Venture into a dragon’s lair to steal its precious treasure!
I’m constantly amazed at the number of small, unknown game publishers out there that are releasing amazing products that may often never be seen outside of their Kickstarter campaign audience. Many of them seem to be coming from Eastern Europe these days. Signum Games started off creating recasts of old Rackham miniatures, and has evolved into a company designing and making its own miniatures, along with games that showcase them. And if the miniatures still have that Rackham feel, that’s now a good thing, as they have a similar strength of character and personality.
After they contacted me about their latest project, Fantasy Commander, I asked them if they would send me two of their earlier games to check out: Dragon Hunters and Legends of Signum: Battle for Vallor. Both of these games share similar mechanics, a card-based mini-tabletop miniatures system played on a square paper mat that isn’t revolutionary but any means, but is fun and engaging. But the real stars here are the miniatures. Dragon Hunters features the most amazing resin dragon I’ve ever seen, a huge and wonderfully dynamic beast caught in the moment of swooping down on its victim and engulfing it with a blast of fire. It’s a joy to paint and a truly terrifying sight on the tabletop!
In Dragon Hunters, one player (or three controlling one hunter each) plays three distinctive hunters: an amazon, a half-orc, and a wizard, each with their own deck of action cards. Another player plays the dragon Paraxis. However all player counts are accounted for: there’s a solo mode in which a deck of cards controls the dragon, and 3 and 4 player modes too. There’s also a deck-building element, as you can customise your hunter deck with advanced cards.
You’ll need gold to fuel your spell and tactics cards (and to equip yourself with relics), which you can get by discarding cards or searching the dragon caves on the map. There are a number of special ability keywords of course, and a huge range of possibilities via the cards. The game is a self-contained cinematic fantasy action scene, and a lot of fun. It’s challenging too; the dragon is a formidable opponent, and you’ll have to cooperate to bring him down!
Signum Games is based in Ukraine and has obviously been deeply affected by the Russian invasion, but they continue to work on the production of their latest game, Fantasy Commander, a small scale fantasy battle game along the lines of Battlelore (you can see my preview here). I’m not sure how you can get your hands on Dragon Hunters (and Legends of Signum) – probably buying directly from the company is your best bet – but if you ever get the opportunity to grab copies, there’s a lot to enjoy here.