Dragon Slayer: The Odds are in your Favor
by Benny Sperling
Note – This review is of the Kickstarter edition, the retail version may differ.
Dragon Slayer is a push-your-luck dice game with a twist. That twist? Direct player interaction! Or at least 1 round of it for each player. I’ll explain the game first, then we’ll talk about the player interaction.
Dragon Slayer has 12 custom dice, they are embossed so there is less chance to get worn out (I’m looking at you first edition of King of Tokyo). There are 3 Hero dice with 3 axes, 2 shields and 1 flame per die. The odds are in your favor as you’ll need Axes more than anything. The flames are bad and need to be shielded, the axes are used to kill a dragon. Any flames not shield cost the player one of their dice. This is where it can get bad, lose all three dice and you are dragon chow.
Speaking of dragons, there are 3 dragons, each with its own set of 3 dice.
The player must assemble the whole dragon and have an axe in order to defeat it.
The Blue dragon, considered the easiest and worth 2 points, has a head die, a wing die and a tail die. Each die has 4 of its body parts and 2 mountains. , odds are still in your favor, the Blue dragon isn’t scary as the only damage you’ll take is from your own hero dice. The Green dragon, worth 4 points, still keeps the odds in your favor though there is 1 flame, 1 mountain and 4 of the body parts per die. Even the Red dragon worth 6 points, is still basically in your favor to get the parts assembled, but 2 flames per die can be deadly! In a recent game, I rolled the 3 Red dragon dice and the 3 hero dice… 3 flames, 3 axes. That was the end of my turn.
Each turn you can try to fight as many of the dragons as you want, you only score if you defeat a dragon and stop. If you engage a dragon, you must defeat it or lose all of your hero dice. If you defeat all 3 dragons, you can then continue and fight each one again, but you cannot fight the same dragon until each of the 3 are defeated.
But that’s not all, remember the player interaction? Once per game, you can challenge an opponent to press their luck. They can stop and score, but you earn 5 points. If they keep going and lose, you earn 5 points. If they keep going and win, they earn double the points for that Dragon! And you get 0. This can be a well timed move, but only when played carefully.
The game ends when a player earns 40 points, each player gets an even number of turns.
Overall, I quite enjoyed Dragon Slayer, it’s short, about 15 minutes, the dice are great, the scoreboard and cubes are nice to keep track and the reverse of the 2nd scoreboard shows a map of the dragon and what dice get rerolled. It fits nicely with the other Press-Your-Luck games like Zombie Dice or Incan Gold. I would take this one over those two though. Sold game, well done Indie Board and Cards.
Note: this copy was received as part of my backing the Kickstarter campaign.
For more information – http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/158243/dragon-slayer