Sunday, October 30, 2011

Here be dragons

My eldest daughter is sending me a copy of this abstract strategy game called Dragon face that she thought I'd like.

And while the game doesn't contain dragons (the name apparently refers to the art on the "emperor" piece), it did get me thinking about how much of a fan of dragons I am. There may be no easier way to get me to cough up a few bucks than to make sure your game design includes a few dragons! And I'm not even that much of a fantasy gamer, really, but I have a soft spot for dragons.

There are, of course, dragons prominently featured in all the Dungeons and Dragons branded games and I have dragons in D&D Miniatures, D&D Conquest of Nerath, D&D Castle Ravenloft, D&D The Legend of Drizzt, D&D The Wrath of Ashardalon (Arshadalon is the dragon) and the Heroscape system D&D Underdark game. And there are dragon in the main Heroscape game, too. I have a drake among my Lost Worlds books and there are dragons scattered among the various Magic: The Gathering decks, but I also got the duel deck that features dragons vs. knights. There are dragons in Dreamblade, Wizard Kings and Small World. Most of my dragons are the western concept ones (with wings) but I do have a couple of really handsome painted Chinese style one for Arcane Legions. The game is middling but the dragons look great. I even have a ship named Dragon in Axis & Allies War at Sea! That is, however, actually named after the type of mounted soldier called a dragoon in English.

Still, few things will spice up things than a large, awesome dragon. In some games, such as Small World, the dragons are just bit players, but they have a more properly dragon-like prominence in Conquest of Nerath and the other D&D games and I always try to get one in my army when I'm playing Wizard Kings. Oddly enough, the one fantasy game where dragons don't play much of a role is the War of the Ring. While Smaug famously was central in The Hobbit, Tolkien didn't depict any dragons taking part in the Lord of the Ring events (although the Fell beasts were somewhat draco-like) which is one small disappointment I had with the work. There's no indication in Tolkien that dragons were extinct or that Smaug was the last one, but it appears they stood aloof from the contest. Still, it would have been nice to have one make a cameo!

1 comment:

  1. In that case, you should get a copy of Quarriors, which has a dragon die that some say breaks the game! In this case it's a "Quake" dragon, whatever that is (although it does start with a Q, which seems to be the main motivation).