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15 MINUTE HEIST is literally 15 Minutes of dice rolling madness, coupled with running around the inside of a Bank emptying vaults, dodging laser alarms, loading an elevator with Gold Pallets, and getting the Gold and yourselves out before the time expires.

Four of the pressed-out pieces combine to form a custom box base organiser suitable to contain all the components comfortably. Just one quickie about this organiser, no matter how you fit the pieces together, one of the depicted men on the 'walls' will be upside down - oops!

To insure that you don't go over the 15 minutes the game time and play are controlled by an APP - download it onto your phone and then fit your phone into the Central Lift Console so that the front can be read through the clear window. This console sits in the middle of the board and randomly gives out commands.

The bank floor is made up of a series of corridors linked together by eight turntables and guarded by laser fences. This is a very secure Bank! You, however, with your group of allies (other players) are a renown band of safe-crackers and expert Bank raiders. Your job is to clean out the Bank of at least 9 (or 12) Gold Pallets (I can't help but think of them as Gold bars) - 12 being the Advanced (and stupidly chaotic) version.

This is a cooperative game where you really need to help each other. The players either win or get stuck in the Bank, captured, and hauled off to the pokey. The mobile phone is in place in the middle of the board, the turntables are in place, the laser fence tokens are positioned on the lasers, holding them in the on position, the lift is on the ground floor ready for you to load, your player pieces (loading carts in player colours) have been placed in their Start positions, an access point, on the board and finally, the dice are warmed up and ready to roll.

 

The idea of the game is to get three loads (or 4 loads for the Advanced version) of Gold up to the surface via the elevator. There are several problems facing you.
1. The 11 vaults are locked.
2. The Lasers are on.
3. The Lift/Elevator can only hold 3 Gold Pallets
4. You need to make three journeys in the elevator, going up and down, up and down and finally up.

On the Up side you can move your cart as far as you, want/is possible, as long as the path is clear, meaning:
a.) Your path is not blocked by other players carts (there isn't room to pass them), 
b). The Turntables are aligned with the path
c). There are no laser doors closed that you need to pass through.

  

All ready? Now start the App. The 15 minute timer begins immediately (naturally) and that is exactly the full amount of time you have, and you need to work together fast, giving advice as quickly as you can see the necessary/best possibilities.

Your turn begins by rolling the two dice. These are identical D6 shaped dice except that instead of numbers 5 sides each have a different coloured face and the sixth face is a 'Joker' (all of the 5 colours combined - you choose which colour you want it to be). Try to move to where you can load a Gold bar onto your cart, or help your fellow players reach an open vault.

The colours rolled:
If two different colours then use each of them singularly to either open or close a Laser fence or to move the lift.
Two of the same colour dice allow you to rotate any one of the turntables or you can use them as if they were two separate colours. When moving a turntable you may move, then rotate and move on, or rotate and move (this would usually be when you ended your last move on a turntable without the option to rotate).
Two Wild (Jokers) dice allow you to use them as separate colours or to rotate every turntable. (Note: The rules are written as "You can rotate ALL turntables!" - we play this as you can choose which turntables to rotate but you can also read ALL as meaning literally ALL turntables, whether you want to or not.

 

The Elevator:
The elevator cannot be moved upwards until it has three Gold Pallets on it, then, by playing the right die colour you can raise it accordingly - the colour floors can be seen on the lift card; the colours have to be played in the correct order Blue, Green Yellow then Red being the top where you remove the Gold. Once you have unloaded you have to move the lift down, again by using colours. When a lift is moving, upwards or down, it cannot change direction until it reaches the top/bottom.

The skill in playing is giving/taking the right decisions as fast as possible, and listening to the App. Gold can only be taken from open vaults and vaults are closed until the App says so. This will not be in numerical order, it is totally random, so waiting by a closed vault is generally only wasting time.

Game turns can become manic dice-rolling, hoping to get the colour or combination required. Players should remember that the colours rolled have to be used whether you want to or not. However, once the last three Gold Pallets have been loaded onto the lift only the correct doubles (using Jokers is allowed) count. Roll anything except the needed double and you still have to use the time to quickly use the colours rolled accordingly.

At this point in the game all players, on their turn, should be rolling the dice as speedily as possible and concentrating on knowing where all the colours can be used. Yes, the game dissolves into a tumultuous helter-skelter of dice rolling, which means it has developed from a thoughtful race against time into a crazy scurry as the seconds tick past, fast.

    

I have to admit that by having the company of the same group we have, or think we have, established a way of winning. However, instead of giving up playing 15 Minute Heist because we have beaten the clock, we actually play it more, trying to beat our completion time record. We are now down to 1 minute 48 seconds remaining of the 15 minutes; it's the double-rolling at the end of the race that usually trips us up. Sometimes we go so fast when rolling that we have to take a step back and remember what was rolled, and of course we then use the dice as per the rules. Naturally this costs us time, but the next time we play we try to control our enthusiasm and that loses us even more time. Writing this, it seems that I have just discovered that 15 Minute Heist is addictive - I wondered why we keep playing it!

 

© Chris Baylis 2011-2021