Draftosaurus

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Draftosaurus is a delightful, quick, light filler. It’s a drafting game by designers Antoine Bauza, Corentin Lebrat, Ludovic Maublanc, Théo Rivière. In Draftosaurus, 2-5 players compete to build their own prehistoric, biological preserves. Like, ahem, a certain movie franchise, you want to attract visitors to your dino park. You score points at the end for having exciting sets o…
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Category Tag SKU ZBG-LUMANK200EN Availability Out of stock
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Description

Draftosaurus is a delightful, quick, light filler. It’s a drafting game by designers Antoine Bauza, Corentin Lebrat, Ludovic Maublanc, Théo Rivière. In Draftosaurus, 2-5 players compete to build their own prehistoric, biological preserves.

Like, ahem, a certain movie franchise, you want to attract visitors to your dino park. You score points at the end for having exciting sets of dinos in your enclosures. Draftosaurus is a drafting game with the aim of set collection, but it doesn’t involve cards. Instead, you’re drafting a hand-full of adorable dinosaur meeples!

At the start, each player receive six random, colourful dinos from a drawstring bag. A start player rolls a custom D6 die, which states where dinos have to get placed this round. (Your park has various pens.) Everyone has to obey the die in this regard – apart from the player rolling the die! They get that little bit more flexibility. All other players, meanwhile, might have to, say, place a dino in the woodlands sector this turn. Or they might have to place a dino in an empty pen, and so on.

Once everyone’s drafted a dino, everyone passes their remaining terrible lizards over to their neighbour. The die passes too, to the next player. They roll it, and now it’s this current die-roller that gets to ignore the die constraint, if they want…

Players draft six dinosaurs, twice. You’ll all end with a total of 12 dinos on your board. Then you’ll score your parks. Each pen scores in a different manner. For example, in the forest, you score increasing points by having the same dinosaur type there. (The meadow is the opposite, rewarding different dinos.) Some reward ‘mating pairs’, while others for having exactly three dinosaurs there at the end. At fifteen minutes a pop, you’ve got enough time for at least two quick games of Draftosaurus, right?

Player Count: 2-5 Players
Time: 15 minutes
Age: 8+

Draftosaurus-feature-image

Draftosaurus is a dino-drafting game, plays 2 – 5 players and has a very quick play time of 10 – 15 minutes.

The game involves players drafting dinosaur meeples from their hand. They place them in their zoo. Then pass and receive the next batch of dinosaurs. Points are awarded based on the placement of the dinosaurs in the zoo. The winner is the player with the most points, after two rounds.

How to play

Each player starts with six dinosaurs randomly selected from a bag. There are six different species of dinosaur in the game, all in a different colour, making it easy to differentiate. On a turn, there is an active player. They roll a placement die and the result determines the placement restriction for this turn. The die forces players to choose specific pens within the zoo. Based on the die result, except for the active player, who may ignore the restriction. Restrictions include: having to select a pen on either the right or left hand side of the board, a pen in either the woodland or grassland areas, a pen that does not already contain a T-Rex, or selecting a completely empty pen. All players secretly choose one of the dinosaurs in their hand to place into their zoo simultaneously.

Each pen in the zoo scores points at the end of the game, based on the dinosaurs placed in them. For example, one of the pens awards points for each pair of the same species in it. Another awards points based on how many of the same species you have in it, and another will award points if you have as many as, or more, of that species than any other player. The key decision making process in the game, is selecting a dinosaur based the die restriction, available pens and their requirements, and also keeping an eye on which dinosaurs are being passed to the next player.

Once a dinosaur has been chosen and added to the zoo, the remaining dinosaurs are passed clockwise to the next player, as is the placement die. The new active player rolls the placement die and all players select their dinosaurs and place as before. This continues until all dinosaurs have been placed, and then the whole process is repeated for round two.

Table Presence

Sometimes, really short, filler-type games don’t necessarily have the table presence of the bigger, grandiose board games. This game however will certainly attract passers-by to have a look at it. No matter who you are, you will fall in love with the dinosaurs as they are incredibly cute, vibrant and recognisable. The six species in the game are well known dinosaurs as well, which helps add to the appeal; T- Rex, Stegosaurus, Triceratops etc.

The player boards also have great artwork. The pens and placement areas are clear, and the boards are double sided. The alternative side of the player board shows different pens, which have different requirements, so you can change the game up accordingly.

Final Thoughts

As far as light filler games go, this is one of the best ones I have played. It is immensely fun, brings a smile to everyone’s face, and attracts players to the table faster than any game I know. The replayability is high due to the two different sides of the player boards, and the restriction die causing havoc to your plans. At it’s core, the game is just a basic drafting game, but the package it comes in is just beautiful, engaging and a must have for any collection.

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.