Dragon Strike was a game that spent most of the intervening years outside my notice. I’d written it off as yet another of the “Intro to D&D” box sets that TSR released every couple of years, except this time they added a videotape. But in reading up on the DragonStrike set sitting in front of me, I found it to be more interesting than than that.
In 1989, the HeroQuest boardgame hit the market, “created by Milton Bradley in conjunction with the British company Games Workshop” (- Wikipedia). Players were pitted against a gamemaster in Heroquest. The board game was easy to learn, popular, and possessed RPG elements.
TSR, feeling the heat, spent the next few years releasing simplified Dungeons & Dragons sets.
Sensing that they were still losing to MB, TSR tried one last game. A game in the mold (literally) of Hero Quest. This would be the last game that they would release. And they marketed the HELL out of it. The game was simply called ‘Dragon Strike’. Fitted with an epic cover of a hero riding on a horse to kill the baddies, they advertised that it came with a VHS (yes, that is a thing) tape that boasted that it was filmed in ‘HyperReality.’Russell Waddel, review: Dragon Strike – an honest take from an original fan at BGG. Gameplay, Presentation, and of course, that Video.
1993 … TSR 1400
CONTENTS: * VHS videocassette * 2 double-sided gameboards * 24 plastic figures * 6 character cards * Dragon Master Screen * Adventure Book * Map Book * Rule (Instruction) Book * Cardboard playing pieces for doors, treasure, and more * Plastic clips and stands * 3 dice (d8, d10, d12).
The Dragon Strike Video is not necessary to play the game. It is about 30 minutes long, and is 90s B-movie quality perhaps. Inspiration and tips for the game. It’s got some cute one-liners. The HyperReality logo refers to the CGI effects I believe. The video can be found on Youtube.
The Instructions and Adventure booklets
God Bless Them! A precise contents list in the Instruction Book. I see so many games where the parts list is non-existent, or bloated with marketing-speak, and doesn’t tell you what should be in the box! Note the dice are specifically colored.
Remember DS is intended for newbie players, so a suggested layout of the game pieces. Still useful for game veterans too.
The RP elements are stronger in DragonStrike than HeroQuest. No surprise there.
The Adventure book has a number of programmed scenarios, leading up to Darkfyre the red dragon.
Note: Dragon magazine, issue 196 (Aug 1993), has a further adventure for Dragon Strike.
Dragon Master Screen
The two folding game boards are double-sided.
The Character Cards. Stats are represented as increasing die types (d8, d10, d12). I’ve been learning Savage Worlds lately, so this was familiar to me.
The plastic clips are for marking hit points.
Cards: Monster, Sneak Attack, Hero Spell, Teraptus, Trap, and Treasure.
Character and monster figures
Doors, Stands, and Markers
A companion game was planned, in the same format as DragonStrike. WildSpace! Full story at my previous post:
Connections between D&D’s Known World and DragonStrike? Visit The Piazza’s page on DS.