I know, I’m a sellout. I’ve talked plenty of Drizzt crap in my day, he may be silly elf with a pet kitten, but his board game kicks ass. Also, turns out the guy who writes all the books about him is pretty cool too, found that out when I interviewed him. Anyway, so what if he has at-will powers called “Twinkle” and “Icingdeath” (sounds tasty)? This D&D board game rises above its predecessors in some major ways. Before I get onto the review though, let’s take a look at the unboxing of the game. I know I like to know every single detail about the contents of something before I go dropping money on it, and assuming you’re the same way check out the video below for all the details, then proceed onward as to why The Legend of Drizzt is the best D&D board game yet.
As noted in the video, all of the standard things are here for a WotC board game, high quality cardstock, full color glossy manuals, lots of bits and pieces, mono-color plastic mini’s out the wazoo and a handy box that somehow seems to get better at storing all those fiddly bits with each iteration of the D&D Adventure System games. I was very pleased that I finally was able to get everything into a proper place (with some room to spare) when I closed up the game after our play sessions, so kudos to them. Perhaps kudos to me for finally figuring it out? Either way, good stuff. Let’s move on.
As you may already know, I’ve done extensive amounts of blabbing about both Wrath of Ashardalon and the Castle Ravenloft board games, but Legend of Drizzt brings all the great qualities of those games plus more. It really brings something fresh to the table, those things are:
Rule Clarifications – It does a much better job of clarifying rules and monster behavior such as questions like “yes the monster moves adjacent to the nearest hero, but does it move onto my tile if able” are now clarified, among many others.
More Heroes, Better Heroes – There are more heroes to choose from (including ‘villanous heroes’), 8 to be specific, and their array of powers are very well differentiated which makes each one feel unique during gameplay. Some of the heroes have stances that can be swapped in and out for extra utility alongside some of their powers which is also a nice touch.
Competitive Adventures - This game is the first one of all the D&D board games to introduce adventure scenarios where the players compete against one another or outright in attempts to kill each other. This is fantastic! Cooperative gameplay is still the primary focus here but its nice to have a few game modes where you’ll be facing off against your friends. Some examples include a monster bagging competition (first player to bag X monsters for X points wins) and my personal favorite was the one where one player is actually Artemis the assassin in disguise, and must attempt to eliminate the other players once he is revealed – turning the rest of the game into a bloody PvP battle alongside the standard monsters, encounters and traps as usual!
Pre-Built Maps - At least one of the adventures outlines constructing the entire dungeon map before play starts, this aided the feel of playing a condensed D&D game for me, felt a little less board-gamey and definitely serves as a good gateway into getting others into the ‘full version’ of D&D.
The Final Word
After only a few play sessions, I can firmly say that I think the Legend of Drizzt board game is the best of the 3 D&D Adventure System board games so far. Not because of the setting itself, I’m not a huge FR/Drizzt guy, but because of the overall polish that is still continuing to be dumped into the development of this system. The adventures are much more varied than previously, as are the heroes and even the monster selection, and to top it all off the rules are more clarified than ever before. The cards within are at first divvied up into two decks, one for beginner play and another for ‘advanced’ play to only be unwrapped after everyone fully grasps the game concepts – it was a really nice touch. Especially when bringing new people to the table, and hopefully into the hobby.
If you’ve been on the fence for a while about picking up one of these games, the Legend of Drizzt is definitely the one to grab. You can snag it for 40$ on amazon and if you click the links from within this post I even get a little sliver of the pie to help keep the Gazebo here all patched up and ready to devour interlopers whole. Thanks for reading! Enjoy!