New acquisitions for March 2016 + Mount Drago reviewed

Schmidt have added another game to their range of games that they hope will appeal to the gaming community rather than just families. We love Vienna so we were keen to try something new. The new game turned out to be Mount Drago. Schmidt published it in 2011 and it has definitely slipped under the radar. Let’s correct that.

Mount Drago is a race game. Movement is by playing cards. Sounds similar? Games like Jockey or Lose Your Shirt come to mind? This game has a new mechanic – you can get off your mount and get on board another during the race!!

The playing board is a track of 26 spaces + 4 spaces after a piece crosses the finish-line. Each space has a number on it from one to eight. Some of these spaces are scoring spaces. There are two types of scoring spaces, one where all Dragons on spaces of 3 or less score. The other type scores all the Dragons currently being ridden.

The racing beasts are Dragons. And each Dragon has 11 cards in the pack, 2 x 1 to 5, plus one extra 3 card. By the way, the Dragon cards are beautifully illustrated by Kerem Beyit and Anne Pätzke. Each player starts on a Dragon randomly generated as far as colour is concerned and is dealt a hand of 6 cards. A player in their turn must play one card. If you play a card of a colour Dragon not currently being ridden by another player, then you switch to that new Dragon. You will ride several different dragons during the course of the race. This rule is modified by two conditions. If you play a card for a Dragon being ridden by an opponent, then you do not switch ‘saddles’, you simply stay on your dragon. Also, if you play a card for the dragon(s) in last space you may choose not to switch mounts.

All Dragons will score during the race. If a Dragon lands on a blue space, all Dragons currently standing on spaces numbered 3 or less score and if you are on board one then your score is marked up by that number on the score track that runs around the playing track. If a Dragon arrives on a yellowly-green space then all the mounted Dragons score for their riders no matter the value of the space.  After playing a card, a player’s hand is restored to 6 cards. However, should your move result in a scoring phase then you do not get to refill your hand. Your hand-size will only be refilled to 6 if you do not cause a scoring by your move. So it is possible to cause scoring in several of your turns in a row. Your hand could go down to no cards in your hand and if that happens then you do get to restore your hand to 6 cards.

The race continues until 3 Dragons have crossed the finish-line. Note, you do not have to be the first Dragon over the finish-line to win. It is the points you accrue during the race that matters. When the 3rd Dragon crosses the line, the game ends and the playerends and the player with the highest score, wins, regardless of the position of their Dragon in the race..

The novel idea about changing mounts during the race is what makes this game very tactical. At times you will want to stay on your Dragon and then you will move someone else’s Dragon or you will move a Dragon in last space and take your option of not changing mounts. A good and viable tactic is to get your Dragon on to a high value space and then don’t move it again by playing other player’s Dragon on to a yellowly-green scoring space. This will earn you a lot of points if you can keep your Dragon for a decent amount of time. And, of course, if another player causes a score to be taken then you will benefit again. So, to score or not to score, to stay on or get off your mount, these are micro-decisions that need to be made throughout the race. We love the game and I think you might as well.

Quality of components: The wooden Dragon pieces are simply but nicely done. The cards are fantastic and they make the game in my opinion. You can see some examples within this page. The rules are clear and well-illustrated.  The board is double-sided. One side is for 2-3 players, the other for 4-5 players. The negative thing is the tiny player pieces to record you score on the outer track. They are very poorly designed in my opinion and, like us, you will soon change them for coloured counters or wooden cubes. And one final comment, check your Dragons. I had no Green Dragon and an extra Blue Dragon. I must say though, when I told Schmidt, they sent a Green Dragon which I received within two days. That was nice.

Lots of new games this month so I am not listing all. I have parcels here I have yet to open so I am limiting this month's items to 45. Hope you might see something that interests you. I must thank Rudolf and Gretel for their unstinting help with finding old games for me.

 

 

 

 

 

Alienz

U.S. Games Systems

2004

Big League

Bertcord Ltd.

1982

Gemälde-Quartett

Gustav Weise

1930

Pair Up Animal Puzzle Game

Learning Aid

1995

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Happy Families

Carta Mundi (for Morrisons' Supermarkets)

2012

Little Miss Picture Match Puzzle

Funtastic

2013

Lachen ist gesund

ASS

1985

Der kleine Zoo

Die Wende

1930

Die Schweiz

Ravensburger

1930

Civil Aircraft

Carta Mundi

2008

Geschützte Vögel

Lehrmittel Pössneck

1979

Selten so gelacht

FX Schmid

1990

Game of Authors

Somerville

1960

007 Playing Cards

Carta Mundi

2004

Aus dem Leben in Äthiopien

Berlin Missions-Werk

Toy Story Happy Families

Carta Mundi for Morrisons' Supermarkets

2012

Berühmte Gemälde

Jos. Scholz

1920

Dictator

Luctor

1946

Five Tribes: Der Kunstschmiede von Naqala

Days of Wonder

2015

Cornish Village Jigsaw Puzzle

Cotswood

1930

Bunte Blumen

Pelikan

1975

Schwarzwald

Ravensburger

1930

Plum Crazy

Games for Giggles

1989

Rate Fix

Hausser

1955

Kingsport Festival

Kosmos

2014

Ein Jahrtausend Deutsche Künst 950-1950

ASS

1950

Junior Elfer raus!

Ravensburger

2005

Da Luigi

Kosmos

2015

Ben 10: Invasion of the Power

Trefl

2005

Waldgeisterlein

ASS

1920

Minis: Such die Affen

Ravensburger

2007

Bibi Blocksberg: Das verflixte Hexkraut

Schmidt

2005

Das Grosse Toffifee Goldfieber

Storck

2010

Garten-Quartett

Ravensburger

1930

Spel-Boek

Nederlandsch Fabrikaart

1930

Humor mit Herz

ASS

1985

Tiere-Quartett

Ravensburger

1950

Pachisi

Innovakids

2010

Das Striptease Spiel

Udo Schmidt

1998

Planes 2 Happy Familes

Carta Mundi for Morrisons' Supermarkets

2012

Power Rangers: Jungle Fury

Ravensburger

2000

Geschützte Tiere

Lehrmittel Pössneck

1978

Dichter-Quartett

Jos. Scholz

1925

Spiele mit Zahlen

Helingsche

1965

Winnetou I

FX Schmid

1965

 

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