What happens when a popular push-your-luck dice game adds in player-to-player combat -- and a dragon?  You get Dragon Farkle, a game from Z-Man Games for 2-5 players where players work the dice and combat each other to raise an army and attack a dragon.

Players use their six six-sided dice, plus an Event Die, to raise an army or combat each other.  Players also get a Companion card (which affects the turns) and a Magic Item (which helps the player, but is discarded after use; players can also only have one Magic Item at a time).

To recruit soldiers, a player rolls their dice and Event Die.  If a player's dice combination earns them soldiers, those soldiers are placed over the player's mat and the dice used are set aside.  If a player didn't get any soldiers, they Farkle, losing any soldiers and Magic Items earned that turn and ending their turn.  If the Event Die came up blank, nothing happens.  If the Event Die shows a Dragon, it eats any soldiers earned that turn; if a player didn't get any soldiers, the Dragon lets them ignore the Farkle and either continue or end their turn.  And if a Rally side (represented by axes) shows up, a player can either double the number of soldiers they'd get on that roll, or get a Magic Item.
 If a player earned soldiers, they choose to either end their turn or continue.  Ending the turn means all the Soldiers and Magic Items earned move onto the player's mat.  If a player continues, they roll any remaining dice, possibly earning more soldiers -- or losing all the soldiers they earned that turn if they Farkle.

Attacking another player is very similar to recruiting soldiers.  The attacking player rolls the six dice and Event Die, earning soldiers (unless they Farkle).  The defending player rolls five dice and the Event Die, earning soldiers.  After both sides roll, the side with more soldiers steals soldiers from the losing side equal to the difference in the soldiers earned that turn; the winning side also gets 500 soldiers from the stockpile.
When a player has 5000 or more soldiers, they can try to win the game by attacking the dragon.  The dragon takes three damage to kill.  A player rolls the six dice and the Event Die.  A Dragon on the Event Die does one damage to the dragon, a Rally does two damage to the dragon, and the blank side does no damage.  However, the results of the scoring dice are subtracted from the player's soldiers.  If the player Farkles, or runs out of soldiers, their turn ends, the player loses their Companion card and gets a new one, and the dragon heals all damage.  A player who hasn't lost all their soldiers can choose to stay and attack the dragon again on their next turn, or they can recruit soldiers or fight other players.  The first player to defeat the dragon wins!

Dragon Farkle is enjoyable, if not radically different from its source game.  The sword and sorcery aspect of the game works well, and the push-your-luck element remains intact, whether recruiting soldiers, fighting other players, or trying to slay the dragon.  This is a nice game, moreso for people who like both Farkle and Dungeons & Dragons.

Overall grade: B
Reviewed by James Lynch

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