Recommend
25 
 Thumb up
 Hide
5 Posts

Dragon's Gold» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Dragon's Gold - The one game I'm sorry I sold rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Filip W.
Sweden
Linköping
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Euros are better with dice!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I didn't use to get rid of my games. Not even the bad ones. Not even when I moved around. Then I met the woman who would become my wife.

We moved. Lots and lots of times. From the time we met to the time we finally settled down with both of us having steady jobs we moved a total of 14 times. In eight years.

During this time I had to promise that I'd keep my game collection manageable. In practice this means I get a closet, a spare closet and a drawer in the kitchen. Well, I got a closet, the rest sort of happened with time. So now my games are out of the closet, which makes both me and them happy. Happy games are fun to play.

Anyhow, amongst the hordes of boxes, sets, miniatures and counters I sold I got into the habit of going through my collection once a year and checking which games I have played. If I haven't brought them to table and if I don't feel a big itch to pull them out soon they go to the sell pile. Dragon's Gold fit perfectly into this category.

I bought it on a whim - a crazy game with a crazy theme (what other game has a special power that explicitly lets you cheat?). It didn't pay off. I managed to get it on the table, with gamers, semi-gamers and non-gamers, a few times but, in the end, it turned out to have failed.

Here's the deal. Dragon's Gold is a basic negotiation/worker placement game where you place your warriors (you get four of them) on dragons hoping to get in on the kill. For as long as the dragon lives your cards are locked - you can get locked out of the game that way although it is unlikely. But when the dragon dies you get to be part of dividing the loot. If you played a special warrior (a wizard or thief) you also get to do special stuff, like gaining magical items or stealing from your friends. That's it.

Your warriors ready to do battle.

The core of the game lies in how the loot is divided. When a dragon comes onto the board you place the loot visible on it. Once it's dead (the total combat value of the warrior exceeds that of the dragon - no advanced mathematics involved) every player with a warrior on that dragon has to agree on how to split the loot. They've got one minute or less to do this (the game comes with a timer). If they fail to reach an agreement in under one minute the IRS comes in and claims all the loot as tax leaving the players with nothing. This can lead to people throwing in a warrior simply to block another's chance to get something valuable but mostly it's good bickering and a few sore egos.

Loot on a dragon.

The game also comes with a tricky scoring mechanism that makes different types of loot (different jewels in game parlance) worth different amounts to each player so that you won't get into the position of everyone wanting the same piece of loot all the time (it happens but not often enough to lock up the game).

Sounds fun, doesn't it? And yet I didn't keep it. Well, for starters, there wasn't enough depth to Dragon's Gold for me. It's too long to be a filler (games sometimes clocked in at an hour), it doesn't have enough lasting satisfaction to be played twice in a row and it hasn't got enough player interaction (contrary to what you'd believe based on how the loot is divided) to be a truly engaging (it's no Diplomacy folks, not even Diplomacy lite). Sure, the graphics are stunning and the theme is fun but that's it: there's plenty of fluff in Dragon's Gold but not enough meat to make a lasting impression. Of course I condemned Dragon's Gold to eBay hell.

That was two years ago.

Stunning graphics didn't save Dragon's Gold.

Since then I have found that, on occasion, I miss Dragon's Gold. I find myself in positions where I could have pulled it out and shown to non-gamer friends. Sure, I wouldn't play it with someone willing to sit down to a game of Eurofront, Le Havre or even Ticket to Ride, but for people who consider Black Jack and Poker to be the height of gaming, sure, I'd pull it out. And they'd probably be willing to play, at least once.

You see, whenever I talked about the secret powers gained through magical items there was something that came over my Poker playing friends. "Oh, you say you can cheat, oh? Like legally, oh? Is that even allowed?" Sure, most of those magical items are more or less worthless. Sure the game is on the slow side. Sure it is as challenging as playing checkers with a 3-year-old. And yet, for those gambling people I know, there's something intriguing in the ability to legally cheat.

Stealing stuff. Invisible hand furthest right

You see, there's one magical item in Dragon's Gold that stands out. A single, brilliant flash of insight in a rather droll game: the Invisible Hand. It let's you remove tokens from a dragon and put them in your treasure trove, as long as no one notices. This strange little ability, to do things when no one is watching, adds a marvelous meta-gaming dimension to Dragon's Gold. No longer is it the sort of dry, sort of calculating, sort of negotiating, sort of game. No, it becomes a real time detective extravaganza: find the Cheater with a capital C. And that is something I miss.

Perhaps if I'd had added some more meta-gaming magical items, something that, say, allowed you to steal from other players when they weren't looking or from the loot bag when you placed new loot or... Well, maybe, if I'd seen past the games flaws as seen through my hard-core gamer's eyes I could have moded it into a gateway game of epic proportions. Then again, maybe not.

Alas, no time for regrets, the game is sold. But perhaps I'll buy it back again.

Big thanks to EndersGame amd kilroy_locke for images.
11 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Lee Fisher
United States
Downingtown
PA
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
If you mostly just miss the Invisible Hand, just play Cosmic Encounter with the older style Filch flare. That's where the idea originated anyway.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tim Collins
United States
San Rafael
California
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I think this game is a hidden gem. pun intended, it's not intended to have the type of depth you get froma euro, it is intended as a fun negotiation game with a decent amount of strategy. I really enjoy thisgam, so much in fact i made my own version of it and have designed my own cards as well. If you can find this and like games with a high FUN factor, I strongly suggest picking this up.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jahz
France
Antibes
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
That's fun because in my family we like the game as well, but we remove this invisible hand card ;)

My favorite move is with the card letting you exchange two loots, just almost give everything to the other player, then take everything back ^^
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Simon Lundström
Sweden
Täby
flag msg tools
Now who are these five?
badge
Come, come, all children who love fairy tales.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm really fond of this one, though I prefer to play with more treasures than what's in the base box - unless deals fail, the number of treasures won't be enough for all dragons.

Each to his own, but I never liked that you ran out of treasures. So I picked up a second German copy for a cheap price and added about 25% extra treasure to my base box. It's interesting as you never know exactly how many jewels of each sort will be there.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.