Analysing the quantitative statistics of blind playtesting Dice Hospital
Written by Rory J Somers, Edited by Caezar Al-Jassar
97 people played 43 games of Dice Hospital as part of the first wave of Third-Party blind
Playtesting. I was privileged enough to be given access to that data to see how these experienced and family players got on with the next game from Alley Cat Games.
In Dice Hospital the aim of the game is to cure as many patients as possible, where dice (D6) are the patients and the pips are their health.
Players will use departments of their hospitals to increase the pips, and upon exceeding 6 pips, the patient is discharged from the hospital. The more patients a player discharges in a turn, the higher their score that turn. Of course, any patient’s left unattended and untreated will lose a pip, and should a patient ever score below 1, unfortunately; a doctor will be having a conversation with that die’s nearest and dearest.
Choice of Ambulances
The first choice in the game a player will make is which ambulance load of patients to accept into their hospital. And this is where the analysis starts.
There will always be one more ambulance card than there are players, where ambulance 1 has two spaces for dice, ambulance 2 has 3 spots, and ambulances 3 – 5 all have space for 4 D6.
At the beginning of a turn, dice are rolled, and sorted and arranged upon the ambulance cards, with ambulance 1 having the lowest scoring, dice and ambulance 5 having the highest scoring dice.
2 vs 3 vs 4 player games
In the many 2 player games that took place, the prevailing playtester action was to take the 2nd ambulance, containing 3 patients, all of which would have middling scores in theory (I know, I’ve rolled 9 D6 before and never got anything above a 3 but law of averages here people). From turn 6 on wards we can see a clear shift in moving towards Ambulance 3, more patients, which in theory, are easier and quicker to heal and discharge.
In a 3 player game we see a slightly different story, generally Ambulance 2 is the most consistent choice, with a move to the higher value and higher number of patients in turns 6 and 7. But then in turn 8, a sharp turn back towards Ambulance 1 and 2 – which in itself is a little surprising, as these are the lowest yield and hardest patients to treat and discharge in one turn.