Review: Vengeance Roll & Fight (Mighty Boards) – English

Revenge is a classic theme in literature and film. A great example is Uma Thurman as the bride who, after being betrayed by her ex-lover and left for dead, seeks revenge on the titular Bill from the Kill Bill films. You might also think of Keanu Reeves as John Wick in the films of the same name who gives the Russian mafia a taste of retribution after they brutally kill his cute puppy (a present from his late wife) and steal his Ford Mustang (beautiful car). Perhaps when you think of revenge, you think of Liam Neeson trying to retrieve his kidnapped daughter with a “very particular set of skills”. Climbing over fences is certainly not one of those skills. A very different example where revenge is a “dish best served cold” is the brilliant Korean crime thriller Old Boy. The Count of Monte Cristo, Unforgiven, Django Unchained, I Saw the Devil, Gone Girl. The list goes on and on.

There are a whole host of stories where revenge is the central theme or premise. In the game Vengeance Roll & Fight, revenge is also the main theme. A gang boss has humiliated you, had you beaten up and subjected you to torture. You crave vengeful retribution and want confront this boss. Don’t forget: eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand and before you know it you won’t have any limbs left as revenge is a dish best served cold.

(Re)vengeance and game design

Before I can start my review of Vengeance Roll & Fight, I need to tell you a bit about its predecessor. Vengeance Roll & Fight, by Mighty Boards, is in fact based on the game Vengeance. In that game, players take on the role of a vengeance-hungry hero. They will train to become stronger and more tactical, explore gang hideouts and fight bad guys who have wronged this hero. Vengeance, like a true revenge thriller, alternates between montages and fight scenes. In montages, players train, heal and upgrade their heroes with new skills and items. They also go exploring in the hideouts and during the fight stages they can exercise their retribution.

Vengeance Roll & Fight is, as the pun in the title suggests, a roll & write game with the same theme and similar game mechanics and gameplay as a starting point. Don’t fear: Roll & Fight is not a weak and dicey copy of Vengeance, but a full-fledged game with a similar feel but a completely different experience. Players are still out for revenge, but the way of training, exploring and fighting is a different experience.

Each player gets a hero, a boss to beat up, an acrylic hero marker and two erasable player boards: a board to keep track of their hero’s skills, items, life points and score, and a gang hideout. There are different heroes and different hideouts. Each hero has an associated (very particular) set of skills that players can “unlock” by training and items that players can “buy” and deploy. Each hero also has a weakness and each boss a unique condition. Players place their hero marker on the entrance to the hideout and players are ready to roll dice and avenge.


In total, players will go through four rounds. At the beginning of the round a flashback scene occurs. The three white dice are rolled and players can perform the corresponding actions depicted on these dice and can also take one action depicted on the flashback tile. For example, players can train and use this to collect points to unlock traits, buy weapons and items, activate traits (so they can deploy these abilities during the fight phase without having to allocate dice, more on that later) and advance on the loot track or heal themselves. Retrieving bad memories may not be your favourite activity, but flashbacks sometimes provide ample motivation to push through.

After the flashback, players start rolling dice. Each player starts with four dice and in the centre of the table there is a large reserve supply of dice. Players roll dice simultaneously and in a solo game, the solo player uses a timer depending on the difficulty level. Players may roll dice as fast and as often as they wish, but in principle, they may not re-roll dice with a blood drop. Players’ abilities indicate which set of dice players must roll to use the ability during the fight phase. If players manage to roll the correct set, they may assign this set to these abilities to activate them. Multiple sets may be assigned to an ability unless otherwise specified. If a set is assigned, a blood drop may be rolled again. Also, a player may assign a drop to be wounded to re-roll other drops. If a player has fewer than four dice (as allocated dice are separate), these players may pick dice from reserve. This is the only form of interaction with your opponents and creates time pressure and stress as all players try to grab dice from the same reserve.

Once players can’t or won’t roll dice anymore, it’s time to fight. Players can use assigned actions to simply move and inflict damage to enemies. The hideout consists of different rooms, locations and areas. In some rooms, there are different types of enemies. By running, players can move their hero marker and by hitting, players can deal damage to enemies in the location where their hero is located. By shooting, players can apply damage to enemies in adjacent locations. Some bad guys injure the player if they are present in the same location or adjacent location in the case of shooters. If a player is wounded and has lost all life points, he gets a “beating” and can throw less dice in upcoming rounds or even be eliminated from the game entirely.

Over time, players can also deal damage to the boss to earn points. In addition, players can earn points by completing missions in the various locations and by crossing off loot in locations where they have defeated all enemies. The player with the most points at the end of the game wins!


Vengeance Roll & Fight is not just any roll & write, but a very thematic roll & write that requires players to puzzle quite a bit despite (or thanks to) its many features. Players have plenty of items and traits, but the luck of the dice (or your ability to roll quickly) partly determine which abilities you can use and which actions you can actually perform. Players must therefore be able to judge well (and quickly) what and when they want to ‘do’. Which room do they want to enter? Which enemies will they attack? This makes Roll & Fight a challenging real-time puzzle.

The real-time element of the game provides a healthy dose of tension and fits perfectly with the theme where, of course, the hero cannot prepare 100% for what awaits him or her in the various hideouts. The variety of different heroes and hideouts is another highlight that makes me highly recommend the game. John Wick, beware!