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Subject: Dragonheart: Another Clever Kosmos 2-Player rss

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Joshua Lobkowicz
United States
High Ridge
Missouri
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Quality games cleverly crafted.
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Which came first, the phoenix or the flame?
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Welcome to Karmic_Devil's Review of Dragonheart.

As the box will tell you, in Dragonheart players will be competing to "determine the fate of the great dragon!"


"Rawr!"

Theme

An evil wizard has placed the Great Dragon, protector of the realm, into a stony slumber. Players take on either the role of said wizard, whose goal is to keep the dragon asleep and statuesque forever, or of a Disciple of the Dragon who wishes to wake and free the dragon!

It's a cool story but mechanically there is no tie in. Players use symmetrical decks and pursue the same goal - to get the most victory points.

That said, the fantasy art is beautiful and the board and cards are very nice to look at and definitely evoke a fantasy feel. The sculpted dragon figure is also pretty cool, even if it has surfaced before in another fantasy flight small box game. *cough*Blue Moon*cough*

Gameplay

The gameplay is fast and approachable. The rulebook is clear, well laid out, and even features a little bit of playful flavor text. Turns literally take seconds and play out as follows:

1) play cards
2) collect cards
3) draw cards

Despite the simplicity, there is absolutely room for some clever play.
Players have a hand of 5 cards showing one of 9 different card types and a value 1-4. Each turn you play one or more cards of the same type to the corresponding spot on the board and activate that card's effect (if the spot has been filled) or not (if it has not).

With few exceptions, the effect of activation is to collect a pile of other cards and then score their values as victory points. Which cards you collect are clearly indicated on the board by arrows and this really streamlines the teaching and playing process.



As you can see in the picture, some spots take more than one card to fill. That means they take more than one card to activate. On your turn you can fill them (if you have the cards) and activate them immediately or you can only play a portion.

This allows for some opportunities to bait your opponent into filling a spot to take some cards, allowing you to respond by taking the cards they played for more VPs. It's a really nice balance of hand management and clever card play that also includes a decent amount of luck of the draw.

Conclusion

Dragon heart is a nice addition to the Kosmos two player collection. The components are of good quality, the art is beautiful, and the gameplay is light but satisfying. Luck of the draw is present as in any card game but it doesn't completely overshadow opportunity for clever play. MSRP is $25 but it is readily available online and at Coolstuffinc for less. For the price, Dragonheart is a worthwhile addition to any collection.
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Craig Cashman
Australia
Barden Ridge
NSW
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Great review of a fantastic light game that I really enjoy, but which doesn't seem to get much love.
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Joshua Lobkowicz
United States
High Ridge
Missouri
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Quality games cleverly crafted.
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Which came first, the phoenix or the flame?
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CandyDominion wrote:
Great review of a fantastic light game that I really enjoy, but which doesn't seem to get much love.


Thanks. I've really enjoyed it as well and think it could be easily taught to lots of people. My wife would enjoy this one. My mother-in-law who likes Jaipur is likely to like it too. Yet so far I have played it with only other gamer friends and found that most have enjoyed it though occassionally felt that their draws were a deciding factor. It's quite easy to say "one more round" and we've rematched pretty much every game.
 
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