As most of you are aware, every year at this time, the annual board gamers’ convention, known as Gencon takes place in the United States. This is all very good for the denizens of Indianapolis and its environs, but not so good for those of us in the out flung reaches of the planet, like Australia and Europe, who can neither afford the time nor the finance to attend this event.
The person who kindly hosts this site at no charge to ourselves, is a good friend of mine who can be found on Carcassonne Central and on Board Game Geek under the guise of ‘Decar’ and it is his lead that I am trying to replicate here.
When two worlds collide
As many of you are aware, as well as having a strong interest in Dragon Dice, I have a passion for Carcassonne and often play in, and also run, tournaments for the latter throughout the year.
Decar annually creates a solo variant for Carcassonne, and invites members of the forum to compete against one another. I usually get involved in the play testing of these variants before launch of the competition. This is ironically referred to as our ‘Gencant’, as it is designed for people who are unable to attend Gencon and therefore have to play by themselves.
A couple of months ago now, Chuck Pint mentioned to me in passing that he was looking for an introductory version of Dragon Dice which used the normal rules, but was easier to learn and play, as a means to hopefully attracting new players. I started thinking about this and had my Eureka moment – let’s try and do both.
For this reason, I am proud to offer my first draft of the variant I offer for this year’s Dragan Dice Gencant, especially for readers in Australia, Asia, Europe, Africa and South America.
Punt Your Dragon – A solo variant for Dragondice
This is very much my prototype version, and I would welcome suggestions before we make it a live competition.
To play Punt your Dragon, you will need the following;-
- A 12 -Health army
- 4 – Health of Dragonkin
- 1 Drake of any colour
- 1 Wyrm of any colour
- 1 ‘Normal’ terrain of each type, Highland, Coastland, Swampland, Wasteland, Feyland and Flatland
- A large bottle of finest malt whisky (optional, but it will help a lot)
Purpose of the Game
The purpose of the game is to progress from the Highland terrain on face 1, through to face 8 and then on to the Coastland at face 1 up to face 8 and so on until all six types of terrain have been conquered in order. Trying to stop you achieving this are two dragons. The wyrm starts to battle and, once it is defeated, the drake takes its place until it is also defeated or flies away, whereupon it is replaced by the Wyrm again and so on until all units have either been killed, or you have successfully captured the 8th face of the Flatland.
All normal V4 rules for Dragon Dice apply at all times unless otherwise specified here.
The 12-Health army can be a single race or a mixture of the 12 main races. No items, artefacts, medallions or Eldarim will take part. You are allowed to bring 4 health of dragonkin to your summoning area, but minor terrains are also not allowed (this is a game to introduce new players, after all). Monsters are allowed and are encouraged as long as the 12 health limit is not exceeded. All terrains start on face 1. The wyrm is placed at the Highland terrain.
- Beginning Phase – Spell expiration – Racial Abilities – 8th face Special Abilities
- Dragon Attack Phase
- Manoeuvre Phase
- Army March Phase
- Redeployment Phase
- Dragon Replenish Phase
All spells expire at the start of the round and all racial abilities (including feralization for armies containing feral units) happen here.
The normal rules for Dragon combat apply, but with modification for Breath and Treasure namely:-
- Jaws – 12 points damage
- Breath – 5 indefensible damage and turn terrain die down 1 face, if it is not already on face 1.
- Claws – 6 points damage
- Tail – 3 points damage plus re-roll
- Wing – 5 points damage and drake flies away after die roll resolution
- Treasure – The army can promote 1 unit or recruit 1 health unit.
- Belly – Dragon does no damage and loses its 5 automatic saves
The army can try to manoeuvre and the dragon, if present, counters using a ‘Saves count as Manoeuvres’ conversion at all terrains. i.e. the dragon gets 5 automatic manoeuvres or 0 if it rolls a belly. If the dragon has been killed or has flown, the army can manoeuvre unimpeded.
Army March Phase
This phase only applies of the terrain is showing a magic action, or at its 8th face. Use of magic is restricted to 4 spells (normal racial restrictions apply). These are:- Summon Dragonkin, Resurrect Dead, Stone Skin and Watery Double.
If an army is at a terrain on its 8th face it may move to the next terrain in the sequence, never to return again (dragon breath does not force the army to return, even from the next terrain on its 1st face). 8th Face advantages do apply if an army wants to remain. The order of terrains is as follows:-
- Highland (Red – Yellow)
- Coastland (Green – Blue)
- Swampland (Yellow – Green)
- Wasteland (Blue – Red)
- Feyland (Green – Blue)
- Flatland (Yellow – Blue)
NB – Dragonkin can only stay at the terrain which they have been summoned. This still applies in this variant.
Dragon Replenish Phase
There will always be one dragon at the same terrain as the army at the start of the turn. Where possible, it is required to alternate between Wyrm and Drake but, if for example, a dragon is left behind at the previous terrain as a result of an army moving to the next sequential terrain, the dragon from the summoning pool is deployed at the new terrain, and the dragon at the unoccupied terrain returns back to the summoning pool.
Dragons take turns to attack.
Recording your results
When the competition goes live, I will be adding a few more restrictions so as to level the playing field, buy meanwhile, I would like to know how you get on. You can therefore make up your scorecard like this:-
Terrains – Highland City – Coastland Tower – Swampland City – Wasteland Temple – Feyland Standing Stones – Flatland Tower (or a photo might be easier).
Army – 2 x Devastator, 3 x Assaulter (ditto about photo)
Dragonkin – 2 x Air Dragonscout, 1 x Air Dragonmount
Result – Finished at Coastland Face 3
I will shortly be posting a few of my attempts at this challenge. I hope that you will all let me know of any rules clarifications that are required.