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[Review] Dragon Hordes, Warriors Expansion # 1

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  • Tom Vasel
    (This review assumes that you already know how to play Warriors) If you ve read my review of Warriors, you ll know that I detest the game, because it s a
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 2, 2005
      (This review assumes that you already know how to play Warriors)

      If you've read my review of Warriors, you'll know that I detest the
      game, because it's a mixture of random combat and random set
      collection which equals a random mess. I hoped that Dragon Hordes:
      Warriors Expansion # 1 (Face 2 Face Games, 2005 - Richard Borg and
      Alan Moon) would fix the problems and make the game more enjoyable.
      Sadly, however, the expansion, while adding some interesting elements,
      simply didn't do anything for the game - putting a heavy emphasis on
      dragons, and that's about it.

      Some comments on the gameā€¦

      1.) Dragons: The biggest change to the game was the addition of
      fifteen dragon cards, twenty flame cards, and sixteen more attack
      cards (eight of them dragon-only attacks, the other eight mercenary or
      dragon attacks). Each dragon that a player puts in their forces
      counts as a separate nation. Flame cards are placed with dragons and
      act as sort of "hit points." Dragons always roll two dice when
      attacking and defending, and add one to both die rolls. Dragons can
      attack pretty much anyone and can be attacked by anyone. When a
      Dragon is "hit", they lose one flame card; if they have no flame
      cards, the dragon is destroyed.

      2.) Powerful dragons: Dragons are more powerful than anything else in
      the game, which is good and bad. The good outlook is that now players
      have something that they can attack other players' powerful armies
      with. The bad news (in my opinion) is that Dragons can wreak havoc
      and not much can stop them. I don't know what the point of setting up
      large, balanced armies is, when the opponent can come sweeping in with
      dragons, decimating your forces. Yes, most dragon attacks happen
      after the regular attacks, but the only reason to attack a dragon is
      to keep it from attacking you, which isn't much of a reason. Dragon
      flames aren't worth any victory points, so attacking a dragon "might"
      get you two victory points.

      3.) Dragon points: Whoever has the most dragons at the end of the
      game gets twelve points. This is interesting, but usually has the
      effect of all players getting in a dragon race. You can try to avoid
      this "nuclear arms" race by not placing dragons; but there are so many
      in the deck, and they are so powerful I don't know how one can
      successfully avoid using them. In every game I've played, the player
      with the most dragons won the game.

      4.) Catapults: Four more catapults are added in this version, and
      catapults can also take down dragons! However, they can only hit on a
      "6"; but upon hitting, they totally destroy the dragon, regardless of
      flames. Take a wild guess of what all the catapults in the game
      target? If you said dragons, you win!

      5.) Attacks: One of my main complaints about Warriors was that there
      were very few attacks, thus rendering the main feature of the game
      fairly useless. Dragon Hordes fixes this to a degree, adding more
      attack cards. However, the new attack cards are mostly dragon attacks
      with some mercenary attacks, which are useless in my opinion.

      6.) Focus: The main difference that Dragon Hordes adds to the game is
      dragons - surprising, huh? But instead of adding a major element to
      the game, Dragon Hordes makes dragons the focus of the game - and so
      much the focus that there isn't really much point to doing anything
      with the armies any more. Any army that looks powerful is going to be
      attacked by dragons - so why try? Hooray, dragons were added and
      overpowered everything else in the game!

      7.) Players: Now that more cards are added to the game, up to six
      players can play the game. Also, players get more cards in a four
      player game - which is nicer, I'll admit, as it gives them more
      options. A six player game is awful, though, especially if you get no
      attack cards and watch as everyone uses their dragons to destroy your
      nations.

      I don't like the basic game, and I don't like the expansion. I think
      they have the kernel of good ideas in them, but it isn't realized.
      The Dragon Horde expansion might satisfy those for whom attacking with
      dragons is a desired trait in game. For me, however, the game with an
      expansion just didn't do anything, not enough to play again. If you
      like the original, then you might like the expansion; but be warned,
      it changes the balance of power in the game (towards dragons)
      drastically.

      Tom Vasel
      "Real men play board games."
      www.tomvasel.com
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