Last person to have hiked in the woods goes first, and play begins! Dragonwood by Darren Kisgen and illustrated by Chris Beatrice, is an entertaining and educational game. Play involves interactions with cards and dice, strategy development and a bit of luck.
There are several types of cards involved in Dragonwood, each with its own role.
Players work from the Adventurer deck; this makes up your hand and the draw pile. The illustrated adventurers stand out from each other with distinctive colors. Each card has a number value. Cards are played in order to defeat creatures or gain enhancements. Defeat of creatures and enhancements occurs in one of three ways of card play.
- in numerical order (a strike attack)
- with the same numeric value (a stomp attack)
- of all the same color of Adventurer (a scream attack)
The amount of cards played determines how many dice a player may roll. The combined value of the dice determines whether a creature or enhancement is defeated and ultimately, acquired.
The Dragonwood deck is made up of creature cards, enhancements and events.
One of the goals of the game is to defeat the creature cards in order to gain victory points. Each creature has its own value or Victory Points. Players aim to acquire the most points by the end of the game.
Enhancement cards, such as the “Silver Sword” and the “Magical Unicorn”, give players bonuses to help defeat creature cards. For example, the Silver Sword adds 2 points to a player’s Strike attack.
Event cards are played immediately. They direct players to some sort of action. Such as the “Thunder Storm” card, which forces players to discard an Adventurer card.
Play continues until either both dragons from the Dragonwood deck have been defeated, or when two Adventure decks (draw piles) have been played.
This is a great game for covering several mathematical skills.
- Sequential number organization
- the likelihood of rolling the needed amount
- determining how many dice are needed to optimize their chances of a winning roll
- determining whether the odds are better going for a particular attack play
- Choosing which cards to collect and discard to win
- Deciding whether to go for many lower valued creature cards, or save attack cards and go for higher valued cards
- Mental math
- adding multiple numbers from the dice rolled, as well as enhancement cards held
Dragonwood is a very enjoyable game to play. The cards are colorful and interesting. Everyone in our house has a particular creature they enjoy defeating, as well as their favorite enhancement. It also travels very well. We always take this one with us when we travel. All in all, Dragonwood is a well-rounded game that we fully recommend.