Cards bought are placed directly in hand. If all encounters were eliminated, the party either wins if it is the last scene or takes a rest and then the next scene starts. If there are encounters still in play, the next player to the left becomes the active player and the steps from above are repeated until the scene is completed, or the whole party is exhausted, a nice way of saying slaughtered.
I thoroughly enjoyed Dragonfire. While it is a deck builder, it has several mechanics that differentiate it from the pack. For example, hand management is different from any other deck builder I have played. Purchased cards are taken directly into your hand instead of the discard pile. When there is an assist card in the market that your party desperately needs, you may pass up the purchase of a more powerful card to get the assist into your hand immediately.
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I also enjoyed the coop gameplay itself. When it comes down to it, the game is a puzzle. Monsters have damage tracks based on levels, and each level is made up of one of five thematic types, with each player usually good at fighting one of the specific types. The damage tracks must be cleared from top to bottom, except for the uncommon instance when a card effect breaks this rule. For example, the Half Ogre has the following damage tracks: three colorless, one martial, one deception, one colorless.
As a team, players must best decide how they want to play their cards. If the active player only has a 1 damage martial card and a 1 damage deception card note: every class starts with at least one card for each of the four colors , should the other players provide three damage to clear the first level of the damage track, so the active player can clear the second and third levels? Should they save their assists for later instead of using them that phase and let the active player get damaged by the Half Ogre?
This is a simple example of the puzzle of maximizing the damage done and managing cards in every phase of Dragonfire. Now imagine trying to figure this out when every player has at least one encounter in front of their character and determining the best method to eliminate the encounters. Except it is not THAT easy….
Enter the titular Dragonfire cards.
These complicate the puzzle and one is drawn at the start of every phase, changing the battle. For example, a monster may heal one level of damage on their damage track for every damage it does to a player or the attack strength of one type of encounter is increased.
These modifications definitely impact target prioritization! Unfortunately, if the scene gets back to the party leader, the Dragonfire card gets discarded sometimes triggering ANOTHER effect and a new one is drawn. As the Dragonfire discard pile grows, the effects it generates become more severe.
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I love this method of insuring the game moves quickly because if your party does not, the Dragonfire deck will…here it comes…burn you! Unfortunately, my biggest issue with Dragonfire was the pace of growth for characters. Outside of adding complexity modifiers to an adventure, which increase XP gain at the price of a more difficult adventure, five XP is the most common reward. Characters have six slots for stickers, but only one is open at the start of your characters adventuring career.
The next slot costs… five XP. A third slot costs ten. Then there is the cost of the stickers themselves. Yes, you can overlay a previously purchased sticker for a discount of the cost of the sticker it is covering, but it will still take six successfully completed adventures to add a 30 XP sticker to my sheet. That is six hours of gaming, assuming the shortest time for each adventure… for one sticker.
This can turn the game into a bit of an XP grind, rather than allowing the player to look forward to their next character upgrade. Dragonfire is a game that we really enjoyed. It is a unique deck builder built around a truly entertaining puzzle to solve while including character building and development in the form of stickers and magic items.
The theme, at least for me, only made Dragonfire more engrossing. I highly recommend Dragonfire to fans of cooperative games, especially puzzle-like ones such as the original Shadowrun: Crossfire. Sign in.
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Log into your account. Belazs enters with an escort. You two are under arrest. Take them away. MEL: What?
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ACE: Hang about! Put me down. Mel and Ace are hustled away. ACE: Leave me alone! Get off! Stop it! Not fair! Glitz takes a right turn by a formation that looks like flowers, leaving the Doctor alone on the slippery passageway. ACE: Yeah? So what if I am. I like women with fire in their bellies, don't I, Belazs?
I might yet have a use for you. ACE: Oh yeah? What makes you think I'd be interested? ACE: I'm not frightened of you. KANE: Good. Because I shall need people like you in my army of mercenaries. ACE: You what? KANE: Think about it. Travelling through the twelve galaxies, the diamond sparkle of meteorite showers, the rainbow flashes of an ion storm.
Think about it.
MEL: Don't listen to him, Ace! Ace snaps out of her trance. KANE: How old are you? ACE: Six KANE: Eighteen, eh? No home to call your own. The twelve galaxies are your home. Come with me. I understand you. MEL: It won't be like that, Ace! Don't believe him. KANE: Join me. Take my golden sovereign.
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