A thick mist is before you as you approach. You hear a low guttural rumble beyond the fog. Gripping your shield and axe you press forward but you are not afraid as you know what lies ahead – You are a Dragon Slayer! In the game Dragon Slayer you play the role of a warrior trying to defeat various types of dragons with the ultimate goal being crowned the master slayer. You must reach far and wide in your search for the dragons you must defeat but even though you may become victorious in your adventure your fellow companions may challenge you to keep fighting on!
To win the game you must be the slayer that accumulates 40 points but also allowing the other players to complete one more round to perhaps tie or catch your score. Ties are resolved by players completing another round to determine the winner.
Publisher: Indie Boards and Cards (Lone Oak Games Inc.)
Game Designer: Dave Mortimer
Artwork: Nick Hayes
Players: 2-5 (6 with the Kickstarter version)
Playing Time: 15 minutes
Game Mechanics: Dice rolling, push your luck challenge, betting
Contents: 1 box, 1 rules pamphlet, 3 warrior dice, 3 blue dragon dice, 3 green dragon dice, 3 red dragon dice, 6 challenge tokens, 2 player aid cards (One side having a place to track the dice and dragon kills and the other containing a score track), 6 color cubes for score tracking, and 6 cardboard warrior tokens.
Suggested Retail Price: $12.99 ($18.99 for Kickstarter version)
Parental Advisory: Safe for kids
Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UkkUX5stxzQ
Dragon Slayer is a fast dice game with a twist. Each turn you’ll take chances and press your luck to find and defeat as many dragons as you can. But when you decide to end your turn, everyone else gets a chance to challenge you to continue. Accept their challenge and you can score big – walk away and you’ll leave most of your points on the table. – Dave Mortimer
Summary of Content
Players are given a challenge token before the game which they may only use once per game. Each player begins their turn selecting a dragon to hunt. They are colored by difficulty with the blue being the easiest, the red the most difficult and the green falls somewhere in the middle. Once this is done the player collects his warrior dice and the dice of the dragon he or she selected. The dice are rolled and collected to determine the outcome. The dragon dice contain five different symbols which are wings, head, tail, mountains, and fire breath. The warrior dice have three symbols which are a shield, axe, and fire breath. After rolling the dice the player will need to defend against the fire breath dice which are blocked by the shield dice. Once this is resolved then the player has a chance to slay the dragon. If there are more shields then fire breath dice, the warrior has successfully defended against the dragon. If there are more fire breath dice than shields, you lose one warrior dice for each undefended breath attack. These dice are passed to the next player. If the player loses more than three dice via the breath attacks his or her turn is over.
In order to slay a dragon one must collect the head, wings, and tail plus one axe dice. If players do not have all the parts they need they may re-roll all dice. Any mountain dice (This simply means the warrior is still looking), shields, or axe dice are simply re-rolled. Players must continue until they slay the dragon or lose all their warrior dice. Once a dragon is defeated the player banks the score for that dragon. The blue dragon is worth two points, the green four points and the red is six points. Players may continue to hunt for more dragons or stop and score. Each player must defeat each color once in any order they wish before picking the same color dragon again. Once a player decides to retire he or she may score the points for the dragons he or she slayed but this is where the game tosses in the twist. Players in reverse order may challenge the player to continue using their challenge token. The player may either accept the challenge or not. If the challenge is accepted the player may select another dragon to fight. If it is defeated that dragon scores double points but if they lose they score no points at all (Even if they have killed like 6 dragons.) and the challenging player gains five points. The token is then out of the game. The challenging player burns the token regardless of the outcome. If the player does not accept the challenge they score half points for all dragons defeated and the challenging player scores five points. Play continues until one player reaches forty points or above. The game does not immediately end however, as it goes around the table one more round to allow players to possibly catch the leading player. If there is a tie between two or more players, those players play another round until a winner is determined.
Analysis and Evaluation
This is a fun and simple game that is easy to learn and quick to play. The rules pamphlet is nicely laid out and easy to follow. I like the example of game play at the end of the rules that really clears up any confusion one may have about how the dice are rolled and interpreted.
One of the best aspects of Dragon Slayer is the dice. They are nicely embossed, nicely weighted, and have great artwork. One thing David did here that I really appreciated was each of the dragon dice (blue, red, and green) are all unique in regards to the head, tail and wings. This gives the game some flavor and I love the attention to detail here.
The artwork in the game and on the box are nicely done by Nick Hayes. It has a lot of the look and feel to the old arcade game of the same name.
The game mechanics used in the game are simple but effective. One has to really think about the best time to use their challenge token. This is certainly where the betting becomes apparent. It is probably not the best to use it early in the game. The push your luck is interesting as well. As should one continue or not depending on what dragon you have to face. There is also the thought of which dragon to begin your turn with. Does one start with the blue and work through them or go for the gusto and go after the red first! It has a decent amount of re-playability but more so with new players to the game.
I recommend this game as great starter game for people just getting into the hobby and have mentioned it on the podcast. It is a nice and simple game that can introduce people to dice, betting, and push your luck mechanics. It is very easy to teach and plays very quickly. The challenge element keeps people involved while it is not their turn.
This may be a bit of a disappointment to seasoned gamers which may want more than the game provides, but I think David was not designing a deep dice rolling game in the first place. I still enjoy it regardless if it may not be something more involving. Surprisingly the use of your challenge tokens and what dragon to fight as the game progresses adds enough challenge to keep me interested. This game is also very portable and fills time while waiting to start another game or if you have a quick fifteen minutes to kill or fill a quick gaming fix!
Club Fantasci Scoring (Based on scale of 10):
Rules Book: 9
Component Quality: 9 (Dice are excellent.)
Club Fantasci Overall Score:
I am giving 8.5 out 10 stars because of the theme, components, quick to teach and play and the challenge element that keeps it interesting.
This game is Club Fantasci Certified!
Company Website: http://www.indieboardsandcards.com/
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Note: A review copy of this game was provided to me. I own the game.
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