Archive dragon strike

Published on May 25th, 2015 | by Luke Turpeinen


Dwarves Are From New Jersey

(Editor’s Note: We recently re-vamped our Top 5 D&D Board Games article, and we replaced Dragon Strike with Super Dungeon Explore. SDE is currently in print and has a lot of similarities to Dragon Strike so it seemed a better fit within our Top 5. That said, we would like our thoughts on Dragon Strike to stick around, so we moved that part of the old article here.)

Remembering Dragon Strike

For me, Dragon Strike is the game that started it all. After getting this game for Christmas in the early 90s, what before had been not much more than an interest in Lord of the Rings turned into full blown grognardism. Dragon Strike was essentially a simplified version of D&D conceived of as a board game, but with very loose rules. The game was published by TSR and had a “Dragon Master” who ran the players through a scenario, usually one of about 12 that came with the game. After seeing the response that HeroQuest was getting, TSR made their own D&D branded version, which is where Dragon Strike comes from. The scenarios involved fighting monsters, solving puzzles and some light role play.

Dragon Strike had no leveling mechanism, though some of the scenarios would let you keep treasure from one scenario to the next, if they fit together in a series. The scenarios were all very different. There were escort quests, witch hunts, escape from the caves, invade the castle, find the lost artifact in the forest and more. Each of the scenarios came with an intro section to be read aloud to the players, which established the goals or conditions in that session. All of the missions took place on one of four maps (printed on two double-sided board game boards) and they used minis that for the time were very well sculpted.

Another memorable feature of Dragon Strike was the VHS that came with every copy of the game. The video was a mixture of costumed live action with early 3D effects. Even at that time it was pretty corny and not very convincing, even to my eight year old self, but it did give us all a sense of what to expect from the game. And because the video was that memorable, it has made its way to the internet:

Dragon Strike was a great way to get people into roleplaying, and as we played through all of the scenarios we naturally graduated to the more complicated options TSR made available to us. As a marketing tool and as an enjoyable experience, Dragon Strike was a perfect ten for my kid self. If you’re looking for something similar but have a hard time finding Dragon Strike, you might also look for Dungeons & Dragons Fantasy Adventure Board Game which is essentially the same idea but done for the Third Edition of D&D.

Dragon Strike Component List

VHS Video Cassette · 2 Double-Sided Game Boards · Instruction Book · Adventure Book · Map Book · 6 Hero Cards · 110 playing cards · 24 Plastic Miniatures · DRAGON MASTER™ Screen · 43 Cardboard Markers · 3 Dice

Dragon Strike board game box, TSR 1993

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About the Author

Luke Turpeinen

was raised by lava wolves deep in the Vesuvian sulfur jungles. He played board games with his family often. The discovery of games like Risk led him to the 1993 TSR classic Dragon Strike which fueled a life long love of games. Luke tends to like games that have high production values, quick-to-learn rules and hard-to-master strategies. Current Favorite Game: Argent: the Consortium.

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