Warriors of Krynn Board Game Adds Miniatures Combat to New Dragonlance Adventure

Warriors of Krynn Board Game
Wizards RPG Team

The GiN Dungeons and Dragons test group had a lot of fun diving into the new Dragonlance: Shadow of the Dragon Queen module and campaign setting. As was mentioned in that review, it was nice to be able to play a campaign in the D&D realm that offered a lot of opportunities for tactical combat. As a whole, the D&D system has not really embraced miniatures and tactical combat, especially compared with other systems like Warhammer which are completely built around it. Instead, D&D relies on good stories and grand role-playing, and it was good to see that the new Shadow of the Dragon Queen module did not leave the story behind.

Dragonlance in general was created to give players a world where armies clashed and battles were fought over cities, territories, continents and even the entire world. And although some squabbles between the original creators of the realm and the original owners of D&D prevented the campaign setting from achieving bigger popularity, players who like those kinds of combat-heavy adventuring likely still remember it fondly.

So, it was nice to see the current owners of D&D, Wizards of the Coast, bringing back Dragonlance with the new Shadow of the Dragon Queen module. The module itself does a good job of presenting an epic story that challenges players to level up from first to 12th level while they are saving the world. There are also plenty of opportunities for larger-scale, tactical combats as well as smaller skirmishes that often take place in the course of a much larger battle.

When the test group went through the module, they first started to sketch out the combat scenarios on a hex map like normal, adding chits to represent their characters, and ran the first few combats that way. However, then they switched over to running combats using the companion Dragonlance: Warriors of Krynn board game, which is specifically designed to supplement the module and comes in a massive deluxe edition box along with the campaign book. Wizards sent over both for the GiN group to test out, and we decided to look at them as two separate products.

If a DM owns the board game, they are able to run much more detailed combats using hero miniatures and tactical battle tiles specifically designed to go along with the Shadow of the Dragon Queen module.

In total, the massive box contains a scenario book with a total of 12 highly detailed battles, a rulebook, six hero miniatures, seven custom dice, a key moment tracker that goes along with the module, six hero boards, 130 plastic markers, nine double-sided battle tiles, 22 double-sided adventure tiles, 106 tokens, 323 cards and a storage tray to keep everything neat and tidy when not in use.

Playing the scenarios detailed in the Dragonlance module using the Warriors of Krynn boardgame really helps to bring those tactical combats to life. The scenarios are designed a little oddly with a fog of war around the battle area where the players are fighting that is somewhat difficult to visualize. But using the board game’s tactical maps, players were able to see and comprehend everything that was happening. They were even able to make much more sound tactical decisions by looking over the battlefield. For example, on more than one occasion, a player spotted a great opportunity where an enemy group was overextended or tied down with other things, and the players were able to make a very sound attack or counterattack to help turn the tide. Those kinds of things are not specifically detailed in each scenario but happen when playing on a detailed map as combatants move around the board and the chaos of battle unfolds visually for all to see.

The other interesting thing is that the Warriors of Krynn board game very closely aligns with the story, so the role-playing aspects of the module are never overlooked. Players had a good time role-playing their characters when fighting on the tactical map, with some of them, for example, making a poor tactical choice in order to try and save an ally or a friend because that is what their lawful or good character would have done. In general, Warriors of Krynn really served to enhance some of the more exciting aspects of the main game, as well as the tactical elements.

The one kind of caveat to the Warriors of Krynn boardgame is that a group really needs to be committed to it to invest in the Deluxe Edition, which includes the board game and the module, plus some little extras like a set of custom dice. Make no mistake, the Shadow of the Dragon Queen module is perfectly enjoyable and playable without the board game components, and it can be found for about $30. The deluxe edition costs just over $100. Not only that, but the board game is only really able to be used with the module, so once that is complete, you can’t really go back and use it with other D&D titles, at least not without a lot of homebrew type of reworking from a DM.

Without a doubt, the Dragonlance: Warriors of Krynn board game enhances the Dragonlance: Shadow of the Dragon Queen campaign, and adds flavor and tactical combat that few other D&D modules have. If your group really wants to enjoy tactical combat or try it out as their next step in role-playing, then the deluxe edition with the module and board game might be a perfect choice if the price is not too prohibitive. If it is, then just playing from the module works too, and can be almost as interesting and entertaining.

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