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DWAR7S FALL created by Luis Brüeh and published by Vesuvius Media 

I have searched Boardgamegeek, Google, Vesuvius Media websites and I believe, as far as I can ascertain, DWAR7S FALL is the first of the DWAR7S series; wherever it falls (pun intended) it is of great value to the series.

This is a quite simple fun game about collecting resources and building Castles and Kingdoms. Players also have secret missions/goals to complete but the main thing is to build a Realm where you can collect Gems and Food.

 

Players have 3 or 4 (+1 for a Castle) actions per turn which they can play in any order, even repeating one or more of them. Play A Kingdom Card, Place a Dwarf or Move a Dwarf - these are the actions, it's each players choice as to how and which they use them.

The idea is to build your Kingdom up and at the same time prevent your opponents from doing the same. You are supposed to play nasty - that's what I was told - but we found it quite difficult in 2-player games to do so because it was in both of our interests to share the Realm cards while keeping the Mines and Taverns under your control.

 
The Secret Goal cards can be very influential, depending on which ones are drawn of course. One of the Secret Goals (these are the Architect and the King) requires having 8 or more Kingdom cards in your Realm and another says your Kingdom (Realm) must be worth at least 10 VPs, these are both tasks that mean sharing the Realm is useful for both players. The problem with playing nice and safe like this is that the game becomes tame.

 
There are some 'nasty' cards that can be used against opponents, these being mainly the Ogres, collected from the Tavern. These can be played from the hand and are one off hits. They can be collected at any time and held as part of your hand; the key words there being 'part of your hand' meaning that they do count towards the hand limit.

 
Each of the cards that make up the Realm/Kingdom has a number of circles on which Dwarfs can be played. Tasks on the cards require a number of Dwarfs be present, these Dwarfs must be of the same colour. If the task, for example, requires two Dwarfs and there are 2 Blue and 1 Red Dwarf in attendance the Blue Dwarf player can complete the task, removing the 2 Blue Dwarfs and leaving the Red Dwarf on the card. If there had been 3 Blue Dwarfs then the task could be completed by 2 of them, the third would remain in position.


No matter how hard we tried (and try) to play this game in a competitive manner as a 2-player game it doesn't work out that way for us; it always comes down to the Secret Goals and the Goal cards, although we enjoy the playing the game to get to that point. We are hoping that the EMPIRES expansion to DWAR7S FALL will offer us more of a challenge. More on that later.

 
So we found DWAR7S FALL to be a little insipid as a 2-player experience (thanks Lockdown) but we also there is a much better game when you add one or two more players, the dynamics really change, and playing to share Realms isn't in player's interest any more.

There is a series of DWAR7S games, FALL, WINTER and SPRING each with compatible expansions - the Winter and Spring expansions each have components for the other, so The LEGENDARY (Winter) is also compatible with ENCHANTED FOREST (Spring) and vice versa.

Since our first games of DWAR7S FALL we have collected the other four boxes mentioned and played through the series mixing and matching the compatible components, and we have had many great game sessions with them. So although each game plays differently they can be intermixed and the series just continues to flow. We just need DWAR7S SUMMER to complete a year (4 seasons) of DWAR7S and I'm sure it will be available sometime soon. I for one am looking forward to it.

There are other games/expansions in this series available. These were mostly available only on Kickstarter, though they can be found online with just a little searching.

Descriptions from the Publisher: The prices are average

Dwar7s Fall: Troll's Bridge Expansion $20.00 
"Once upon a time there was a moody troll that lived under a bridge. He was fearsome... and yet kind. But curiosity drove him to explore dwarfs lands." 
A new tile: Troll's pond
- The Roaming Deck
- The Mood Deck
- 3 Pre-painted Meeples!
- New Ogre cards

Dwar7s Dragon Forge Expansion  $16.00
Dragon Forge, an expansion for Dwar7s Fall, can be added along with any other expansion of the game and it works with any number of players. It takes decades to hatch a dragon egg... and then years to train a dragon. But in the end, you have a formidable ally to create magical weapons and go into battle! 
Dragon's Forge takes place years after the Empires expansion. Place the volcano starting tiles at the middle of the board. Then, beg the dragons to transform your precious gems into dragon glass. Use dragon glass and the ogres to help the blacksmith forge epic weapons! 
But beware...  Dragons have been seen marching upon our lands!

Dwar7s Royal Decrees Expansion $15.00
Peace is fragile among the four dwarf kingdoms and the drums of war are echoing into the woods. Fearsome warriors, guardians and even Kings themselves join the battle over the control of the Dwarf Kingdom. The Council of Elders had to make a move. By Royal Decree they changed the rules that define the very nature of dwarf society. 
The Royal Decree Expansion introduces 3 new classes (12 custom dwarf meeples + 1 First Player token),10 Royal Decrees which are new variation rules, 5 Scenarios that activate specific sets of Royal Decrees and create thematic gameplay styles to play the game and a new secret goal, the Dragonslayer.

 

All of the games and expansions are extremely well produced, brilliantly coloured and have play-from-the-box style rules books. 

© Chris Baylis 2011-2015