Dragonstone Mine – Kickstarter Review

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Dragonstone Mine is a game for 2-4 players and was invented by Scott Elliot and his family on a rainy afternoon. The game was further developed over the next several years until a friend in the game industry (Scott is also in the game industry) convinced Scott to try and publish the game. Thus the Dragonstone Mine Kickstarter campaign was born!

The Kickstarter

Folks, this is what a Kickstarter should be. The system was created with the purpose of getting projects done for those that don’t have the means otherwise, and this campaign is one of those. It is truly a family affair with Scott and his children; Milo, Ruby, and Hannah commenting, posting videos and updates, and generally being cute and funny (kids more than adults).

One of the greatest risks of the Kickstarter system are those projects where the creator doesn’t know anything about the industry, doesn’t know anything about logistics of sourcing materials, shipping product, etc… While this campaign is a family one, it is being run by Legion Supplies who are most notably known for game supplies like card sleeves and deck boxes. Legion has created one successful Kickstarter game prior to this one and delivered as promised.

So we have Dragonstone Mine, a game that originated in the boredom of a family on a rainy day. The dad of the family is in the board game industry and the game is to be produced by a known game company (though not primarily for board games). I think we have a winning combination.

The game comes in two versions, two player and four player and for $25 you can get the two player version (or $20 for the early bird, which as of this writing had approximately 28 copies left). For $35 you can get the full four player game and the early bird specials are all gone! Also available multi-packs geared towards getting the game for yourself and getting a gift copy. There is a 2P/4P pack for $55 (1 $50 early-bird left as of right now), and a 4P/4P pack for $65.

DSM

The game comes with either two or four stacking tower bases, a number of acrylic gems based on 2P or 4P in five colors, a number of spell cards based on 2P or 4P, a mine bag, and rules cards. Based on a recent update the box should be about 8″x8″x2.5″ with a vacuum formed tray to hold the components. Dragonstone Mine is already funded. and is slated for delivery in November of this year.

 

The Game

Dragonstone Mine is a relatively simple game which has a rule set that can be adjusted based on your players. For example, you can play a game without any spell cards if you have young children who aren’t at reading level yet. The goal of the game is to obtain the most points by stacking gems on your stacking tower. There are specific rules for each color of gem which you draw out of the mine bag. Once a player has stacked five gems on each of their six towers (capping them), then each other player gets one more turn and the game ends. Points are counted up with bonuses for things like having all one color on a tower or having one of each color on a tower, and the player with the most points is the winner.

On a player’s turn they take the following actions:

  • Draw 2 gems from the mine and stack them according to their color rules,
  • Draw a spell card,
  • Either play a spell card, or discard a spell card to mine and stack 2 additional gems, or draw another card.

Then play passes to the next player.

Dragonstone Mine is a light filler game that can scale in size based on complexity and can scale in difficulty based on the level of your players. If you are playing with children or those who aren’t gamers, then you can forego the spell cards, but you can also include those cards and ramp up the difficulty and strategy for those more adept at gaming.

Given the nature of the game, this isn’t going to be one for those that tend towards the heavy, intricate euro, nor those that enjoy the heavily themed dungeon crawlers. No, this will appeal to families with all ages of children, and to those gamers who enjoy light-to-medium weight games and enjoy a fast, fun filler.

If that is you, then I highly recommend backing the project. Not only will you help a nice game get created, you will help to support a family endeavor and back a project by a small company, the kind that Kickstarter was created for.

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