A fight has broken out at the world-renown The Dragon & Flagon tavern over its magical drink. One sip of The Dragon will unlock your character’s most powerful ability as you brawl with the other members of the game’s diverse cast over who will achieve the most reputation before the city guard arrives to break up the melee.
The Dragon & Flagon from Brian, Sydney, and Geoff Engelstein and Stronghold Games uses 3D components and programmed actions to create a thematic barroom-brawl-simulation board game. Characters will be picking up chairs, throwing mugs, running across tabletops, pulling the rugs out from under each other, and trying to claim a sip from the fabled Dragon.
After the barroom is set up—either with a custom setup or the game’s suggested layout—players will lock in their first two actions by laying cards from their characters’ decks face down in front of them. The initial play order will be randomized, and the first player to act will reveal the first programmed action.
Actions range from moving across the room to slashing with a weapon to picking up an object, and each character has a unique set of actions in addition to many common actions. Though characters’ actions are represented by cards and each character will have its own deck, there’s no shuffling—all of a character’s actions will be available to the player unless that action is already queued up or in progress.
Each action also has a time cost, which will move the character’s time token from the starting position down a number of spaces equal to that cost. After each character has performed an initial action, the game’s timer will proceed to the next space. A character who performed an action with 1 time cost will perform another action in the very next round, while a character who performed an action with a time cost of 3 will wait several rounds before acting again.
After each action, the player will place another card into that player’s personal action queue. If your character becomes dazed, you’ll have to play one or more additional cards into that queue, far in advance of those actions actually being resolved. In The Dragon & Flagon, you’ll never play a card and then immediately perform it; you’re always one step removed from what’s going on in the moment. That means characters’ actions will frequently have unexpected results, and actions will sometimes be completely ineffective.
If you try to resolve an impossible action, such as trying to pick up an object from a space with no object available, your action will be canceled. That means you’ll do nothing for the turn, but fortunately, a canceled action has a time cost of only 1 regardless of what the actual played card was.
The actual Dragon is the centerpiece of the brawl, though it doesn’t tie directly to the win condition of the game. Rather, characters will be seeking the legendary drink in order to take a sip and therefore unlock their powerful Dragon abilities. It only provides a single use, though, so you’ll need to pick up that Dragon again later for another activation.
Characters don’t have hit points in the game, so no one will ever be killed, knocked out, or otherwise eliminated. Instead, characters have reputation they want to protect and increase. Attacks steal reputation from other characters rather than do actual damage, so everyone’s in it until the end and the guards show up, which will trigger randomly on one of final the spaces of the time track. The goal is to have the most reputation at that point to become the winner.
For an exciting, thematic game that plays up to eight players and will have them telling stories about the crazy goings on of the bar fight, check out The Dragon & Flagon!