Family Board Game Review: Dragoon

Dragoon, by Lay Waste Games, is a strategy game for 2-4 players ages 13 and up. Players take on the role of mighty dragons that are competing to build their treasure hoards on a remote island.

Game Contents

  • 1 Cloth Map
  • 1 Deck of 58 Dragoon cards
  • 1 Human skull scorekeeper token
  • 1 large cloth bag/scoreboard
  • 1 treasure chest
  • 2 dice (red and black)
  • 4 small cloth bags
  • 4 metal dragon pawns (1 each of 4 different colors)
  • 4 metal dragon caves (1 each of 4 different colors)
  • 4 metal dragon skull scorekeeper tokens
  • 20 population tiles
  • 36 metal claiming totems (9 each of 4 different colors)

Gameplay

I have to shoot straight with folks here. When I first opened everything up and started trying to wrap my head around this game I was intimidated. The board is beautiful, but it is somewhat busy. And the game pieces are super cool, but there is something about them that just feels like they should be attached to a complex game.

The good news is that that couldn’t be further from the truth. Dragoon is a game that squeezes a lot of strategy out of a very small ruleset.

A game of Dragoon takes place over a series of rounds. Each of these rounds has three different phases: Populate, Action, and Tribute.

The Populate phases consists of rolling two six sided dice to help determine where population tiles will be placed on the 6×6 game board.

The Action phase is where each player takes a turn moving around the board and taking all three of their actions.

The Tribute phase is where the territory that each player has claimed has a chance to pay off for them.

The goal in Dragoon is to be the first player to accumulate more than 50 gold at the end of the turn. Players do this by moving around the, gorgeous, map and choosing to either claim or destroy the settlements that pop up across it. Claiming a settlement gives a chance for gold each turn based on a die roll. Destroying it grants an immediate gold increase.

Claiming a settlement is by no means permanent though. Players can claim settlements out from under their opponents, or even destroy them. This means that no one can rest. Everyone has to be moving around the map to stake their claim on new settlements. The result is a sort of spiral of activity around a very cramped board. Conflict is inevitable. And every turn forces players to make very careful use of their limited actions.

Family Gaming Assessment

Dragoon is labeled as being for gamers age 13 plus. We found that the game is more than playable by kids younger than that. This is especially true if they are game savvy. Dragoon is certainly a fun and interesting experience. But, none of the game’s mechanics are new or unique.

Conclusion

Dragoon is an awesome game that is only made better by its components. It has sold out every time it has been printed so it is well worth keeping your eye out for it.

 

FCC Disclosure: Lay Waste Games provided a copy of Dragoon to EFG for the purposes of this review.

masteron results

2 Responses to “Family Board Game Review: Dragoon”

  1. Brett from Board Games 4 Two
    April 11, 2017 at 10:48 am #

    Dragoon is an absolute favourite in our house! My son especially loves it (and he’s 11). But you’re right, when you first open the box it is quite intimidating. If you dive in though, it’s fairly easy to get to grips with it all we found. And well worth it!

    • Stephen Duetzmann
      April 14, 2017 at 8:10 am #

      100% agree. My oldest (also 11) has made it his go to game with his buddies recently. P

      Such a great game. I’m very happy for Lay Waste Games. They made a great product and are reaping the rewards.

Leave a Reply

Leave your opinion here. Please be nice. Your Email address will be kept private.