I don’t usually do reviews, but I recently did one as part of one of my gaming societies, so I thought that I would share it with you on here as well.

It’s about Dragon’s Hoard, which is a card game I kickstarted a while back and recently received in the post. Here’s the official website.

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A card game for 2 to 4 players that I played for the first time with J and E (of course they have real names, but I’m not going to mention them). It was designed by Nathanael Mortensen & Illustrated by Jons Akerlund.

The rules were easy to read through and mostly straight forward to start to use in play, so from breaking the cards out of the packaging to playing only took ten minutes or so, and a good shuffle of the cards.

yellow-sheepThe main resource of the game are the various coloured sheep, all of which have derpy expressions. You collect the sheep of varying colours and use them to pay for treasure. The treasure cards tell you how many of each colour you need to pay for it. There are then lairs, which give you bonus points for putting the same coloured treasures in them, and action cards which do a variety of things to help you or hinder your opponents.

In the middle is the row of sheep, four out and the big pile, and when your turn comes around you pick up a number of sheep depending on the number of players. Since there were three of us, we picked up three sheep per turn. And made sheep noises when doing so, but that was just for fun. This means that everyone knows how many cards you have, and of what colour, but no one knows what is on the other side except you when you pick a card up and add it to your hand, so it could be treasure, actions card, or lair.

There were a few questions whilst we were playing, one which stands out does playing a battle card (the “I defend myself against your action” card) count as an action or is it a reflexive action? We played it as a reflexive action, and after the game I emailed the designer Nathanael, who did indeed indicate that we played it correctly.

prince-sadI also liked that the highest point treasure were a damsel and a prince, both worth 8 points. I later learnt that he added the prince after someone complained about the role of women as people only needing to be rescued, which I think is particularly cool and a point for equality.

Once we learned how to use the actions cards properly we had some fun as well. So the Battle cards block actions, and the wizard card makes an action unblockable, and whilst we didn’t use the angry mob so much, I can see where it would be very useful (it makes your opponents discard half of their hand). The knight (skip another person’s turn) was used a bit to good effect, and the shepherdess (draw two extra cards) was a particular favourite. We didn’t play with the unicorn, which was a special kickstarter reward, but I think I shall do the next time I play and see how that works.

There were a couple of cool things in the game, like how each colour has it’s own symbol for distinction. And that all the cards are double sided, so sheep are also treasure, lairs and actions, and you have to decide what to use and what to place as resources.

Also considering that I seemed to be storming ahead from the get go, it turned out to have quite an even score in the end, with only 10 points between us in the end, so it was quite a good end, and felt like a balanced outcome in the end.

I quite liked it, and so did my other playtesters, who are less biased towards dragons than I am.

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(All pictures in this post are art from the game and therefore belongs to Jons Akerlund/Nathanael Mortensen as part of the game)

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