Kulkmann's G@mebox - www.boardgame.de



Author: Thomas Denmark

Publisher: CITIZEN GAMES /

Awards: none



G@mebox author Ralf Togler writes about the game:

Dungeoneer is a beautifully designed fantasy card game. Each player takes up the mantle of a Hero and tries to complete quests in the dungeon of the Lich Lord. There are some interesting game mechanisms, which make the game superior to traditional, comparable trading card games. Even if Dungeoneer is not a trading card game in the common sense, there are nowadays three more sets that are stand-alone games, but which can also be mixed with the set of this review: Tomb of the Lich Lord.

At the beginning the players each draw a hero. These heroes have different scores (Melee, Magic, Speed), movement, specific Boon and Treasure Limits and special abilities. In addition to this each players takes a Tracker card for collecting Peril and Glory, 2 quest cards and 5 adventure cards. Another quest card is placed faced-up and an entrance to the dungeon is placed in the middle of the table.

A turn of a player is divided into 5 phases. First he resets all cards, exits and effects from the last round. So if for example your hero opened a trapped door on the map successfully in the last turn, it is now trapped again.

In the next phase, the Dungeonlord Phase, the player can use his opponentsī peril score to play negative adventure cards (which cost a specific peril value), like encounters and banes, targeted on this player. Note that a card can only be played if the attacked player has enough peril left. This normally ends in an attack in Melee, Magic or Speed (the resolving combat is determined by the card). Possibly the player can play a response giving him advantage in this combat. Both players then roll a die and add their score. If the attacked player looses the fight, he takes a wound and the attacking player must take a peril. A player, who can't take any more wounds is killed and out of play. The encounter then can be taken back in hand or in a pack, which takes up to three encounters, and can be used in the next turn again. If however the attacked player wins the fight, he gets a glory.

After this the player draws a new map card and places it in any valid location (there must always be a possibility to reach the new room). So the dungeon continually grows during the game.


Then the hero moves through the dungeon. On each card he collects peril and glory as listed on the card. The rooms are connected by open, locked or trapped doors. To move through locked or trapped doors the hero must overcome the Threat by rolling a die and adding the listed score. If this is higher than the Trap, the hero can pass, otherwise he can't and in case of a trapped door he has to take a wound. Remember that doors are reset at the beginning of the turn again. In some rooms there are also obstacles that are described in the centre of the card in detail. These obstacles are activated by entering the room. Obstacles include pits, spikes, hazards, sewers, terrain, portals and entrances, which have to be overcome.

The turn ends by discarding one adventure card from hand, treasure or pack. Then the player fills his hand up to 5 adventure cards again.

At any time in his turn the player can play positive adventure cards by spending the listed amount of glory. These cards help him in a attacking phase or give him a special ability.

Also the player can try to solve a quest, either from his own desk or from the open quest staple. Normally the quests can be solved during the moving phase by slaying some kind of monster in a special room of the map. Whenever a hero fulfils a quest he will go up a level, giving him higher scores and movement.

There are two ways to win the game. Either your hero is the first to solve three quests or you defeat all your opponents in the Dungeonlord phase.

I liked playing Dungeoneer a lot. This is mainly due to the beautifully painted characters and monsters. Only the design of the map cards could be improved slightly. The mechanism of spending the opponents peril for playing encounters against him make the game well-balanced and protect weaker heroes from being eliminated too quickly. The only weak point in game play is that it becomes too easy too slay the monsters when you raise in level. There are only very few monsters that stand against a level three hero. This is supposed to work better in the second edition of Dungeoneer (which I do not yet possess) with growing monster power.

Note: If you have the older game form Citizen Games, there is no need to go for the newer Atlas game. There are only minor changes on the cards. But you should download the newest rules from Atlas games for free, because there are some minor changes that improve game play enormously.

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Copyright © 2012 Frank Schulte-Kulkmann, Essen, Germany