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Roll and Write

Every week the EFG staff will be defining a gaming term that is either confusing or ill-defined. Please leave a comment with any terms you find confusing and we will try to include them in future editions!

The gaming definition this week is a term that is applicable to board games:

Roll and Write/ Flip and Write

In games with a roll/flip and write mechanic, players role dice, or flip over a card(s) and make decisions based on the dice or cards. Typically player have a paper or dry erase record sheet to document their selections. This decision making is distinctive to this genre of games and the record page is typically more complex than just a score sheet. Roll/Flip and write games often involve other players simultaneously when the roll or flip occurs. However, player interaction is not required. Some Roll/Flip and write games also have a solo mode or variant.

Roll and Writes

Roll and Write games involve dice being rolled to provide the choices for the player or player group. The most well known roll and write is Yahtzee, but many more have come onto the market with a range of themes and complexity levels. Roll and Write games typically are small and portable and often have very streamlined rules. In some games players make decisions and participate with every dice roll, such as in Qwwix. Other times decisions are only made on your turn.

Examples of Roll and Write Games

  • Qwwix
  • Bloom
  • That’s Pretty Clever
  • Three Sisters
  • Harvest Dice

Flip and Writes

Flip and Write uses the same premise as when using dice, but utilizes cards instead. In these games there is a deck that is revealed to generate the choices for players. In a game such as Silver and Gold, there are patterns revealed by the cards as they are flipped and players need to mark their personal cards.

Examples of Flip and Write Games

  • Silver and Gold
  • Next Station London
  • Super Mega Lucky Box
  • Explorers

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

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Château is a brand new roll and write game coming to Kickstarter on February 7, 2023. You can follow the campaign here on Kickstarter.

Château is a quick to learn family game where you take on the role as an architect constructing the blueprint of a stunning château in Europe. Players select a Château and try to be the first to completely fill in all the squares on their boards by utilizing polyomino shapes.

One thing that is important to know, Château is a print and play game. This means that a physical copy is not provided, only the digital file and you are responsible for printing. This is quite important since not everyone has easy access to a color printer.

Recommended Components:

  • Two six sided dice
  • One pencil per player
  • printed Château Board per player

A career as an elementary teacher has prepared me well for a print and play game. I could not resist “teacher-ing” up my copy the game. While the intent is for players to print and mark their Château with pen or pencil, I raided my classroom and used dry erase pockets paired with dry erase markers. This allowed me to reuse the printed boards.

My next step is going to be to laminate the sheets with my personal laminator with heavier thickness laminate to make the boards more durable and again eliminates the need for reprinting.

Roll of 2 or 3

Optional Components/Tools

  • Dry Erase Pockets (find them here on Amazon)
  • white board/ dry erase markers
  • Laminator and laminate sheets
  • Cardstock

Gameplay Overview

  • 1-99 players (you are only limited by the copies printed)
  •  Ages 7+
  • 15 min playtime

Before the first roll of the dice, each player marks five adjacent squares on the player board to their left. Players roll two dice and simultaneously mark their boards to resolve. Each number on the die represents a certain outcome, which the board depicts. The two dice give you two outcomes per roll. Overall the number rolled for 2-5 is the number of adjacent squares you mark. There are some exceptions based on special abilities which vary by Château. (This is explained further below)

Options with roll of 5
  • 1 – Catapult, This is the one roll that results in interacting with another player’s boards. When a one is rolled, it is resolved first, and the players all mark on square on the board of the player to their left. A space containing a hammer may not be marked.
  • 2- A two square polyomino
  • 3 – A three square polyomino
  • 4 or 5 – for most boards you have four and five polyomino shapes respectively and must choose one to use and mark it off, and may not use it again.
  • 6- Item, Items are scattered throughout each Château. When a six is rolled each player selects one items and marks all of the squares off containing that item.


The Château all have hammers, and marking a space with a hammer allows you to mark an additional space. When players mark a hammer they may mark any other square, including another hammer. Thus gaining the ability to mark another additional square. Other players may not mark hammers in the initial five polyomino shape marked nor when a Catapult is played.

Individual Bonuses

Each Château has a unique bonus listed in the upper right hand corner of the board. Players announce their bonuses at the beginning of the game, before the first dice roll.

Château in the Base Game

Base Game and Expansions

In the preview file I received it contains the base game and two expansions. There are five château in the base game The United Kingdom expansion includes three châteaus. The Scandinavian Expansion includes three expansions.

Family Game Assessment

Château grabbed our family and friends right away. We played with mixed ages and still learned the game in just a few minutes, and by the third roll of the dice, the game flowed quickly and easily. Out of pure chance, we had quite a few ones roll. There was laughter and just a little frustration when we once again passed our boards to the right. Inevitably, our plans were thwarted as the opponent marks a square of their choice. The tension certainly built up as we looked around and some people had more complete boards, and we could see them closing in on the win, with the rest of us just a few squares behind. The game was such a hit after the first play that we immediately wiped of the boards, picked new Château and played again.

Game in progress with Chateau in a Dry Erase Pocket

Having actual architecture featured creates a link to geography and history which adds a layer beyond the game. The artwork is beautiful and accentuates each location. With the expansions, the available Châteaus cover a wider geographic range, offering more history to explore outside .

The number of Château is fixed, however, by printing additional copies, the player count in nearly infinite, since players will make unique choices with the placement of polyominoes. The format of all players using the same two dice to make their choices on squares they mark, allows a significant flexibility in player count.

Final Thoughts

Château is a great game for families. The cost is quite reasonable and affordable, and even if you use more premium materials, such as card stock, and lamination. The cost per board for a family size set is low. The rules are so simple, the game takes just minutes to set up and learn, making it accessible and fun for a huge range of players both in age and experience. This is one to watch for the Kickstarter launch and back on day one!

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