Ring Side Report- Board Game Review of The Red Dragon Inn 2

Game- The Red Dragon Inn 2

Producer- SlugFest Games

Price-~$40

Set-up/Play/Clean-Up-30 minutes to one hour (four players but with other expansions longer)

TL;DR-Better than the original! 97.5%

 

Basics- Come back to the bar again!  The Red Dragon Inn 2 is the sequel and stand alone expansion to The Red Dragon Inn.  This game has exactly the same mechanics as The Red Dragon Inn.  Players take the role of four different adventurers who just completing an adventure and are going to a tavern to relax and play some drinking games and gamble.  Players can now play as a bard, an illusionist, a half-ogre, or a dwarf.  Each turn players start by discarding as many cards as they want then drawing up to seven cards.  Then, a player can play one card that has the action keyword on the top.   Other cards have sometimes or anytime keywords and you have to read those cards carefully as they often interrupt other player’s actions.  The action cards give you the ability to gamble or harm other players.  After an action, you give one drink card to another player, and then drink one drink from your drink card pile.  Damage reduces your fortitude and drinks increase your alcohol level.  When your fortitude and alcohol levels meet, you pass out and lose the game.  If gambling causes you to lose all your money, you lose the game.  You win the game when you are the last conscious person with money in the inn.

 

Theme- I was a little bit rough on the original The Red Dragon Inn, but this expansion really made me pretty happy.  I feel the designers flexed their wings a bit here and the different decks play that much different making you feel like different characters.  Also, the little things like the half-ogre’s cards are all broken English make the character each feel that much different.  This game really ramped up the character feel for me. 5/5

 

Mechanics- This game is pretty simple.  Draw cards, play one, save more for other off turn maneuvers.  With such simple mechanics, there is a surprising amount of thought that went into this game.  The decks feel balanced and the different character all have different powers.  In the previous game, the different character had some differences, but in this one the designers just let the characters go hog wild.  The illusionist can increase your alcohol content with a card, or the bard can just steal two gold.  These differences not only make the characters feel different, but it makes the characters play different.  And that really sets this one apart.  You will still lose based on card draw, which is and isn’t a problem. 4.5/5

 

Instructions- Just like before, the rules are clear and easy to understand.  There are few examples, and it’s pretty easy to teach and learn this game quickly. 5/5

 

Execution- This game uses 80% of the same parts from The Red Dragon Inn.  Same coins, same play mats, same stones, everything.  The real newness comes from new art, new powers, and new drinks.  And because of this, the game is amazing.  The producers didn’t fix what wasn’t broken, and they brought some amazing new material to really make this game pop. 5/5

 

Summary- I love this game more than then original.  That is pretty hard to do, but SlugFest pulled it off.  It’s a great, low complexity game that will make a group of people fight amongst each other in the right way.  People will cheer a fight between two players while also feeling each other pain when you draw 12 alcohol content on turn one.  The randomness of the drinks and each player’s individual deck makes this game fun, but also frustrating as lucky will beat smarts almost every time I’ve played.  Pick this one up right away if you can. 97.5%

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