In the world of board games everybody seems to love a stout dwarf.
Yes there might be a few liking haughty elves, but really, dwarfs are just better.
So when a game such as Dwar7s Fall comes along it is immediately one worth a look.
The game fluff states; “to survive the long and terrible winter approaching, the dwarfs need to prepare. It’s time to collect gems, build castles and stock up enough food. The fire dragons are sleeping. The giants of winter, lurking. The fall is precious and is vital to plan your actions wisely.”
All the typical elements of a dwarf game are there, from mining for gems, to their usual battles with giants and dragons.
In this case designer Luís Brüeh offers up a game for two to four players which has a rather usual mechanic team-up, worker placement which lead to area control. You place your dwarves onto the board to control areas, which ultimately lead to scoring points,
So the strength of the game is the art. As in Covil, a game by the same company reviewed here a few weeks ago, designer Brüeh also does the art here.
In Covil the cartoony art seemed a touch more of an acquired taste, perhaps because Brüeh was paying an artistic homage to other characters. With Dwar7s he has created a bunch of charming bearded dwarfs, and cute monsters, that are so suggestive of fun, it helps set the atmosphere of the game.
In terms of game play though, the basic game here just seemed lacking. The fun the art hinted at just never quite materialized in a major way. The game didn’t seem to flow as smoothly as expected.
Then along came Dwar7s Fall: Empires Expansion, and the Royal Decrees Expansion. The two expansions go a long way toward fixing the general slowness of the base set.
The expansions diversify the game too, allowing players to take on the roles of an elf or ogre as well, and that expansion element is a huge plus as well.
Of course the question is whether gamers will enjoy the base game enough sans the expansions to add those expansions for a better game experience?
This is a game I might pass on at the base level, although the art and pieces are very nice which helps.
But add in the small packaged expansions and the game rights itself, adds some fun options, and rises into the realm of a game many are going to like a lot.
Check it out at www.vesuviusmedia.com.
Thanks to fellow gamers Jeff Chasse, Trevor Lyons and Adam Daniels for their help in running through this game for review.