EXCERPTS FROM THE FALL 2000 GA REPORT
Reviewed by Herb Levy
DELTA DRAGON (Eurogames/Descartes, USA; $29.99)
Delta Dragon by Roberto Fraga comes squareboxed with a mounted game board (depicting the delta of the Dragon river complete with 27 islands and six villages), 6 pawns, 6 sets of colored panks, wooden tokens (which serve as “stones”) and 6 sets of Action cards. This low complexity game is advertised for two to six players but plays at its rollicking best with six.
Each player receives a pawn (placed on a village) and the matching set of colored planks and 13 Action cards. In each round, players place five Action cards face down, in the order they will be performed (if possible). Simultaneously, all “first” actions are revealed. Once resolved, “second” actions are revealed (and resolved) and so on until all five sets have been completed. Action cards are reusable in later rounds.
Action cards allow players to seed stones on the islands that dot the area between the villages, place planks (to enable player tokens to travel towards other villages), move tokens onto the planks and even remove stones and planks. In addition, Dragon cards can cancel the action of the player with the matching color (but you may only play one Dragon per round. But all is not quite as simple as it may appear.
The planks of each player comes in different sizes ranging from a rather smallish 1 to a lengthy 6. When placing a plank, that plank must be supported by a stone at each end (or a village). Planks may not be measured but must be gauged by sight. If a plank does not reach, the player loses that action. Similar misfortune befalls a player if he plays a movement action and cannot complete it (because of a plank not being in the proper place or another token not being in the position for a player to jump). In those cases, that player’s token is considered to have “fallen into the delta” and goes back to start!
The removal option is rather clever. When playing the remove a stone or plank card, a player may remove a stone to the communal supply. When removing a plank, however, there are certain restrictions. You may never have two planks of the same number or planks of more than two colors… The first player to successfully navigate over the delta to the opposite village wins!
Dragon Delta could accurately be described as “chaos in a box”. The more players there are, the less control you have as your pawn often shifts along routes that you never dreamed of. The colorful interwoven planks add to the crazy quilt atmosphere too. Yet, the pleasure of the game lies in trying to outguess your fellow delta travellers, when to move and when to cancel an opponent’s play, when to remove a plank and which one – all factors that add to the delightful dizziness. Dragon Delta is a light concoction that offers a good hour of pleasing family fun. – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – Herb Levy
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Fall 2000 GA Report Articles