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We currently only have used copies of this item available.


Ages Play Time Players
12+ 30-40 minutes 2

Designer(s): Michael Rieneck

Manufacturer(s): Kosmos

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Product Description

A game for two in which players represent druid cults attempting to subvert each other's trees. Not only is the theme unique, but the gameplay is like no other game as well. Through card play, players cause certain spirits to 'dance' around the trees--when they stop, each cult's tree with matching colored markers oppose one another, and the weaker tree comes one step closer to subversion.

Product Information

  • Designer(s): Michael Rieneck

  • Manufacturer(s): Kosmos

  • Year: 1999

  • Players: 2

  • Time: 30 - 40 minutes

  • Ages: 12 and up

  • Weight: 375 grams

  • Language Requirements: Game components are language-independent. An English translation of the rules is provided.

Product Reviews


Average Rating: 4 in 7 reviews

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February 25, 2003

Some people thing this game is weird, strange or unusual. I don't think so! It just has a different mechanic that makes it unique-- but I don't think it's weird or bizarre.

Once you get used to how things work, it is actually quite easy to get the gist of things and play. Lots of strategy and thinking ahead is involved. In fact, sometimes players who analyze the movements of all cards in their hand can slow the game down trying to calculate their best play. The Celtic theme works very well for the mechanics and the components (especially the tree tiles) are wonderful. A good buy-- there's really no need for hesitation!

African stone game with a twist
August 01, 2001

This game is a version of Mankala, the African stone game, in the same way Battle Line is a version of Gin Rummy. It is derived from this game but has added many twists and turns to the original. As in Mankala, things spin around a board in a circle. But which way in Drudenwalzer depends on which way the arrow points on the card you play. Also, the goal is not as clear--you don't always want to win! Winning too much from one pile might deplete your cards there, leaving you vulnerable. Clever manipulation of cards is what the game is all about. The druid theme is fun, if a little arbitrary. I love this game because there is a lot going on in it, it is not at all one-dimensional, and you get to make silly dancing druid jokes as you play. If you enjoy Mankala, you will enjoy this game. If you enjoy strategy games like Carcassonne and Battle Line, I also suspect you will enjoy this one. One technical note: there is an error in the translation of the directions. One of your three choices of actions on a turn includes moving a druid. This is ommitted from the overview but included in the directions as you read on.

How do they come up with this stuff?!
December 26, 1999

Dancing tree sprites?! Oh, C'mon. But it's fabulous!

The components and artwork are excellent, and the extremely unique play is a sure winner. A very nice balance between strategy and luck of the card draw.

This is now my favorite two player game, overtaking Kahuna.

Unusual Theme, Enjoyable Game
June 29, 2001

O.K., like those reviewers before me, yes, DruidenWalzer has an odd theme compared to most other games: druids, dancing spirits, fairie ring, subversion of trees. Yet, play it several times and it all works well together.

Basic gameplay is described already here, but it is worth repeating you do have three options each turn. Play a spirit card, move a druid, or discard a card (from hand or tree). While most turns playing a spirit card is what you'll do, knowing when to move a druid or discard can be crucial to your success. You can save your trees or set yourself up for better moves by these two actions, especially if your spirit cards are weak.

We have several other Kosmos 2-player games, and DruidenWalzer ranks right up there with them. The games move along nicely, the rules are rather easy and straightforward (tho' I agree some translations were rather poor; Funagain e-mailed me two versions and they proved very helpful), games were close, and there is a good blend of luck and skill involved. The components are first rate, too.

Don't be misled, either. Luck only goes so far in the game. It is a factor, but not dominant during play. You really must work out how best to play the spirit cards, know when to discard, and also when it may be advantageous to move a druid.

From the start, we liked it. Each game only made us appreciate the subtleties and strategies of the game. Don't be turned off by the theme or its unusual mechanics either. You overcome these issues very quickly. DruidenWalzer turns out to be a game well worth having if you enjoy other Kosmos 2-player games. Indeed, you may find it better than some.

This one won't sit around gathering dust, well recommended.

by Jeff
Unique is an understatement!
November 09, 1999

Druiden Walzer (Druid's Dance) is a fun and addictive 2-player card game, based on an entirely unique subject matter!

Here is how the game plays. The object of the game is to subvert two trees from your opponent. Each player chooses a cult, either being the Sun or the Moon. Each player has 4 tree tiles (each numbered 1-4) and a discard tile. The tree tiles are placed such that they are opposite the opposing cult's trees. Each player then places their three druids, one on each of their 4 trees. Each druid has a matching color that corresponds to the druid on the opposing cult (either black, purple or orange). Each player also has an identical deck of fairies that are numbered from 1-5. They are shuffled and 5 fairies are placed beneath each tree (4 face down, and top face up). The remaining cards form a draw deck and three cards comprimise the playing hand.

Each player takes a turn, which consists of one of the following actions: Play a card from hand, Move a druid, or discard the top card from a pile. When a card is played, it is placed on the top of a fairie pile under one of the trees. A Fairie ring is now placed on that tree, which makes the druid on that space immune to any attacks. The Fairie card tells you which direction (clockwise or counterclockwise) the like-numbered faries will 'dance', and the tree that it is played under will tell you how many spaces each farie will move. For example, a fairie with a value of 4 is placed under the #3 tree. The Fairie has a clockwise symbol on it and all face up fairies with a value of 4 (with the exception of the one just played) will now move clockwise three spaces. This can result in having an opponent's fairie move around from one of his trees to one of your own. Next is the combat phase. All druids with matching colors (except the one with the fairie ring) compare the value of the fairie card beneath them. The winner gets to place a cult sign on the loser's tree. When a tree has 6 markers it is subverted to the opponent's side.

The game ends when any two trees of the opponent are subverted.

This game is quite addictive, and even though there is a fair element of luck involved, there is quite a lot of planning and strategy too. At times it can be rather frantic as you try to protect one of your vulnerable trees, only to make another one of your stronger trees weaker. Gameplay is quick (30 min) and the artwork and the quality of the components is truly fantastic!

Fairy unusual
November 16, 1999

Played lots of German games? Starting to recognize common elements in them? Looking for something different? I guarantee it, you've never seen anything like Druidenwalzer.

Druidenwalzer - this is a play on words in German, implying both forest and dance, both elements appearing in the game - is yet another in Kosmos' successful two-player range. (Others include Lost Cities, the Settlers of Catan card game, Caesar & Cleopatra and Kahuna.) It is vaguely derivative of the classic game mancala in the way the playing area is set up and in the way that the fairy cards move, or 'dance', but even this relationship is tenuous.

Each player has four trees, which are laid out in a row in front of the player, and a discard tile; both discard tiles are placed roughly between opposing players' outermost tree tiles. The ten tiles together then form an approximation to a circle; this is the circle that the players' fairies will dance around. Fairies are represented by cards numbered from 1 (weakest) to 5 (strongest). As well as these fairies, each player has three druids in black, gold and purple. The druids guard a tree each (so that one tree per player is unoccupied at first). Every time a new fairy card is played, and the other fairies on the table have done their mysterious dance, like-coloured druids fight it out, and the tree with the weakest fairy takes a point of damage. When a tree gets six points of damage it is lost and out of the game; that player must then get by with just three trees. Lose another, and you lose the game.

The fairy's dance is simple to describe, but very difficult to visualize: when a fairy card is played onto a tree, all the fairies of the same strength on other trees move (the one just played stays where it is). The direction they move (clockwise or anticlockwise around the ring of ten tiles) is determined by a symbol on the fairy card played, and how many spots they all move (one to four) is determined by the number of spots on the tree the fairy was played onto. These moving cards may reveal other cards underneath, with different strengths. The battle then takes place between the three pairs of druids, except that the druid guarding the tree you just played the fairy card to doesn't participate (and nor does the corresponding opponent's druid).

It really does take a couple of plays of the game to appreciate the dynamics that this gives Druidenwalzer. It isn't always clear at all what the best move is, and sometimes you just have to make a guess. There is also often a need to take a point of damage to give your opponent damage, so it is easy to get a close game in Druidenwalzer.

Beautifully produced, and with a theme that is strangely apt, Druidenwalzer is an eclectic game; it borrows mechanisms from many other games, and intertwines them together in such a complex way that the resulting game becomes quite challenging, and probably inaccessible to some players. This is a game that will certainly not appeal to everyone, but for a game that is far off the beaten track, it just may be your number.

Nearly unplayable
September 25, 2004
Rules are really bad. There is no answer to certain situations in game play. Okay this is a different mechanic. But it is nearly unplayable with these rules. And I do not like the grafics.

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