Preview – upcoming Essen release from White Goblin Games – Dragon’s Gold by Bruno Faidutti
The fourth in our series of Essen previews from White Goblin Games is the reprint of Dragon’s Gold by noted game designer Bruno Faidutti and having been sent a copy of the rules, I can share an overview with you all.
This is a family game for 3 to 6 players, ages 8 and up.
The theme of Dragon’s Gold is described as follows – Each player controls a team of dragon hunters (two knights, a thief, and a wizard). Like all dragon slayers, they only have one goal: Cool magic items and lots of treasure! Actually killing a dragon? It’s a piece of cake. The most difficult part comes after the smoke clears and the dragon is dead: Agreeing how to divide the loot!
Dragons, loot and treasure. What’s not to like? Hmmm…could there be a bit of a squabble amongst the dragon hunters?
The components, which have very nice artwork by Emmanuel Roudier, are –
18 Dragon cards
One Market card
24 Adventurer cards (4 each in 6 colors)
24 Magic Object cards
6 Score cards
6 Treasure Screens & Scoring summaries
A cloth bag for holding the 126 wooden Treasure tokens Treasure tokens*
A sixty seconds sand timer
And it all comes in a tin box!
Each player starts with 4 adventurer cards, each of which has an attack value printed on the upper center of the card. Thieves and Wizards also have special powers!and a screen to hide their treasurers behind. The players will always have 4 Dragon cards laid out from the Dragon deck as they fight each one until the deck is depleted. Defeated Dragons are replaced on the table by new Dragon cards. Each Dragon card provides you with the dragon’s strength, it’s treasure value (randomly chosen from the treasure bag) and it’s “hidden” treasure value which is unknown until the dragon is killed and the players negotiate as to how it will be divided up.
Each turn, players will be trying to kill off the vulnerable Dragons. As soon as a Dragon is killed, its treasure is completed by adding tokens equal to the Dragon’s hidden treasure value. If the Dragon was killed solely of one adventurer, that player takes all of its treasure. If several players helped to kill the Dragon, the treasure must be divided between them. An agreement must be found in a limited amount of time. So not only will the players need to negotiate a deal between themselves but they are under a time limit pressure of one minute (hence the timer) or they lose it all.
The Adventurer cards start face up and as they are used to fight a dragon they are then turned face down by the players. So your choice of adventurers available becomes limited as you go on. When you only have face down Adventurer cards available, you can flip them over and use them.
Dragons are attacked by the players committing an adventurer against one of the available dragon cards. If the total combined attack value of the Adventurers is equal or greater to the strength of the Dragon, it is killed. Once killed, the hidden treasure value is added to complete the total value of the treasure. If the players shared in the adventure, the timer is turned over and you have one minute to reach agreement. If the sand timer runs out before the players agree on how to split the treasure, then the treasure is removed from the game.
There are special rules for Wizards and their ability to gain magic objects. Also, Thieves can be used to steal treasure tokens from other players.
When the seventh Dragon is drawn from the Dragon card draw pile and placed onto the table, the Market card is revealed on top of the Dragon draw pile. Players then have a once only opportunity (limited to one minute) to trade treasure tokens with each other.
The game ends when the last Dragon is vanquished, and all of the treasure has been divided. Treasure values are totaled with the highest score declared the winner.
This all looks to me like a fun family game and I look forward to playing it.
Now the negotiating element of the game will obviously be a strong feature and this may cause some challenges for players so it will need to be played in the right spirit of fun. After all, its just a game! Also some of you may be wondering about how the negotiations will work with children. Well there is a strategic variant which removes the negotiation aspect, allowing for a fair distribution of treasures so I would say that this game definitely seems to cover these concerns.
For those of you who have played the original Dragon’s Gold, Bruno Faidutti has made some changes – “As for the game itself, there are some extra magic item cards, and one minor rules change – the black diamond is now worth 19 points. “