Have you ever wanted to be a dragon? Of course you have, what kind of question is that?! In “Dragon’s Hoard”, players will be tasked with collecting treasure whilst trying to prevent angry mobs and wizards from thwarting their plans. The game blew away its $10,000 Kickstarter goal, raising a total of $54,950…for those of you who have attempted to raise funds on Kickstarter before, you’ll know that this is a pretty impressive feat.
Setup & Gameplay
The deck of cards is shuffled (sheep-side up) and each player receives four cards to form their starting hand. The card backs (sheep) should be facing your opponents while the reverse side (which contains treasures and other abilities) should be facing you. After that, four cards are laid out to the right of the deck to form the draw pool (again, sheep-side up). It’s worth noting that the draw pool includes the card on top of the deck itself, so five cards will always be available to players on their turn.
A player’s turn plays out as follows:
1. Draw two cards from any of the five cards. If you take from one of the four cards to the right of the deck, immediately replace it with the card on top of the deck. If you started the round with less than four cards in your hand, draw three.
2. Play an action card and/or a treasure card (optional). To play a treasure card, you’ll need to discard the required cards from your hand (each treasure has a cost) into the discard pile. To play an action card, you simply discard it into the discard pile after resolving its effects.
Play continues until a total of ten treasure cards have been played. Players then add up the number of points on each treasure card, as well as factor in any points that might be earned via lairs (they award extra points for laying down treasures of a particular color). The person with the highest point total, wins!
Editor’s Note: The above doesn’t cover all of the rules found in the manual, but should give you an idea as to how the game is played.
The first thing you’ll notice as soon as you open the box is how colorful the cards are. It’s the kind of colorful that can really light up an entire room or attract attention from passersby. The art is equally as fantastic and some of the best I’ve ever seen, hands down. My only complaint is with the card quality and thickness…while not bad, they could have been better. The manual does a good job in explaining the rules clearly and concisely. The colors do tend to blend together in the wrong light and may even be an issue for those with visual deficiencies like color blindness. With that said, the sheep (on the card backs) are in different positions based on their color so that you can easily distinguish one from the other. As cards are discarded, for example, one card from each color can be put off to the side as a guide.
“Dragon’s Hoard” is an excellent filler game and I like the fact that it can be taught in less than five minutes. There isn’t a whole lot of depth here, but you will want to give some thought into which treasure cards you want to play and which ones you want to discard. I found it interesting that the cards you play act as both currency AND ways to perform actions/score points. As such, cards can only be used as one or the other, forcing you to make some difficult choices. One might opt to complete cheap/easy treasure cards to end the game quickly, for example, while others might hoard cards to play better treasures that reward more points.
Is “Dragon’s Hoard” a recommend? Yes, absolutely. It’s quick, easy to play, and suited for gamers of all ages. The current price point on Amazon is about $20 (as of 1/29/15), which seems about fair considering how well done the art is (even though the card quality is a bit lacking). I thoroughly enjoyed this title and I believe you will too.
Final Verdict: 8/10
Editor’s Note: Dragon’s Hoard is currently sold out in the US, though it is available for sale on some sites like Amazon (link below). According to the developer, Kosmos (a German company) is now the publisher of Dragon’s Hoard, the new German title being: “Von Drachen Und Schafen”. It is expected to be available through Kosmos’s site sometime in February, 2015. Kosmos is looking to involve a US publisher so that it can be sold in the states again, though a timetable for this is not currently available.