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How To Play Draftosaurus

draftosaurus

I will give you the quickest ever review for Draftosaurus before my how to play. It is brilliant, get this game in your collection and you won’t regret it, cute dinosaurs, clever drafting, scoring and brilliant artwork. Right, now the review is finished let me explain how the game plays.

Set Up

Each player takes a Zoo Board and it is recommended you play on the summer side for your first go. Depending on the number of players you place the dinosaurs in the drawstring bag.

  • 2 Players – 8 of each type of dinosaur (48 in total)
  • 3 Players – 6 of each type of dinosaur (36 in total)
  • 4 Players – 8 of each type of dinosaur (48 in total)
  • 5 Players – 10 of each type of dinosaur (60 in total – all of them)

The youngest player becomes the start player and is given the dice. You are now ready to play Draftosaurus. ROAR.

Let’s Play

You play over two rounds with six turns per round. Meaning you will draft twelve dinosaurs in total by the end of the game.

At the start of the round each player will secretly take six dinosaurs into their hand from the bag. Then the start player will roll the dice. Whichever face is showing on the dice all players (except the player who rolled the dice) must obey the placement rules.

  • The left side of the board with the Food Court
  • The right side of the board with the Restrooms
  • The top of the board with the Woodlands
  • The bottom of the board with the Grasslands
  • A brand new empty pen with the No Dinosaur sign
  • A pen without a T-Rex with a Caution T-Rex sign

The player who rolled can place a dinosaur in any pen they like. All players place their chosen dinosaur simultaneously. I highly recommend you all ROAR as you place the dinosaurs. This isn’t in the rule book but I insist people do this when they play with me and it always makes them laugh.

The remaining dinosaurs in your hand are then passed to the player on your left (keeping them secret from any other players) and the dice is passed to the next player clockwise. The next turn can commence the same as the first turn.

Once the first six turns are completed you start the next round the same way and play six more turns.

If ever you cannot obey the dice rules of Draftosaurus, or you do not want to, you place a dinosaur in the river.

Dinosaur Placement & Scoring

Your options for placing your dinosaurs are as follows:

  • The Forest of Sameness – This pen can only hold one type of dinosaur and must be filled from left to right. Your points scored will be underneath your furthest placed dinosaur.
  • The Meadow of Differences – This pen can only hold one of each type of dinosaur (no duplicates) and must be filled from left to right. Once again your points are awarded based on your furthest placed dinosaur.
  • The Prairie of Love – This pen can hold any dinosaur and at the end of the game you will score 5 points for each pair of the same type of dinosaurs
  • The Woody Trio – This pen can hold any three dinosaurs and if it has exactly three dinosaurs at the end of the game it awards 7 points. If less than three it provides no points.
  • The King of the Jungle – This pen can only hold one dinosaur (any type). It scores 7 points if the dinosaur you placed here is more prevalent in your zoo or you have at least as many as your competitors.
  • The Solitary Island – This Pen can only hold one dinosaur (any type). It scores 7 points if the dinosaur placed here is the only one of its type in your zoo. Otherwise you score no points.
  • The River – scores one point per dinosaur here and you can place as many as you want.

At the end of twelve turns you will add all of your points for the dinosaurs you have placed and then score one extra point per pen that contains a T-Rex. The player with the highest score is the winner. In the event of a tie the player who placed the fewest T-Rex’s wins.

The Winter Map

Once you have played a few games of Draftosaurus with the summer map try the winter map. The game is the same with the exception of the pens and how they score.

  • A Well Ordered Wood – This pen can only hold two different types of dinosaurs in alternating order. Once again you place them from left to right and you score points according to how far along you placed the dinosaurs.
  • Lovers Bridge – This pen has two halves on each side of the river. It can hold any type of dinosaur. If you match dinosaurs across the river (the same type on the left and right) you score 6 points for each pair. Note, each side is considered different for T-Rex bonus points.
  • The Pyramid – This pen can hold any six dinosaurs but has placement rules. You must place three on the bottom row first, then two on the middle row, then one on the top row. No identical types of dinosaur can be touching each other either horizontally or vertically. You score for each row the number of dinosaurs (2 points for each dinosaur in the bottom row, 4 points for each dinosaur in the middle row, 7 points for getting a dinosaur in the top row).
  • The Lookout – This pen can only hold one dinosaur (any type). At the end of the game you score 2 points for each of this dinosaur in the players zoo to the right.
  • Quarantine Zone – This pen can only hold one dinosaur (any type). At the end of the game before final scoring you may move this dinosaur to another pen or the river (obeying placement rules).

Once you have played both maps why not try playing one after the other and combining the scores to find out who is the ultimate dinosaur zoo keeper.

Two Player Variant

For a two player game you play over four rounds rather than two. You still draw six dinosaurs from the bag but you only place three of them per round. Each turn you will place one dinosaur and discard one dinosaur back to the box. You will still only have twelve dinosaurs at the end of the game.

Conclusion

I hope this has helped you to learn the rules and how Draftosaurus plays. Obviously I would always recommend people use the official rule book to learn the rules in depth but this blog should give you a really good flavour of how the game flows.

I absolutely love the game and if you want to find me on twitter to discuss how brilliant Draftosaurus is please do @boardgamehappy.