Dungeon Guilds Review

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Dungeon Guilds is a game designed by Desnet Amane, published by Moaideas Game Design. It is for 3-6 players. In this game, players are guild leaders. As guild leaders, they will be sending out their adventurers to explore the local dungeon. However, they will need to cooperate with the other guilds to do this. The player that best leads their guild will be declared the winner.
To begin, each player takes a set of 5 adventurers of the same color and $2 from the bank. The Dungeon Master cards are shuffled together and a set amount are drawn based on the number of players. All the room cards are shuffled together and are then dealt out face down equal to the number of players. Room cards are then sorted based on level, with level 1 rooms at the top and level 3 at the bottom. A DM card is drawn from the ones that were chosen earlier. It is placed face down at the bottom of the room cards. Players will then disable 2 of their adventurer cards, placing them face down in front of them. Players will receive money from the bank equal to the total healing costs of those 2 cards. The first player is given the start player marker and play can now begin.

The game consists of a number of rounds equal to the amount of players. Each round is divided into 4 different phases; setup phase, placement phase, resolution phase and cleanup phase. The first phase is the setup phase. This phase is skipped the first round. In consecutive rounds, room cards are dealt out, sorted and a new DM card is drawn just like in the setup I described earlier.

The next phase is the placement phase. In this phase there are 3 actions that can be taken. Players will take turns choosing actions in winding order from first to last and then last to first until the each player has taken 2 actions. The actions that can be taken are to place an adventurer, bump an adventurer or to replace and adventurer. To place an adventurer, players simply place one of their adventurers on an empty room space. Each room can only hold 2 adventurers. Once the total strength of the adventurers is equal or greater than the room strength, it is locked and adventurers can not be bumped from this location. To bump an adventurer, players can play an adventurer on a room with 2 adventurers already on it that is not locked. Basically they will remove another player’s adventurer and it will be returned to that player’s hand. They will also have to pay a set amount of money based on the level of the room to the bank and possibly to the bumped adventurer’s owner. Adventurer owners are paid only on level 2 and higher rooms. To replace an adventurer, a player removes one of their own adventurers and replaces it with an adventurer of greater strength only on a full unlocked room. They then pay $1 to the bank. Once a player has 2 adventurers placed they must pass. The placement phase continues until all players have exactly 2 adventurers in the dungeon and all players have passed.

The next phase is the resolution phase. In this phase, room cards are revealed, starting at the top room of the dungeon and working down to the DM card. Once a room has been revealed, players will check to see if the combined strength of the adventurers is equal to or greater than the defense of the room. If so, the monster is defeated and the amount of money listed on the card is divided evenly between owners of the adventurers. If the adventurers are not equal or greater in strength than the room, that room and the remaining rooms have been a failure and this phase is over. The phase continues until all rooms are cleared or a room has been failed.

The last phase is the cleanup phase. In this phase, each player will pay a certain amount of money to the bank based on the total amount of healing costs on their adventurers in any failed rooms. Players will then turn over the adventurers they used this turn face down and disable them. The previous disabled characters are turned face up and are available to be used the next turn. All placed room cards and the DM card are placed into the discard pile. The start player marker is passed to the next player and a new round begins as long as there is a DM card to be drawn. Once there are no more DM cards to draw, the game is over. The player who has the most money at this point is the winner.

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COMPONENTS
This game comes with a lot of really cool pieces. The room and Dungeon Master cards are double sided and have really great looking artwork that is reminiscent of the old Dragon Warrior video games only better. These cards are really sturdy and I love how cool they look. The adventurer cards are mini sized and have some really great looking anime style artwork. I especially like the blue guild cards. There are money tokens and a start player marker that is made from thick cardboard. The money looks like actual money and is pretty darn cool. I really love all the pieces that came with this game. The artwork is great and everything is designed really nicely.
10 out of 10

RULEBOOK
The rulebook for this game is really great. Everything is laid out perfectly and the rules are explained really well. The copy that I received had both Chinese and English rules included. The rules themself only take up about two and a half pages. There’s an introductory page with a component list and a page that is devoted to explaining all the specifics of all the cards. One page has nothing but setup with some really great pictures and examples included. One half of a page explains all the specifics of each individual DM card. The last page has some rule variants for team play and also a ghost player option. There are a lot of pictures other than on the card and setup pages, but what’s there looks really cool. All in all, I’m really pleased with the look and feel of the rulebook. It’s just really nicely done.
9 out of 10

GAMEPLAY
This game is really fun. It reminds me so much of Dragon Warrior, only not as hard. It’s a great filler game and usually lasts about 20 minutes or so, depending on the amount of players. It’s really easy to play. The various types of DMs add a lot of variety and replayability with the game. There’s some great player interaction with a bit of a take that feel to it when you bump other adventurers off of a room. The two things that really drew me to the game were the artwork and that it was described as a worker placement game. I love worker placement games but I didn’t get that feel from this one. As I said, it’s more like a take that style. I guess it could even be described as area control but worker placement, I don’t think so. Even so, I really love the fun that comes from this game, worker placement debate aside.
9 out of 10

OVERALL
Dungeon Guilds is a light game of dungeon exploration with a touch of area control and take that elements. This is great for fans of those classic video games like Dragon Warrior and the like. I think that fans of dungeon exploration games will really like it too. Anime fans will love the really awesome artwork. It’s super fun and doesn’t take long to play, which is a plus for me. I highly recommend this game. It’s great fun to play and looks great too. My only hope is that there will be an expansion that adds more rooms, more DMs and more adventurers. Till then, I’ll simply enjoy the goodness of this game as is. Seriously though….EXPANSION!!! This game is one that everyone should own. If you’re looking for a really great filler game than pick this one up today.
9 out of 10

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For more information about Dungeon Guilds and other great looking games, please check out Moaideas Game Design at their blog site.  It is mostly in Chinese.

http://moaideas.blogspot.tw/

You can also check out their Facebook page as well.  It too is mostly in Chinese.

https://www.facebook.com/Moaideas

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About Gaming Bits - Jonathan Nelson

I'm a happily married man with 2 wonderful kids. I love my family very much. I'm a big fan of board, card and RPG games and have been playing for over 20 years. As a board and card game reviewer, I'm hoping that this blog will inform, educate and entertain you. If you like it, please tell your friends and have them join in on the conversations. Thanks and GAME ON!!
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