Dragoon - Board Game Box Shot

Dragoon

| Published: 2016
1 8

Before the arrival of industrious humans, you and your fellow dragons got along as best as dragons can. But ever since your territory has been infested by these two-legged invaders, your dragon instincts have started to take over. All that’s left is to be the first dragon to fill your cave to the brim with gold!

When you’re a dragon on the warpath, every turn matters. Choose your actions wisely – claim, destroy, attack, and steal what’s rightfully yours!

Your dragon comes fully equipped with both the might to destroy cities and villages for instant gold (and gratification) and the mercy to spare them in exchange for tribute (in your favorite currency of course, gold!).

Dragoon components
images © Lay Waste Games

Dragoon is a 2 - 4 player action strategy board game for ages 13 and up. Your goal is to be the first of the dragons to fill your cave with 50 gold points. Gold is acquired primarily from claiming and destroying villages and cities. Gold is also acquired through combat with other dragons and stealing from their caves.

Dragoon offers a balanced platform for novice and advanced players alike to meet toe to toe on the battlefield of glory. Both immediate gain and long term investment are rewarded for deeper play. It’s up to you to decide what’s best in the ever-changing landscape of Dragoon.

Dragoon comes complete with instructions designed to get you quickly soaring through each round, including a cheat sheet printed right on the map for quick and easy reference. It has a fast learning curve, allowing quick introduction to friends, family, and enemies. CAUTION: enemies may befriend you to play your copy of Dragoon (especially those sneaky ones).

User Reviews (1)

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“Tends to Drag Oon”

“These are the terrifying dragons ravaging the lands: Seafoam. Bone. Squash. And… Ketchup.”

My relationship with Dragoon began at my friendly local game store. A coworker recommended that I check out the game, which was being made by a friend of hers. I wasn’t hooked by the Kickstarter, so I figured I would see how I liked the game by playing it. I had a pretty good time with the designer teaching it, and wound up backing the Kickstarter to get a copy with a full-color map.

I’ve busted out Dragoon several times since buying it. Each time, I get a little bit less out of it. I have a decent time introducing the game, and talking about some of the fun stories from the Kickstarter — how the dragons got their names; how the Thief became canonically female; the player who kept coming back to play at PAX until they could make the Thief win. But the actual gameplay has not held up well for me.

How does it look?: Dragoon is a treat to look at and hold. Several components are made of hefty metal painted fun colors, with painted wood pieces to match. The map and score tracker/carrying bag are cloth. The remaining pieces are cardboard and good-quality cards. The art style for the map and cards is jagged and distinct. The one complaint I have about component quality is the score tracker printed on the game’s carrying bag. It loops in some weird directions, which always throws players off. All in all, this is a game that will last, and is a lot of fun to set up and show people.

How does it play?: Dragoon has a few avenues for racking up points. You can cow the human settlements into paying you tribute. If you do this, you roll once at the end of a turn to see if your settlements pay a little, a lot, nothing, or if one of them gets uppity and you lost ownership. This is the option to take if you want long-term security and don’t mind some random chance. If, instead of capturing a settlement, you destroy it outright, you get a one-time payout, guaranteed.

The third option is to steal — if you enter a space with another dragon, you can fight them, with the winner stealing gold from the loser. You can also enter another dragon’s lair, stealing from their hoard, but they will steal some amount back if you don’t exit the lair by the end of your turn. There is also an NPC Thief, whose treasure you can chase down on the map and plunder.

This is all supplemented by a deck of action cards that change the game. Some cards make it easier to win fights, incentivizing players to pick on other dragons. Other cards give additional movement, or guarantee payout from conquered settlements. Cards are single-use, so they shape play in a tactical way, rather than changing the entire game.

Overall Impression: The point-tracking in Dragoon is very visible — it’s a race to the finish, and you will always know where each player stands. This makes it susceptible to Kingmaker situations. There is also a lot of random chance — card draws, dice rolls, and human settlement placing. I do think that you can be better or worse at Dragoon, but even when you’re good at it, a not-insignificant part of the game is arbitrary. It can also take a long time for what is mechanically a fairly light game.

If someone asked to play Dragoon specifically, I would break it out, and probably have an okay time.

 

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