Games for Two: Dragonheart

During the Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend, Fantasy Flight Games had a great sale on some of their games. This gave me the chance to pick up three games for less than the price that one of them would be at full price. We went with three games that could be played with two, since that’s the majority of the games we play, though two of them are probably better with a full group of 4-5.  The first one we’ll look at is the true 2-player game; Dragonheart.

The Great Dragon has been cursed by an evil wizard and turned to stone. One player takes the roll of a champion of the Dragon, seeking to free him while the other, an acolyte of the evil wizard, seeks to ensure the dragon remains frozen. Those are some pretty epic sounding roles, though they end up having no impact on the game.

Dragonheart set up.

The game is played over a game board with some very nice art. The board depicts a scene of various heroes fighting trolls and evil dragons on their quest to free the Great Dragon. Each character on the board correspond to cards that you play.

The goal of the game is to accumulate the most points. On your turn, you must play a card onto the board into a space that matches the picture (Knight, Troll, Sorceress, Dragon, Fire Dragon, Dwarf, Huntress, Gold, Ship and Fire Dragon). When you play these cards you might “activate” their space, each space requires from one to four cards played to activate them. By playing a Troll, for example, you will activate the trolls, and by doing so, collect all of the Sorceress cards on the board.

Each card is worth between 1-4 points. But you don’t get points by playing them, instead rather by collecting other cards. If you have a four point card in your hand, the only way to get those points is to play it, and hope your opponent doesn’t collect it before your next turn. The boards an interesting array of trumps: You need two knights to take a troll or a sorceress, one troll to take a sorceress, a sorceress to take gold or the great dragon, three huntresses to take the fire dragon, one fire dragon to take gold, three ships to collect all of the activated huntresses and knights (mega points) and four dwarves to take themselves. Yeah, the dwarves are a bit weird.

It’s an interesting arrangement. Since you have to play a card it does lead to some difficult decisions. Do you play the 4pt gold card and hope your opponent doesn’t play a sorceress or fire dragon on their turn? Or do you play the last huntress, in order to take the fire dragons (generally worth more points each), and hope your opponent doesn’t take the pile of huntresses and knights by playing a ship?

Dragonheart game play

It sounds a lot more complicated than it is. The actual game play is easy to pick up, and while there’s sometimes difficult choices to be made, it can come down to who gets the ships at the right time, since that pile can lead to a ton of points, or nothing. The game ends when either a player’s draw pile runs out or three sets of ship cards have been played. In both games my wife and I played, we played the sets of ships well before we got close to running out of cards. In the first game, my wife drew a bunch of ships and didn’t really have anything else to play.

Would I recommend this game? For the price we paid ($10) for it, sure. The art looks cool and its a good quick two player game. For the retail price of $25? No, don’t bother.

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