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Jamie
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I got this game when I was in second grade. I was way too young to actually get any use out of it at the time, but when I saw the commercial on television, bam, this thing went on my Christmas list. It actually did not get any serious play until I was in high school.

Gameplay: One player, Zargon, controls the various monsters, from the lowly goblin to the massive gargoyle, while the other four players take control of the heroes moving through the dungeons. Combat is controlled by six sided dice which have 3 skulls, 2 white shields and 1 black shield each. In combat, if you are attacking, a skull is a hit, and if you are defending, a white skull is a block for a hero and a black skull is a block for a monster. The barbarian has the most hit points, but has less mind points, which are used in how fast you can shake off the effects of a spell. The dwarf is slightly weaker but is smarter and can disarm traps. The elf and the wizard both have spells, but the elf only has 3 earth spells while the wizard has fire, water, and air spells (3 in each element). The wizard is unable to wear heavy armor or wield heavy weapons, but there are several magical artifacts that are reserved for his use that help balance that weakness. Movement is controlled by two regular six sided dice for the heroes and by a predetermined number of movement spaces for the monster.

What turned out to be interesting about this game was that as Zargon, I found myself battling for my life. If the heroes go off by themselves, they can be picked off eventually. However, if they work as a team as my friends did, they'll kick Zargon's butt. They constantly checked for traps and treasure wherever they went, and when entering a new room full of monsters, they actually discussed tactics.

A discussion amongst the heroes went something like this...

"No no, the barbarian should go first, but then the wizard so he can cast support spells. Oh, and make sure to leave line of sight open for the elf so he can use his crossbow..."

This pretty much forced me to use every trick in the book to try and get the heroes, including using my nimble goblins to dodge around the stronger heroes and single out the wizard. Eventually he took to lurking in corridors, but I would chase him down anyways.

Eventually I managed to kill a hero, which by the end of the game had become my driving goal, on the very last level. The barbarian rushed ahead and I flooded the corridor with orcs, isolating him. By the time the other heroes arrived I'd managed to kill him. Alas, they resurrected him with a potion, so my victory was short lived.

This is a fun game and I enjoyed it a great deal. We played through the entire campaign during my senior year in high school on the weekends. It took us several months because we'd only play one or two missions at a time and we didn't play every weekend. Speaking of which, the missions themselves are very well written and contain background information and interesting stories that made me feel as if I was actually there.

I'd suggest this game if you want a light gaming experience that can be extended over several weeks or months. If you're like me and have trouble with dice (yeah, bad luck rolling, that's me) then you can play Zargon because the only real luck you need is in defending (1/6 chance for monsters, 1/3 chance for heroes), which is not so important for the monsters due to the large packs they travel in. Evil armies traditionally expend their members with few tears shed.

I liked the game enough that I'm thinking about designing my own missions just to get a little more play out of it. The expansions are a little hard to find these days, so more extreme measures are needed.

-Unitbuster
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Jamie
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Ugh, make that a white shield is a block for a hero, a black shield is a block for a monster. Stupid. shake
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