Going to Boston is a simple, tallying-type dice game. Players roll dice and form a score based on their rolls. These scores are compared round to round. Games are in Matchplay style, where multiple games are played to determine the overall winner of the whole “Match.”
It is a simplistic counting game that is good for teaching children and people new to tabletop games basic concepts about common game mechanics.
How to Play Going to Boston?
- Three six-sided dice
- A pen and paper
Going to Boston is a fairly simple game that can be played with any number of Players, so long as there are 2 or more. Players use the pen and paper to keep track of their score, while the dice determine their score.
Roll for Turns, and Gameplay
Players should agree on the number of rounds needed to win in order to be declared the overall winner of the Match. This is usually 5-10 rounds, due to the quick nature of the game.
- Players should begin by rolling a single die and comparing it to other Players.
- The highest roll will go first, and the turn order will continue clockwise (to the left) from the Player with the highest roll.
- Ties will re-roll amongst themselves.
Once the turn order is determined, the first Player to take their turn will roll all three dice at once. The highest roll of these three dice will be kept and set aside. If there are two dice that have the same highest roll, only one can be kept.
The Player will then roll the remaining two un-kept dice, and keep the highest die from that roll as well.
The final die will be rolled, and its number will be kept. These three dice values are added together and then tallied on the pen and paper to finalize the Player’s score for that round.
Gameplay continues in this exact fashion to the next Player. They will roll their dice three times, keeping one each roll, and then tallying together their final score.
Winning the Round
Once each Player has taken their turn, the final scores are compared. The highest score wins the round. A single round does not make a winner, however. Subsequent rounds will be played until one Player reaches the threshold determined at the start of the game.
If two or more Players tie on the highest roll, then they are all considered winners of that round.
Winning the Match
Two or more Players cannot win the overall Match. If two Players win the last round with the same high rolls, then another round will be played between only those tying Players. The winner of that round will be the overall winner.
Going to Boston is scored inside the rounds, and overall as a Match. Players receive a total in the round based on their three dice-rolls. This is their “Round Score”. However, Players that a round become one “unit” closer to winning the overall game.
These units that determine overall victory in a Match-Play game are normally referred to simply as “Game Points.” Players receive a game point for each round that they win, and Players agree on the necessary number of game points to win the Match.
Going to Boston Rules Summary
In short, the rules of the game are as follows:
- Players roll for turn order, with the highest roll taking the first turn.
- Players take three rolls, keeping the highest value dice after each roll. Afterward, all three dice are tallied together for the Player’s score in that round.
- Players compete to have the highest score in each round, with the Player winning the requisite number of rounds first becoming the overall winner.
- Ties for the overall winner at the end of a Match are settled by playing another round of the game.
Imagine that the following is your entire turn in a round of Going to Boston:
First, you roll three dice and receive:
3 – 5 – 6
Obliged to take the 6 and keep it, you roll again:
4 – 4
Since they are the same value, take either die, and then roll again:
This leaves your overall score for the round a total of 12 (=6+4+2)
In the score sheet that would look like:
|Roll 1||Roll 2||Roll 3||Total|
Is There a Strategy?
Going to Boston is a fairly simple game that does not contain much room for strategy. Since Players do not have a choice in the die that they keep, but instead keep the highest value always, there is no optimization to the strategy. Simply roll the dice, and tally the score.
The game is a time-waster game, that is good for teaching Players new to tabletop gaming the basic concepts of Matchplay, as well as familiarizing them with rolling the dice, reading the values on the dice, and tallying the score.
As a teaching tool, Going to Boston is very basic, but sometimes people with no frame of reference for tabletop gaming need to learn from the basics first.