Sunday, May 19, 2013

FemElephant Pictorial Quick Review: Princes of the Dragon Throne

Princes of the Dragon Throne
Vie for control of Kingdoms, Guilds, and the Clan Houses

The theme isn't just important, it is the game! You are vying for control by gaining Supporters (Dragons and Citizens), garnering favors (such as 4 sheep from a Shepherds Guild) and influencing Kings Guards (who then perform actions for you). You feel drawn in by the theme throughout the game play. GreyElephant calls this a "Euro Deck-builder"; it has really combined these two types of games into one, and this offers a variety throughout the game and different strategies to try out on your next one. This is not, however, a typical Euro game that uses stock meeples and cubes thus relying on your imagination.  You are recruiting and placing Dragons and Citizens. You are influencing King's Guards. The artwork on the cards and the custom components really add to the experience, bringing the game to life for you.

This is for a more experienced gamer. It takes somewhere between 1-3 hours depending on the number of players and the amount of time each player takes analyzing on their turn. I get completely absorbed into the strategy and the theme to really enjoy it. You want to be aware of the time and the concentration involved. When we played it in our group, we had a beginner that was totally lost for most of the game and another player that took a good amount of time to decide what to do each turn. It was the longest game I think we have ever played.
Princes of the Dragon Throne has deck-building, area control, resource management, clan favors, guild favors... all of which are very important aspects of game-play. When deck-building you must pay attention to which Kingdoms and Guilds you need Recruits (Dragon and Citizen cards) for, how many Supporters (custom pawns) you have in your reserve, what Prospects (Dragon and Citizen cards) are available on the board and how many Resources (Sheep, Gold, and Influence) you and your opponents have to spend on those Prospects. When placing you have to pay attention to Guilds, Kingdoms, and Clan Houses that you and your opponents control, along with how many Supporters and Dragon Lords you and your opponents have in your reserve. You can't over look the sheep you have in your reserve, because without them, you can't use Dragon cards at all!  You also consider what kind of Guild Favors you could gain, and when their use could come up in your deck.

This has become one of my favorite games. There is so much going on that it really requires a lot of thinking and strategy. The rules for the two player game make it just as fun and challenging as the 4 player game. We have a lot of very close games that have come down to the last turn. 

 Gather resources,

 Recruit Citizens and Dragons with those resources (deckbuilding)
Pay the required resources to Recruit Prospect cards to your deck
 and Supporters to your supply.

Use the cards to place your Supporters on the board (area control),

Red has taken control of this merchant guild.

The red kingdom.

Move the Supporters that are on the board
which results in control of Guilds and placements in the Clan House 
and Prestige points!

You receive a guild favor for taking control of a guild.
It is added to your discard pile, and then returned after a one-time use.


The deck-building aspect is heavy for most of the game, including the guild favors that you receive for taking over a guild. 

Clan Favors are selected at Parliament. They stay face up and benefit you depending on your overall strategy for that part of the game.


You also have to have sheep to feed your Dragons each time you use a Dragon card for any purpose.

  The overall mechanic is area control.  
The Clan Houses are full at the end of the game.

And end game scoring begins. Each player receives 5 points for each Kingdom, Guild, and Clan House in which they have majority of control, and 5 points for having the most dragon or citizen recruits (cards). Ties result in 2 points.

The winner takes their rightful place on the Dragon Throne!

1 comment:

  1. This is the prototype for a game going up on kick-starter.


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