Quick Look: DragonMaster
Co-Designer: Kevin Oliver and Jason Varga
Publisher: Latch-on Games
Year Published: Currently on Kickstarter Link at bottom of this review
Find more info on Latch-On Games
A latch-on game is an independent and universal expansion that you incorporate into many board games. Latch-on games use decks and/or minimal devices to expand or adjust the rules and strategies of a board game. Each deck is centered around unique theme-based objectives and actions.
DragonMaster is the flagship creation within the world of Latch-on Games.
In DragonMaster, each of you has found one of Bahamut’s twelve magical scales. Each scale grants you a special ability to use in conjunction with the board game you are about to play. Any dragon scale is powerful and should be used carefully and with cunning, skill and strategy.
One of you, perhaps, may have even discovered the jade scale shed by Tiamat, Bahamut’s sinister sister. But always remember that Bahamut grants rewards to his devoted followers.
You have now unlocked the secret power of the Dragon Scale you have found.
I must say, this is the most unique game / add-on I’ve encountered. Since the Dragon Scales are game independent, they can be used with a variety of games. I’ve only tried a couple, but I can see how they can be added to almost any game. There are a few tight games when adding them could be detrimental, but for many of the lite games they will add an interesting twist to the game. If you are interested in making a game you have played extensively feel new again, then you should give Dragon Master a try.
The rules are extremely simple, since this is a game add-on rather than a full, independent game. Players choose which Dragon Scales to include or to include all of the Dragon Scales. The included Dragon Scales are randomized and each player takes one, keeping it secret. Playing a Dragon Scale occurs according to which scale you have. The rulebook includes a description of each Dragon Scale and how to use it.
In Dragon Master you are a traveler who has found one of Bahamut’s Dragon Scales. The Dragon Scale will grant you an ability to use. Some abilities affect you, others affect other players.
The mechanic of Dragon Master is simply a singular use special ability action to be taken, or not, at some point during a game.
Dragon Master doesn’t really have gameplay since it is an add-on to almost any other game. At some point during the game you are playing with Dragon Master as an add-on, players will have a chance to play their Dragon Scale to take advantage of its abilities. The abilities should integrate with the game being played.
Latch-On Games has done well in making the abilities on the Dragon Scales generic enough to fit into most any board game, but not so generic that players will not know what to do with them. As stated in the rulebook, not all Dragon Scales fit all games, so players should figure out if a Dragaon Scale works with the game they are playing before beginning the game.
The Dragon Scales change the flow of a game. Most games are designed to work well based on their rules and limitations. Adding another element to the game can throw off the flow of the game or make some fundamental change to a winning condition. Players of tight games or games with a particular flow will not like adding Dragon Master to the game.
I wasn’t sure how an add-on for games would work and what it would do for a game. One game I tried it didn’t work so well, but for the other games I tried, it added an interesting element to the game. At first I thought it would introduce some randomness and/or chaos to the game, but it really didn’t. The actions on the Dragon Scales simply enhanced the game play. I was also wondering if it would make a particular player more powerful than the other players, but I found that since everyone had one it didn’t unbalance or destabilize the game. So, will I use them for games I play from now on? Probably not, but I will definitely use them for some of the games that I’ve played quite a bit and are starting to become stale for me. If you want to add another level to your games, Dragon Master is something you should consider.
Find out more HERE.
Do you find that you’re missing too many reviews as we drop them? Provide your name and email below and we’ll keep you in the know of what we reviewed that week as well as other hot news!!!!!
I grew up loving to solve puzzles, play games, and have fun. In my younger years I had fun playing pencil games, enjoyed the creativity of playing Dungeons and Dragons with my friends, and generally hanging out with others. My favorite thing to do was to make puzzles of all kinds, mazes, word games, picture games, etc.
Sadly my career took me in a different direction, solving computer problems rather than gaming problems.
Gaming came back into my life, though, in a big way about 15 years ago, and I have held onto it since. I still enjoy designing games and have 9 published titles, which I did through my own game publishing company, Toresh Games, prior to the Covid pandemic. Sadly I was not able to sustain the company through the pandemic.
I highly encourage people to play games, make friends, and have fun. As a game enthusiast, I would love to see a return to games as the best social media platform for the masses.
All of Thomas Shepherd’s reviews can be found HERE.