(This review assumes that you already know how to play Warriors.)
If you've read my review of Warriors, you'll know that I
detest the game, because it's a mixture of random combat and
random set collection which equals a random mess. I hoped
that Dragon Hordes: Warriors Expansion # 1 (Face 2 Face
Games, 2005 -- Richard Borg and Alan Moon) would fix the
problems and make the game more enjoyable. Sadly, however,
the expansion, while adding some interesting elements,
simply didn't do anything for the game -- putting a heavy
emphasis on dragons, and that's about it.
Some comments on the game...
- Dragons: The biggest change to the game was the
addition of fifteen dragon cards, twenty flame cards, and
sixteen more attack cards (eight of them dragon-only
attacks, the other eight mercenary or dragon attacks). Each
dragon that a player puts in their forces counts as a
separate nation. Flame cards are placed with dragons and
act as sort of "hit points." Dragons always roll two dice
when attacking and defending, and add one to both die rolls.
Dragons can attack pretty much anyone and can be attacked
by anyone. When a Dragon is "hit", they lose one flame
card; if they have no flame cards, the dragon is
- Powerful dragons: Dragons are more powerful than
anything else in the game, which is good and bad. The good
outlook is that now players have something that they can
attack other players' powerful armies with. The bad news
(in my opinion) is that Dragons can wreak havoc and not much
can stop them. I don't know what the point of setting up
large, balanced armies is, when the opponent can come
sweeping in with dragons, decimating your forces. Yes, most
dragon attacks happen after the regular attacks, but the
only reason to attack a dragon is to keep it from attacking
you, which isn't much of a reason. Dragon flames aren't
worth any victory points, so attacking a dragon "might" get
you two victory points.
- Dragon points: Whoever has the most dragons at the end
of the game gets twelve points. This is interesting, but
usually has the effect of all players getting in a dragon
race. You can try to avoid this "nuclear arms" race by not
placing dragons; but there are so many in the deck, and they
are so powerful I don't know how one can successfully avoid
using them. In every game I've played, the player with the
most dragons won the game.
- Catapults: Four more catapults are added in this
version, and catapults can also take down dragons! However,
they can only hit on a "6"; but upon hitting, they totally
destroy the dragon, regardless of flames. Take a wild guess
of what all the catapults in the game target? If you said
dragons, you win!
- Attacks: One of my main complaints about Warriors was
that there were very few attacks, thus rendering the main
feature of the game fairly useless. Dragon Hordes fixes
this to a degree, adding more attack cards. However, the
new attack cards are mostly dragon attacks with some
mercenary attacks, which are useless in my opinion.
- Focus: The main difference that Dragon Hordes adds to
the game is dragons -- surprising, huh? But instead of
adding a major element to the game, Dragon Hordes makes
dragons the focus of the game -- and so much the focus that
there isn't really much point to doing anything with the
armies any more. Any army that looks powerful is going to
be attacked by dragons -- so why try? Hooray, dragons were
added and overpowered everything else in the game!
- Players: Now that more cards are added to the game, up
to six players can play the game. Also, players get more
cards in a four player game - which is nicer, I'll admit, as
it gives them more options. A six player game is awful,
though, especially if you get no attack cards and watch as
everyone uses their dragons to destroy your nations.
I don't like the basic game, and I don't like the
expansion. I think they have the kernel of good ideas in
them, but it isn't realized. The Dragon Horde expansion
might satisfy those for whom attacking with dragons is a
desired trait in game. For me, however, the game with an
expansion just didn't do anything, not enough to play again.
If you like the original, then you might like the
expansion; but be warned, it changes the balance of power in
the game (towards dragons) drastically.
"Real men play board games."