Dragons. Beautiful and majestic animals. Intelligent creature,s that can think like humans and inhabited planet Earth a long time ago, before dinosaurs. Their breath is fiery and body is covered with scales. The dragon world is now left only in memories of our planet. Yet we do remember them.
And we cannot wonder, because dragons are popular figures of various movies, series or books. Without a dragon, movie or book is not complete and it does not matter, if it is a saga A Song of Ice and Fire, Harry Potter or even War and Peace. Everyone need dragons to help us encourage our imagination.
Long ago, dragons entered the world of board games. We have already told you about a fight between dwarves and a dragon. But there is plenty of room for more – for example battle between two dragons. This empty space is to be filled with a game called simply Dragon Clash. Although we lack the reason, why two such armored monsters should engage in a fight, but you can deduce something during the game. Again, it is for dragon egg and territories. Maternal instincts come first. Both dragons have one egg and tries to drive the other away. Each considers the other intruder in his land.
But we have already progressed too far, almost into gameplay. But we are not there yet. So back to the beginning. Dragon Clash is a game created by Marc Aranha and tells its story in a world called Shalkith. Game is issued by War Spider Entertainment company. Its predecessor, with the same theme is game Shalkith: Last Kin, which was published already in year 1998. But only some grinding mechanisms remained, while author managed to create this new card game. This was publihed this year – 2012. Illustrations are common work of fifteen authors. We are just guessing, that they are fans of original Shalkith.
Dragon Clash is a card game. As such, it can be purchased in small inconspicuous green boxes. Each of them contains a total of 72 cards. There are currently two packages out ther – Red Breather and Blue Adept. At first glance, you could not tell them surprisingly apart, since both have the same picture on the cover and differ only in the text below it. And while we’re on the packaging and boxes are not sturdy enough and will soon fail you in containing cards. But a few strokes with ducktape and everything is back to normal.
Most important, however, is the inside – those cards. When you start look at them one by one, you easily sort out eight age cards, which are clearly different from the others. Likewise, one egg card, distance card and summary of rules stand out in the crowd. Rules themselves are not included in the box, but are shipped next to the game, printed in colour on paper. But that does not matter. If you accidentally lose the sheet, the official website of the game http://www.dragonclash.com holds them for download.
So if you have been counting, that brings you (after the elimination of one ad card) to a number of sixty cards, with which you can play the game and take actions. All without exception have one offensive number with a crossed swords in its upper left corner, varying from one to six. It will be decision makeing moment in many situations, when you will be in need of deciding your attack or defense. Each card also contains unique illustrations. However you will find several examples of each of them and even across the different decks (blue and red).
We usually come to a description of cards now, but we would only bring confusion to you, when trying to explain the tables. So we will make that explanation later, during the ordinary rules description.
Preparation of one game is quick. You simply put eight age cards on one pile, so the top shows your dragons actual age 1. So you are starting in a role of small, barely hatched baby. How will the time flow, you grow up and your options will expand. Besides age deck, you put a turn overview card and also a egg card – for now.
You shuffle all other cards, draw your starting hand of seven cards, and add that egg card into your hand to make it eight. If you lose the egg, you lose the game. Last card to put in front of you is the distance card. You would most definitely also need some token to indicate the distance between fighting dragons. Clash begins with the close distance, body on body. This is, where you put tokens of your choice.
Players can now start the game, but now is definitely a good time to inspect your dragon age card. In addition to the image, marking AGE CARD and number with age of your dragon, you will find mainly three columns with three values each. First column shows your attack strength (close, magic and breath), second column lists the value of dragon defense agens those three attacks in the same order. Third shows regeneration ability of your dragon (essence) and how easily your dragon learns new skills.
Most of these icons mentioned will start at one or zero, but it will improve over time, as your dragon grows up and gains power. But we need finally to start the fight.
The life of each of the dragons is hidden imide drawing deck. At the beginning of the game are thus both dragons completely healthy and okay. As you progress through the game, you have to pay for everything with their life essence. As your deck becomes thinner, dragon is more exhausted, hurt and approaching a defeat. But his enemy might have same problems as well.
At the beginning of each turn, dragon will heal. You can return the top card from the discard pile underneath your deck. Now you draw one card into your hands and finally may start attacking your opponent. First, you can change the distance between dragons. If you do so, your opponent must follow you and move his token accordingly (dragons must have mutual distance), but you will pay for this effort with one essence.
Payment of essence is done always in the same way – you take the top card from your deck and throw it into discard. You often lose valuable cards like this, which would you otherwise got to draw in future turns. But you are right to think, that you could save the last one – after healing on start of your next turn, you put it on bottom of the drawing deck and you will get to use it just before the end of the game. It may come in handy, but it may already be too late. Every move and spending essence must be carefully weighed.
In the game, there are three distances available. Each presents dragons with other activities to perform, and play other cards. All cards have the distance limitations listed next to their name in a shape of green icon. You can only attack melee with your tail, but you spit fire from middle distance.
After changing the distance, you’ve finally got a little time and you can make two actions, which count most towards victory. You have a choice from three options. The simplest is playing cards from your hand – one card for one action. Most of the time, you will add a new ability for your dragon (gift), combat skill (attack card), but also one-time event cards. All this is hidden under the option to play the card.
In addition, you have the opportunity to feed your dragon. This means, that you take a card from hand and put it face down under his age deck. Whenever are two cards, you can finally grow your dragon for third possible action – you simply uncover the card with a higher number.
As the dragon ages, he is also able to learn more complex attacks. Each card has apart from distance also one more requirement – dragons tactics, which is listed as a middle number in the right column on the age card. You can not play cards with higher requirements at all, until your dragon gets more experienced. Combat cards have several columns on them, showing more and more stronger versions of the same attack. To gain access to them, you have to have more cards of the same type in front of you. But also their amount is limited by age – the last of the dragon nine numbers on the card age is ability.
Only now you can choose one of these cards laying in front of you on the table to attack your opponent’s dragon. For most of the attacks, however, you must pay essence, for effort you have to put in the strike. This means, you have to discard cards from your drawing deck. Then you can simply evaluate duel – you add value of that specific attack type to one card picked up from the top of the drawing deck. It has number next to a crossed swords in the upper left corner. Whoever has higher number is the winner. If you succeed, your opponent must discard as many cards (life essence) as is written on your attack card for a given level. Otherwise, the opponent defended and you needlessly wasted energy.
Most of the attacks also offer special abilities at higher levels. You can often prevent the opponent attacks using cards with text “on counter”. These attacks can completely defend it and sometimes it is not even evaluated.
Attack ends your turn and its time for you to watch your opponent. Players alternate until someone is forced to throw his egg card away, this means, that he emptied his drawing deck and is paying by cards from his hand. Second dragon is immediate winner of the duel, and ruler of the territory.
Dragon Clash offers an excellent and exciting strategic battle between two dragons. The seemingly ordinary card game has an excellent atmosphere and really manages to give the impression of two armored monsters duelling.
Each of dragons is a bit different and you need to behave accordingly. Of course, different decks contain also different abilities. And while “red breather”, as its name suggests, is very good at spitting fire, “blue adept” is better in defense and magic. It is important for players to know about the advantages of their dragon and adjust their strategy accordingly.
Players can tactically maneuver, which is a matter for card games probably unheard of. They can go away and fly back again in attack on their rivals, tearing claws or consecutively whipping with its fiery tongue. How dragons evolve, they get stronger and more devastating abilities, but these are also more demanding in terms of essence. There would still be place for less damaging, but cheaper strikes.
Now essence is the foundation of everything in Dragon Clash. Player must handle carefully with it. You can, of course, take risks and attack in a balanced situation, but it is much better to have some advantage and insurance over luck. You still often fail in otherwise easy attack, because your opponent draws higher defensive card and destroy your plans. And dragon, which is attacking a lot, gets unnecessarily tired and becomes an easy prey.
Four levels of skills and eight years of age for dragons ensure, that the whole game is different and challenging every time. But all these little things choose one tax for you to pay in the first few matches. The game has quite a lot of icons, which you have to learn. Fortunately, it’s not as bad as it initially seems and most of them are intuitive.
Surprisingly, children get grasp of this game quite quickly and without any large hiccups. Although you must carefully explain some important rules, they pick up the game almost immediately. Because there are dragons, you can be sure, that your children will get excited about this game in no time at all. This is supported with nice and detailed images found on all cards.
Elegant combat system provides an interesting match and sixty cards in one deck is sufficient amout to guarantee you different experience each time. In addition, there are two more decks planned for this month (October 2012), which should help Dragon Clash to rise even higher and become a really really great game. While battling, there is a significant effect of luck in drawing cards, but many of these outcomes can be influenced by tactical decisions and the right timing. And even if not, one attack does not lose you game, it is only something to take revenge for.
Dragon Clash is a fascinating duel of two dragons. Everything you have ever imagined, that could happen in such a battle, can be done here. In addition, your dragons will grow and you will train them in many different skills. Every time, your dragon will be a little bit different. Dragon Clash is a game, that is obligation to buy not only for dragon fans, but also for lovers of exciting two-player games.
+ dragons age
+ nice illustrations
+ each dragon has its unique strengths and weaknesses
+ three distances to battle in
+ different levels of attacks
+ dragons heal
+ payment by cards
+ tense game
- only 2 decks so far
- luck in combat