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What's the best way to play the Dragon Expansion


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#1 chemical22

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Posted 03 March 2014 - 09:46 AM

Hey folks,

 

I recently bought the dragon expansion and our group played a game with the full rules a few weeks ago.

 

We all came out of the experience feeling that all the complexity of the dragon scales actually took away from the game (something I think I've seen echoed in these forums).  It over complicated things, and really did not offer a whole lot in return.

 

I really want to get the most bang for the money I spent on the expansion, and I do like the cards, characters etc., that was added in from the expansion.

 

I did notice that the rulebook lists a few alternative styles of play.

 

So my question is:

 

What is the best alternative way of playing with the dragon expansion, for those of us who do not like the dragon scales aspect of the game - but still want to get use of the additionals that came with the game?


Edited by chemical22, 03 March 2014 - 09:48 AM.


#2 JediKnightAmoeba

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Posted 03 March 2014 - 10:15 AM

Go in the Home Brew section, there is quite a few and do a search for Dragon Expansion and you will see a LOT of discussion on it. There is even a poll over on Board Game Geek about it. This thread recently has a few options:http://community.fan...ur-house-rules/ .

I don't think there is a best way to play it. Depends on how you and your group want to play it. I would print out all the options and discuss it with your group and try the ones out you think sound best. Even tweak it which best suits your group.

I love the Dragon expansion but it definitely changes the face of the game as is....

#3 DomaGB

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Posted 03 March 2014 - 09:46 PM

Here is the Dragon Expansion poll I created:

http://boardgamegeek...-expansion-poll

I completely disliked the expansion like you, but also really liked the cards.

So like you I sought the best ways to play the expansion thru house rules and variants. But realizing best is opinion, regardless I looked up as many ways as possible and chose 3:

3 Dragon Expansion variants

Draw dragon Cards only in Inner and Middle Regions, random deck (dice?), or even mix all the decks together!

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1) At the start of the game, take one dragon token of each color and randomly place them at each of the three "Runes" locales in the middle region.
2) Instead of drawing from the Adventure deck when landing on Runes spaces, players now MUST draw from the appropriate Dragon deck. The bonus granted to enemies drawn at the Runes space no longer applies.

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1 Each Dragon King rules a separate Region. Before play starts determine randomly which King rules the outer, middle and inner regions. This won't change.
2 The Outer Region Dragon King replaces the Sentinel. If you choose to attack him and defeat him (1 life) as well as being able to enter the Middle Region you gain 1 Strength and 1 Craft. He will also let you pass if you give him a Talisman. The King remains on the space throughout the game.
3. In the Outer region you draw a Dragon card on the Sentinel space if not encountering the Dragon. On the Ruins space you draw 1 Dragon and 1 Adventure card.
4 The Middle Region Dragon King replaces the Portal of Power. He will let you pass through the Portal if you Defeat him (one life) or if you give him One Talisman. If you Defeat him you gain 1 Strength and 1 Craft. The King remains on the space throughout the game.
5. In the Middle Region you draw Dragon cards only, no Adventure Cards.
6. The Inner Region Dragon King is found either in the Valley of Fire (normal board) or at the top of the Dragon's Tower as per normal rules.
If playing the normal Inner Region draw one Dragon Card before moving.

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But while these seemed ok, it didn't fill the itch as best, for me, and discussing it here on the forums the idea came to me I would prefer the Dragons had their own region, and came up with the idea of using a 2nd Talisman board, for pulling dragon cards. I had been using a 2nd Edition board with 4th edition rules to save on table space and considered using that with the 4th ed board connecting the 2. Discussing this with a friend he liked the idea and immediaitel improved it. Use an extra Highlands board.

So here is our new awesome Dragon expansion variant:

We use an extra Highlands board for the Dragon expansion. I pulled out all cards tho that require the use of scales, as these are no longer collected, I also pulled out cards that sends dragons to other region spaces. When you land on a draw space we draw a scale an place it and that Highlands space now draws that color Dragon card permanently.

You can choose any space you want before the game to be where you enter the Dragon realm but we like to choose a space from the middle region like the Chasm.

And yes we still use a full Highlands expansion as well.

Now I did find that someone made a Dragon expansion board for Talisman, and you could use that instead of an extra Talisman main board or Highlands board.

Edited by DomaGB, 03 March 2014 - 09:47 PM.

RoboRally, then Talisman. That's the way it is... ;)


#4 chemical22

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Posted 04 March 2014 - 10:36 AM

Thank you for the feedback.  Very helpful and much appreciated.  I'm looking forward to trying some of these options out.



#5 Artaterxes

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Posted 04 March 2014 - 10:53 AM

We had the opposite experience. We thought the regular rules despite their fiddly nature provided a strategic layer.

Varthrax has lower Craft than Strength, so Crafty characters can more easily beat him. But the Varthrax deck contains all Strength enemies. Crafty characters would have to level up using the Grilipus deck, which has all Craft enemies. But then, they would accumulate green scales, which helps them in combat against Grilipus, not Varthrax.

Do Crafty characters try and fight Varthrax (lower Craft) or do they fight Grilipus (higher Craft but they can get green scales more easily?)

Converse true for Strength characters.

So rather than the expansion providing just a bunch of dragons to fight, we actually liked how scales were accumulated because it made us think more.

#6 The_Warlock

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Posted 04 March 2014 - 11:29 AM

I agree. The strategic side of Dragons expansion is ok and strongly reduces the random feeling of the game. A character knows what awaits into each Dragon deck, both in terms of challenge and rewards as you said, with Cadorus being the most unpredictable one.

 

On the other hand, there's the cumbersome upkeep required by all that dragon token drawing and resolving.

 

Domain of Dragons provides a good alternative to play without dragon tokens and still allows to use Dragon Tower (with a predetermined Dragon King), but like many Alternative Endings it has some flaws and grey areas, which cannot be resolved. It is a random Dragon card drawing which follows the same logic of the standard game, but requires a little of attention when played (not as much time as the standard Dragon game).

 

I wish Domain of Dragons could be clarified in an upcoming FAQ... (how many times did I write such a plea?)



#7 bowlwoman

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Posted 26 March 2014 - 02:29 PM

Our 7 year-old is the Dragon Queen, and she's responsible for the Dragon King upkeep, moving tokens, annoucing a new Dragon King, etc. It's a good way to keep her contained to one task, and with her single-mindedness, she's great at keeping track of all the tokens.

 

We got a velvet drawstring bag and put the dragon tokens inside, so it adds to the feel of the game. And, considering that the fate tokens are same size/shape/cardboard weight, we added six fate tokens to the bag. Now, you have a chance to get random fate! (We originally just had one fate token that we named the "Toadken" and if you drew it then you turned into a toad, but people started getting antsy about it, so we changed it to adding more and letting them keep the tokens as fate. I LOVE the Toadken idea, though, and will campaign to add it back to our home rules.)

 

We've had the Dragon expansion for a while now, but we hadn't broken it out due to a lot of the comments I've read on this board about the gameplay. We played it the first time through without using any of the other big expansions (all the smaller ones but the Werewolf one), and it was a huge difference in gameplay. I did like it standalone, but we're in the middle of our first game using all expansions, so it's interesting to see how it affects gameplay once everyone is scattered around and not confined to just the main board.

 

So far, I like it. But then again, my rules-lawyer side of me loves the minutae of the token upkeep.


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#8 chemical22

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Posted 09 April 2014 - 11:42 AM

Hey folks,

 

As a follow up, here is how we played.. everyone seemed to enjoy it.

 

1. We played with the dragon tower and a random ending (face down for a surprise).

 

2. We choose a dragon king from random and declaired him the king for the game.  This was used for card purposes when we needed to know who the dragon king was.

 

3. We made a house rule, that on a role of a 1, you'd place a random dragon scale on the space that you were moving from.

 

Dragon scales were treated as normal.  We found it kept the game rolling quickly and we still were able to utilize all of the cards from the expansion.  Dragons were still a mighty force to reckon with.

 

 

 

 

 

On a side note, does the Dragon Tower not need a talisman?


Edited by chemical22, 09 April 2014 - 11:43 AM.


#9 talismanamsilat

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Posted 09 April 2014 - 12:50 PM

No, in the official rules you do not need a Talisman to enter the Dragon Tower. You can of course house rule it that you DO need a Talisman to enter the Dragon Tower as we have done so!



#10 Artaterxes

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Posted 09 April 2014 - 03:50 PM

Do Talismans have any purpose if you are playing with the Dragon Tower? I don't remember using them at all.



#11 chemical22

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Posted 09 April 2014 - 04:25 PM

Do Talismans have any purpose if you are playing with the Dragon Tower? I don't remember using them at all.

 

You can turn them into gold and swap them for other items if you are the merchant.  Probably other things that I am not considering since I have not played as much as others on here and do not have all the expansions.

 

But nothing more special than any other item - it's only purpose typically is at the end of game.



#12 JediKnightAmoeba

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Posted 09 April 2014 - 04:46 PM

No, in the official rules you do not need a Talisman to enter the Dragon Tower. You can of course house rule it that you DO need a Talisman to enter the Dragon Tower as we have done so!

Our group does the same thing.  It's kind of silly to not use Talisman's in the game of Talisman.


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