Review: Arcadia Quest – dragons of ice and chaos

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Last thing we need is . We already have enough of our own problems. Monsters are hiding behind each corner and fighters are dwindling. It is increasingly difficult to find someone who can handle the sword and is willing to face the danger of long and exhausting pilgrimages. And now  dragons? Are you kidding?

And it is not the first time, when Arcadia world turns to us – the players. This time we can thank to small expansion , which bear subtitles and . Their creation is credited to authors , , and . Their work is certainly very much appreciated by the publishing company Cool Mini or Not. These new boxes are distributed in Europe by .

We will look on our feelings in two chapters: first ice, then chaos expansion. And so, from a pair of the same big boxes, we’ll choose the blue one first. Its lid covers a portrait of a dragon, whose body is made up of ice-cold stalactites, and from his mouth goes out nothing else than frozen cool ice. And inside this tall and soft box, players will find a huge dragon miniature.

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Space is also shared by rulebook and some tokens with it. There are also cards (linked to a dragon), but also a set of new items. Box description also applies to the dragon of chaos. Just the lid is a bit more colorful and the dragon figurine is completely different (gray). His character looks much more dangerous, even on the illustration itself. New Dragonstone cards are also attached inside both boxes. In terms of number of components, two boxes are quite similar, although the ice box has more frost chips and moreover the ice fences, while chaos dragon has only portals. Both expansions also offer one double-sided game board with a map, serving as a game area.

Arcadia Quest is a game, where players fight against each other. They always have a group of heroes in their service, who go through the map and try to fulfill public quests. But there are not only the figures of the opponents, but also the various monsters. So you need to fight, improve your characters and have a good fortune. Dice play an important role in battles.

Both boxes are intended as a new optional campaign extension. Not as a third-level replacement, but as a fourth, brand new one. The box fantastically extend standard into five stories. And as the rules say, it is certainly reasonable to include them in here. That’s because the dragons are really terrible creatures and you need to be really ready for them, so its not a good idea to start fighting them immediately.

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The box does not contain one, but two stories. They are placed one behind the other and the first is about getting the dragon close enough to duel itself. So players use various means to lure the giant monster and pull it down to earth. Above all, these are the harpoons, that are used to complete quest cards. Players are as usual each playing for his own team of heroes.

And both boxes with dragons can be arranged in line to create an epic dragon hunting campaign. But while the first scenario is still selfish and every guild plays for itself, in the second story, they all have no choice. The dragon is an adversary who is not easy to defeat and they have to join forces. This reversal of gameplay is really unexpected and changes the overall impression. If they fail, they all lose without distinction.

But here, monsters are still in the power of players, who are obliged to attack the hero, they are closest to. In the second scenario, the dragon itself will also participate in the battle. This engagement is driven by a pack of cards and players always reveal the top and it determines some effects. Rules for pushing, fighting, and occupied fields change with the dragon on the ground.

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Dragonstone cards are part of the game plan and players can reveal them if they arrive in the right place. These cards are placed there at the beginning of the game and the players do not know their identity, until they explore them. It offers different effects, but it always hurts opponents. Therefore, they are appropriate for the first scenario, where the players go for each other’s neck and can thus avoid the attack of the dragon and draw target on back of their opponents.

The rules described apply to both boxes we are talking about today. But then there are elements in which the dragons are different. The Dragon of Chaos causes a lot of confusion not only in the hero’s movement (he can use the portals to move them randomly on the map) but also in their inventory. And so the equipment can be exchanged between the heroes and everybody gets some injury as a bonus.

The frozen dragon can then cool the hero. They freeze some of their equipment, which can not be used. However, if the dragon targets one of the little guys, he can flood them even more. He is able to create a prison of four walls, in which he closes this hero. He can try to break his way out, but he must be successful in dice roll. Until then, this miniature remained closed without the possibility of movement or other actions.

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It is clear, therefore, that both dragons are sufficiently unique. They’re going to drive players in a corner and fighting them is not easy at all. Such a dragon has a lot of hearts, that warriors need to prepare for it. And it’s a real challenge for players, even in co-operation. In addition, it wants something they have not used to in the past scenarios – working together. And such an unexpected alliance may not always work perfectly.

Processing is absolutely luxurious. Especially the monstrous miniatures of the dragons are astonishing. The rest is actually the classic Arcadia Quest you’re used to – cards and tokens. No more waiting for the miniatures, one huge is enough. But with them, there are also scenarios, that count you have one or the other basic box.

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Frost Dragon and Chaos Dragon are new expansion boxes for Arcadia Quest, which amazingly extend basic campaigns. Unfortunately, their replayability is a bit of lesser and you will not use them every time you play AQ. But the dragons are so wonderful creatures and enormous opponents to see them from time to time as the goal of their adventures in this world. These new boxes in the overall impression enrich the game very significantly and virtually double the campaign length itself. Expansion with dragons can be recommended to all lovers of Arcadia Quest without true hesitation.

DesignerThiago Aranha, Guilherme Goulart, Eric M. Lang, Fred Perret
PublisherCMON Limited
Year Published2017
# of Players2 - 4
Playing Time120
Mfg Suggested Ages8 and up
CategoryAdventure, Expansion for Base-game, Fantasy, Fighting, Miniatures
MechanicDice Rolling, Grid Movement, Modular Board, Variable Player Powers
ExpansionArcadia Quest, Arcadia Quest: Inferno
FamilyComponents: Miniatures, Game: Arcadia Quest, Theme: Anime / Manga, Theme: Chibis
Primary NameArcadia Quest: Frost Dragon

Infos courtesy of boardgamegeek.com. More Infos.

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