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Awards

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You Might Like

  • Wide range of characters and abilities
  • Interesting special moves
  • Great replayability
  • Playable furniture

Might Not Like

  • Pre-planning moves
  • Hard to pull of specials
  • Waiting for turns
Find out more about our blog & how to become a member of the blogging team by clicking here

Dragon And Flagon Review

dragon and flagon

Avast Behind

“Crash!” the chair collided with Cleric Tuuli’s back as he stooped to lift the Golden Dragon Flagon. A grinning Nari the Rogue smiled in satisfaction as her reputation amongst the other brawlers increased. Suddenly they were both flattened as the Swashbuckler Montero swang from the chandelier and landed lightly beyond them both, his reputation rocketing whilst the other two dazedly considered their next actions.

Such might be one small slice of the action in The Dragon & Flagon a hostelry of great notoriety and home to the infamous, magical brew The Dragon. A brew so powerful that’ll give the drinker enormous powers – well one special action card to go with the 17 they already have!

The Dragon and Flagon is an action skirmish game set in the eponymous tavern where up to 8 adventurers out of a motley crew of 9 different characters will slug it out in true barroom style to enhance their reputation as better brawlers. With a closed arena full of playable objects : Tables, Chairs, Barrels, Mugs, Rugs and the Dragon Flagon itself a tight, swirling mass of organised chaos ensues as the timer ticks down until the town guard come to break up the mass melee. One of the throng will then regard themselves as the winner having achieved the greatest increase in reputation, whilst still being carted off to the local nick presumably!

Character References

The Dragon & Flagon has 9 different characters of all the classic fantasy and pirate tropes : Barbarian, Buccaneer, Cleric, Druid, Monk, Paladin, Rogue, Swashbuckler and Wizard and you can play up to 8 of them in a single game. The more the merrier to put the mass into mass brawl. Indeed if you are playing with less than 5 players you must control 2 characters each so the game will actually have between 4-8 combatants.

Each character’s actions are denoted by Action Cards. There is a deck of 18 cards for each of them. 13 of these are common to every other fighter, 4 are gold special cards unique to that particular person and each has their own Dragon card giving them a super special abilty when they have sipped the legendary Dragon Brew. These special abilities give them their own unique individual flavour relevant to their class : spells for the Wizard , beserk for the Barbarian etc. Some of them will give buffs that will last for a number of turns. Also some of the actions can only be performed whilst standing.

You play these Action Cards in advance, a significant design feature of the game, at least 2 and possibly 3 and if, when you come to execute your action, you are unable to, that action is wasted. This can give a staccato feel to the action but there are ways around this as we shall see.

Time Is Of The Essence

The Dragon & Flagon is played over a number of Time steps with a variable end dependent on when the Town Guards arrive to break up the party. A standard game will take from 21-24 steps and an extended version will take from 27-30. The game begins with all the participants on their starting squares and the hourglass Time Marker at Time Space 1. All the characters with their token in the same Time space as the Time Marker are the Active characters for that turn. They must then fill up Action Card slots I and II from their hand. Each Active character is drawn randomly and completes the Action from their Action slot I. Then any remaining cards in slots II and III are moved along one. Each Action has a time associated with it, the more dramatic an Action the more time it will swallow. Their Character Token is moved the appropriate number of spaces down the Time Track and their next action will come when the Time Marker eventually reaches them. After all the Active Characters have completed their Action I the Time Marker marches on to the next square. With Actions having different times the characters will get spread out and will have Actions at different times. This can be used to your advantage. After a player makes a devastating but time costly attack you may be able to get two actions in before they go again.

Do You Know Who I Am?

The results of all this unpleasantness is that you reduce the reputation of your victim and enhance your own. Each starts with 20 Reputation tokens and these act as VPs. You can not die and be removed from the game. If you have no Reputation left you can still carry on swinging to get some back. In one game the Paladin: Sir Goodheart had nothing but then was able to shine his special Radiance dazzling all around him and garner a heap of points and finished third overall.

Seas The Day

As well as the dodgy tavern there is another arena for your mass mayhem. On the reverse side there is a layout of two pirate ships lashed together. These can be fought over with special rules that include going overboard and collecting Pirate chests for extra VPs. These rules, incidentally are not given to you straight but must be found by solving a rather obscure riddle or more likely by downloading them from the website given at the last page of the rulebook!

Battle Royale Or Messy Melee?

Stonghold Games, of Terraforming Mars fame, have put a lot of effort into The Dragon & Flagon. There are the 45 Special and Dragon actions along with the distinctive artwork that make each character unique. There’s the fact that each item of furniture is playable; you can shove and overturn tables, throw mugs and chairs and literally pull the rug out from under someone’s feet. These well-made functional items I could see being used in other skirmish games.

You get a lot of stuff for your money. Two distinct boards, 9 character standees, 34 items of furniture plus 5 pirate chests and the Dragon Flagon itself. It’s been put together with a sense of fun too. There’s the special move “Flunge” derived from flying lunge and with “Witty Retort” it’s suggested you actually utter one and the tables have copies of “Magic for Dummies”.

For all that does it capture the madcap mayhem of a mass melee? Is it less fast and furious and more plotting and plodding? The timing mechanism I like but I’d modify some of the other rules : if a character is dazed you have to add more actions to their card to presumably confuse their further plans. I feel it would be better to move their marker 1 or 2 spaces ahead on the Time track to show the time it takes them to come round. Also I’d like some way of being able to take a double action to play a master move.

The Dragon & Flagon is likely to receive my custom on future occasions but I won’t be seen habitually propping up the bar! Hic!

Zatu Score

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You might like

  • Wide range of characters and abilities
  • Interesting special moves
  • Great replayability
  • Playable furniture

Might not like

  • Pre-planning moves
  • Hard to pull of specials
  • Waiting for turns

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