You know those days when you just get out of work and all you want to do is sit at bar and enjoy a beer? Maybe you go there with your coworkers, have a nice chat, complain about the boss, and just get away from it all. And you know that time in the evening when the Paladins, Rogues, Druids, Pirates, and other fantasy factions decide to throw the biggest most epic bar fight you have ever seen in your life?
You haven’t? Well let’s change that.
Jump into the chaos of The Dragon & Flagon! A game where your only goal is to hit your opponents harder than they hit anyone else!
Sounds like something you’ve heard before right? There are hundreds of war games out there about doing damage. But this is no war my friend, this is a bar fight. I mean this is really a bar fight! Your characters will be drunk! You will push tables into people! Throw chairs at your friends! Yank the rug from under your enemies! Believe me when I say that you’ve never seen anything like this before.
In The Dragon & Flagon, you and your friends will pick characters from one of nine unique characters including a Paladin, a Mage, a Pirate, and a Monk! Each character comes with a deck of 18 action cards containing 13 Common Action Cards that every character has, 4 gold Special cards, and 1 red Dragon card. These cards are used to dictate your character’s movement in the game. There are movement cards, throw cards, pick-up cards, and others. One is a special card that you can only use if you have picked up the Dragon Flagon itself! There are a lot of cards to choose from and you have access to the whole deck! Thats right! No draw five or anything, you can choose from the whole deck for the entire game!
There is one caveat however…
Remember when I said that your characters will be drunk? The Dragon & Flagon simulates the confusion of drunkenness by making you plan at least one action in advance. See those three numbered spaces at the bottom of that character sheet? Pay attention to the first two, I’ll get to the third one in bit. These are the two areas where you will insert your action cards to be performed on your turn. When your turn comes up the first thing you do is make sure you have a card in both slots. After that you reveal the card in slot one and perform the action. The card in slot two then slides over to slot one. By the time your turn comes around again, the board may look completely different. While you were planning on swinging into another character, you may have just ended up crashing into a wall! Just like any other drunk person.
Let’s dissect the heart of this game, the action cards. The number in the top right corner of the card is how much time you must spend to take the action. The game board is edged in numbers representing the rounds of the game. Every time you perform an action you must move your character’s token the number of spaces on the track as indicated by that number on the card. You will not get to take your turn again until the round marker moves to the number you are on.
The star icon on the card indicates reputation, which is how you actually win the game. Every player starts the game with 25 reputation. Every time you successfully affect someone with an action, you steal the amount of reputation from them as indicated by that star icon.
There are a few other symbols on the cards that I won’t talk about, but I do want to point out that radar looking symbol. That is called daze. When you are dazed you must plan a number of extra actions as determined by the number on the symbol. That’s where that third slot comes in, making the game even more chaotic!
Players continue taking their turns until the Town Guard show up in the end of the time track. Then each player totals up their reputation and the player with the highest amount of reputation is the winner.
I’m just gonna tell you that I really like this game. I haven’t seen many games like this before. I like all the characters and their different abilities. They make you want to keep coming back so you can try each of them out. I also like how you have access to everything (except the Dragon card) that your character has at their disposal from the beginning. A lot of games that make you draw from a deck don’t allow you to see what your character is fully capable of, but The Dragon & Flagon does!
This game is crazy action packed. You can jump on tables and throw mugs at each other! I have to mention how awesome all the 3D tables and chairs and such are. They bring the game to life! The board is also doublesided. There is a team based ship battle variant on the back where you try to jump to the other team’s ship and steal their gold!
However the game is by no means perfect…
The more chaotic this game is, the more fun it is, and the more characters there are on the board, the more chaotic. You probably need around 6-8 people to have a truly good game, When you play with 2-4, every player actually plays as two characters. Some people aren’t a huge fan of that but it does make a more hectic game. The game isn’t bad with 5 or less players, but what will usually happen is a couple characters will only fight each other on one side of the board and never really come into contact with the other players.
I also want to mention the time track. I like this mechanic, but some of the people I’ve played with didn’t love it. The problem is that turn order is thrown out the window. You can end up waiting for a while to take your turn or you could end up going back to back. It’s a little crazy but I personally think it fits the chaotic theme of the game.
In the end, I really do like The Dragon & Flagon. Its simple and I think families and gamers could all enjoy it. However, if you are looking to buy this, know that you are buying chaos, not strategy. But I think we could all use a little mayhem in our lives.
What do you think about The Dragon & Flagon? Give us your opinions about what you like and/or dislike about the game in the comments below!
- Designer: Brian Engelstein, Geoff Engelstein, Sydney Engelstein
- Artists: William Bricker
- Publishers: Stronghold Games
- Release Date: 2016
- Player count : 2 - 8
- Age range : 10+
- Time range : 60 minutes
- Mechanism(s): Action / Movement Programming, Simultaneous Action Selection, Time Track, Variable Player Powers
- Find out more about The Dragon & Flagon.