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Pegasus Spiele & Edition Spielwiese 
present a game for 3-5 daring heroes by Richi Haarhoff with artwork and illustrations by Florian Biege
SPACE DRAGONS

SPACE DRAGONS is a trick-taking and card-drafting game with its own take on tricks.
Instead of having Suits or Trumps there are different symbols and effects on some of the main deck of Crew cards.  

  

Scoring Cards:
There are a set of Score cards that have an A and B side  show a Planet and a step-graph that is shaded light and dark and has Bonus points (+# in Orange circles) on te A side and Negative points (-# in Purple circles) on the B side. 

The cards are colour and icon coded. The three colours have effects that may differ with only 3 players.
Blue Planet cards Side A earn points for the players with the most (+10) and least (+5) Science symbols on their Crew and Dragon cards.
Blue Planet cards Side B earn points for the players with the least (-10) and most (-5) Science symbols on their Crew and Dragon cards.
Green Planet cards Side A earn points for the players with the most (+10) and second most (+5) Mood symbols on their Crew and Dragon cards.
Green Planet cards Side B earn points for the players with the least (+10) and second least (+5) Mood symbols on their Crew and Dragon cards.
Purple Planet cards Side A earn points for the players with the least (+10) and second least (+5) Crime symbols on their Crew and Dragon cards.
Purple Planet cards Side B earn points for the players with the most (-10) and second most (-5) Crime symbols on their Crew and Dragon cards.

Crew Cards:
These make up the main deck and the Player's hands. Of the 80 cards, 9 are dealt to each player of which 7 will be used in a Round. However, your Hand isn't made up from the 9 cards you are dealt as, after taking one and placing it aside, face-down, you pass the remainder on to the player to your left. From those passed to you you select one and pass the others on, continuing until all players again have 9 cards.

Crew cards are white faced with many neat illustrations. The top edge of each being split into two sections; the slimmer top section shows the symbols that are used for scoring at the end of the game. The wider second section shows the card's draft number/value and possibly an added effect.

 
Dragon/Spaceship Cards:
Each player is given a Dragon card with the Spaceship side up. This is their Spaceship, the Dragon side is not counted at any time. From the shuffled deck of Dragon cards 7 are removed to create a stack called the Dragon's Lair; this is where the text and illustration on page 3 of the rules booklet get a mite confusing. The text says to create the Dragon's Lair as a stack, and to turn over the top card. The illustration shows a deck with a Dragon face up on top of it, alongside 7 Spaceship side up cards in a display/row. 

We decided that we liked to play using the row of Spaceship up cards and turning over the first in the row, from the left, each Round, just because it looked prettier on the table <smile>. Dragons have a VP value and one Dragon will be won per Round.

The Dragon Hunt:
Players play a selected face down Crew card in front of them. When all players have chosen the cards are flipped face up, the card effects (in the second, wider, section of the Crew card) come into play. There are four possible effects, three of which are immediate, the Crosshairs (the 4th effect) is actioned after the other effects have taken place.

A Shield (effect) allows the player to place a shield symbol under their spaceship. A Fire (effect) destroys a Shield if there is one in place or it adds a damage to the spaceship and a Cross Tools either removes a damage or has no effect. After these effects any Crosshairs are aimed at the highest value card played. The Crosshair effect is similar to the Fire symbol; each Crosshair played removes a Shield or adds a Damage to the selected (highest value) Crew card. Note that you cannot play Crosshairs against yourself - though it would be more fun if you could.

The backs of the cards are specifically designed so that when turned sideways they show a negative Flame on one side and a positive Shield on the other. When adding either to your spaceship you place the card under the ship so that the relative edge can be seen. These count towards your VP count at the end of the game.

Options ?:
As there aren't too many options each Round, nor Symbols to learn the meaning of, it takes only a Round or two to implement the mechanics firmly into your memory. Basically your game depends on the Crew cards you keep during the Drafting and then how you play them. Always playing the highest card may get you the points from the Dragon but it may also get you 'hit' by the Crosshairs of the other players, possibly losing any Bonus the Dragon affords you. You choose a card from the nine you begin with, either attempting to win the Dragon card (and its VP value) or to affect the other players score by the playing of effective symbols. Remember when choosing cards to play from your Hand that you will only be playing seven of the nine you hold. You do not play a card and draw a card - the nine you begin with are all you have.

There is always a luck element when playing (most) card games (shuffling, drawing, drafting etc) but there is also some thought and a little skill required. Overall, this makes it an easy game to learn and to play whilst retaining the fun element of the various game genres Space Dragons intertwines within its mechanics.

SPACE DRAGONS: is a fun 15-20 minute card game. It costs between £9.00-£11.00 which, considering the number of cards (103 in total) and the first-rate illustrations, is a jolly decent price.

Note: This is NOT a physical 3 remake of the electronic game of the same name on Steam.

 

 

 

 

 

© Chris Baylis 2011-2021