Mini Review: Castle Ravenloft Boardgame

Tim warned me not to buy it. Chided me afterwards even.

The MSRP is $65. It has 40 (unpainted) D&D minis, made from the same molds. D&D running minis enthusiasts may find the minis worth the price of admission alone. Then theres cards, tiles, tokens, and more tiles. Oh, the components.

It’s a dungeon crawl boardgame that plays in an hour. I’ve said (ever since experiencing Descent and similar games) that a Dungeon Crawl game that could be played in an hour would be boardgaming gold. And here it is.

The game is delightfully surprising on a number of levels: surprisingly challenging, despite being easily accessible. Surprisingly deep strategically, despite the individual tactical decisions being fairly simple (it lacks the deep tactical crunch of 4th edition, despite using the same ‘core engine’, which makes gameplay much, much faster). The rules were very easy to teach, and the game includes solo play rules to help you learn yourself, or offer a challenge on a lonely evening.

And the replayability! In addition to the natural random shape of the dungeon, there’s different missions with different objectives, some which seem harder than others, and the different characters can have different choices for powers each time they are played.

The only downside (and it’s not inconsiderable) is the rules text- they are not very clear in some parts. I had to make a couple of house rulings where the rules were vague. This is disappointing seeing as how it was designed by Mearls and Slavicsek, who should know better.

Despite this big ugly wart, this game is a heck of a lot of fun to play, and is going to be a staple of my boardgaming bag for the forseeable future.

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5 thoughts on “Mini Review: Castle Ravenloft Boardgame

  1. James says:

    Would like to come over and play sometime, sounds interesting.

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