Dragonwood is a wonderful little game produced by Gamewright, that gets pulled out again and again. Children learn about probability while improving their mental math skills. The theme in Dragonwood is wonderful and the gameplay is very enjoyable. Players compete with each other to capture the creatures they meet in Dragonwood, working hard to be the one with the most points at the end of the game.
Gameplay is very simple. On your turn you can reload (draw 1 red card) or attempt to capture. To capture a creature, you turn in cards to receive dice. The cards you turn in depend on how you wish to attack: Strike, Stomp, or Scream. Roll the dice, add the values, and see if the sum is greater or equal to the strength of the creature. But be careful, if the sum you roll is less than what is required, you will be wounded by the creature and lose one card! The game ends when the green deck is depleted once, the red deck is depleted twice, or both dragons have been defeated.
Players may turn in up to six cards in an attempt to capture a creature. The numbers on each dice are 1-4, portrayed in numerical value, not in dots like traditional dice. This encourages the use of mental math rather than simply counting. Players must decide how many dice they are going to need to capture their chosen creature and work to gain enough of the correct cards to exchange for those dice. Do they challenge the odds and try to defeat a creature with 8 strength using only two dice (requiring a roll of two 4’s)? Or do they save up more cards to give themselves a better chance at success?
Looking at Gabe’s cards, he has 4 choices. He can choose to play his 5, 6, 7, and 8 in exchange for four dice to Strike a creature. He can turn in his three purple cards to get three dice to attempt to Scream at a creature. He can turn in both of his 11’s in exchange for two dice to Stomp on a creature. Or, he can reload, drawing another card in an effort to be able to earn more dice on a future turn.
Here, Eve turned in two 7’s and received two dice to attempt to capture the Spooky Spiders. Because she chose to use multiple cards with the same number, she will be trying to stomp on the spiders. She must get a 3 or higher, as indicated next to the boot symbol on the card. She rolled a 3 and a 1, successfully capturing those spooky spiders and gained 1 point!
When playing this in my Game School, I remove all the purple enhancement cards and the corresponding weather card. I then remove an additional 10 green cards, making sure not to remove the remaining weather cards nor the dragon cards. This simplifies and shortens the game for my younger players. This game is fun for adults and older siblings to join in on as well. I highly recommend it! You can purchase a copy here.
Disclaimer: These are my honest opinions of Dragonwood. I receive no royalties or payment of any kind for this post or the links above.
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