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Drako - Knights & Trolls

[Drako - Knight & Trolls]

Adam Kałuża


No. of Players:



G@mebox author Ralf Togler writes about the game:

Three dwarves against a dragon. That was the first sentence in my review of Drako nine years ago. The review ended with high grades and a G@mebox Star, our award for excellent games. I fought a lot of battles on both sides, and in all the years I have never lost interest in the game. Drako was even the first game I took for having a bout at painting the miniatures (there are only four of them, but they are nice and detailed).

Now there is a new standalone variant of the game, called Drako - Knights & Trolls and it’s a new fight: three knights (two archers and a sword master) against two trolls (one a rock thrower and the other a berserker). Again there is a small map with hexagonal spaces on which the players move their miniatures. Moves, melee attacks, range attacks and defence, a lot of the game remains the same. And again you can choose actions between playing a card or taking two new cards in your hand. Also there are again two possible actions in a turn and players take turns alternatively. I wont’t explain all that in detail again, so if you are not familiar with the original game (anymore), you might be interested in my older review of Drako .

[Drako - Knight and Trolls]

Click on image to enlarge!

Let’s see where the differences are: In the new standalone variant, the Knight player has an interesting new option to summon reinforcement. If the player lost one of his or her two archers and the sword master is still in play, he can play a card with the reinforcement symbol to put the archer, fully healed, back onto the board. That’s quite a strong action (although the archers can only endure three wounds), so the Troll player might want to take the Swordmaster out of play as soon as possible. And he has strong actions to try this. But to even the score, the Knight player can use an evasion token once in the game, that counts as a normal defence. So, even if the player has no defence symbol in his current hand cards, he can block at least one attack of the trolls.

Because of the two Archers the Knight player has a lot of options to attack from distance, in my opinion even more than the dwarves in the older game. Admittedly, I am missing the net to immobilise one of the trolls, but instead there are now cards that even allow an attack with all three knights at the same time. This is extremely effective when a Troll dares to make melee attacks and all Knights are staying close.

[Drako - Knight and Trolls]

Click on image to enlarge!

Compared to the Dragon player in the original game, the Troll player has now more options too. One of the trolls is a rock throwing giant, that can throw rocks in a straight line of hexes with each figure in that line taking damage. This is quite similar to the fire of the dragon, but the rocks are now limited (and some other actions consume rocks too), so you must be careful using them. The other Troll is a berserker that can charge in a straight line to move and attack a knight twice. That’s not as as good as flying, but it is still a mighty skill.

[Drako - Knight and Trolls]

Click on image to enlarge!

Drako - Knight & Trolls is a worthy successor of Drako. I wouldn’t say it is better or worse, it simply plays a little bit different. Maybe you have slightly more options and strategies to win. In the original game, the Dragon player often began with a defensive way of playing, saving the mighty attacks for the second half of the game. In Knights & Trolls both players can attack effectively from the distance and close to the opponents right from the beginning. I think it is a nice change for all players who play the game frequently. I keep my grades of the original game, so if you don’t have the game yet, you should set it on your list for competitive two player games immediately. By the way, the original Drako is also available again, now with the subtitle Dragon & Dwarves.

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