Hello, It’s time for another board game blog! This week we are taking a break from reviewing cat games and will be looking at Dragonwood by Darren Kisgen and Gamewright Games.
This is a quick, competitive game for 2-4 players. To setup separate the two decks, Adventurer Deck (red backed) and Dragonwood Deck (green backed). Take out the two dragon cards (Orange Dragon and Blue Dragon) and shuffle both decks. Remove a number of cards at random from the Dragonwood Deck depending on the number of players (12 for 2 players, 10 for 3 players, and 8 for 4 players).
Then shuffle the two dragons back into the bottom half of the deck. Deal 5 Dragonwood cards into the center of the table to form the “Landscape”. Then deal 5 Adventurer cards to each player. Set the dice and player reference cards off to the side but within reach of all players. You are now ready to begin!
On your turn you may do one of two things:
- Reload – draw one Adventurer card add it to your hand. Signal your turn is over by saying “Reload” to the other players. Note: there is a hand limit of 9 cards. Should you choose to reload with 9 cards in your hand you must discard a card from your hand after drawing. (If you draw one of the “Lucky Ladybug” cards immediately discard it and draw 2 more cards.)
- Capture – play a number of Adventurer cards from your hand, roll dice, and try and capture one of the Dragonwood cards in the landscape. Note: you may always play one card and try any of the three methods for capture. You may only roll a maximum of six dice. (You may only attempt to capture 1 card from the landscape per turn.)
The Adventurer cards come in five different colored suits. They are numbered 1-12. The first time the deck runs out reshuffle the discard pile. When attempting to capture cards from the landscape you will use one of three methods:
- Strike – (sword icon) play cards that are in a row regardless of color (e.g. 6, 7, 8).
- Stomp – (boot icon) play cards that are all the same number (e.g three 8’s).
- Scream – (face icon) play cards that are all the same color (e.g. four blue cards).
You must announce to all players which method you are using to try and capture the card from the landscape. Whichever method you choose to capture will allow you to roll a number of dice (numbered 1-4) equal to the number of cards played. Four cards played = four dice to roll. If your roll is equal to or greater than the target number you succeed. Discard the Adventurer cards used and take the captured card. If not successful the attempted card remains in the landscape, discard one of the Adventurer cards used as a wound, and put the rest back into your hand. Note that some creatures are easier to capture using different methods. It may be easier to try and stomp fire ants rather than strike them.
There are three types of cards in the Dragonwood deck:
- Creatures – (green faced) if you defeat a creature take the card from the landscape and place it face down in front of you. You score the points listed in the shield on the bottom left corner.
- Enhancements – (purple faced) if you capture an enhancement take the card and place it face up in front of you. This card can be used for the rest of the game (unless the card says otherwise) to assist in future creature captures. Note: enhancements can’t be used to capture other enhancements.
- Events – (orange faced) whenever an event card is revealed it immediately affects all players and is then discarded.
Whenever a card is removed from the landscape (either by capture or through event resolution) you replenish the empty space with a new card from the Dragonwood deck.
The game ends when one of two things happen:
- Both dragons have been defeated.
- The Adventurer deck runs out for a second time. (in this case every player takes one more turn.)
All players total up their victory points, and compare the number of creatures captured. Whoever has the most creatures gets a bonus 3 points (if tied for most, the players each get 2 points). The player with the most points wins (if tied overall the player with the most points and most captured creatures wins).
And that’s it! The game comes with 64 Adventurer Cards, 42 Dragonwood Cards, 2 Turn Summery Cards, and 6 Custom Dice. it retails for $14.99 and is out now.
What really stands out is the artwork by Chris Beatrice. Each card is beautifully illustrated and matches the humorous tone of the game.
I give it 2 out of 2 dragons in the woods.
Until next time, keep playing games, and may the dice be ever in your favor!
-Trevor L. Cooper is an avid board gamer. When he is not gaming he can be found on his YouTube game channel Well Played.
Buy your own copy here