20 January 2012

Dungeon Lords part 1: component breakdown



I had ordered this game before Christmas and it also arrived earlier this week. Probably the funniest looking boardgame and funniest written rulebook that I have come across. The whole game is so silly and "cute" that it is hard not to smile or laugh out loud when you see it. Every component crawling with details, small imps taking a dump in a corner, buildings traps, family photos in the "Office" of the chief imps, the monsters drinking in the bar etc. You can spend an hour just looking at all the boards and cards and rulebook and have a laugh.

As with all other somewhat complex boardgames I will divide this review into a component breakdown and a review of the game itself. I will get into the details of the rules in part 2 but you will be able to find brief descriptions of the core components next to each picture.

First of all, a brief quality rundown of the components. The boards and cardboard tokens/cards are all high quality. The cards are also very nice. The tokens are easy to punch - but you have to be a little careful not to be too rough as some of them I found required a little more careful handling else they would be torn in the punching process. You also get two bags of plastic components, the imps and injury markers. The imps are fun, but not nearly as cool as they might look on pictures. They will their purpose though and it is fun to have components that are not all made out of wood. The other markers are made out of wood which have been painted so you can keep track of the player owning the markers or in a single color (green food and yellow gold). There is really nothing to complain about in regard to the components and boards - the only thing I would love to have seen included would be some zip-bags like I got with Automobile and Merchants & Marauders. It should really be included by default with all games that have a bunch of small components.


The rulebook, first thing that you will notice is that it is written with a great sense of humor. Both examples and the "interaction" between the imp and the demon who are guiding you through the rules is full of funny jokes. This is actually quite clever as you remember rules better when they have this joke explanations around them. The book also provides numerous examples of combat, gameplay sequence's and other stuff. There is a lot of variation and I think this might be one of the best examples of how you really show off all the game mechanics in the rules.

There is also a summary on how the game plays, on monster abilities, on dungeon tile abilities etc. This is a really good rulebook.

Then of course the numerous components, I will get into more detail about each and every one in part 2. But sufficient to say you have Monster and Adventurer tokens, dungeon tunnel tokens, dungeon room tokens, troll counters and a bunch of other stuff (some of which are not used in the "basic" game but have additional rules for download online).


There are several boards coming with this game. You have 1 master board that contains all the resources that players are placing bids on and which also contains all the resources you can obtain, currently available dungeon rooms and monster available for hire. Then you have the

"Distant lands" board which functions as a storage for all the monster and adventurer tiles, cards and whatnot not currently in play.

You have the "season board" that keeps track of the game turns and events, and keeps track of gathering adventurers. At the end of each year you flip the board and it becomes the combat board divided into 4 rounds of combat each with a special event that affects both adventurers and your own dungeon contents.

Last board is the player board, there are 4 of these, here the player keeps track of his current resources, here you build your dungeon and fight off adventurers which have gathered above your own dungeon. This board can be folded and have 2 additional sides when in this mode. One of the sides is used for "training combat in the dungeon" - simply a tutorial board. The other side functions as a "AI player" if you play this game with 2-3 players. The AI fills the empty spots so that there are always "4 players" taking part in the  game.


Imp and injury tokens, both made out of plastic as already mentioned. And also the wooden tokens that make up the food, gold, turn track, current player token, and player "chief imps" that are used for bidding on various things on the master board.

This brings us to the cards. The cards contain a deck of traps, a deck of player actions with each player having a different color, victory condition cards, spells used by adventurers raiding your dungeon during the combat rounds and a couple of cards with additional events that are not used in the basic game but also have extra rules on the internet.



Stay tuned for part 2 and the actual review and walkthrough of the game and rules.

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