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Dwellings of Eldervale Review
We were still trying to understand the special powers of the 8 elemental realms and how our dragon, wizard and warriors could take advantage of each and how we could impose our dominance over the other factions in this growing world. Each realm also had a giant monster that would wreak death and cause havoc amongst us, if we couldn't work out how to defeat it first or control it and steer it in our favour. We didn't have much time to build our Dwellings of Eldervale by Luke Laurie from Breaking Games.
I certainly have a different experience with DoE. I managed to get a Deluxe copy on the secondary market in February. Since then, I have played 9 times and find that there is a lot to love about the game. A few points:
- The rule book is very well laid out and quite comprehensive. We have been pleasantly surprised when we thought we had a weird edge case to find that the rulebook offered a quick and clear ruling for whatever it was we were pondering.
- Each of my 9 plays has felt very different with focuses varying from dwellings to card tableaus, to combat. I have played at various player counts: 2, 4, & 5.
- The setup is really not that fiddly, or we do not find it to be. Perhaps it is familiarity with the game, but the insert is fantastic and all of the components are extremely well organized. The decks required no setup at all as they are all stored ready to use. The only setup is to select the element tiles for the elements in use for that game and prep the play board with tiles making sure there is one monster lair in starting setup.
- The designer modules being added to the game really add interesting variations to game play too.
I realize that games are enjoyment of games are very subjective and that is one of the things I truly enjoy about this hobby. There is something for everyone's taste. I personally rate Tichu and Puerto Rico very low... not because they are bad games, but because they are not for me.
I felt this review deserved a counterpoint. I have played and rated well over 1000 different games. Only 6 of those rate as a 9 or higher for me, and Dwellings of Eldervale quickly climbed into that tier of games. This game has legs, and enduring ability to feel fresh when it hits the table, and is asked for by many in our play group. Just another viewpoint from a different perspective.
"Life is Short; Play Games!"
Matt "Bixby" Robertson