Roll-and-write, free, big booty: three keywords that can provide a little variety in the otherwise probably monotonous everyday life in Corona times. The small publishing house Boardgame Racoon has published a dice game that can be downloaded as a print-and-play version free of charge, printed out and then played. But there is more to the action: It is intended to draw attention to the current tense situation among publishers and local retailers.


“Free” is one of those keywords that you hear and read more and more often in times of the Corona crisis. Everywhere free campaigns are growing out of the earth that want to be understood as a sign of solidarity. The micro-publisher Boardgame Racoon has also launched a corresponding online campaign.

King is free in Corona times

“Free” is one of those keywords that you hear and read more and more often in times of the Corona crisis. Everywhere free campaigns are growing out of the earth that want to be understood as a sign of solidarity. The micro-publisher Boardgame Racoon has also launched a corresponding online campaign.

Under boardgame-racoon.de/pages/spiele/stayathome there is therefore not only a free dice game, but also an appeal to all board game fans: “Support your locals” is the motto. This refers to the many small board game shops that have suffered a sharp drop in sales due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Almost every influencer uses videos or podcasts to encourage their followers to make almost panicked purchases - for once, and rightly so, because the local retailers are fighting for their economic existence.

The fact that consumers keep their money together in times of crisis is only partially true: people happily continue to buy, but online and not in brick-and-mortar stores. Logistics giant DHL recently announced that the delivery staff would have as much to do as usual over Christmas. Probably not every board game retailer will make it through the crisis. The appeal to use one's purchasing power in the leisure sector instead of disinfectants and toilet paper reserves seems justified. In the end, the customers - in this case board players - decide where their money goes. The appeal is not “don't buy online anymore”, but rather: think before you buy anything.

Roll-and-heist: the basics of burglary

Back to the free dice game. After weeks of preparation, the time has come on a moonless night: Silence lies over the old villa, only occasionally interrupted by the soft click that Matts Dietrich causes in the lock on the back door. What sounds like a damn lousy break-in is exactly that. In roll-and-heist, the criminal version of roll-and-write, author Benjamin Schultz invites 1 to 3 players to learn the basics of breaking in.

It all begins in London in the 60s. A gang of burglars rubs their mischief in the city on the Thames. Not much is needed: in addition to the print-and-play files and the subsequent printout, players need three standard six-sided dice. Then it can go.

In turns, players perform four actions, the last of which is always: Do you want to run away? Then there is nothing more to be won, the game ends and players get points. Two other conditions also end the game: If you put too many tracks, you lose. Whoever triggers the alarm still has the chance to escape, if this fails, the game is lost. Average burglars achieve more than ten points in the end, a legendary raid succeeds with 14 or more points.

Board players can climb the criminal career ladder with Janet and Matt, among others. Image: Boardgame Racoon

Professional burglar: Board players can climb the criminal career ladder with Janet and Matt, among others. Image: Boardgame Racoon

Benjamin Schultz designed the roll-and-write for the #stayathome campaign. He stole the setting - from himself: “I have a game with the subject in the drawer, but it currently takes five hours”. Too long for family players, who are currently particularly severely affected by the restrictions due to the daycare and school closings. So the author recycled the topic and used it for an entertaining dice game with simple rules. The “print-and-play” concept is ideal for the Corona period when there is less shopping. The game is also available for download in an ink-saving version.

Three new cases are added, then it comes to the “extra-large fractions”. And to close the circle of the support campaign, there is an additional campaign for all those who support their local game store with the big mail train robbery.

There are currently 14 small game shops listed:

From Trier to Berlin, local retailers are asking for support from the board game community. The 14 shops represent all game shops that are currently suffering from the Corona crisis. Finally, the list is not on the Boardgame Racoon campaign website: “Other stores are welcome to contact us,” says Benjamin Schultz. "I hope people have a little fun with it and something goes down in stores - they can really use it right now," says the game author.

Further information and the free dice game are available at: boardgame-racoon.de/pages/spiele/stayathome.


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