The Dragon was an add-on for the game Crossbows and Catapults and was not a game unto itself. If you’re unfamiliar with the basic rules and concept of “Crossbows and Catapults” I suggest that you read up on the basic game before going further in this review.
What You Get
The dragon came with a large plastic dragon (approximately six inches tall at its highest point) and two special “wizard” caroms (a blue one for the Barbarians and a red one for the Vikings). The dragon was able to fit a carom in its mouth and basically functioned like a catapult insomuch as it launched caroms in the air as opposed to sliding them along the ground like a crossbow.
In order to use the dragon, you have to launch your wizard carom from the castle grounds and the wizard has to land somewhere on the battlefield. On the next turn, you could place the dragon on top of your wizard (thus returning your wizard to your pool of available caroms) and use it to fire a carom. You would do this by placing a carom in the dragon’s mouth
The dragon was slightly more versatile than the regular catapult. Its long neck was spring-loaded and provided more range that the conventional catapult. The dragon’s front legs are also moveable and can be used to change the angle at which the carom gets released. This can enable you to launch a carom in either a high arc or in a straight line parallel to the ground (which can really level your opponent’s castle if placed right).
Aside from acting as a means to “summon” the dragon the wizard caroms abide by all of the other rules that apply to caroms and can be used to take prisoners (or be taken prisoner), knock down walls, or place spies as normal.
Within the scope of the game the dragon is a clearly superior piece of artillery. It can launch caroms further than the normal catapult and with a well-placed shot it can destroy a castle wall in one shot. This may seem unbalanced but having to use the wizard to summon the dragon evens things out. The fact that the wizard has to sit un-touched on the battlefield for one turn makes for tough decision making as to when to actually use the dragon. It would be a waste of a turn to launch the wizard close to your opponent’s castle only to have it easily taken prisoner. The dragon adds a significant “high risk for high reward” element to Crossbows and Catapults and is a great addition to the game.