Review: Dungeons and Dragons The Legend of Drizzt Board Game
Is it really Drizzt? The whisper flow among ranks of the enemy, and a few monsters uneasily shifted their weight from one foot to the other. There were many of them – trolls, orcs and even a giant spider. And yet, when they first recognized the curved sword in the hands of an attacker, unrest began to spread in their midst. The man stood motionless in the doorway.
His white hair glow reflected on each blade in the room. Silent figure made two quick moves and threw something into the room. Nobody has a chance to react. But for a moment.. nothing happened. And then, there was a hiss. Flames of torches on the walls flickered for a moment, and suddenly vanished into darkness. Room filled with screams of surprise, which then turned into pain. Drizzt started to move. He decided to convince them, that it’s really him and nobody else. Legend continues.
Dungeons & Dragons world offers huge scope for various adventures. Drizzt is the name of the dark elf coming from R.A. Salvatore books belonging to the world of Forgotten Realms. Their story takes place on the planet Abeir-Toril. Drizzt Do’Urden is full name of the main character. It’s time to get acquainted.
Apart from books, this character was chosen also by Wizards of the Coast as the title hero for their third adventure game from Dungeons & Dragons series. Its younger brothers are called Wrath of Ashardalon and Castle Ravenloft and our editors are hoping to get a chance to try these older pieces too. But since we have started with this one, here comes the review. But first we would like to mention, that we have already met with this adventurous world before once, due to the excellent game Dungeon Command (review).
The author of the Legend of Drizzt board game is Peter Lee and it was published in 2011 in the production of the above-mentioned company Wizards of the Coast. At first glance, you might be discouraged from an internet purchase by the price tag. But this would not happen to you, if you saw a giant box personally.
Legend of Drizzt is in a box with the dimensions, you have perhaps never seen before. The most striking difference is given by its height. Box claims almost its own shelf, although it is not elongated, like these great packages usually are. By contrast, when viewed from above, it has a square shape. There is a fascinating illustration on the lid, showing palehaired title character.
Already now, you can tell, you get a huge value for your money, which you wont regret for a second. You can expect a flood of cardboard components, all of which are hidden in punch-out sheets. And without exception, they have all really respectable thickness, which is not usual. Wizards of the Coast certainly did not skimp on the quality of components here and it can be felt with every touch. You can simply tell, that these are absolutely sturdy.
The cardboard processing provides you especially with cave passages, which will you visit with the heroes. They are all made like a puzzle in a way, that pieces fit beautifully into each other and it does not matter, if they are square (the majority), or rectangular (special). Oh yes and they can be combined with older games to create some ultimate adventures! Authors did not want game board to look ugly with unfinished puzzle ends, so they have added bonus corner pieces to the box. They have no other purpose in life, than to improve your impression of the assembled dungeon.
A pile of sheets contains also heroes and villain boards, tens and hundreds of small tokens with various purposes. And then there are decks of cards. There is precisely round two hundred (those directly involved in game) and are divided into two equal parts – the first hundred will accompany alone your first few adventures. Then you are encouraged to add that second to enhance your experience with more little things.
The whole box content then finishes with grace. And we are not talking about rules, which are short and simply written, brochure or scenarios, guaranteeing you a really long life of the game. Theme now is a huge bag full of different figures! Altogether there are 40 miniatures and there is quite a rich variety of characters, each has its name written on the base, so you easily find it.
This pile is dominated by two types of monsters – Eertu and then a pair of Feral Trolls, whose numbers can be extended for another painteded duo, if you bought a new Dungeon Command: Tyranny of Goblins (preparing a review). It follows, that none of the figures included is painted. Never mind, at least the price is lower, because the painted miniatures would certainly significantly play some more expensive drums. Of course, there are also heroes or smaller monsters, that come in much more numbers, than the huge and dangerous monsters.
But if you miss painted miniatures, and would like to enrich your world of Drizzt (or other D & D adventure game), but you do not want to paint them by yourself, then just dig in and move Dungeon Command miniatures here. Games are really compatible! There are several boss cards in each expansion of Dungeon Command, which can then be used here.
So.. It may seem, that we have somewhat dismissed the description of the components, but it’s because we have a lot to write and talk about later in this article. Maybe we have not yet emphasized it enough, but Legend of Drizzt is a cooperative game. Players enter the cave as comrades, celebrating victory together, but also mourn for defeat. The trip will be a different adventure each time they enter the caves full of monsters. The greatest merit lies in scenarios, which can be found in a separate booklet.
Preparation of the game is very simple. Each player chooses a hero, he wants to play – takes its miniature and also square board. He puts this board with Level 1 side up – his hero has to gain experience to reach Level 2. For now he is a weaker variant of the future himself.
Center of the table is simply waiting for one starter oblong piece, that will players fill with miniatures of their just daredevils, who went into the darkness with a desire to conquer everything in their way. All other components make piles around the table.
A group of heroes gets also some equiment to start the game with. Its number and type depends on your heroes – each has his own cards for abilities. These preparation requirements are written directly on hero boards – he can get some random items or specific weapons. Each character also has its special skills, and you can choose, which to take with you on the adventure. It depends entirely on the players, what strategy they choose for the passage through underground.
Now you must prepare adventure according to its specific script written in scenario book. It tells you, what underground pieces you shuffle, where should be inserted some special place, or how will you encounter the main villain of the story. His card and figurine yet stand aside, his time will come later. Instructions will also tell you, how many players can participate in the game (its different for each adventure) and especially, how many Healing Surge tokens are available for your party.
But now it’s all and you can start playing. Preparation lasts just a few minutes and most of the time will you spend in piling tokens on the table. This simplicity is very unusual for such a large game and it’s a great feeling to be ready to start in a flash. That is also main reason, why Legend of Drizzt gets on the table quite often, because you will not be discouraged by long setup time. You will be simply playing. Everything is directed towards entertainment, which is the main nutrient element of the game. Let’s taste it too, so we can also have fun.
Although the group works together, game itself is divided into turns of the individual heroes. Each player has turn consisting of three phases, which he must carry out, before passing action to his neighbor. There is movement, optional discovery and very unpopular phase of enemies to be maintained each turn.
But first we will have more pleasurable duties. At the beginning of the turn, a player may control his hero and carry out all those things you should do, when travelling through a cave. Move across the damp corridors and attack hostile hissing and roaring monsters. You can move and attack (in any order), or use both actions for motion. Each character has its four basic properties written in a tab on his board – armor, hit points, speed and number of lives after using healing surge. The card displays of course also special powers of each hero.
The most important thing for us now is speed. This determines, how many squares can your figurine move through dungeon in one move action. Unusual is discovery, compared to other similar games, that diagonal movement is allowed. So you can shorten your path, if your find yourself in a hurry. At the beginning or end of the move you can use some weapon to try hit nearby standing enemy. Your ability to move may also be affected a few specific situations, such as, when you are immobilized by former enemy attack.
Attacks are made with cards, using skills, you have equipped for your hero at the start of an adventure. Or with treasure cards, you find after defeated monsters later. You can use two types of skills – at-will powers, which can be repeated each round, and the daily powers, which can only be used once. Then you turn the card and you have to charge it to be able to use it again. A third type of cards are supporting actions, which do not directly attack monsters, but give you specific benefits.
But back to attack attempts. Players simply roll the dice and add bonus for the attack, which is written on the card. Sum of this operation is then compared with armor of defending monster, and when you succeed to overcome it, then you hit it. Each attack is strong according to card used, so there is only partly result of chance – the stronger the attack you use is, the more damage you do.
Now you have exhausted all the activities, your hero can perform. But its still your turn, because you have to see, where your hero is standing. If he is on the edge of a tile, you can explore and reveal new cave tile by drawing it from pile. You should rotate it in a way, that the arror points towards your hero – oriented towards tile, which you are comimg from. Then you simply click it as a puzlle. Newly discovered place usually contains some new monster to be defeated. Its race and strength is determined by monster card turned from monster pile. You find corresponding piece and put it on the game board, where the image of magic mushrooms is located. This is the place, where new enemies appear.
The complete one round is finished, after you play enemy movement. But while exploring can be avoided (your hero does not stand on the edge of already discovered cave), you have a choice. If you did not explore, you have to add new monster to some of already discovered streets and tunnels – thus reveal a new card, who sneaked out on you from some unexplored opening. You have to do the same also in case, if you have added new tile with black arrow, marking more dangerous tile. You then simply activate and move all the monsters and always follow the instructions on their card, which tell you directions, how they should be moved.
The victory conditions are set for each scenario and differ. Sometimes you have to stop the raid of monster, sometimes kill one particular bad guy. Regardless of the kind of adventure, you lose, when one of players loses his last health and there are not healing surges left to refresh his life. Individual scenarios can then have other conditions, which may lead to your defeat.
Dungeons & Dragons: Legend of Drizzt will simple excite you after the first game. And the excitement does not go away after the second match, and not even after ten. There are several scenarios included, which will make sure, that you stay entertained and each game is very different from each other. In each game, you use other components of the game and adventure is constantly changing a little. And we are not counting the randomly generated monsters standing in your way.
That is also probably the biggest stumble of the game. Since monsters have different capabilities and power, it is possible, that your passage through one game will be much easier than in another, although you’ll play the same scenario. While this can be on one hand taken as a disadvantage, but it’s still great, that players actually have no idea, what awaits them around the next corner.
Players must coordinate their actions, but each has his hero completely under his control. Cooperation is therefore often limited to simple tasks. Everything is always directed towards clear objectives, which all know and are familiar with it in advance.
The experience is very different for each hero, not only because they have other abilities, but also other parameters of armor and hit points. And it’s up to you, to choose, which abilities you want to use in your adventures. In addition, you must use daily powers very carefully, because their recharge is not easy.
Also the fight is cleverly designed. On one hand, there is evidently luck deciding, if you hit or not. But when you pierce through enemy armor, then the damage is a simple matter of power of the used attack.
Enemy movement is solved very easily. Most of the time, they attack you if you are close enough. Otherwise they simply move closer to hero closest to them. Many of them know, how to treat injuries or have other malicious things at their disposal. Often you have to work together, if you are caught in the middle of more enemies simultaneously.
The game has an incredible amount of cards, that will enrich the experience at the moment, you become more advanced fighters. You add traps, treasures for the defeated monsters, increasing experience for defeated monsters and even plyaing as a team against another or with a traitor inside your fellowship. Drizzt makes it all possible!
Legend of Drizzt is a box filled to the brim with adventure. That makes it exactly, what everybody want‘s it to be. Simplification of graphics on cards and boards (monochrome processing with a simple tone of colour) is absolutely compensated with a huge amount of variability and especially miniatures, which add game feeling, like you’re really there. Struggling with endless barrage of monsters together with a few friends, you must rely on your skills. Adventure awaits all, who are not afraid!
Review: Dungeons and Dragons The Legend of Drizzt Board Game
Legend of Drizzt is board game taking place in a popular world of Dungeons & Dragons. Its an adventure game, where you won’t compete against each other, but unite your forces in face of common enemy. Like mercenaries, you will explore dark caves with simple wish to accomplish your quest. There will be many monsters standing in your way and you will control them, getting them closer to your heroes. Miniatures will enable you to really live through the story and simple rules won’t stay in your way. Everything is focused on maximizing experience for everyone – no difference regarding board game knowledge. You will love Drizzt for different scenarios. Enemies are randomly generated from shuffled pile on end of each turn inside each time differently shaped dungeon. You even will not be bothered, that some matches can be a little easier than others, thanks to monster draw. But there is always some final boss welcoming you in the end. Your heroes have different skills picked by you in the preparation phase. But you have to use them carefully, because they might have limits. You have to have some luck while fighting to hit your enemies, but the damage is strictly given from attack card. Enjoy common adventure with everything it should have – play Legend of Drizzt!
Reader Rating0 Votes
incredible amount of components
almost infinite replayability
can be combined with other D&D games, even with Dungeon Command