Dragonheart - Board Game Box Shot

Dragonheart

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Dragonheart

An evil wizard has placed the Great Dragon, the protector of the realm, into a stony slumber, its fiery breath locked away in a ruby jewel called the Dragonheart. With the land’s guardian imprisoned, trolls and fire dragons run amuck, barely held in check by brave knights and canny huntresses. Meanwhile, enigmatic sorceresses tap the magic of the Dragonheart to their own ends...

As a disciple of the Great Dragon, it is up to you to bring order to the various factions in an attempt to free him. Or, as a minion of the evil wizard, you must see that the Great Dragon sleeps forever. Will you free the people of the land from the terrors that plague them, or forever doom them to suffering?

Dragonheart is a quick and easy-to-learn card game for two players, playable in only 20 minutes. Players try to accumulate points by playing cards to and collecting cards from the game board. The player with the most points at the end of the game determines the fate of the Great Dragon, and the land itself.

Dragonheart Cards dragonheart board and cards

User Reviews (8)

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9
I play black
Guardian Angel
Platinum Supporter
Marquis / Marchioness
8
167 of 173 gamers found this helpful | Medals x 1
“Whilst the Dragon is Aslumber, Two Champions Do Battle...”

Dragonheart was not high on my wish list because games supporting only 2 players are pretty restrictive. But I’d read many positive reviews for it (including everything written on this site)… so when Fantasy Flight put it on clearance for $10 I scooped it up immediately. Since purchasing, I’ve consistently played Dragonheart at least 5 times per week, easily ranking it as the best return-on-investment in my (admittedly meager) board game library.

Observed Set-Up and Play Time
All set-ups, whether your first game or your hundredth, take less than 1 minute (there is nothing to do upon first opening the box other than removing two decks of cards from their wrappers). The rulebook is 4 pages total and very easy to understand… no more than 10 minutes required before your first game, and you really won’t need to reference it again. And the games play faster than advertised… my first probably took the stated 20 minutes, but we’re frequently done in 15 minutes now.

My Learning Curve and Teach Time
One slight against Dragonheart is that there may be no learning curve for you. There is really only one strategy (try not to play cards if there’s a high probability that your opponent will score off them on their next turn, but otherwise play as much as you can), and smart gamers will recognize it instantly. Even slower gamers will grab this by the 2nd or 3rd game at the latest. Everybody should be an expert and on an even playing field by the 3rd game; from then, randomness (and the occasional mistake) dictates the victor. Teach time is awesome… if it takes you longer than 5 minutes to teach a first-timer the comprehensive rule set for Dragonheart, you are not a good teacher.

Group Sizes and Dynamics
Ah, the big red mark on an otherwise great game. While any gamer type will have fun playing Dragonheart under the right circumstances, it is very environment-dependent. If you’re having a game night, the 2-player restriction effectively eliminates it, even as filler for players bounced from an elimination game. And this isn’t a 2-player game others might enjoy standing around watching… it’s really only interesting for the participants. This is a game for a quiet night at home with one other person. Fortunately, most of us have those nights several times a week… and Dragonheart is a game that can really appeal to even the most reluctant board gamer.

Objectionable Material
Nothing objectionable… no reading necessary to play… the perfect game to serve as a child’s introduction to the hobby. The game design is intuitive and basic, and all cards are distinct. If your child can play matching games, he/she can play Dragonheart. My son will be playing this by the time he’s 4. I’m very excited.

Comparable Titles
Dragonheart should be cataloged foremost as a filler game. Its quick playing time and simplicity rule it out as a “main course” game. But most filler games I’m familiar with are dice games… probably the closest comparison I can make would be Love Letter, another 15 minute card game. While Love Letter received outstanding reviews, I haven’t played it and can’t weigh in. Love Letter does support 4 players, so it trumps there.

In an ocean of filler games I consider Dragonheart to be the great white shark. For me it does not get old. I have had several 2-player game nights ruined as we’ve planned to warm up on Dragonheart then move on to something meatier… only to end up playing Dragonheart 4 or 5 times and running out of time to play anything else. If you have just one game in your library that works only on those nights when there’s just 2 of you, I suggest making it this one.

 
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9
USA
Platinum Supporter
Petroglyph
BoardGaming.com Beta 1.0 Tester
8
118 of 125 gamers found this helpful | Medals x 1
“Don't wake the sleeping dragon...unless you are a good guy.”

Hello my little dragonslayers!

Today, we are going to talk a wee bit about the 2-player came called Dragonheart. The story behind this game is that the Great Dragon has been put to sleep by the evil wizard, and you are on a team trying to awaken the dragon, or a team working for the evil wizard to keep him asleep. There are trolls and knights, and huntresses… and, ultimately, the theme is really just something pleasant to look at while you play a very simple hand management card game. However… this is a fantastic game to have in your collection, and I’ll tell you why at the end of this review.

How to play

Dragonheart is super easy to set up. You place the board on the table, put the dragon on the board, give each player their deck of cards of which they pull 5 into their hand. Done.

The object of the game is to collect as many cards as you can by playing cards on various spots on the board. each spot has different rules. Some of the spots allow you to take cards from other areas. The dwarf area can be taken when it is full, and the ship area brings you closer to the end of the game if you fill it (and allows you to take a pile of cards that has been filling up from other areas)… and so on…

…I don’t think I’ll go through each area step by step, because I don’t think it will serve in convincing you this game is worth your time… because it is. Which leads me to…

Why buy this game if it is so easy?

This game is so easy to set up, play and play again… it’s almost relaxing. That may not sound appealing, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve suggested playing a game with my oldest son or my spouse, and this one comes up. It is enjoyable and quick (15-20 minutes tops), without the brain burn that sometimes isn’t fun at the end of a long workday. It is a filler game in the best possible sense, as it fills a niche…

There are definitely more complex 2-player games with more strategy, and there are games that are more fun. However, there aren’t too many games that are this simple, but still enjoyable. The art is cool and the theme does give the rules some initial meaning… which won’t really matter much after 5-10 plays.

I can almost guarantee you’ll wonder why you bought this game when you first start playing it. You may even wonder after the first couple games. Then, a few months later, when you are pulling it out on game night between bigger games for the 10th time as a quick filler… or your wife actually asks you to play this with her… you’ll get it. This is why you have games like Dragonheart.

Dragonheart is a great “couples” game…. especially if you have a significant other that isn’t a “gamer.” It’s also great to play with the younger folks in your life. I’d give it a 7.5 if possible… but rated it an 8 to not lower the score. It’s a solid game in the “filler” category.

Granny approved.

 
Player Avatar
3
Intermediate Grader
Critic - Level 1
9
116 of 127 gamers found this helpful
“Easy to Learn, Quick to Play!”

This was one of the few games I could ever get non-board game players to play with me. The game goes relatively quick (5-15 min) and will keep just about everyone entertained.

You have two separate players (Good and Evil) each trying to do something with a dragon. If you’re Good, you want to free the dragon. If you’re bad… you want to stoneify the dragon.

Anyways, the gameplay is amazingly simple for just about anyone. You must play 1 or a set of a certain card on the board no matter what. Each of these plays have the opportunity to steal other cards from off the board. The trick however, is that the cards just laid can be stolen by laying a different set of cards down. Your main goal is to rake in the “big” valued cards by not setting your opponent up, while still trying to able to steal cards yourself.

For hardcore strategists: You won’t like the random chance of your hand, but playing against an equal opponent will tax your brain.
For anyone else: It’s a great, quick game that doesn’t take much thinking besides a little planning.

Bottom Line: Great, quick game that can be used as a warm-up game to anything you might play later that night. The cards are beautiful as well as the pieces. For the price that it’s going at right now, it’s totally worth the deal.

 
Player Avatar
8
Intermediate Reviewer
Paladin
Tinkerer
Novice Advisor
7
116 of 127 gamers found this helpful
“Good mix of strategy and luck”

I tried this little gem online and immediately decided to buy it. Decent two player games are not that common.

The game itself is pretty simple, each player have a identical decks with cards that match different locations on the board. When it’s your turn you MUST play one or more cards on exactly one location. All the cards on the board can be won according to very simple rules, for instance:

Treasure cards are taken by dragons. Dragon cards are taken by the third archer played. All archers go to a pile that are taken by the third ship played, and so on…

If you take a look at the image above you get the idea, just follow the arrows to see what cards are captured by what other cards.

There are som special rules, most notable that if you manage to grab a petrified dragon card with a sorceress you also get the dragon token that grant you an extra card in your hand (a huge perk) as well as three extra victory points if you have it at the end of the game.

The game takes around 10-15 minutes to play, and luck is a factor, no doubt about it. However, good players will win more often, because calculated riscs and decent memory of what cards are more likely to come up gives you edge. After you’ve played a few times this becomes apparent.

If I should compare this to something it will be Lost Cities, about the same ratio of luck/skill, the same timespan and weight of the game, and the same feel of never getting the hand you want. This is a great filler, everyone we’ve introduced it to have liked it.

 
Player Avatar
5
Intermediate Reviewer
Gamer - Level 3
9
117 of 138 gamers found this helpful
“Fast paced game of indirection”

Dragonheart is a two-player card game of indirection. Each player starts out with an identical deck of cards, distinguished by color; each player shuffles his or her deck then draws a hand of 5 cards. Between the two players is a board with 10 different areas, each area set aside for a different type of card, and each area indicating how many cards can be played until it is full and its action triggered resulting in a different area of cards added to the player’s score pile. Each turn players take turn playing as many cards of a single type as they desire (providing there is room on the board), they then score cards if they trigger an action, then finally draw cards from their private deck until their hand is full. At the end of the game the player with the highest score wins.

During the game each player must decide where to play his or her cards on the board. Some areas require more than one card before scoring, others a single card, and one area will never trigger, but allows a player to stack up a large amount of points to later capture. The game is symmetric, which adds to the tension, because each player knows the other player has the same opportunities; a card played in preparation for later scoring might be scored by your opponent on the following turn. The game plays fast (15-20 minutes) and has elements of playing your opponent as well as playing the game, as you are constantly guessing what your opponent will play next. It’s a game of give and take with hidden depth.

 
Player Avatar
8
United Kingdom
Advanced Reviewer
Knight-errant
Tinkerer
8
117 of 141 gamers found this helpful
“The flimsiest of themes, but who cares? The game is elegant and fun.”

When first looking at Dragonheart, I was instantly impressed by the striking box and the nice artwork on the cards and board. Reading through the rules left me a little puzzled as there was a lot of information about how many of a certain type of card are required to get each effect, and it wasn’t immediately obvious to me how to go about winning the game.

As soon as we started playing, though, everything fell into place. The board offers unobtrusive graphical reminders of almost all of the rules, and we soon started getting a feel for how you go about chaining the claims of cards. This is a really elegant game that plays very quickly and intuitively. A measure of its worth to us as a family is that between myself, my wife, and our 5-year-old, any pair of us enjoy playing it together. That makes Dragonheart pure gold in our household.

A word on the theme of powers battling to decide the fate of the Great Dragon: well, probably the best word here is superficial. The theme is as paper thin as I have seen in any game and runs no further than the (high quality) artwork. But in this case, it really doesn’t matter, although our daughter loves the idea that there are dragons. I can really imagine us wearing this game out in the coming months.

 
Player Avatar
5
I play green
9
110 of 144 gamers found this helpful
“Fast and subtle card game”

I’ve loved this game since the first time I played it. Several plays later it still hasn’t grown old.

Dragonheart is an incredibly simple game and isn’t terribly deep. Each turn you must play at least one card from your hand onto one of the many sets on the board. Most sets connect to another and if the right cards are played, you collect the cards and score them. The key to the game is understanding the probability and trying to set yourself up to score more often than your opponent.

There’s definitely a bit of luck and randomness. Sometimes the cards just aren’t with you. But, the game plays in about 10 minutes or less and is just so much fun to play.

I heartily recommend this game, especially if you find it on sale. It’s probably my favorite “filler” game.

 
Player Avatar
7
Cooperative Game Explorer
Novice Grader
Knight-errant
9
75 of 147 gamers found this helpful
“Good Game For Newbies”

This game is very easy to pick up. Let’s face it, most of the rules are right on the board itself. Which makes is very easy to play this with someone who has not played a lot of experience with card games like this.

This the theme dominant. Not really. To be honest, I could easily this game being a sci-fi or horror themes game, but the game play itself is straight forward, and that was what I found most important.

 

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