Review – Dragon Rage from Flatlined Games
Designer – Lewis Pulsipher
Art – Miguel Coimbra, Lionel Liron
Hex and counter, counter and hex. However you call it, to “some” gamers it smacks of old school games. Well, I’m here to tell you that its nothing of the sort. I prefer to call it a classic approach which can work very very well.
I was very fortunate to meet Lewis Pulsipher who was a special guest at UK Expo this year. What an awesome guy and huge enthusiast for our cool hobby. About 30 years ago his game Dragon Rage was published by Dwarfstar Games. Now today, it has been given a lot more than a bit of spit and polish by Flatlined Games and is again available but only in a limited print run of 1500 copies so get it while its hot! Dragon fire hot!
From BGG – After a hiatus of about 30 years, this gem is finally back in print. The new edition from Flatlined Games has revised and expanded rules, in English, French, German and Spanish. All rules and aspects of the original game have been preserved. Furthermore, the game includes a new map – Nurkott the ork oppidum, tournament and campaign rules, and has lush production values : mounted gameboard; big, thick and rounded counters; full colour game manual (16p) and rules reference (32p), and new play aids.
Oh yes, you will be mine!!!
In the box you get a very nice looking double sided board with a fantasy city on one side and the Orc town on the other. The card board counters with the humans, orcs, wizards, heroes, monsters and creatures and best of all dragons are thick, colourful and with nice artwork. Very pleasing and attractive to the eyes. 2 rulebooks are included – 1 for the entry level game where 2 dragons wreak havoc upon a city and the 2nd, which fleshes out the rules a bit and adds the extras for the orcs, other monsters, scenarios and campaign rules. A pretty comprehensive package which bodes well for replayability.
The core game is all about 2 not so friendly dragons taking their not inconsiderable frustrations out on the fortress city of Esirien. The armed units in the city are militia, infantry, archers, cavalry and you get a Hero and Wizard and their job of course is to prevent kill the dragons before they destroy too many important buildings, marked with victory points. The amount of victory points from destroyed buildings earned by the dragons will determine if they not only win or lose, but the degree of that win or loss. Depending upon their score, the dragon invader will earn Titles ranging from “Featherless Chicken” to “The Bane of Esirien”. Nice touch beyond winner or loser.
The turn process is easy to follow and has the Invading dragons moving, burning stuff and fighting the puny humans. Then the fine folk of Esirien go about tying to injure the dragons by damaging parts of their bodies to prevent them from flying, bounding across walls and crushing buildings, walking and eventually leave them only available to slither and then they are easy pickings. The race to get the dragons into vulnerable positions is on as they can fly around, Bound for a distance and generally create havoc. Having said that, its tough for the dragons to score a lot of hits on the puny humans so its a tightly balanced affair.
Best of all, its a relatively easy game to learn, especially if you are used to hex and counter games and its plain fun. I loved flying thiose dragons around, using my limited fire attacks, then stomping on buildings. A tear in my eye as my dragons took damage.
But that’s scratching the surface as Lewis Pulsipher has added additional rules for other weapons, characters, monsters, orcs… all kinds of stuff. It adds a manageable layer of complexity and fun but nothing onerous. Then to top it off, there are scenarios set in the world of each board which bring in different mixes of forces. You can create your force own mixes as well. Last of all, there are Campaign and Tournament rules. Loads of good value comes in Dragon Rage.
Did it work for me?
What a lot of fun! Yes, ok, if it had awesome miniatures, it would be even better. Also, it needs a thorough back story to add greater theme and depth of experience. But that aside, this is a very good game that’s competitive, easy to learn, with good quality, nice looking components. The layers of gameplay allow you to start simple and then dive deeper. The variety of scenarios, and forces make for loads of replay value. All in all, a very nice game.
Boardgames in Blighty rating – 7.5 out of 10
Not designed as a family game but a good intro to the genre for families to try out.
For more information go to – http://www.flatlinedgames.com/