I couldn’t be happier with the fact that I’ve learnt so many new board games already this year. One that particularly stands out is Dragonwood, a simple, beautifully illustrated game that takes only five minutes to learn.
The aim of the game is to be the player with the most points by the end, which is done by capturing monster cards. Players can do this by stomping, screaming and shouting at their enemies by playing card combinations that allow them to roll a certain number of dice. If the roll is equal to or more than the number on the monster’s card, you win the card. The game is over when the last card in the Adventure Deck is drawn, or when the two dragon cards are captured. This leads to an unanimous “ooooooh” when a dragon card is drawn at any time.
That’s really all there is to it. There are a few enchantment cards which offer bonuses, but really the game is incredibly straightforward. There’s the element of chance – there always is when a player’s fate lies in the throw of dice – but the game also requires strategy. Do you go for lots of low-point monsters, or do you bide your time and go for fewer high-point monsters?
Great for all ages, as it is quick to learn, but still competitive enough to want to shout (friendly) insults across the table to your friend on the other side. I’ve seen some reviewers complain that it is a bit “young” for adult gamers, but speaking as an adult who also enjoys complex strategy games, I thought it was a wonderfully light game to play with less experienced gaming friends, or as a warm up before a longer, more intense game.
Dragonwood is available to buy on Amazon.