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     " It could be a lot of fun…but first it will have to catch up with the pack. "

      Title: Quest for the Dragonlords by Dragonlords Inc.

      Format: Fantasy Board Game

      Reviewing Monkey: Dungapult

      The Hype: Billing itself, loudly and often, as "The Ultimate Fantasy Adventure Game", Quest for the Dragonlords wants to provide epic fantasy in a handy embossed box.

      What This Monkey Thought...

      Playability: For those of you familiar with the strategy board game genre (Risk, War! Age of Imperialism, etc,), much of Dragonlords will be instantly familiar as soon as you open the box. The board is richly colored and broken up into territories separated by oceans, the miniatures are color coded but of a single model for each army, and there is a single stat sheet that indicates your side's capabilities both at start and as it gains in ability. Also coming as pleasantly familiar will be the scope of the game. Reminiscent of such classics as Dark Tower and Talisman, the premise simply enough is to march across the map, gathering goodies, so that you can eventually make a play for your opponent's king, the highly protected and even body doubled head of his forces, so that you can knock him into that same pit where they buried Hamlet's dad and claim victory.
          To do that you'll interact with terrain features, mine gold, capture goodies, combat monsters, and wage war with your fellow human players. Combat and resource management are very similar to the previous games I've mentioned and certainly won't be out of the ordinary to experienced gamers…which is good because the instructions can be a bit confusing at times. Still, the set up is nice and familiar and essentially straightforward and fits nicely into the grove the genre has niched out…or would if the forces weren't so uneven.
          Unfortunately, representing the biggest failing Dragonlords suffers from, each of the races/armies (Orcs, Barbarians, Elves, Dwarves) each have a special talent and they are not, in any way shape or form, even. Though, in truth, only the Elves are horribly unbalanced, few of the races really hit their strides and it will take a healthy amount of house rules to get the game running evenly. 3 out of 5

      Layout and Presentation: A good board game should come with a ton of pretty stuff, and in that respect Dragonlords is aces. While at times a bit shoddy in the production values (the miniatures and artwork are base to be sure), the overall is wonderfully appealing and the aesthetics will not let you down. Lots of full and vibrant colors and a thick and sturdy construction mean that you'll be happy to keep Dragonlords around. 4 out of 5

      Value vs. Cost: At 60 bucks Dragonlords may be a bit steep for the average gamer. True, for that money you get a bunch of goodies (170 minis and a bunch of cards and placards), but the repetition of pieces (there are actually only 4 different types) and the overall cost may diminish your feelings of getting your money's worth. 3 out of 5

      The Verdict:

       All in all, Dragonlords is a nice attempt and could be a good game, but its "me too" rules and unbalanced play really keep it behind. Hopefully future expansions will rectify the situation and bring Dragonlords to the forefront.

      The Good: Pretty and chock full of goodies

      The Bad: Unbalanced and pricey

      The Overall Ugly: It could be a lot of fun…but first it will have to catch up with the pack.

      What it's Worth: 30 bucks

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