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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fun challenging adventure
Don't be put of by the Dungeons & Dragons prefix, because this is an excellent dungeon hack which, while punishingly tough, is a hell of a lot of fun.

The Ashardalon of the title is a gigantic Red Dragon who lives beneath the depths of Firestorm Peak. Being adventures (read idiots) you team up with up to 4 friends to explore the murky depths. Think of it like...
Published on 1 July 2011 by Board Game Guru

versus
8 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Neither fish nor fowl
I'm wavering a little how to talk about this game as your reaction to it will differ depending on whether you're a hardened gamer/roleplayer or a newcomer to the genre looking for a fun new board game to try.

For the newcomer then - as the name might have told you this is a dungeon exploration board game. It comes packed with card tiles and tokens and a vast...
Published on 26 Mar 2012 by Jernau Gurgeh


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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fun challenging adventure, 1 July 2011
= Durability:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:3.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Wrath of Ashardalon: Board Game [With Rulebook & Adventure Book and 20-Sided Die and 200 Encounter, Monster & Treasure Cards and Ma (Toy)
Don't be put of by the Dungeons & Dragons prefix, because this is an excellent dungeon hack which, while punishingly tough, is a hell of a lot of fun.

The Ashardalon of the title is a gigantic Red Dragon who lives beneath the depths of Firestorm Peak. Being adventures (read idiots) you team up with up to 4 friends to explore the murky depths. Think of it like old favourite Hero Quest, but more punishing.

And let's not make no mistake, you will be punished in Ashardalon and brutally so. This is a game which gives you no quarter, with its ruthless encounters and constant monster assaults, and yet it's so well balanced, you'll be laughing all the way to your death.

While it takes elements from the D&D RPG, Wrath Of Ashardalon is obviously geared around board play. Each players turn is split into a number of phases. One for your hero, one where you explore the dungeon and the final phase which is used for controlling any monsters or traps under your control.

A hero can move and attack, attack and move or make a double move. Movement and damage is designated by your hero card (of which there are 5 distinct characters). Once this is over, you can explore the multi-tiled dungeon. Every time you reach the end of a tile you put a new one into play. Each new dungeon piece has a monster (randomly drawn from the top of the monster draw pile) and if you draw a tile with a black arrow, you'll trigger an encounter. Once any encounters have been resolved you move to the villains phase. This is where you control any monsters under your control. Monster cards show their strategies, meaning play flows rather smoothly. Once villains have moved play goes to the next player.

One word of note before we move on though. The encounters are amazingly tough, meaning you should all work together in order to succeed. Traps can range from moving boulders, to volcanic gas and ambushes and while they can be disabled, it's at the expense of making an attack for the turn. It's a constant gauntlet that may frustrate many, but we felt the action was balanced enough to keep it just the right side of fair.

Defeated monsters go into a shared pile and experience points are awarded based on a creature's toughness. Should you have enough experience points you can either stop an encounter from taking place (handy, because the game is incredibly tough) or use it to level up your character, although you'll need to roll a true 20 in combat first. It's an elegant enough system, but we would have liked to level up our characters beyond level 2.

Defeated monsters yield useful treasures and there are a number of different quests to complete that range from simply clearing the dungeon of a set amount of monsters, to seeking out a specific room (which is shuffled into the tile pile beforehand) or defeat the equivalent of a boss character, including the mighty red dragon Ashardalon.

Gameplay roughly takes around 70 minutes, but expect your first play to last much longer, due to getting to grips with the sometimes clunky rules. While most of the instructions are fairly straightforward, many need to be reread several times due to conflictions with other rules.

It's fairly pricey as well, but you do get plenty of components in the actual box including plenty of sturdy tiles, nicely modeled monsters and an insane amount of counters. Another nice touch is that its backwards compatible with Wizard Of The Coasts' previous game in the series, Castle Ravenloft, meaning you can combine both titles together to create some truly epic quests.

Wrath Of Ashardalon is certainly not an easy game to get into and we've already seen examples where the Dungeons and Dragon's logo has actively put people off, but they're losing out. Once you get to grips with its rule set, you'll find an excellent dungeon hack that will please anyone who enjoys a good challenge.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best of the Bunch!, 17 Jun 2012
By 
James J. Rogers (Hampshire) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Durability:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:4.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: Wrath of Ashardalon: Board Game [With Rulebook & Adventure Book and 20-Sided Die and 200 Encounter, Monster & Treasure Cards and Ma (Toy)
I have to say that Wrath of Ashardalon is probably the best and most balanced of the three D&D boardgames to date. Where Ravenloft was difficult, and Drizzt's characters were very powerful Wrath of Ashardalon is balanced and included options for a campaign as well as a series of linked narrative adventures. Like all D&D boardgames it is solo-able and also comes with a lot of unpainted miniatures, including a Red Dragon (the aforementioned Ashardalon) The miniatures are some of the most useful for regular D&D - orcs, cultists and the like as well as some more gribbly creatures.

Like all D&D adventure games it can be combined with the others of the series.

In particular, this set can be combined with Ravenloft for an attack on an orc stronghold - the rules are available from the wizards.com website.

If you want one of these games, have no particular Drizzt obsession I'd recommend to get this one first.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun and fast gameplay, 13 May 2011
= Durability:3.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:2.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Wrath of Ashardalon: Board Game [With Rulebook & Adventure Book and 20-Sided Die and 200 Encounter, Monster & Treasure Cards and Ma (Toy)
This is a very enjoyable game if one like dungeon crawlers. For more information about gameplay, reviews and such I would recommend [...] fro thoose not already familliar with that site.

The information on the box states 12+ but I did play it with my 6 year old son and he had no problems with it. It helps that it is cooperative gameplay and noone has to play "dungeon master" or such.

The contents in the box is of ok quality even tho I found the cards to be slightly thin and easy to damage but I sleeved them and that works for me. The models are detailed and would paint well I think (haven't gotten around to that yet though).

The game theme works best if one likes "Dungeon&Dragons". The rules are simple and straight forward and there are rules to handle campaigns as well. The rules are available from Wizards of the coast as pdf ([...])
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good Game, 3 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Wrath of Ashardalon: Board Game [With Rulebook & Adventure Book and 20-Sided Die and 200 Encounter, Monster & Treasure Cards and Ma (Toy)
Easy to setup, Simple to understand, quick to play and above all fun, Recommend this game to any who enjoy a good board game. the random map tile mechanic gives the game a lot of playability
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good Game, 13 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Wrath of Ashardalon: Board Game [With Rulebook & Adventure Book and 20-Sided Die and 200 Encounter, Monster & Treasure Cards and Ma (Toy)
Very good game, quality items and good re-playability. Tons of fun but quite hard to finish witch might put off some casual gamers.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cool!, 8 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Wrath of Ashardalon: Board Game [With Rulebook & Adventure Book and 20-Sided Die and 200 Encounter, Monster & Treasure Cards and Ma (Toy)
This game is better than video games! You can play it by yourself or with your friends. Even if you play solo with 2 or more characters it is very fun!
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this., 28 Sep 2011
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Wrath of Ashardalon: Board Game [With Rulebook & Adventure Book and 20-Sided Die and 200 Encounter, Monster & Treasure Cards and Ma (Toy)
Me and my boyfriend play this together, and it's an awesome game. It's FREAKING awesome. Not as complicated or in-depth as the real role-playing D&D but that's the fun of it - it's light and it's real fun for a casual gaming session. :) Highly recommended for anyone.
PS. It's not nerdy. It's just fun. ^.^
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8 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Neither fish nor fowl, 26 Mar 2012
= Durability:2.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:2.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:1.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: Wrath of Ashardalon: Board Game [With Rulebook & Adventure Book and 20-Sided Die and 200 Encounter, Monster & Treasure Cards and Ma (Toy)
I'm wavering a little how to talk about this game as your reaction to it will differ depending on whether you're a hardened gamer/roleplayer or a newcomer to the genre looking for a fun new board game to try.

For the newcomer then - as the name might have told you this is a dungeon exploration board game. It comes packed with card tiles and tokens and a vast number of plastic figures, both heroes for you to play, and monsters to fight. The various components are well constructed and durable. You place your figures on the board then as the game progresses you add new floor tiles, gradually expanding the dungeon and revealing monsters and traps to overcome. That's all very well, except that to get to this point will take at least an hour of setting up and reading the rules - at least the first time. Subsequent plays will get quicker but still a minimum of twenty minutes to get setup seems to be required. The game play is based on modern Dungeons&Dragons and involves a lot of overlapping and technical rules, cards and tokens, all of which need to be kept track of. During any adventure a player will have roughly 12 cards in front of them to keep track of featuring their spells/possible actions/weapons/basic character details. If you want to try a dungeon exploration game then go and find a good second hand copy of HeroQuest or Talisman, much easier, faster and fun to play.

For the experienced RPG player then this is equally frustrating but for different reasons. Unlike earlier games there is no need for a DM - the game mechanic is automated, the players move through the dungeon and encounters are automatically generated each turn, depending on what they did. If you add a new floor tile then a monster appears, if you don't then something else happens, earthquake, trap, pit trap etc, all randomly from the card deck. Unfortunately this means that despite the presence of a storyline quest every adventure is the same and lacks character. There is no problem solving, no roleplaying, nothing that made D&D unique and charming, just endless dice-rolling. You can't even develop your characters. You start at 1-st level with a choice of a few pre-generated characters with limited powers/equipment options. You can with a bit of luck progress to 2nd level. That's it. No further.

In short, the components are of good quality, the idea of a D&D board game was intriguing but its far too complex for newcomers to D&D and fails to deliver the proper D&D experience for experienced players. The only group I can see this serving are players who cannot find anyone willing to GM for them, or fans of the modern Games Workshop style D&D, which is more about moving miniatures around a table and dice-rolling than actually adventuring.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great addition to Ravenloft, 8 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Wrath of Ashardalon: Board Game [With Rulebook & Adventure Book and 20-Sided Die and 200 Encounter, Monster & Treasure Cards and Ma (Toy)
Treasure cards are much better in this game. Loads of fun and easy to get in to. I love it!!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars spend the night getting sliced, diced, poisoned and roasted without leaving the house, 31 Jan 2013
By 
Darck "D_Cloud" (Glasgow, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Wrath of Ashardalon: Board Game [With Rulebook & Adventure Book and 20-Sided Die and 200 Encounter, Monster & Treasure Cards and Ma (Toy)
My second D&D boardgame, and it's great fun. Does pretty much what a D&D game should - enter a dungeon, fight a dragon. Maybe kill it, more likely die on the way by getting crushed by a massive rolling boulder.

It really comes into it's own when mixed with another set though - more characters to play with, more diverse Trreasure and Encounters and a really good long game, though it does stand on it's own too.

Recommended.
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