Date: 25th April 2003
Game played: Emerald ( Abacus ) BGG Id: 3452

This is a game about knights and dragons and caves and treasure. Each player controls a series of knights whom they despatch from the castle through the countryide to the dragon’s cave. Once inside the cave they can plunder it for gems and gold while trying to avoid the dragon and hopefully reach the back chamber where the most valuable treasure is to be found. From that description, it appears to be a game full of atmosphere whereas it is actually very abstract. Pawns are moved along a common path with movement being dependent upon the number of pawns on the same space as the pawn being moved. Once inside the cave, each space has a choice of one of four different coloured gems or an amount of gold (between 1 and 5). However, inside the cave a dragon piece moves each time a knight lands within one space of it. If the dragon then lands on a knight, the knight is either eaten or the player bribes the dragon with gold to keep the knight alive. Those knights that reach the end of the cave path get recorded with a treasure card of 5 gold and once all the treasure cards have gone, the game ends and players cash their gems in for gold, with bonuses going to the person with the most gems in each colour. Then the player with the highest gold wins.

The game looks like it works but our game wasn’t terribly exciting. We allowed Mark G and Nige to get a couple of knights past the dragon and each turn they could then pick up gold or gems easily and reach the back of the cave unimpeded. This wouldn’t happen in subsequent games as we would be watching for it. The dragon also didn’t seem very hungry except for knights in my colour and, as I had no low gold cards, I had to sacrifice two of my bold adventurers. Mark G ended up taking the final treasure card and two of the gem bonuses for a pretty convincing win – his first of 2003. Well done, Mark.

Mark G
Mark K

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