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DRAGOON: THE ROGUE AND BARBARIAN EXPANSION (Lay Waste Games)

This is a review of the upcoming Dragoon expansion The Rogue and Barbarian. Read our original review of Dragoon here.

For The Rogue and Barbarian expansion you can now extend your fun on Dragoon Island to up to 6 players with the addition of, you guessed it, a rogue and a barbarian player! Different than the four dragon players from the base game, the rogue and barbarian each have their own special ways to play, though the goal of reaching 50 gold first remains for all players.

For their turn, the rogue uses an assortment of equipment cards to grant special abilities. Having no more than four equipped at any one time and unable to equip more than one a turn, it becomes a timing game of trying to stay one step ahead of the others. You also have a series of tunnel tokens that allow you to steal tribute from other players and move quickly about the board.

The barbarian arrives to the island’s shore on a ship, bringing with him havoc… and a deck full of ability cards! Drawing an ability card at the start of each turn, the barbarian player needs to build up his level as cards come with a level requirement. The only way to knock the barbarian back down to level one is by defeating him in combat. Because the barbarian can quickly run away with things if he stays at level 5, it may be a good idea to save him for games of 5 or 6 players (he quickly ran away with things in our 3-player game).

The unfortunate oversight to this expansion is there really isn’t anything for the dragon players. Compared to a leveling system and havoc deck or a system of tunnels and equipment cards, playing as a dragon is kind of dull now. Part of the core game’s appeal lay in its simplicity of rules, but with the expansion the old way of playing feels a little two-dimensional by comparison.

The Kickstarter for both the expansion and a second printing of the game is live for just a few more days now, so head on over soon! Also included with the second-printing is a standard edition that substitutes plastic playing pieces for the initial special edition’s precious metals. The metal playing pieces are impressive, but it’s also $40 more. Decisions, decisions. (Lay Waste Games) by David C. Obenour