2 points for each Short Cactus / Eagle on any Constructed Buildings.

Bank
Number of Variants: 2
Dice: 1 Gold, 2 of any 4 Color
VP: 6 Points
Style Icon: Pink / Green
Requirement: 3 Gold Dice, 2 Black / 3 Gold, 2 Gray, Limited Total Value
Object: none
Height x Width: 2 or 3 x 2
Power Type: End Game Scoring
Building Power: Score 2 points from each Wind Tower Object / Constructed Building with 3 level Height.

Church
Number of Variants: 2
Dice: 1 Gold, 2 of any 4 Color
VP: 6 Points
Style Icon: Blue / Green
Requirement: 4 Gold, 1 Gray / 4 Gold, 1 Black, Limited Total Value
Object: none
Height x Width: 1 or 2  x 3
Power Type: End Game Scoring
Building Power: Score 6 points for each set of 4 Style Icons / 1 point for each Tall Cactus object.

Courthouse
Number of Variants: 2
Dice: 1 Gold, 2 of any 4 Color
VP: 6 Points
Style Icon: Brown / Blue
Requirement: 3 Gold Dice + 2 Gray / 3 Gold + 2 Black, Limited Total Value
Object: none
Height x Width: 2 or 3 x 2
Power Type: End Game Scoring
Building Power: Score 2 points from each Water Tower / Bush objects on Constructed Buildings.

Dance Hall
Number of Variants: 4
Dice: 1 Gold, 2 of any 4 Color
VP: 4 Points
Style Icon: Pink / Brown / Blue / Green
Requirement: 3 Gold Dice, ABC pattern
Object: Barrel and Wind Tower / Tall and Short Cactus / Barrel, bush and Shrub /   Tall Cactus and Shrub
Height x Width: 1 or 2  x 2
Power Type: End Game Scoring
Building Power: Score 1 point for each Boot / Horseshoe / Pickaxe / Hat from Neighbor’s buildings.

Hotel
Number of Variants: 2
Dice: 1 Gold, 2 of any 4 Color
VP: 5 Points
Style Icon: Green / Pink
Requirement: 4 Gold Dice, Exact total of 9
Object: none
Height x Width: 2 x 2
Power Type: End Game Scoring
Building Power: Score 1 point for each Shrub / 3 points for a Pair of Dice in Storehouse.

Land Office
Number of Variants: 2
Dice: 1 Gold, 2 of any 4 Color
VP: 5 Points
Style Icon: Green / Blue
Requirement: 3 Gold Dice + 1 Brown, Limited Total Value
Object: none
Height x Width: 1 or 3 x 2
Power Type: End Game Scoring
Building Power: Score 3 points for each pair of buildings with 2 spaces in width / 1 point for each building with 1 space in height.

School House
Number of Variants: 2
Dice: 1 Gold, 2 of any 4 Color
VP: 5 Points
Style Icon: Pink / Brown
Requirement: 3 Gold Dice + 1 Gray / 3 Gold + 1 Black, Limited Total Value
Object: none
Height x Width: 1 or 2 x 3
Power Type: End Game Scoring
Building Power: Score 2 points for each building with 3 spaces in width / 1 point for each building with 2 spaces in height.

Sheriff’s Office
Number of Variants: 2
Dice: 1 Gold, 2 of any 4 Color
VP: 5 Points
Style Icon: Blue / Brown
Requirement: 4 Gold Dice, Exact Total Value of 19
Object: none.
Height x Width: 1 or 2 x 3
Power Type: End Game Scoring
Building Power: Score 2 points from each building with 1 space in width / 1 point for each barrel object.

Details of Level 2 Buildings

Blacksmith
Number of Variants: 2
Dice: 1 Gray + 2 of any 3 Color / 1 Black + 2 of any 3 Color.
VP: 3 Points
Style Icon: Pink / Green
Requirement: 4 Gray Dice / 4 Black Dice, AA-BB pattern
Object: 2 Eagles / 1 Eagle + 1 Water Tower + 1 Tall Cactus
Height x Width: 1 or 2 x 3
Power Type: One time Ability
Building Power: Get 3 additional Dice Storage spaces  with 1 Brown, 1 Black and 1 Gray dice. The Storage can be used to store any dice later.

Mercantile
Number of Variants: 2
Dice: 1 Gray + 2 of any 3 Color / 1 Black + 2 of any 3 Color.
VP: 5 Points
Style Icon: Brown / Blue
Requirement: 4 Gray Dice / 4 Black Dice, AA-BB pattern
Object: 1 Tall Cactus + 1 Shrub + 1 Bush / 1 Bush + 1 Tall Cactus
Height x Width: 2 x 2
Power Type: Ongoing Ability
Building Power: Discard 1 Brown Dice to get 1 Gray + 1 of any 3 color / get 1 Black + 1 of any 3 color.

Post Office
Number of Variants: 2
Dice: 1 Gray + 2 of any 3 Color / 1 Black + 2 of any 3 Color.
VP: 5 Points
Style Icon: Green / Pink
Requirement: 1 Gray + 3 Brown / 1 Black + 3 Brown, Ranged Value per Dice.
Object: 1 Tall Cactus + 1 Shrub + 1 Short Cactus / 1 Bush + 1 Shrub + 1 Short Cactus
Height x Width: 1 or 3 x 2
Power Type: Ongoing Ability
Building Power: Discard 1 Gray Dice / 1 Black Dice to get 1 Brown + 1 Black / 1 Brown  + 1 Gray.

Printing House
Number of Variants: 2
Dice: 1 Gray + 2 of any 3 Color / 1 Black + 2 of any 3 Color.
VP: 4 Points
Style Icon: Brown / Blue
Requirement: 1 Brown +  1 Gray + 1 Black + 2 of any 3 Color, Odd / Even Pattern
Object: 2 Barrels + 1 Shrub / 1 Tall Cactus + 1 Wind Tower
Height x Width: 2 or 3 x 2
Power Type: Ongoing Ability
Building Power: Discard 1 dice of any 3 Colors to get 1 dice of any 3 Colors.

Town Hall (1)
Number of Variants: 2
Dice: 1 Gray + 2 of any 3 Color / 1 Black + 2 of any 3 Color.
VP: 6 Points
Style Icon: Pink + Brown / Green + Blue
Requirement: 1 Brown + 4 Gray / 1 Brown + 4 Black, All Different Value
Object: 2 Shrubs + 1 Barrel / 1 Barrel + 1 Wind Tower
Height x Width: 1 or 2 x 3
Power Type: One time Ability
Building Power: Get 1 Dice of any of the 3 Colors.

Town Hall (2)
Number of Variants: 2
Dice: 1 Gray + 2 of any 3 Color / 1 Black + 2 of any 3 Color.
VP: 6 Points
Style Icon: Green / Pink
Requirement: 1 Brown + 4 Gray / 1 Brown + 4 Black, All Different Value
Object: 1 Eagle + 1 Water Tower / 1 Barrel + 1 Eagle + 1 Shrub
Height x Width: 1 or 2 x 3
Power Type: One time Ability
Building Power: Get 2 Dice of any of the 3 Colors.

Trading Post
Number of Variants: 2
Dice: 1 Gray + 2 of any 3 Color / 1 Black + 2 of any 3 Color.
VP: 4 Points
Style Icon: Brown / Blue
Requirement: 5 Dice of any 3 Colors, Ranged Value per dice
Object: 1 Barrel + 1 Water Tower + 1 Tall Cactus
Height x Width: 1 or 2 x 3
Power Type: Ongoing Ability
Building Power: Discard 1 Dice of any 3 Colors to get 1 dice of any 3 Colors.

Train Station
Number of Variants: 2
Dice: 1 Gray + 2 of any 3 Color / 1 Black + 2 of any 3 Color.
VP: 5 Points
Style Icon: Blue / Brown
Requirement: 1 Brown + 3 Gray / 1 Brown + 3 Black, Ranged Value per Dice
Object: 1 Barrel + 1 Water Tower / 2 Tall Cactus
Height x Width: 1 or 2 x 3
Power Type: Ongoing Ability
Building Power: Flip 1 Dice to the opposite face + Reroll one dice.

Details of Level 1 Buildings

Bakery
Number of Variants: 2
Dice: 2 Brown + 1 of any 3 Colors
VP: 3 Points
Style Icon: Brown / Blue
Requirement: 2 Brown + 1 Gray / 2 Brown + 1 Black, Ranged Value per Dice
Object: 1 Barrel + 1 Wind Tower + 1 Shrub / 2 Tall Cactus + 1 Water Tower
Height x Width: 1 – 2 x 2
Power Type: Ongoing Ability
Building Power: Increase or Decrease a dice value by 1.

Barbershop
Number of Variants: 2
Dice: 2 Brown + 1 of any 3 Colors
VP: 2 Points
Style Icon: Brown / Blue
Requirement: 2 Dice with any of 3 Colors, ABC Pattern
Object: 1 Barrel + 1 Short Cactus + 1 bush / 2 Short Cactus
Height x Width: 2 x 1
Power Type: Ongoing Ability
Building Power: Increase or Decrease a dice value by 2.

Livery Stable
Number of Variants: 2
Dice: 2 Brown + 1 of any 3 Colors
VP: 2 Points
Style Icon: Green / Pink
Requirement: 2 Brown + 1 Gray / 2 Brown + 1 Black, Odd / Even Pattern
Object: 2 Wind Towers / 1 Wind Tower + 1 Eagle + 1 Barrel
Height x Width: 1 x 3
Power Type: Ongoing Ability
Building Power: Increase and / or Decrease a dice value by 1.

Outhouse
Number of Variants: 4
Dice: 2 Brown + 1 of any 3 Colors
VP: 2 Points
Style Icon: Brown + Blue / Pink + Green / Blue + Pink / Green + Brown
Requirement: 2 Brown, Ranged Value per Dice
Object: 1 Wind Tower + 1 Short Cactus / 1 Tall Cactus + 1 Barrel + 1 Bush / 1 Water tower + 2 Shrubs / 1 Shrub + 1 Short Cactus + 1 Tall Cactus
Height x Width: 2 x 1
Power Type: One Time Ability
Building Power: Get 1 Dice of any 3 Colors.

Saloon
Number of Variants: 2
Dice: 2 Brown + 1 of any 3 Colors
VP: 2 Points
Style Icon: Brown / Blue
Requirement: 3 Brown, Odd / Even Pattern
Object: 1 Shrub + 1 Tall Cactus + 1 Water Tower / 1 Water Tower + 1 Bush
Height x Width: 1 – 2 x 2
Power Type: One Time Ability
Building Power: Get 3 Dice Tokens.

Tannery
Number of Variants: 2
Dice: 2 Brown + 1 of any 3 Colors
VP: 3 Points
Style Icon: Pink / Green
Requirement: 2 Brown + 1 Gray / 2 Brown + 1 Black, All Different Value
Object: 1 Barrel + 1 Tall Cactus + 1 Shrub / 2 Barrels + 1 Shrub
Height x Width: 3 x 1
Power Type: Ongoing Ability
Building Power: Flip 1 Dice to the opposite face.

Well
Number of Variants: 2
Dice: 2 Brown + 1 of any 3 Colors
VP: 2 Points
Style Icon: Pink / Green
Requirement: 2 Brown, Ranged Value per Dice
Object: 1 Shrub + 1 Short Cactus + 1 Tall Cactus / 2 Bushes
Height x Width: 1 x 2
Power Type: Ongoing Ability
Building Power: Reroll 1 dice.

That is it with all of the components that we will need to play Tumble Town. We can now learn how to play.

How to Play

The base game of Tumble Town is a competitive game for up to 4 players. There are also several variants to play this game, including a solo mode either for playing against an automated player or just beat your own score.

In this section, I will discuss the basic game mode and in specific subsection, I will discuss further about each variant.

This next video is a tutorial of how to play Tumble Town by Monique and Naveen from Before You Play Channel. Keep in mind that the component is a bit different as they used a prototype copy during the Kickstarter campaign.

Setup

1st. We have to create a central market row in a 5 x 3 grid. Start with placing the 3 PLAN END CARDS in a column.

It is recommended to place them so the one with 3 Cactus will be at the top of the row down to 1 Cactus at the bottom. They are almost identical, and we can use it interchangeably.

2nd. Take all of the 52 BUILDING CARDS and separate them into 3 different decks based on the level or number of Cactus at the back of each card.

Depending on the number of players, we have to remove some of them. For less than 3 players, we also have to remove all of the DANCE HALL cards from Level 3.

Here are the details about the number of cards that we will be using in the game.

1 player: 11 Building cards per Level
2 Players: 9 Building cards per Level
3 Players: 11 Building Cards per Level
4 Players: 13 Building Cards per Level.

We can return the unused cards to the box. Then, we can shuffle them separately and place each of them face down on top of the Plan End cards with the same number of Cactus.

From each deck, we reveal 4 cards each, so we will have a grid of 5 x 3 cards including the face down decks.

3rd. Take all of the DICE and create a separate general supply for each color. Depending on the number of players, we also have to remove a number of dice from each color.

1 player: Remove 6 dice from each color.
2 Players: Remove 12 dice from each color.
3 Players: Remove 6 dice from each color.
4 Players: Remove no dice, use all of them.

Return the unused dice to the box and place the other dice on the table where every player can reach.

4th. Take all of the DICE TOKENS and PENALTY TOKENS to create a general supply. Place them in the middle of the table where every player can reach.

5th. Place the DICE TOWER on the table near the dice general supply.

5th. Give each player a TURN REFERENCE CARD, ICON REFERENCE CARD.

6th. Players have to agree on which variant of PLAYER MATS or the Main Street cards that they will use, either the EASY, HARD, CACTUS or DUELLING STREET variant. Take the matching variant and give one to each player. Return the other to the box.

Players will then place the mat on the table in front of them. They also need to leave some room for more than one row of cards right below their Player Mat.

7th. Each player will randomly choose 1 HORSE CARD. They can look on their card but should keep it a secret. The card will show their secret objective.

Then, they put the card on the table, below the Player mat, with the brown color facing up while the Gold color facing down. Place the card in more or less, right in the middle of their tableau.

The left side of the Horse Card is an area for BUILDING PLAN CARDS. Once we have constructed the buildings, we move the card to the right side of the Horse Card.

As the game progresses, the right side will have more cards than the left one. So, the horse card will have to slowly move towards the left side.

8th. Randomly choose the starting player and give that player the FIRST PLAYER MARKER. The rule suggests the player that most recently saw a horse as the starting player.

There will be no passing around this marker to other player. This is just a reminder when the end game has been triggered. Each player will get the same number of turns.

9th. Players will take turns in clockwise order, starting with the First Player. Based on that order, and depending on the number of players, players will take their STARTING SET OF DICE, following these charts.

4 Player Game
1st player: 2 Brown Dice
2nd player:  2 Brown Dice
3rd Player: 2 Brown, 1 Gray or 1 Black
4th Player: 2 Brown, 1 Gold.

3 Player Game
1st player: 2 Brown Dice
2nd player:  2 Brown Dice
3rd Player: 2 Brown, 1 Gold Dice

2 Player Game
1st player: 2 Brown Dice
2nd player:  2 Brown, 1 Gold Dice

Solo Variant: 2 Brown Dice.

Players will have to take those dice from the general supply and roll them, using the dice tower or not. Without changing the result, they put those dice on the STOREHOSE part of the Player Mat.

That’s the setup and players are ready to begin the game.

Gameplay

The game of Tumble Town is played over several rounds until the end game is triggered and each player will get equal number of turns.

On a player’s turn, they will have to resolve their 4 phases.

1st phase: CLAIM A BUILDING PLAN
2nd phase: TAKE DICE and ROLL THEM
3rd phase: CONSTRUCT BUILDINGS and USE POWERS
4th phase: PLACE THE CONSTRUCTED BUILDINGS and DISCARD DICE

After the 4th phase, check whether the end game is triggered and finish the current round until each player get equal number of turns and proceed to scoring. Otherwise, the game continues with the next player to resolve their own 4 phases.

Claim a Building Plan

The active player takes one of up to 12 face up cards from the central market. They then put the card on their tableau area on the Building Plan area or the left side of their Horse card.

It is possible in later round that the available cards are less than 12. At this point, we do not refill the market yet.

This is also the only way to get any Building Card.

Take Dice and Roll Them

The active player will then take 3 dices that match to the dice icons that are shown by the top card of the deck from the same row where they took the card from.

3 Cactus Building Card: 1 Gold Dice and 2 of any 4 Colors
2 Cactus Building Card: 1 Gray or 1 Black Dice and 2 of any 3 Colors
1 Cactus Building Card: 1 Brown and 2 of any 3 colors.

If there is no card on the deck of the corresponding row, we will see the PLAN END CARD instead. In that case, we can take up to 3 dice of any 4 colors.

Then, the active player rolls them using the dice tower or not and take the result to their playing area. At this point, players can have more than 6 dice.

It is possible that the dice is not enough and for that, players will have to take what is available.

After taking the dice, the active player will have to refill the market by revealing the top card of the deck in the same row. If there is no card from the deck, the market will not be refilled and the Plan End Card should be visible.

NOTE: This phase is also the part where the endgame can be triggered.

Construct Buildings

In this 3rd phase, players can use their dice that they have to construct the building cards that they have in their Building Plan area. They can construct one or more buildings in any order as long as they have enough number of dice.

Aside from the amount of dice, each building will have additional requirement like color and value. Players can choose to follow the requirement to build them.

However, players can also choose to build using the incorrect dice. It will be considered as POORLY CONSTRUCTED BUILDINGS.

That player will have to take a PENALTY TOKEN from the general supply for each dice that does not match the requirement. If the building require specific sum, each token has to be taken for each dice that has to be changed in order to meet that requirement.

Alternatively, players can choose no not build at all. They will carry over the cards to subsequent turns and build them later.

Activating Power

Still in the 3rd phase, alongside constructing a building phase, we can also activate some Powers. These powers can be from the Horse Card, GOLD PAN, or any constructed Buildings by that player.

The powers can allow players to change dice, either the value or the color or to get more dice or Dice Tokens. It can be just one time power (with a gray color) or it can be activated one per turn (with a brown color).

There are also powers that will just give extra points during scoring at the end of the game (with a gold color).

For the ONE TIME ONLY POWER, it has to be resolved immediately on the same turn after that building is built. If we don’t resolve it, we will lose the benefit. For powers that gives more dice, we have to take the corresponding dice from the general supply and roll them before using them.

For the ONCE PER TURN POWER, we have to slide the card down from our tableau to indicate that the card has been activated. The power can be activated as soon as the building is constructed. So, it may allow player to build a second building like a combo on the same turn.

Any powers from the GOLD PAN can be activated multiple times in a turn, as long as the player has enough dice for trading. Everytime we discard a dice to get  a new one, we have to roll that new dice before using it.

Returning some dice does not cancel the endgame trigger.

This is also the time to use DICE TOKENS. Each token allows us to change 1 dice to any value by spending them. After spending them, we can return them to the general supply.

NOTE: This phase is also the part where the endgame can be triggered. Mostly if the player take more dice or trade dice from certain colors.

Placing the Constructed Buildings

This is the first part of the 4th phase. If we play with a variant that uses the Player mat or the Main Street, we can choose to place the constructed dice on the Main Street to get bonus point.

We can also choose to not place them on the Main Street. Regardless of whether we place them on Main Street or not, the building is still considered as constructed. We still can use the Power and get the bonus score benefit.

Each Main Street has 20 dice spots, each with its own requirement. There is no penalty for not meeting the requirement of this Main Street.

Players can also place their buildings only partially on the Main Street. As long as that part meets the requirement on the spot, we still get the bonus point.

As written on the Player Mat, the constructed buildings can still be mirrored, between left and right part. It doesn’t have to follow strictly as what is shown by the building card.

There is also a bonus if we can leave a single alley spot between 2 buildings. The dice themselves don’t have to be placed specifically facing certain direction like to show the value required by the card.

It is already considered as constructed and the player has taken any penalty. What still matters is if the Street spot require certain color on certain position like on upper level. This can affect the scoring later.

Storing, Discarding Dice & Preparing for Next Round

For any leftover dice that we didn’t use, we can store them in the Storehouse of our Player Mat. However, if it exceeds the capacity, we have to discard the excess dice of our choice and return them into to the general supply.

There are building cards that allows us to get extra dice storage if we build them.

After the active player has done with their leftover dice, they need to prepare for the next round. In this part, they can slid back up any Building card whose power were used during the current turn so they can use it again on the next turn.

End Game and Scoring

For the basic game mode, the end game is triggered when at least two colors of the dice general supply has 2 or fewer dice left. As mentioned before, this can happen during the 2nd phase, where the active player take their dice or as a result of activating their power that allows them to take dice from the pool.

Once it is triggered, it cannot be cancelled. Even if that player returned some dice right after as a result of activating some powers.

Players will then complete the round so that every player will have the same number of turns. Check again who has the First Player Marker and the player to the right will be the last.

Then, players can proceed to the scoring phase.

Each player count up their points, from the star icons from several categories as follows.

One. Constructed Buildings. The point is at the top left corner of each card, even if the buildings were not placed on Main Street.
Two. Gold Objective of the player’s Constructed Buildings. Only that player will get score from that objective.
Three. Style Icons on Constructed buildings based on player’s Horse Card. Each constructed buildings will have one or 2 style icons on the top left corner of the card.
Four. Matching Building placement with the requirements on Main Street.
Five. Negative Points for each Penalty Tokens, which is -2 per token.

Leftover dice doesn’t count unless the player has certain Gold Objective for it. Whoever score the most points wins.

In case of a tie, whoever has the most leftover dice is the winner. If it is still a tie, the players share the victory.

Other Variants

The rulebook has some other variants to play Tumble Town that we can find from the Variant Sheet. There are two variants at the moment, the NO MAIN STREET VARIANT and the SURPLUS VARIANT and a MISSION MODE for the multiplayers.

The publisher says that they are going to add more variants on their website. This is just what we can find from the base game.

NO MAIN STREET VARIANT. In this one, we will not be placing any constructed buildings on the Main Street. We still need to use the STOREHOUSE and GOLD PAN part of the mat.

This just excludes the extra scoring from the Main Street.

SURPLUS VARIANT. This is meant to be for playing with less than 4 players. In this one, we will use all of the dice, regardless of the player counts.

This variant also changes how the endgame can be triggered. Instead of based on the two colors of dice from the supply, it is triggered when 2 PLAN END CARDS are visible.

This can happen right after a player replenish the card from the market. Players will complete the round so every player will have the same amount of turns.

MISSION MODE. Instead of playing a single standalone game of Tumble Town, the Mission mode will give additional objective for each player that will be different from mission to mission.

Unless the player manage to complete the first mission requirements, they are not allowed to try the next mission while other players can proceeds if those players succeed. So, it gives a bit of a racing element.

The game comes with 10 different missions that we can find from the last page of Variant Sheet.

That is it with how to play Tumble Town with the basic game mode for multiplayers.

Solo Variant

According to the Variant Sheet, the solo mode of Tumble Town was designed by Carla Kopp, who is also the publisher.

The solo mode can be played in several ways. In any of them, an automated player, called the OUTLAW, will be added as part of the randomizer.

There is a variant to compete against this player where we have to beat their score. Alternatively, we don’t count their score but this player will just randomly change the market by taking cards and possibly triggering the endgame.

This next video by Liz Davidson from Beyond Solitaire channel displaying how the solo mode works using the prototype copy.

How it works

The setup will be similar to the basic mode for multiplayer with a couple changes. As the player, we will be the first one and take the 2 BROWN DICE as the starting resources.

We take 1 HORSE CARD for ourselves and 1 for the Outlaw randomly, without looking at the Outlaw’s style icon.

The Outlaw doesn’t have any starting dice as resources but they will eventually take dice during the game.

They also take 1 GOLD DICE, 1 BROWN and 1 GRAY dice to decide which card that the Outlaw is going to take. Each color represent the three different row from the market deck with Gold for the 3 Cactus row, Gray for 2 Cactus row and Brown for 1 Cactus row.

The player will do the same action as in the multiplayer mode with the 4 phases. After the player’s turn, then it is the Outlaw’s turn.

On the Outlaw’s turn, we roll the 3 Outlaws dice. If the value of the dice is less than 5, then the value indicates which column of cards that the Outlaw is going to take. With 1 being the first column, next to the deck and 4 being the furthest column from the deck.

We remove that card from the market and place them on the Outlaw’s pile.

Next, we also need to remove the dice from the general supply and put them onto the Outlaw’s area. The dice that they take corresponds with the card. So, if it is a 1 Cactus, the Outlaw will take 3 Brown dice.

If they take from the 2 Cactus, the Outlaw will take either 3 Black or 3 Gray depending on what is shown by the top card of the 2 Cactus deck. For the 3 Cactus, the Outlaw takes 3 Gold dice.

In the case where the dice supply doesn’t have enough, the Outlaw will take the replacement from another color’s supply, starting with the one with the fewest dice. If there is a tie, the player can choose which one.

If all 3 Outlaw dice values are less than 5, the Outlaw still take the cards but instead of taking Dice, the Outlaw will take 1 PENALTY TOKEN. The Outlaw also has to return 2 dice of the color that the Outlaw has the most of back to the supply.

If there is a tie between 2 colors, then the Outlaw must return 1 dice from each color. In the case the tie is between more than 2 colors, the player can choose the two color to discard from.

If all 3 Outlaw dice values are 5 or 6, the Outlaw will not take any card but the Outlaw still take the 1 dice from each color from the supply. In addition to that, the Outlaw also lose 1 Penalty token if they have any.

After the Outlaw has done taking their action, we have to check if there are two colors from the dice supply have 2 or less dice. In that case the game ends immediately and proceed to scoring. Otherwise, the player will start a new round with their turn.

It is a bit different than the multiplayer mode as it cannot be triggered during the player’s turn. It is possible that after the player’s turn, there are 2 colors with 2 or less dice but then the Outlaw may return their dice. In that case, the game continues.

For the Scoring, The Outlaw will only get points from their Building cards, the Style icon on those cards that corresponds with their Horse card, and the Penalty Token. The Outlaw doesn’t get points from Building’s Gold Objective or Main Street Placement.

The player wins if they can beat the Outlaw’s score.

That is the basic idea of the Official Solo variant for Tumble Town.

Changing Difficulty Levels

The basic solo rule above is considered as the MEDIUM DIFFICULTY. The rule has suggestion for EASY, HARD OR EXTRA HARD difficulty.

For EASY LEVEL, we start with 2 BROWN AND 1 GOLD dice. The Outlaw will take 1 Penalty token everytime they take 2 cards and 2 Penalty tokens everytime they take 3 cards in a single turn.

For HARD LEVEL, the Outlaw will get 6 extra points for every set of four symbols that they have from their Building Plans.

For EXTRA HARD LEVEL, the Outlaw will use the 3 remaining HORSE CARDS. They will get points from the 3 Style Icons instead of 1.

No Outlaw Scoring Variant

For those who don’t care about comparing scores with the Outlaw, there is a variant for beat your own score system. The variant sheet has a chart for accomplishments based on our score.

Here are the accomplishments we can get.

Less than 45 points: You’ve built up Tumble Town, but it’s practically a ghost town. No one wants to stay for some reason. Could it be your fault? Well, there aren’t many other people to blame…
45 to 54 points: Tumble Town is slowly growing. Residents are moving in but you really have to work if you want to be reelected for another term.
55 to 64 points: Tumble Town is definitely on the rise! You’re well liked by the residents and someone even named their horse after you! That’s definitely something. You might know a thing or two about constructing a town.
65+ points: Tumble Town is indeed a place to be! Settlers are coming in from all over and they’ve even named their Saloon after you!

Sole Surveyor Solo Variant

This is kind of an express and simpler variant from the basic solo rule. Instead of competing against the Outlaw, we are now competing against the SURVEYOR.

The changes from the basic solo variants are as follows.

One. Return 10 additional dice from each color to the box. That means a total of 16 dice per color are not used in this variant.
Two. The Surveyor will only use 1 BROWN DICE instead of 3.
Three. The player still goes first but they can trigger the end of the game with the remaining dice rules.
Four. If the endgame is not triggered, then it is the Surveyor’s turn. We roll their Brown dice and the value will determine which columns of market cards to remove from. All 3 cards from that column will be removed. If it is a 5 or 6, the Surveyor gets no card.

Player will then count their score as the regular rule and the Surveyor doesn’t need to count theirs. So, the Surveyor doesn’t get any Horse card or Penalty token.

The rule suggests using the accomplishment charts from the No Outlaw variant to determine how good our play was.

Using the Other Multiplayer Variants

There is also a suggestion to use the No Main Street variant and Surplus variant from the multiplayer game into this solo mode. For solo mode with No Main Street variant, the rule suggests substracting 10 points from the Outlaw.

No change to the rule if we use the Surplus variant in solo mode. Sadly the rule didn’t say anything about mixing these variants with the Solo only variants like No Outlaw or Surveyor.

We can also combine the MISSION MODE into the solo play. For easier game, we only need to meet the score criteria and the requirements in order to try the next mission. If we choose to also beat the Outlaw score, that is the HARD MODE for this combination.

So, there are a lot of different ways to play the Solo mode of Tumble Town.

My Experience and Thoughts

I probably have mentioned this before that I tend to stay away from games that use too many dice, especially with roll to resolve mechanism. We roll the dice to determine the result of our action which can be very disappointing.

In those kind of games, we try to build a lot of ways to get more dice and powers to manipulate. However, the luck of the roll will still determine largely whether we win or lose. It makes our effort become meaningless and just roll until we get a lucky number.

Tumble Town is not like that. We still have a lot of controls or at least we can develop ourselves to get more power to control the outcome.

We get our starting dice and the starting dice value. Based on that, we can choose the card to build first and we can choose the one we have more likely to get the right dice value.

Even though we can jump straight to the Level 2 or Level 3 buildings, but I think most of the time we should start with the Level 1. There are 2 reasons.

First, the starting dice are mostly brown which is perfect for most of Level 1. The other reason is the Power. Most of the Level 1 will be good to get early, especially the one we can keep activating per turn.

It is possible to jump straight to Level 2, assuming that the buildings can be built with any of 3 colors, so we can use the brown. But then it is very rare.

Level 3 buildings are probably how we can get a lot of points. However, it is very unlikely we get to build them right away, especially if the buildings do not use any brown dice or require more than 3 Gold dice.

Even with 3 Gold dice, there is no guarantee that we will get the right value to build the building on the same turn. It’s true that the Gold Objective is a rare cards especially if the scoring are based on the background object.

If we do not get it now, other players may take it. But then, we don’t know whether we will find a lot of buildings with those objects. There is also no guarantee that we will actually build that specific building.

Even in my play where I picked those Level 3, in the middle or in later rounds, there is still a possibility that I might fail on building it. So, clearly we have to start our focus on ongoing abilities from lower level buildings.

Having a total of 2 or 3 powers to manipulate the dice value would be the most that we need. I think the one that Flip is a must, considering there is a tendency that buildings require either all low or all high value. Only getting the plus or minus 1 or 2 are not that powerful.

With the plus and minus power, there are powers that require us to choose just one and other powers where we can do both per activation. In theory, the one to do both should be better but only we have excess dice and we know what will be the next thing to build.

So, we get two building cards, one requires a set of low value and the other with the high value. Increase and decreasing work great on both. In reality, either I don’t have any card or I don’t have the dice.

Or, even if I have the dice, there is a chance that the value is good for the next building, so I do not need to change it. I think it will be more interesting if the ability allows us to do either increasing or decreasing twice, instead of one of each.

They can also do like increase 1 to one dice and increase 2 to a different dice. For the rerolling, I almost never used. If I do take them it is because it is bundled with the Flip power from Level 2, not because I want to use it.

Rerolling is just hard to predict the outcome. Sure, in certain situation, it is better than nothing. The problem is some of the requirement needs specific value. Maybe the reroll helps us to get closer to the value that we want and we can make up with that using other power.

However, that still requires forward thinking and we probably have to reroll first before the other power. Another dice manipulation power is the Dice tokens. For this, I almost never used it as well but mostly because, most of the time they are not available in the game.

If they come early, they can be handy but later in the game, I already focus on higher level cards. Sadly, Buildings with the dice tokens are only from Level 1. I don’t know why there is no Level 2 with just 1 dice token bonus, combined with other power like storage.

The last power for dice manipulation is the trading to different colors. Alongside with the Gold Pan, I somehow rarely use them. I think the reason is because if I need certain color, I already try to pick them from the drafting phase.

Planning the other way around never happens where I pick that color because I want to use these powers. It is probably the most interesting one as this is the only way to get more dice as an ongoing ability.

There are several problems with the powers related to trading. Mostly the availability. The useful one is trading a Brown into 2 dice which one of the can be another Brown.

This can lead to activation every turn while other powers of this type will get stuck if we don’t have the required dice to discard. Maybe this is the only power that can lead to engine building feeling.

If one player has this and the other doesn’t, the owner will have a huge advantage. While it is not going to give the owner Gold dice immediately, but it can help by using one of the Gold Pan.

Then the next useful is those where we get 2 dice more. However, this will limit the dice to take and the cards. If we just trade 1 for 1 to change color, it will be useful if we are not very lucky with the roll.

The strategy of taking a dice to use the Gold Pan is not going to work as we have to lose 1 dice in the process. While we have a lot of ways to manipulate, but the amount of dice is as important as other features from the dice.

Losing a dice is painful. Gold Pan and most of the trading power is more like a safety net.

Overall, I think the dice manipulation in Tumble Town is good, in the sense that I don’t feel like getting too many bad dice rolls. We can always get enough ways to mitigate from the power and planning based on which dice we have left and choosing the right building helps a lot.

Maybe the issue is more about how to get more dice, which I think there is not enough ways to do so. Without the dice, there is no point on having many ways to manipulate.

If we ever have excessive amount, it is probably from getting bad multiple rolls during the drafting phase. Somehow if we play the game efficiently, we rarely hit that maximum capacity. The game doesn’t give any additional dice as the reward unless it is a one time ability from the specific buildings.

Which is why this game is leaning toward to a tight resource management category instead of an engine building feel.

I think the bigger issue is that the game can end too soon, even if by using the Surplus Variant. We will build at most just 6, rarely 7 buildings. Some of the power can become meaningless.

Maybe that’s the idea that we have to balance between getting the power to manipulate and power to score and when to get them. But I thought we should build like a few more cards.

In surplus variant, we use more dice, which is good for less than 4 players. However, we will still hit the number of building cards. It doesn’t really change that much. Of course we can just house rule and use more dice and more cards.

Sadly, this is not going to help with the solo variant, especially if we want to compete the score with the automated player. The longer it takes, the more points the Outlaw will get and we cannot catch up.

I also do not find placing the dice on the Main Street as interesting. Surely it is cool with the table presence. Again, mostly because we probably don’t have enough buildings to put there.

We will have just enough to fit those 20 spots. Most of the time the choices are obvious as where to place them. I think that is because we only build one by one. It’s not like we have many cards and trying to figure out every possible combination of buildings to fit on the Street and give the most points.

It feels more like a bonus. No wonder they can come up with a variant to ignore the placement at all.

I thought they can introduce some timer element like in The Castles of Burgundy that if we can build early, we can get better rewards. Maybe like extra dice, or point tokens and such.

That penalty token is also not that impactful. I rarely take any of them. Maybe there is a good strategy there, that if we just violate one dice, we still get more points. This is usually at the end where building poorly is better than not build  at all.

But the problem is again, the dice, If we don’t have enough dice we cannot build it and for the most part we don’t. It only works if we use wrong dice so the dice must be there. I think it will be different if we are allowed to build with less dice and still take the penalty.

As for the Solo variant, I think it is a cool idea trying to replicate the 4 player experience where each turn the Outlaw can take 3 cards. However, I think they should also use the setup for 4 players, or otherwise, the game will end quickly as well.

The problem with that is, again, the AI will just get more score and we cannot catch up. They even replicate the idea of a player returning dice that can prolong the game if the AI get 3 cards.

The problem is that the AI getting 3 cards still gets a lot of points which is not equally good for the player just getting 1 more turn at most. What’s worse is if that happens early in the game where the AI doesn’t have any dice yet. The penalty is not helpful at all for the player.

So, I thought trying to compete for the score can be frustrating. At the same time, for some people, beating your own score is not an appealing solo play.

I’m not really interested with the mission mode, especially with solo. There are too many random setup variables that can determine how high our score is. I mean, what if the building cards with the same style icons as our Horse card is not available in the game? Can we still get a high score?

It seems like the game has a lot to pursue but not with enough means to achieve it.

Overall, I personally enjoy playing this game. However, I’m not sure I want to play it again though.

The game only use like 52 building cards. Most of them are duplicate with just slightly different variants or just a better version of another card.

There are other setup variables like different Main Street but they barely change the game. I feel like this needs more contents and more impactful cards.

It feels like most interesting element is the clever idea of using the dice as building that kind of match the settings. The main gameplay itself is probably a solid one but I wish there is more content to keep me coming back to this.

Expansions and Accessories

Up to this point of writing this article, there have been only one mini expansion and 1 official accessories for Tumble Town, which is the Playmat. Both of them are currently available in the publisher’s webstore.

During their Kickstarter campaign, they did offer a Wooden Box with custom laser etching for storage but limited to just 25 backers. So far, nobody has shared the final product of this wooden box.

On the Kickstarter page, there is an update where they run a survey regarding what kind of expansion that the players want. Like whether a module for 5 to 6 players or a cooperative mode. Learn more about the survey from this article, and anybody can participate in the survey.

If the publisher announce any new content for this game, I will update this section.

Round Up Pack (2021)

This mini expansion was part of the Kickstarter rewards. Anybody can also purchase this now for $3.00 from the publisher’s website.

Round Up expansion contains 17 new cards, which one of them is the rule card. 8 of them are new Building cards for the Level 3 buildings that we can mix with cards from the base game.

There is nothing really new from this building card, except that each of them has 2 Gold Objective based on 2 or more background objects. So, if one player has taken the corresponding card of any object, we may find an alternative using these new cards.

The new element that they introduce is the WILD HORSE CARDS from the remaining 8 cards. Each of them will become another objective. If we can meet the requirement to “tame” the wild horse, we can get extra points.

For example, one horse will require us to construct the buildings using the same amount of dice between the Gold and Brown Dice.  Another example, would be to construct using one color of dice more than any other color.

Each game, players will draw 2 of these cards and choose one. Unfortunately, they didn’t say how this will impact the solo play and other variants.

Playmat

Outside the Kickstarter backer, we can now purchase the playmat for $25, via the publisher’s website. It seems that if we purchase this alongside the base game, we can get a discount, at least, at this moment of writing.

Unfortunately, I cannot find more details about this playmat like the size or materials. Even the picture on their website only shows the packaging.

We can see more info from this next vide by Christian Adventure Gamer channel, showcasing the game during Gen Con 2021. It seems that the playmat is quite huge.

Not only it will provide a space for the three rows of cards from the market, but also spaces for every components. There is a space for each color of dice, the dice tower itself, tokens and the scoring sheet.

The length is longer than twice the length of the player mat plus one card. As for the width, it is probably twice as long as the length of the dice tower tray. So, I’m guessing the size is about 40 x 50 cm.

It looks quite nice with the same art as the box cover. This might be good for those who have a large table.

Session Reports and Pictures

Usually, I share a session report of playing a game on BGG. Here are the links of each session for this game.

I also put turn-by-turn pictures of a session and unboxing pictures for every game on my collection that anybody can find on my Instagram. For this game, search for #TumbleTownAtHomeOfMark on IG for all of the sessions.

Also, check out my blog on BGG. I occasionally write a detailed session report / written playthrough for a game that I’ve played. In each, I will explain the decision process during the game every turn.

August 2023 session and pictures of that session on IG.

December 2022 session and more picture of that session on IG.

Summary

Tumble Town is one of the tableau building game where we will be stacking dice to create a town in American Western setting. Each turn, players will have to draw 1 card alongside a set of 3 dice associated with the row of card that we take from.

So, sometimes we want to take the building but not necessarily the dice or vice versa. We can keep the building but storing dice has a limit and the drafting phase is the only way to get the card and most of the dice.

There are three building Levels, indicated by the number of cactus. The Level 1 is the easiest to build that will give low points but a very helpful power. While Level 2 or 3 require more dice but stronger power or more points at the end.

These powers allows us to change or manipulate the dice that we have so we can construct the buildings, following the requirement from the card. Each building may require certain aspect from the dice, whether the color, the amount or the pip value per dice or ranged of total sum.

If we have the power, we can increase or decrease the value by 1 or 2, flip or reroll the dice or discard one dice to get a different color or even more dice. There is also a card that allows us to get a token to change to any value.

Some of the powers from the buildings can also give one time benefit like get 1 or 2 dice from certain color right after the construction.

Each building card also have some background objects like cactus, tower, barrel or eagles. For each type of object there is a building that will give extra score per that specific object assuming we can find it and build that specific building.

There is also a power to trade dice that each player will have and can activate multiple times in a turn. However, most of the trade will make us lose a dice, so we want to be careful no to waste this.

We can still construct a building but without following the requirement, as long as we have the minimum of dice. However, for each dice that do not follow the requirement, we will have to take 1 Penalty Token which is worth -2 points.

The game of Tumble Town has two parts. How we get cards and dice and build them is just the first part. The second one is how we place the constructed buildings into our Main Street, which is the Player Mat.

This mat has 20 dice slot to create two rows of buildings that will form the Main Street. Each slot will have a requirement like certain color of dice in certain position , whether on first, second or third level.

If we can also meet this requirement, we will get extra points as well. There will be no penalty for not following the requirement of this one. Another source of point is if we can create an alley between building with just a single dice slot.

So, these dice placements is just an additional feature. We can even choose not to place in any of the spot if we think we can fill that spot with other subsequent building later.

At the end of the game we will see an interactive table presence using these constructed buildings made of dice with 4 colors.

The game will end after two colors of dice have been depleted and whoever score the most points wins. But that is just the basic variant to play Tumble Town.

The rule has other suggestions as how to play this game, including the solo variant where we will be competing against an automated player, the Outlaw. We can also choose to beat their score or the Outlaw will just remove cards from the market, replicating the experience of 4 player game.

I tend to agree with some people who say that this game ends too soon even using the surplus variant. There are other issues like lack of variety of cards because most of them are just variants for each of 4 style icons.

The gameplay itself is probably a solid one with interesting decision and a good amount of ways to manipulate the dice. This is a game that uses a lot of dice but I do not feel of ever getting too many bad dice rolls.

We can always find a way to utilize those dice by picking the right card to build next. This is more of a tight resource management game, mostly because of the number of dice with a minor part that can lead to engine building feeling.

More Similar Games

There are many tabletop games out there whether a board or card game that might share some similarities to Tumble Town. Some people may look for those similarities that they enjoy. It can be the mechanism or even just the theme.

These are just some games that I have tried, played and written a review for them, up to this point.  Check out the link to each article to find out more and also check this Complete list for more games.

Dice Manipulation

The main feature of Tumble Town is obviously the Dice Manipulation. We will have to find a way to change the dice faces or even the color so we can use them to fulfill some objectives.

The more power we have to manipulate the dice, the more flexible and efficient we are on completing a building.

Usually, I don’t like a game that uses too much dice rolling. That is not the case here and having a lot of ways to control the result can definitely make a better gameplay.

The first game that I have played with this mechanism is The Castles of Burgundy. Even though I’ve only played the card game, the card itself represents the dice value that we can easily change by spending a Worker token.

Even more so with the dice game or roll and write version of it. Not only we can change the value of the dice but we can also change the color. Both of them are kind of a city building game as well where we will get some bonus for building different type of buildings just like Tumble Town.

The other game that I have played that uses a lot of dice is One Deck Dungeon. The setting is totally different as this has fantasy setting where we will be playing a character to explore a dungeon to fight the boss.

In this game, the dice represents the heroine’s battle stats like attack, magic and agility. When we fight an enemy, the enemy has certain requirements for their attacks based on the dice.

If we can fulfill those requirements, we can prevent the attack so we do not lose the health. Like in Tumble Town, they may require specific dice value and color.

If we can defeat the enemy, the enemy card will become an upgrade to level up the character. This will give the character more power to manipulate those dice, similar to having building Powers in Tumble Town.

As we get stronger over the course of the game, it will be easier to fulfill more objectives later.

Tableau Building, Spatial Puzzle

Another interesting part of this game is the physical city building. By doing dice stacking and placement, at the end of the game, we will create a good looking table presence. There is a bit of 3 dimensional spatial puzzle where we have to consider where to place dice in different level.

These are games with those similarities. But none of them are using dice and some only have a 2 dimensional spatial puzzle.

I have already mentioned The Castles of Burgundy. The card game doesn’t have that final table presence while the dice game only has that spatial puzzle as which direction to expand the territory.

Ankh’or, is one of them that uses tiles. If we can connect the tile from two different levels that has the same icon or color, we can score more points.

At the end of the game, we might have built a structure shaped like a pyramid. Building upwards is cheaper in this game.

Café also has this experience but using card that we stacks or partially overlap with each other. But instead of increasing the different level, the cards are melding and stay on the same level.

Each card has 6 icons and we are also trying to place the same icon so they are adjacent to each other. By doing so, the power of each icon will be stronger.

At the end of this game, we will see an expanding territory of icons from these cards. Another game that uses this card melding and splaying mechanism is Circle the Wagons. This one has the same American Western setting as Tumble Town.

But this is a micro game for 2 players only with just 18 cards. This one is just the spatial puzzle while Café has more of resource management element.

For a roll and write game, I have played Kingdomino Duel. This is also for 2 players only where we have to draw a domino tile in a 5 x 7 grid following the same rule as domino game.

In this game, we will also want to connect the same icon adjacent to each other in order to get more points. At the end of this game, we will see our Kingdom divided into several territories.

For a simpler spatial puzzle card game, Solar Draft also has this experience. This is a game about creating a solar system by playing a Planet, Moon or Comet cards in the right order.

Each of those cards can give extra score if we can meet the requirement as well. Some might want specific position in the Solar system while other want to be adjacent to Planets with certain size and color.

This is similar to Tumble Town where we only build one line of the Main Street. There is also a stacking element with the Moon card and the Comet is like having a single alley between buildings or in this case, planets.

At the end of this game, we will see a solar system with a row of colorful planets.

Walking in Burano, is another card game with city building theme. Instead of an American western city, this is based on the city of Burano, which is known for their colorful houses.

In this game, we have to build 5 houses, with three levels by drafting the card. We have to make sure that each building only has 1 color and the same color cannot be adjacent to each other.

There is a similar Penalty Element just like in Tumble Town if we do not meet with the requirement. Also, we have to be the first to draw certain character cards that will give specific scoring criteria, just like the Gold Objective in Tumble Town.

At the end of this game, we will see one part of the beautiful city of Burano.

Tight Resource Management Game

As I have mentioned before, Tumble Town is a resource management game. We need to find a way to get more resources and spend the right set to fulfill some objectives or contracts. By doing so, we will get some benefit or just more points at the end.

The resources in this game is mostly the dice, with their value, color and the amount. Sometimes we cannot draw the right color of dice but we can trade it, or find a way to change it or use it for other buildings later.

There is a limit to how many dice we can keep and discard the excess at the end of our turn. If we can play the game very well, it is possible to even get more dice so we can build more than one building in a single turn.

We will hit the limit a lot and almost no way to increase the capacity. Which makes this game a tight resource management.

Sometimes we even have to abandon one building, work on the other and come back to continue the first one. The idea of switching between different resources and different objectives is what makes Tumble Town an interesting game.

If we are not looking necessarily for a game with dice, there are a lot of games with this idea that I have played. Games that I already mentioned with this traits include The Castles of Burgundy, Café, Ankh’or and Walking in Burano.

For a hand management card game, in my opinion, Quests of Valeria is another one. In this game, we have to switch back and forth between cards in our hand and cards in our tableau while trying to keep getting more cards and complete those quests.

Other card games for 2 players will force players to utilize communal central area to get that extra space. The challenge is that the other player can take them, and we have to find the right timing so we have the chance to take it back.

Games like this that I have played are Jaipur and Mandala, which both of them have hand limit that will restrict our option. In Jaipur there is only one central market while Mandala has 2 area that players can work on to increase their majority.

For card game with fantasy theme, Goblins vs Zombies can also have this experience. It is a tower defense game where we have to choose between deploying a Goblin to attack or to generate more cards. The cards themselves are also multiuse, so either to use it for the power or to spend it to pay the cost for other cards.

Another game with tight resource management aspect is Targi, for 2 player only. Here, we can only have up to 10 total resources. Either we spend them to expand the tribe, trade into silver or just lose the excess resources for being inefficient.

For solo only game, I have only played Finished!, another card game. This can be considered a step up from Klondike Solitaire card game. In this game, we are trying to sort cards in ascending order before the time runs out.

Each card has some power that in order to activate them, we need to spend a token. Sometimes we need to find a way between getting more of these tokens and find the time to spend them.

Final Words

That is all I can share with you about Tumble Town, a dice manipulation and dice stacking game. This is actually not the only and not the first game by Kevin Russ that I have played.

I may have missed something that I should have discussed regarding the game. Please don’t hesitate to point that out and share what you know related to this game and I will update this article.

I keep saying that these tabletop games can be a good way to spend some time without looking at the screen of our gadget. If we do have someone close, that we can play with, there are other games where we can play cooperatively or competitively but with a lot of player interaction.

The game can be very fast or like a filler type or it can take hours to play. Some games can also be played in solitaire mode and they are still more engaging than other entertainment activity. Some may say, it’s like a workout for the gray matter of our brain.

So, what is your experience on playing this game? If you know other games similar or even better than this, please do share via the comment section below. I would love to learn and play that game, assuming I can get a copy.

This article is just my notes about what I can find from the internet. Hopefully this can help anybody who reads it.

Thanks for reading.

 

Mark M.

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