Dragon’s Gold is a not so well known game that I really enjoy. Designed by Bruno Faidutti, the version I have was published by White Goblin Games. It supports up to 6 players and plays in around 30-45 minutes.
The theme could be considered a bit misleading, as Dragon’s Gold is primarily a negotiation game. Slaying the dragons is secondary to the fight over how to divide its hoard once the deed is done. Each player has the same four members on his team. A wizard who can leverage his power to lay claim to any magical items in a hoard, a thief who… well steals, and two warriors of differing strengths.
Ultimately at game’s end each player will count up his riches and be awarded victory points based off the amount of gold and silver collected, cornering the market on any particular type of gem, or for each complete set of gems he has collected. Magical items will grant players certain powers that can be used to strengthen their own team or thwart the efforts of other players. Finally, there is a black diamond that can be either a blessing or a curse. Though, the black diamond is the most valuable piece in the game, the player who holds it does not gain any bonus points for any other gems in his treasure. Each player keeps their hoard hidden behind his player’s shield, so the competitive gamer needs to keep a watchful eye on what types of treasure his opponents are pulling from the dragons’ lairs. All of this is made hectically fun by the most instrumental mechanism in the game; the timer. Once a dragon is dispatched each player involved in the slaying has only 60 seconds to agree on the division of the loot. Should they fail to come to an understanding, all loot is forfeited and is removed from the game. For this reason, though this game is light, it is not for the timid. Like you will hear me say about many games, the success of Dragon’s Gold is dependent on the group you play it with. Not only will a timid player stand no chance of winning the game, they can hugely slant the outcome for the other players.
The version of the game I have is well produced but has some minor flaws. The player’s screens are too small and flimsy and though the treasure pieces are well made, their shape makes them a bit difficult to manage when you get them on the table. Also their colors are not always easily distinguishable in some lighting conditions. The artwork on the cards is very well done and all in all production adds to the value of the game.
All together, I really enjoy Dragon’s Gold and am generally excited when I see it hit the table. It is a good filler game and has the added bonus of being nearly as fun to watch, as it is to play. I rate Dragon’s Gold a 7 out of 10. I am glad to have it in my collection.
By: James Gibson