Bombs, Away! Dice Game

This is a quick "hot potato" game for 1-6 players. There is a bomb with a lit fuse on the table. The longer you hold it, the more points you get. Just don't hold it too long or kablooey!

Stuff You Need
One six-sided die
A pencil
A sheet of paper with the score tracker drawn as shown below.

6     [   ]    
5     [   ]     [   ]    
4     [   ]     [   ]     [   ]    
3     [   ]     [   ]     [   ]     [   ]    
2     [   ]     [   ]     [   ]     [   ]     [   ]    
1     [   ]     [   ]     [   ]     [   ]     [   ]     [   ]    

How to Play
The youngest player takes the first turn. On your turn, take the die. This is the BOMB. You may do one of two things with it.

1) Pass it: Write your initials in the lowest open space on the score tracker. Give the bomb to the player on your left.

2) Roll it: Roll the die. If the result is a 1, write your initials in an empty 1 space on the score tracker; if the result is a 2, write your initials in an empty 2 space; and so on. You cannot write your initials in a filled space.

The bomb explodes if you were unable to fill in an empty spot on the score tracker. In other words, the bomb explodes if you roll a second 6, third 5, fourth 4, fifth 3, sixth 2 or seventh 1.

If the bomb hasn't exploded, your turn is over and you're still safe. Give the die to the player on your left. That player begins a new turn.

End of the Round and Scoring
The round ends if all players pass or if the bomb explodes.

You score points based on the spaces in which you wrote your initials. You score 1 point for a 1 space, 2 points for a 2 space, and so on.

If the bomb exploded in your hand, you lose a number of points equal to that last die roll. For example, if you rolled a second 6, then you would lose six points. (In a game with four or more players, then your neighbors also lose that many points as well.)

The next round begins with a fresh, completely empty score tracker. A new player takes the first turn.

End of the Game and Winning
The game ends when each player has a chance to be first player. When the game is over, add up all your points across the rounds.

The player with the most points at the end of the game wins. (In the highly unlikely case of a player entering the final round with a 56 point lead, that player automatically wins because it would be impossible to overcome that deficit.)

Solitaire: If you play the solitaire game, you do not gain any points for passing.

Multi-Bomb: There are two or more bombs floating around the table. Any players with bombs roll one at a time, in order of age, from youngest to oldest. You all still use the same score tracker.

Big Bomb: Play with a larger die, like an eight-sider, ten-sider, or twelve-sider. Revise the score tracker so the highest possible result only has one space, then add one space for each subsequent result.

Variant Tracker: Revise the number of spaces for each result, increasing or decreasing as you like. Perhaps you want more 6s and fewer 1s?

This game was a result of a Pitch Tag session with Fred Hicks.


  1. Cute game.

    Now I need to find a suitable child to play it with.

  2. Technically, you could play it solitaire, y'know.

  3. Wow. Serious simplicity *and* meaningful strategic choice.

  4. Tried [i]Bombs, Away[/i] last night with my playtest group. Pretty darned fun.

    I'm definitely planning to teach it to my students in their unit on games as a gateway to probability and statistics.

  5. Awesome! Glad to hear you had fun with it.


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