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Subject: 5-Player Game (And Proving You Should Burn Kindleton to the Ground) rss

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Noah Bradlee
United States
Bolton
Massachusetts
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STARTING MAP:
Field ------------ Ashton (8) ----- Kindleton (7)
Furnese (5) ---- Field ------------ Lavawood (6)
Charlotte (5) --- Scaldale (4) --- Ignitius (4)

STARTING POSITIONS:
Noah (Me) 3 (Blue)
Adam 5 (Yellow)
Liz 2 (Green)
Randy 6 (Black)
Jonathan 4 (Red)
Note: Everyone besides me was a new player.

THE GAME
Normally I try to go for Treasure Chests, but I started second pick and knew I wanted first claim to burning Villages. Liz didn't take any Dragonflames (I think she grabbed a Statue), so I suffered a Knight to grab a Princess and place the first Fire token on Ignitius and Scaldale. Jonathan had the misfortune of choosing a Castle with all four colors of Treasure Chests, while Adam took one with Red and Yellow Treasure Chests and started burning Scaldale and Ignitius with me while also starting on Charlotte and Furnese. He realized that you are able to breath fire diagonally from the middle of a side, a strategy I had never realized. With few choices left, Randy picked 6 and wound up with a Curse.

Second round, and that's when Relics started popping up. I'm not sure of when exactly everyone got them, but I got the Amulet of Illusion and Wand of Indecision, Adam got the Orb of Scrying, and Randy got the Ring of Command and later on the Tome of Fire (which I had in my hand and had hoped to get).

From then on, I forget the details (I mean, we are keeping track of 91 cards here, after all). Adam and I finished burning our Villages and I hopped onto Furnese and Lavawood to score a few points. Liz absolutely devoured Kindleton as she put 6 of the 7 Fire tokens on it, with Jonathon getting 7 VPs for the single Fire token he placed there, as well as both of them helping out with Lavawood and Furnese. (Yes, I know I've now said that 4 players burned Furnese, but, uh, too bad, I'm a giant Dragon and I just ate you and burned you alive in that order.)

Adam (accidentally) built up both his Red and Yellow Treasure Chests (as well as a Curse and quite a few Knights when he picked a Castle with 6 cards on it), Randy went for Blue (and got a Princess), Jonathon went for Green, Liz went for Yellow (without anyone noticing), got every color Statue (without anyone noticing), and snagged both a Princess and a Curse. I scrambled to put my Princess to use since I started getting last pick and only got my first 2 (Red) Treasure Chests on the final 2 turns.

Final round, and the most notable thing is that Randy pretty much threw the game for the sake of being spiteful. He hadn't placed a single Fire token the entire game, but even if he placed just a single one on the no-chance-of-scoring Ashton, he could have swapped it for Jonathan's single token on Kindleton to gain 7 VPs and lose Jonathon 7 VPs. Even without that, he could have swapped Jonathon's lone Fire token on Ashton for one of Liz's, which also would have lost Jonathon 7 VPs. Instead, he did a mostly useless maneuver to hand Ignitius over to Liz and make Adam and me lose a few VPs. He also gave his Knight to Adam, and I traded my Diamond Ring for one of Liz's 4 unique Statues.

SCORES
Last: Randy, 30 VPs
Fourth: Adam, 31 VPs
Third: Noah, 36 VPs
Second: Jonathon, 43 VPs
First: Liz, 60 VPs

Yeah, I have no clue how Liz curb stomped the rest of us without anyone noticing. 12 VPs from Kindleton, 10 VPs from Lavawood, and 8 VPs from Ignitius thanks to Randy, as well as every color of Statue before I traded with her, 3 Yellow Treasure Chests, a Princess, and the 5 Banner.

WHAT DID WE LEARN?
In a 3-5 player game, there's only 42 Dragonflames to put on the 39 spaces on the Villages, and in a 3-player game the limit of each player having only 15 Fire tokens makes the chances of burning down Ashton and Kindleton even less. While the number of Dragonflames doesn't change for a 5-player game, you can basically count on nobody running out of Fire tokens and there being players who will gladly add a single Fire token to a Village just to score a few VPs from being in third place. Don't play it safe like I did and go for Scaldale and Ignitius, go big and burn Lavawood, Kindleton, and Ashton to the ground.

Also, as we learned from Randy's Tome of Fire, even a single Dragonflame card that is useless to other players can be incredibly powerful to you if it means you can make a profit from switching Fire tokens well.

Make sure you keep track of where the Statues end up. In a 5-player game, it's already pretty unlikely that you'll wind up with both of the same Statue, and combined with a Princess you're looking at a card worth 6 VPs.

I still do think that a 4-player game is the most ideal way to play Dragonflame, since the Treasure Chests don't end up too spread out, the group has more Fire tokens than in a 3-player game, and you don't wind up with the 4, 5, and 6 Banners all being the exact same thing except for their order (which one of the strengths of a 3-player game; every Castle has a different combination of card limits and Banners).

Oh, and never doubt how good at bluffing players who don't know what they're doing are.

Well, until next time, this was a third place Dragon who just realized that the directions show Purple Fire tokens and I have Black ones instead! I sincerely apologize for eating you. (I don't apologize.)
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