Thunderstone: Dragonspire - Board Game Box Shot

Thunderstone: Dragonspire

Thunderstone

This is a stand-alone expansion that can be played by itself or as an expansion to Thunderstone

The Doomgate is open, and Doom has been released into the world! The forces of destruction stalk the lands, destroying all they touch. There is but one dim flicker of hope: the Thunderstones, scattered at the dawn of time. Two lie hidden deep within the Dragonspire.

Will your heroes be the first to reach them?

Dragonspire is a stand-alone expansion to Thunderstone. The cards within can be played with any or all of the past Thunderstone sets, or can be used by themselves as a fully playable set. Dragonspire adds a fresh crew of new heroes, along with new spells, villagers, and weapons all ready to help your stand against the darkness. They will be needed, for within new terrors have awakened: bloodthirsty undead, blistering elementals, wrathful dragons, and mighty giants! Dragonspire also includes brand-new dungeon settings, campaign rules, and an entirely new way to face Doom alone!

  • New Dungeon Board
  • Over 500 cards with all-new art
  • New plastic XP tokens
  • Eleven new heroes and seven new monsters, plus new village cards

User Reviews (9)

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4
Viscount / Viscountess
Advocate
BoardGaming.com Beta 1.0 Tester
9
42 of 45 gamers found this helpful
“Good, like Thunderstone, but with a storage solution.”

Thunderstone: Dragonspire is a deckbuilder, which means the players each have a deck of cards and there’s a central pool of cards from which they can acquire what they need to improve their own decks. The goal in this type of game is to build the best deck, which will normally be the one to reach the win condition first.

In Thunderstone: Dragonspire, a standalone expansion of the Thunderstone franchise, your goal is to assemble a deck that is your fantasy adventuring party, by acquiring cards from the Village stacks. Those cards will be various types of weapons, food, and heroes, depending on what you’ve drawn at random from the many types of available village cards in the box.

If you aren’t going into the Village, you can go into the Dungeon, where there are monsters and traps and treasures, which will vary, again depending on which sets you drew at random from the box. Once you kill a monster it goes into your deck, giving you points toward victory but also, in an interesting twist, cluttering your deck.

The game includes a wide variety of village cards, including a varity of different heroes to be your champions, and a wide variety of monsters as well.

There are a few wrinkles I haven’t touched on here, more than in the base game: there are traps, and dungeon settings, and other features carried over from the base game like you need light to go deep in the dungeon and strength to carry heavier weapons.

Like Thunderstone, this game is absolutely dripping with theme. It’s fun, it’s thematic, and it can be replayed over and over with the game heading in different directions each time.

I wish it played a little faster; I can never get the games to go in the advertised 45 minutes. It takes us more like 70 minutes for a 2 player game and longer for more (which are almost always teaching games, which could be the reason they take longer).

The first thing you will see when you open the box is this game has a real storage solution, unlike the base game. There are dividers and foam blocks to keep cards organized and in place, and there’s room for this game’s cards plus the cards from all the sets that had come out before.

You will also notice little chits to replace all the XP cards, and you will also notice a stealth “Dragon Humanoids” divider card that has no associated monsters (They came out later, in a promotion. They’re cool, worth tracking down).

Between the two sets, if you need a good storage solution you should get this one first. The base game, without traps, treasures, dungeon settings and “Guardians,” is simpler. You really won’t go wrong either way, though.

For my comparison of Thunderstone to Dominion, check out my review of Thunderstone (hint: I don’t like Dominion as much).

 
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6
9
31 of 36 gamers found this helpful
“Great Intro to Thunderstone”

When I was in my local game store I happened upon Thunderstone, a deck building game that was Non-collectible. I had played a little Magic the Gathering in high school, so I thought I had some general idea of what a deck building game should be, but now I think have a better definition. I would now consider Magic the be a BUILT deck game, where in games like Thunderstone and Dominion you are required to build your deck as a part of the game play. An element I always hated about Magic was that it seemed like the richest guy always wins, so when I found out a little bit about the mechanics and how it was avoided in this game, I had to pick it up. I didn’t write a review when I bought the base game, and I am already three expansions deep thus far, so I will just try to give you my opinion on many of the different options and components available in the game as a whole.

THEME
The theme of Thunderstone was immediately what jumped of the shelf at me. The theme is a fantasy world that is rich and vibrant, filled with monsters, exotic heroes and treasures of course. This game does have plenty of color, and the mechanics re-enforce the storyline well. I only wish the cards had some small text in the bottom with a little bit of background about the hero or spell, similar to what Magic the Gathering did. I think knowing a small fact about a certain hero, monster or spell would have fleshed the game out even more. Although the theme in the base game is good, it has seemed to improve dramatically from expansion to expansion. In Wrath of the Elements, we were introduced to traps, and Do*ate legion brought us treasures. The element of suspense and danger added by the traps, and the rewards offered by the treasures make the theme more life like (Assuming their were such things in real life). I was playing with a Korean friend of mine, and he even remarked about how much it really felt like he was getting ready for a battle every time he drew a new hand, and I have to agree. The moment you draw your cards, and start equipping heros with weapons and spells to do battle, I think you will feel the same.

PRICE
The price of the base game is roughly 25-30 dollars, depending on how you shop, and each expansion was roughly 20 bucks after that. I think that for that price you are definitely getting a good deal, and for every 20 bucks you spend on it, you will have added a significant amount of detail to the game. I will gladly fork over another 20-25 bucks every time the newest expansion is released, and feel good about it if AEG maintains this level of quality.

QUALITY
The cards in this game are well designed, glossy, and will hold up to heavy levels of play. I do have some concerns about using black borders, (usually meaning they will wear out quicker), but sleeving them will solve this nicely. The boxes for the game have gotten better since the original, and the designer has included some brilliantly designed separators to keep everything organized.

ARTWORK
The artwork of Thunderstone is absolutely amazing, and it is hard to comprehend that one guy was able to make all of it, (until Dragonspire). Jason Engle has got to be the worlds hardest working fantasy artist, and if I were him, I would be very proud to have my name and artwork displayed on this product.

LEARNING
This game can be a challenge to learn, not because it is a very complex game, just because the rule book is absolutely HORRENDOUS! It took me a couple of read throughs, and several forum searches to figure out what was going on. Once one player has picked the game up though, it is a snap to teach others how to play. I have found that even on the first play through, players can understand what they are doing enough to win the game, (something that couldn’t be said about Dominion even though it is a simpler game to teach).

COMPLEXITY
The game starts out at it’s easiest level with the base set, and introduces new mechanics through the various expansions very nicely. I have seen the game growing increasingly complex through each one, and so play time has also increased. Those looking for a simpler game might want to stick to the base set, and if they feel the need for something different add in one or two other sets. Truthfully, I love this games level of detail, and every new mechanic introduced so far has made the game better and better. I am completely excited about Thornwood Siege coming out in June.

INTERACTION
There is not a whole lot of player interaction in this game, and only a few cards truly punish your opponent. This game does feel like you are playing solitaire with other people, but **** who cares if it is as fun as this is. So far everyone I have taught this game to, has had a really good time playing it. There are times you have to think about what your opponent is doing, but this usually only means going up against a monster that you know you can’t beaten just to deny your opponent those points. I will be waiting to see how future expansions change the level of interaction between players, but for me it is a non-issue if the game is strong enough on it’s own, (besides, it is a game about fighting monsters in a dungeon, not another player).

WAITING
The wait time in this game is very short, and if playing with experienced players it seems like it is your turn again before you even finish drawing new cards sometimes. So if you don’t like to wait, you are definitely in luck here. The only time I have even a player take a long time for their turn was in the beginning of their first game when they had to read all the cards in the village before deciding what to buy. After a few turns everyone involved will have an idea what kind of strategy they are going for, and down time will shrink.

LENGTH
The designer claims that the game lasts 45 minutes, but I have found that it usually takes an hour to an hour and a half. The length of the game depends on what type of layout you have, and how new all the players are of course. As for me, it is good to have a card game that lasts over 30 minutes though, and I don’t mind the longer games at all.

RE PLAYABILITY
The level of customization available here is overwhelming, and there are tons of different ways the game can be set up and played out. While the base game might be rather limited in cards, the addition of one or two expansions make the game seem HUGE! I like the fact that I can set out my own custom layouts with only a few seconds of thought, or even use a randomizer like the iThunderstone iphone app. I will most likely be playing this game for the next 10 years, and am curious to see what the future holds for this game. I would rank it’s re-playability among the best there is on the market, and look forward to every game.

OVERALL
I thing that AEG delivered a solid product here, and a game that is not only fun to play, but looks great too. I get a great feeling when I pick up the box with all the expansions in it and feel how incredibly heavy it is. I think this game deserves a place in anyones collection that likes card games with fantasy themes. The production quality is amazing, and AEG really seems to listen to what their customers are saying. I see this product getting better and better, so I would highly recommend it. I rate Thunderstone 7 out of 10 as a standalone game, and 8.5 out of ten with all the current expansions added to it. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.

 
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4
Novice Reviewer
Gamer - Level 4
Advanced Grader
8
27 of 32 gamers found this helpful
“Building on the foundation of Dominion”

Note- This was my introduction to Thunderstone game family. I have had little experience with the original base set.

Dominion introduced the deck building mechanic to the world of board games, but I found it rather limited in game play and theme.

Thunderstone adds a traditional fantasy setting to the mix, and opens the door to new game play options and decisions. The player has three initial choices every round– remove a card from their hand, buy a card from the village (similar to the standard “buy” from Dominion), or visit the dungeon and attempt to kill a monster (victory points).

There are many more statistics in this game than Dominion, and it is not friendly for non or casual gamers. The balanced is a deeper and more fulfilling experience.

While the game doesn’t tell as much of a story as I would like, I feel a strong investment in the cards I put in my deck.

The variety of cards makes the replay value high.

The components are nice, but I do question some of the artwork choices. The picture chosen doesn’t always clearly identify what the card represents.

My biggest compliment is that I am always looking forward to playing again!

 
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2
Reviewed My First Game
4
34 of 41 gamers found this helpful
“Dominion gone wrong”

I’m a huge fan of Dominion. It’s one of my favorite games. Therefore I was very keen on trying some of the other deckbuilding games to come out. Thunderstone: Dragonspire seemed the perfect entry point for me to check out what Thunderstone did different.. And I just didn’t like it.

Sure, Thunderstone added a fantasy theme that some may find more appealing than the medieval setting of Dominion – to me, however, they are both equally generic in theme.

Where Thunderstone fails though isn’t the theme, it’s gameplay. The issues I have with gameplay can be summarized as follows:

– Possibility for bad mix-ups. The random setup of villages cards, and what Heroes and Monsters will be played surely adds some variety to the game. However, some of the match ups can really bog down gameplay. Such as monsters that kill of your heroes combined with monsters that can only be defeated by a specific number of heroes.

– Lack of variety in the village cards. While there are several different cards in Thunderstone: Dragonspire, there aren’t that many village cards to choose from. After a couple of plays you’ve pretty much gone through them all. Sure this can probably be fixed by adding expansions, but out of the box the replayability isn’t really there.

– Randomness. The weapon cards in particular, as well as some Hero abilities that require a specific combination of cards in your hand leads to heavy dependency on luck of the draw. It’s much less possibly to manage your deck and hand in Thunderstone: Dragonspire than is the case in Dominion.

– Game lenght. A game of Thunderstone takes about twice the lenght of Dominion, but it doesn’t add more meaningfull decision to add meaning to this added gameplay. It simply adds more repetition of actions, and forsakes the race for provinces aspect of Dominion which makes that game’s ending so exciting. Thunderstone doesn’t have that excitement, it simply lumbers to a halt.

I’m sorry, but I cannot recommend Thunderstone: Dragonspire. To me it is simply an inferior version of Dominion.

 
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9
20 of 27 gamers found this helpful
“Deckbuilding a la "Dominion" with a dash of Dungeon Crawling = a great game!”

In a nutshell – one of my favorite games … I don’t own the base set – I started with the Dragonspire Expansion.

This is a deckbuilding game, which means everyone starts with the same set of cards – with a pool of other cards in the “village” for you to grow and expand your deck. As you build your deck with various heroes, weapons, equipment, spells – your ability to delve into the dungeon increases. Once your able to defeat creatures it’s a delicate balance of filling your hand with victory points (mostly gained from destroying monsters) while not diluting your deck.

The replay value on this is great because each time you play you are able to randomly draw a different set of heroes, and village cards, as well as the different monster types for the dungeons.

There are also several expansions that allow even more expandability and replay value to the game. I’m looking forward to Thunderstone Advanced!

 
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3
Gamer - Level 3
Thunderstone Fan
10
38 of 53 gamers found this helpful
“Attempt at an unbiased review”

So first off, full disclosure, if you can’t tell I work at AEG. I however was NOT on the team for Dragonspire.

What I can say is that the team did a wonderful job on updating the entry level product for Thunderstone. I’m a fan of the game, and the new abilities provided by these cards have that extra bit of oomph that some of the original set cards may have lacked. Not that there was anything wrong with those early cards, they were just somewhat conservative given the new environment of the game.

Dragonspire also saw the introduction of the spiffy XP tokens, that while not groundbreaking, did solve the problem quite a few players had of shuffling their XP cards into their decks! That XP is useful, but it won’t kill a dragon on its own…

Thunderstone has a ton of room for expansion and the team on that project has explored a new avenue with nearly every set that has come out. If you want a game that has continual thoughtful expansion and great re-playability, Thunderstone: Dragonspire is a great place to start.

 
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4
Advanced Grader
Gamer - Level 4
6
9 of 19 gamers found this helpful
“If you're looking for interaction...this is not for you”

First came Dominion and with it were several complaints about how bad it was the lack of interaction between players and how the theme did not fit the game. Then came several expansions trying to resolve these issues. And in my opinion they managed to solve the interaction issue pretty well. Today you can play Dominion with much more interaction and strategy, while the lack of theme is still heavily present.

Then came Thunderstone, a game that promised to be a solution to the deck-building format and even more, with a really good theme applied, that would allow a greater immersion. And Thunderstone fulfilled all these things! It’s a very nice game, with components very well made and designed. The mechanics of the game is slightly different from that of the Dominion, but it has a good reason: the theme, and it works pretty well.

But it seems that the development team at AEG simply forgot the term “interaction”. I could’t believe it when I played! There was no way to sabotage the other players, had no way to make them lose victory points, had no cards that destroy their strategy, I was so disappointed!

So we can summarize the game as a Dominion with a super cool theme BUT you´ll be playing alone against the game….. along with his friends.

I really have no great desire to try it other times.

 
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6
Movie Lover
Miniature Painter
Sentinels of the Multiverse fan
8
9 of 20 gamers found this helpful
“Great expansion to the best Deck Building Games out there!”

Thunderstone (and all its expansions) take the game play of games like Dominion and add in a whole new element, combat!

For those that are not fimiliar with Dominion and other games like it, it is simply a deck building game where you purchase cards that give you points to achieve victory.

In Thunderstone you play cards worth gold to purchase cards that are either worth more gold (and thus allowing you to buy more cards later), hero’s (used to combat monsters), weapons (used to arm hero’s in thier fight against the monsters) and other cards that’s grant further abilities (such as being able to draw more cards in your turn).

Thunderstone also introduces the “Dungeon” area (as opposed to the Village area inwhich one purchases cards), which is where of course the monsters are. And of course this is where the heros must go to defeat the monsters and in doing so earn points to try and win the game.

This expansion introduces more Hero’s, more Monsters, more Weapons, and more Village cards for more Thunderstone fun!

 
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5
Went to Gen Con 2012
BoardGaming.com Silver Supporter
9
5 of 38 gamers found this helpful
“A great place to start”

Dragonspire was my first experience with Thunderstone. I was hooked at once. The dungeon feature cards really take the game to a new place for me. It gives the feel of an RPG adventure that has more than just monster bashing. The idea that the box was designed as a retrofit storage solution impressed me as well.

 

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