Tyrants Of The Underdark D&D Board Game Details Announced

The latest issue of Dragon+ magazine has just hit Android and iOS devices and it contains the first detailed description of the upcoming Tyrants of the Underdark board game, which launches in spring 2016. According to Peter Lee, game designer at Wizards of the Coast, you get to play the bad guys (taking control of a house of drow in the Underdark region) and monsters. 

The deck-building game uses cards and figures, as you attempt to spread your territory and influence across the Underdark regions on the game board. The basic drow minions you begin the game with provide you with ‘Power’ and ‘Influence’. Power lets you manipulate the game board, such as placing figures on it or assassinating enemy troops; while Influence allows you to add new cards to your deck.

Tyrants of the Underdark cover

When you set up the game, you create an 80-card deck by shuffling two 40-card half-decks together. There are four half-decks to choose from: Drow, Dragons, Elemental Evil, and Demons.

“Each half deck promotes a different style of play,” Lee tells Dragon+. “The Drow deck is the basic deck and is best to use in your first few games. The Dragons deck has some more expensive troops in it, so it rewards strong decks, while the Demons deck has both insane outcasts – cards you put in your opponent’s deck to slow them down – and devouring cards, which remove the weakest cards from your deck to make it stronger.”

Tyrants of the Underdark drow character figures

The choice of creatures these decks provide draws from a number of D&D storylines, including the current Rage of Demons adventures, as well as Tyranny of Dragons and Princes of the Apocalypse.

“We chose drow as it made sense for the Rage of Demons season, but was expandable to other seasons,” says Lee. “The four highest influence cards in the Demon deck are demon lords: Orcus, Demogorgon, Graz’zt, and Zuggtmoy. The Dragons deck also has powerful cards, with corresponding figures, representing the five chromatic dragons, while the Elemental Evil deck features both the Princes of Elemental Evil and the four elemental cult leaders.”

Tyrants of the Underdark House Cards Barrison Del Armgo

Players win Tyrants of the Underdark by scoring victory points and there are multiple paths to getting points: controlling sites in the Underdark, assassinating enemy troops, recruiting valuable minions, and promoting minions to your inner circle. It’s your choice which strategy you pursue, and the minions you recruit can help direct you down certain paths to victory.

“I fell in love with deck-builders the moment I was introduced to the genre, but I was hesitant to design in that space unless I could express a new experience. I feel Tyrants of the Underdark does exactly that and I can’t wait until people get a chance to play it. I believe it’s the best board game that we’ve made so far,” says Lee.

Tyrants of the Underdark shield figures

Download Dragon+ for Apple iOS devices here and for Google Android devices here

Tyrants of the Underdark logo


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