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Old 09-11-2020, 07:50 PM   #1
hcobb
 
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Pacheco, California
Default Dragon tactics

As a long ago player of SJ's first boardgame I tend to use the dragon's bulk as its main weapon. Push back and knock over foes so they lose the ability to swing swords, poke spears, and shoot crossbows at it. Claw and trample the puny humans with tail swings to knock them over again.

Only with the biggest dragons do I see a payoff in flyby claw sniping.

Who wants to show me on Roll20 the correct way to swing a dragon?
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Old 09-12-2020, 10:00 PM   #2
Droll
 
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Default Re: Dragon tactics

The attacking stats on dragons may be necessarily abbreviated. The general description that's given, pretty selfevident in a conventional sense, is indicative of some omissions. Dragons fight among themselves, and assuming they'd be relatively inured to one another's claw and breath attacks, their toothy maws surely would come into the picture. Dragons lust after and collect gold, and assuming they don't manipulate the swag by lashing their tails, their claws aren't just good for sweeping strikes, but inclined to clutch. Whether good or evil, they portray an egotistical self-importance which changes however into a fighting berserk attitude against surrender. With no appreciation for spells or talents, their high intelligence would seem to be invested for the most part in disbelieving, giving them a Detect Lies capacity and aiding in IQ contests with resistance to command and control - the snakelike ability to fog a man's mind having been deprecated. If their heightened perceptions don't fully allow for focusing in on somehow unnoticeable figures, as in the case of Smaug & Bilbo, their ability to breathe then strike on the same turn would limn as with faerie fire even a missed target for a concurrent claw strike; and if the fire breath hits, the added claw damage could be assumed to accumulate against defense.
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Old 09-20-2020, 02:52 PM   #3
Anomylous
 
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Default Re: Dragon tactics

Wait, who says Dragons can't or don't learn talents? Dragon Chemist, anyone?
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Old 09-20-2020, 07:04 PM   #4
Axly Suregrip
 
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Default Re: Dragon tactics

Quote:
Originally Posted by Droll View Post
and if the fire breath hits, the added claw damage could be assumed to accumulate against defense.
I apply armor separately to both claw and fire attacks.
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Old 09-21-2020, 10:29 AM   #5
Droll
 
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Default Re: Dragon tactics

Talents
My thinking may be conditioned by the deprecated capacity I mentioned, in which a dragon could serve as a mental eraser to remove a known talent or spell: sort of a black hole in that regard. It's natural to infer that a dragon's outsized IQ ought to have some gaming advantage, along the lines of that conferred upon demons as similarly irreconcilable foils of humankind, but a dragon's predominating bestial nature seems to militate against it. Just as with the noted Detect Lies facility, they can demonstrate comparable characteristics, but only after a fashion. Obviously, no dragon would lower itself to "sit at the feet of Gamaliel" in order to acquire any recognized talent, but they are considered highly adaptive and supremely cognizant of their immediate surroundings. Tolkien thereby attributes a certain serendipitous ongoing attainment of happy accidents to their growth and longevity. Smaug has essentially garnered a hide of jewel-embedded scales that Turns Missiles, just by an extended rolling around like Scrooge McDuck in his money bin. So regarding a Chemist talent, yes, a particular dragon might be more apt to avail itself of some odd qualities of a strange sump or vein it discovers in its subterranean lair, but as the rules description notes, even though they know of gunpowder, they're opposed to having crude bombs lying around their digs.

Defense
The dragon's two different attacks on the same turn are unique in terms of TFT creature abilities. It's true that I'm treating them as consecutive, so that the delayed claw hit roll can benefit from the adjacent breath effects, and that the fire here is targeted at a single hex rather than being the traditional gout or fan of flame; but since they're two variant forms (stemming from separate sources) and not a single attack type repeated, they can be taken to be concurrent actions, holding the game's mechanic of adjDX order in abeyance. And perhaps even more so - although the dragon description calls them both "attack methods," a note of interest in the Breathe Fire spell says: "like a real dragon, can breathe once per turn while doing other things, including attacking."
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Old 09-21-2020, 11:00 AM   #6
larsdangly
 
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Default Re: Dragon tactics

Talents and spells: It was a missed opportunity to have RAW dragons use their high IQ in interesting and useful ways, such as a couple of spell like powers. That ship has sailed, but I think it's a good idea for house rules.

It never for a moment occurred to me that the damage from caw and breath attacks would be combined before comparing with armor. I think it is a pair of separate attacks, like two weapon fighting or two bow shots per turn.
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Old 09-21-2020, 12:57 PM   #7
hcobb
 
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Default Re: Dragon tactics

These are the common dragons that the Wizard's Guild have based their summon spells on. Surely there are less common kinds, so consult your local naturalist.
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Old 09-21-2020, 01:07 PM   #8
Chris Rice
 
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Dragons are Wizards as I see it and will have spell powers appropriate to their age and experience
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Old 09-21-2020, 01:52 PM   #9
hcobb
 
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Default Re: Dragon tactics

If dragons were spellcasters then why would they bother with their lame fire breath? (Other than being a free attack, but isn't it better to roast from out of reach?)



Size, breath, missile spell

1-hex, 1d-1/1 FT, Fireball 1d-1/1 FT but with much longer range
4-hex, 2d-2/3 FT, Lightning 2d/2 FT
7-hex, 3d/5 FT, Wizard's Wrath 3d+3/3 FT
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Old 09-21-2020, 02:01 PM   #10
phiwum
 
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Default Re: Dragon tactics

It's totally a matter of taste, obviously, but I don't see dragons as combat spellcasters. My interpretation of a proud and haughty dragon is one who uses wile and physical superiority to overwhelm the enemy in battle. A dragon who casts a lightning bolt spell at his enemies seems off to me, just as a dragon who spends his spare time in an alchemical lab whipping up potions would be an outcast and a disgrace to his parents.

Perhaps a dragon might learn a non-combat spell or two. And my concept is all about what I expect from a dragon, so there's always room to allow an oddity. It's within their mental capacity to learn spells, just as it's within their economic ability to hire fighters to guard their lair or find a few dwarves willing to trap out the labyrinth for a bit of cash. It's just not within their general nature to do these things.

On the other hand, misfits can make for interesting one-offs.
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