Dragon Rage First Impression

First impression by Andrea “Liga” Ligabue

DesignerLewis Pulsipher
ArtistMiguel Coimbra, David Helber, Lionel Liron, Tom Maxwell, Kenn Nishiuye
PublisherDwarfstar Games, Flatlined Games, Heritage USA
Year Published1982
# of Players2 - 2
User Suggested # of Players Best with 2 players
Recommended with 1 players
(5 voters)
Playing Time120
Mfg Suggested Ages12 and up
User Suggested Ages10 and up
(1 voters)
Language DependenceSome necessary text - easily memorized or small crib sheet
(1 voters)
CategoryFantasy, Wargame
MechanicDice Rolling, Hexagon Grid, Scenario / Mission / Campaign Game
FamilyAnimals: Birds, Creatures: Dragons, Creatures: Monsters, Players: Two-Player Only Games, Series: Dwarfstar Games (Heritage USA)
Primary NameDragon Rage

Infos courtesy of boardgamegeek.com. More Infos.

On publisher web site you can read “Dragon Rage is an introductory wargame set in a fantasy world. Dragons and other monsters attack walled cities, trying to destroy as much of the city building as they can while the city garrison fights back. Controls the invading monsters or the city forces in a merciless struggle!

The basic game scenario has two Dragons attacking the seaside city of Esirien. The defender controls a small militia that defends the city. All troops are represented by counters on the game board’s hex grid. During each game turn, each player may move some or all all his units and then fight the enemies within attack range. The humans have a local hero which has special powers, as well as a wizard that can cast spells. The dragons are very resilient and can breathe fire, destructing men and buildings in a blazing roar.

Combat is resolved through a dice roll on a combat resolution table, cross-referencing the attacking and defending unit’s strength.

Dragon Rage is a good introduction to the world of wargames: there are few units on both sides, making the game simple to learn and fast-paced. It will introduce you to key wargaming concepts such as tactical movement on an hexagonal grid, units statistics printed on the counters, use of a combat resolution table, attack-to-defense ratios, terrain modifiers, reinforcements, and special abilities.

The first things to notice about this game is the name of the designer: Lewis Pulsipher, a name become a legend thanks to Britannia, actually one of the best games ever with a story of more than 25 years and a new Fantasy Flight Games edition in the last year.

Dragon Rage shows the designer mastery combining easy rules with a good level of simulation: of course it is an old-style wargame but easy enough to appeal also “modern” gamers.

What I really like in this games is the differences between the two factions involved: something you are used if you played Drako or if you are, like me, an old fan of Steve Jackson’s Ogre.

Dragons (and monsters) are usually few strong units attacking the city defended by the wizard and other units. In this new edition of Dragon Rage besides the great improvements in materials and graphics, there is also a new series of scenarios and a new map. To the 6 Esirien scenarios, showing Dragons/Monsters attacking the City of Esirien are added 6 scenarios about the human attack to the Nurkott Orc Settlement, Campaign and tournament rules and something more.

I’ll just write my impression concerning the first Esirien Scenario, Dragon Rage, designer himself suggest to start with.

2 Dragons attack the city defended by 4 cavalry, 8 infantry, 4 archer, 4 militia, 1 hero and 1 wizard. The invader to win has to destroy 19 points of structures that means arriving and spending time in some hexes like towers, guilds, hospitals and other special locations. The defender will win killing the dragons or having 10 turns without any damage in the town or without any enemy inside the walls (this two conditions are not exactly the same because there are some buildings offering VPs just outside the city walls).

The game has a classical wargame turn sequence: first the attacking side will move dragons. breath and melee attack, than the defending will cast spells, get reinforcements, moves, fires archeries and melee attacks.

There is a just one-unit stack limit in the map so, for the defender, it is really relevant where place and move the units and is not easy to attack the dragons in the same turn with many units. Of course the Hero and the Wizard can stack with units or together.

There is the usual set of rules concerning terrains modifiers to movements.

Read the full review on Opinionatedgamers.com