Final week and new unlocks!

Updated: Sep 3, 2021

i dragonbonded,

It has been a while since our last update but this one will make your wait worthwhile. There's so much to talk about before entering into the last 48hrs of the campaign (tomorrow). Here's the list for your convenience:

  • Midstep unlock: 36 unit miniatures to replace all cardboard units

  • New unlocked generals: Eldai Alarn (Allaria) and Baryen (Tyveria)

  • Component upgrades: Linen finish (since day 1) and thicker player boards (coming soon)

  • New upcoming add-on: Dragon Broods and Realms expansion

  • New available add-on: Big Box of Holding + deluxe tokens (including miniatures to replace neutral units)

  • New available add-on: PnP / STL files for expansions

  • New add-on upgrade: Double-sided Rubber mat (oversized)

  • Expansions for upcoming years: Realms of Valerna (unique plastic city tokens + abilities)

  • About the Solo Mode

  • About the free Wargame starter

  • Let Dragons reign on Kickstarter! Shoutout to another Dragon game we love.

Let's get started!



Whether you plan to use the cardboard tokens or the miniatures for your units, it is important that you are certain you won't need to mix them. We are sure that you will unlock the $200.000 stretch goal to add printed cards, rules and tokens to Armies of Blood & Dreams, but we decided to unlock the extra minis in advance for the 48-hr-left reminder. You have been amazing and very enthusiast in the comments, so we are delighted to announce your pledge (tier $49 and higher) now includes 36 unit miniatures (6 of each type); keep reading below to learn how to upgrade your neutral units into new miniatures!

This free expansion also includes 2 alternate generals that you unlocked in the past stretch goals. The miniatures in the graphics are placeholders for a Qirin Fai Hunter (Eldai Alarn), and a blooded gladiator (Baryen).


Eldai Alarn of Fionn – Allarian alternate general

Once a Fai Hunter himself, and soon honored as Alarn or “True Warden,” Eldai of Fionn is a loyal qirin warden general. Eldai is a loyal representative of Allaria, and his down-to-business attitude makes him a military mastermind to keep an eye out for.

As the other Allarian generals, Eldai's vaala cards offer a certain degree of crowd control but rather than mobility (Elyse) or manipulation (Onatella), Eldai has some Vaala cards that exalt its Qirin Fai Hunter tracking skills on the board while others get ahead of his opponents' tactis. Here are a couple of examples of his Vaala cards:

Master Hunter - Cost: 2 Power

Destroy a creature or up to three neutral units in regions adjacent to your general.

Mystic Tracking - Cost: 1 Power

Without changing their order, look at the remaining cards of the action stack.

After dragonbonding, Eldai and his bonded dragon may draw some Vaala cards and replenish some spent power tokens in their Power track.



Sculpt in progress (minor adjustments and scenic base missing)

Baryen, the Blooded Scar – Tyverian alternate general

One of the most celebrated gladiators of his time, Baryen, The People's Champion, still has a debt to pay off to the imperial house. His natural savy of combat and his hurry to return home to Ysval make every step he takes, just as important as the last one.

Similarly to other Tyverian generlas, Baryen has some very offensive vaala cards, but this character is all about physical combat instead of blood sorcery (Adrael) or alchemy traps (Sagriv). Some of his vaala cards include:

Inspired charge - Cost: 2 Power

[Attack glyph] Resolve this card as an action card.

Martial prowess - Cost: 2 Power

Place this card in front of you. Until the end of the round, gain +1 combat value in regions containing your general.

In addition, once dragonbonded, whenever Baryen destroys units on the board, those are added to his bonded dragon's essence track.



Work in progress. Concept design not final.

Are you most excited to play as Eldai Alarn or as Baryen? Let us know in the comments!




We aim for the highest quality, and we want you to remember it. Since day-1, our cards have been considered with linen finish but we want to remind you (and new backers) about it. We are also looking at upgrading the player boards to a thicker cardstock. Double layered cardboard is not an option because of the added extra weight and height to the base game; also because if you choose to use deluxe components such as miniatures for the units or the upcoming deluxe wooden tokens, the shapes to fit them will not be the same. But we understand the need to have thicker player boards and our factory has already sent another suggestion for materials.




The most popular add-on in the poll was the new dragon broods and realms.

We are sooooo excited about the possibility of making these a reality now, in this campaign, rather than on 2022/2023. But in order to accelerate development for this one, we need extra funds to complete development —32 art pieces, 4 resculpts (epic poses and scenic base), game design, editing, graphic layout (66 cards) and tooling. We are eager to share more about Dragonbond with you!

Let's spread the word to have a huge conversion in the final 48-hours and unlock this add-on! Here are the only 2 art pieces we created for this, which were created earlier to set the tone for each dragon brood's illustrations:



Rakzor from the Exxor brood, and Tetzcoatl from the Coatl brood.

And yes, we know you are wondering about the miniatures for the troops of these new realms. We are currently exploring our options to make Armies of Nature & Light a reality if the new realms and broods are unlocked!

And speaking about add-ons:



Results from the latest poll.

Thank you for taking the time to answer and letting us know what you would like to see in the campaign! The most popular add-on was the expansion for the new realms and broods (see above). The add-ons with a big box of holding were the most popular afterwards, and the deluxe components next. We also read a lot of comments about interest for having miniatures to replace the neutral units. So here's a summary of our game plan with everything you suggested:


  • $25 Big box of holding + deluxe components: Wooden tokens, snap bases, miniatures for neutral units

We hear you! Having a nice way to store and setup the game is crucial for the playing experience. But also having premium components that feel nice to the touch or enhance table presence and immersion —we are all-in for increasing immersion!

The most streamlined way to have all of this benefits is to integrate them in a single add-on where you get a HUGE box of holding for the base game and all expansions, plus 24 miniatures for the neutral units (1 or 2 different designs), snap bases in different sizes and colors (as per gameplay needs) to clearly identify each player's minis on the board, specially if you plan to paint your minis, and custom wooden tokens, some with silk-screen, others with the unique custom shape.

This add-on's final design is in process, and we are very much looking forward to share its development with you.

Here's an exclusive preview at more concepts from the Dragonbond visual guide to the Ellari rebels. We are considering one of these of some Maghyr rebels to become the miniatures for the neutral units (12 copies of a female design, 12 copies of a male design; pose not final, just shown for concept purposes).



Ellari rebels concept (work in progress)

Here's an extract from the lore guide for both types of rebels mentioned above:

Ellari rebels, while they live inside the Realm’s borders, consider themselves independent, and so enemies of the Dragon Kingdom. Most of them live in secluded enclaves inside the Fai Woods, where the Kingdom’s armies can’t reach them.

The greatest danger for the Empire is not an outside force, but the machinations of maghyr malcontents. After the Emperor’s edicts stripped them of land and influence, the old noble houses have mostly played the meek vassals, but they maintain a secret agenda fully committed to regaining their former wealth and power.




  • $10 PnP/STL expansions

This one has been mentioned above as part of a new pledge level to get all digital content. If you are at reward levels $49 USD and higher and you would like to include the PnP and STL files for all the expansions, just add $10 on top of your pledge.

  • ($10) Rubber mat is now double sided

It is always exciting when we learn who likes the original board with the map style and who prefers the colored terrain board. After announcing the game board in the base game being double-sided, we received a lot of requests to do the same for the oversized (+25%) rubber mat. We talked to the factory and we can confirm the mat will be double-sided.

We also heard about having stitched edges, but unfortunately, this would increase the cost too much because the perimeter of this board is 3meters (100cm x 50cm) and while they certainly look more elegant, we have also been reading the cons about stitched edges. We can confirm this mat will not have stitched edges but it will be double-sided.

Remember that if you plan to use your minis and use expansions (specially Creatures of Valerna), the oversized rubber mat is a great choice.




  • Unique city tokens (plastic or STL)

This particular add-on was not very popular, and the reason we didn't consider it for the deluxe components in the big box (besides the expensive tooling for 12 unique city tokens) is because our backer Joren Frencken suggested an idea to have the city tokens offer unique abilities. We absolutely loved this idea and have pitched it to River Horse. We might release this as part of an expansion in 2022/2023 for Realms of Valerna. Once we do that, we will certainly offer the STL files too, not only the physical miniatures.

  • Legends of Valerna miniexpansions unlocking soon!

We are very close to reach 1000 copies of Legends of Valerna taken. Once we do, we will include 2 additional miniexpansions to this box (Captains and Draconic Offerings, more info in Update #7). Which will increase its MSRP to $35 USD but backers getting it for $30 USD.

We will also have the first playtest for the captains miniexpansion on Thursday 9am CT. Stay tuned!



If 1000 copies of Legends of Valerna are taken, we will add more content to this expansion with Draconic Offerings and Captains


Solo Mode

Since the beginning, this game has been designed keeping solo mode in mind —and given that this game was designed during the pandemic, the AI that allows it to be played solo has been playtested even more than 4-player games.

We want you to know that we are still working in the integration of the expansions Creatures of Valerna in the solo mode. Currently, the Legends of Valerna expansion allows you to try new characters, including the Kadhah, we are still working on the Fell Knight.

  • In Solo Mode, you play against 3 AI, by turning their boards to the Faceless side. The AI doesn't use character cards or vaala cards, but they can still bond and have a fixed dragonbond ability or Vaala effect with the Vaala glyph.

  • You are always the 1st player in all rounds because AI (Faceless players) can't pass and they cannot have the Initiative token. So the Push your luck factor in the planning phase becomes stronger. You play cards in your planning phase and each AI plays a random action card from their hands in their turn. When you pass

  • Their boards show stronger effects for the glyphs to compensate the "randomness" on the cards they play. It is highly unusual that an AI does nothing because the effects usually have "If this character did nothing, then do [another particular thing].

  • The way they resolve their glyphs is very straightforward and simplified. AI generals doesn't get a +1 combat value from a balanced force and don't get Upgrade or region cards. But they raise armies much more faster than human players. Dragons collect power faster than if played by a human player.

  • The region with the most power tokens become the focus of the AI players, if tied, you choose which one.

Once again, the lack of informed decisions by AI is compensated by very strong resolution of their Glyphs so you may want to avoid playing all your cards because it is likely that they will get the upper hand. But just as in the regular game, adaptability is crucial to conquer victory!

If you would like to see some playthrough videos, backer Jesse have been streaming solo games (and playing multiplayer too, thanks for all your notes and feedback Jesse!). You can watch here.


We also sent a prototype to Rolling Solo last month to show more about Solo play. Here's the video:




Feel free to let us know your questions or feedback about Solo mode!

About the Wargame starter

As you know, one of our strongest desires with this campaign was to deliver not only 1, but 2 Dragonbond games. We are now VERY close to achieve that huge milestone thanks to your ideas and reception in the change of plans with the stretch goals earlier in the campaign.

This wargame has been under development long before Lords of Vaala, since summer 2019. In fact, that's how we started working with Alessio Cavatore —he was our game design consultant in the early development.

One year ago, we launched a Kickstarter campaign for its beta release: Battles of Valerna (all digital, Print & Play including STL files for 3D printing). After the Beta Rules we partnered with Alessio to take the beta into the physical published version and Alessio has been lead game designer since then. Right now we have a Gamma version of the rules (work in progress), which is not final yet but we are close to take it into the next version, the one that will go into print. We are receiving and implementing feedback from our playtesters as well.

The copy of Armies of Blood & Dreams that you are receiving for free with your pledge (tier $49 and higher) has playable content for Lords of Vaala, but with the $200.000 stretch goal, we will be able to include the next version of the printed ruleset, printed cards, printed tokens, rulers and spin dials. Some of you have asked us more about it, hence this segment in the update.

Even if you are not into wargames, we believe that you will enjoy playing it very much. The ruleset is very streamlined for a wargame and has a slight boardgame feel that other wargames don't. It is objective-based with victory points. The modularity is one of the key features, because each unit can have a different captain that will allow the unit to feel different than a unit of the same type with a different captain. Same goes for generals and dragons with their archetypes, whether you choose to have the dragonbonded or not, mounted or unmounted.




Dragonbond Onslaught (Retail release 2022) is the upcoming product line from our resin cast workshop (the one that manufactured the Dragons of the Red Moon) and it offers the full wargame AND rpg experience we intend to give to our highly-detailed miniatures, with wargame stats, RPG statblocks (5e) and narrative hooks, as well as lore and/or story bites.

Armies of Blood & Dreams is a starter set you get for FREE to try this new game. And if you decide you like it, all of your Dragonbond miniatures (such as the Gargantuan dragons) or 3D printable files, will offer you added gameplay value across the different Dragonbond titles: Lords of Vaala, the wargame, or RPG.

––Please let us know your comments!

Shoutout: Flamecraft

Some of you have been following both projects but still, we didn't want to miss the chance to highlight this absolutely fantastic game with more DRAGONS!

Many of us at Draco Studios are backing this game and you might want to consider backing too! We are very excited about the entire project: the theme, the art, the game, the plushies, the amazing Kickstarter campaign and its community, the plushies again, everything!

Pam and I have gamer mats with Sandara's amazing dragon art in our office desktops and her illustrations are astonishing!



Flamecraft Crystal shop illustrated by Sandara

In this game you compete to enchant the town in this dragon-placement game with shared engine building for 2-5 players. Flamecraft features art from world renown dragon illustrator Sandara Tang - but not her usual dragons - these tiny artisan dragons craft all manner of things in town. The campaign is 14 days in and has reached 1 million in funding, with over 40 stretch goals unlocked plus several KS exclusives. Rahdo’s take: “the worker placement spots evolve! Super-duper cool! Everything about this game just works.” Flamecraft’s deluxe edition has cool dragon minis, metal coins, custom silk screened items and the latest GameTrayz - and the add-ons also include two adorable plush dragons!


It is a fantastic month for Dragons on Kickstarter and we would like to see Flamecraft take a spot among the most backed tabletop projects (already at place #76!). Share this link with a friend or click here to check it out: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/cardboardalchemy/flamecraft?ref=3tj7s4


——

This has been a very long update but one that was very fun to write and very much awaited by you all. Thanks again for your patience and understanding with our medical emergency during the weekend, fortunately, things are better now and we are ready to receive the final 48hrs of the campaign! You can help us a lot by sharing this update or campaign link in a tabletop facebook group, subreddit or BoardGameGeek forum!

—Thanks for dragonbonding with us!

19 views0 comments