Theme and What is it?
Deep in the caves of the Dwarven King his loyal servants labor day and night. They work to build weapons, armor and other items to attract adventurers from all over the world. They use their nature skills and the resources that are only found very deep in the earth. So deep only a dwarf would dare seek them. When these adventurers come and visit the Dwarven King, he gains glory and prestige. He passes that glory along to each clan that builds the equipment that these adventurers come looking for.
Now is your opportunity to bring your clan even more glory and riches. Build the most stunning equipment and draw in adventurers from everywhere that want only the best. Can you live up to the expectations of the Dwarven King? Gather the resources you need to create truly magnificent creations that will set you apart from your peers.
Dwarven Miner Reforged is a follow-up game to the popular Dwarven Miner, with stunning new art from Larry Elmore. Dwarven Miner Reforged is a set collection game for 2-5 players.
In Dwarven Miner Reforged, players take turns performing three actions. The first is mining. During mining a player rolls dice and resolves the dice faces. They can give resources, treasure, allow a player to burgle or cause orc mischief. The player collects treasure and resources from a central area. If they burgle, they can steal from another player’s board or even take their completed equipment on the main board. Orc mischief makes players put orc tokens on the board. When enough have been added an orc mischief card is flipped and resolved.
The next phase is the Mining phase. In this phase players use their resources and treasures to build equipment on the main board. This equipment is used in the next phase to attract adventurers. When a player has enough resources to build certain equipment, they will place one of their four Rune tokens on that equipment spacing showing they have completed that item. They can also place treasure on items to craft them. While rune tokens stay on until used, treasure only stays on until the end of the turn and is lost if not used in phase 3.
The third and final phase is Fulfillment. During this phase players use the equipment that is available from Rune stone placements and treasure placements on the main board. Each adventurer has a different equipment cost. When paid the adventurer is placed next to the players backpack board. They give the player victory points and they can be hired to perform certain actions. Any player can hire an adventurer. If it is your own, you hire them for free. If it is another player’s, you pay that player gold to hire that adventurer.
The game is played until a player scores 30 victory points and is declared the winner
The first game of Dwarven Miner Reforged was easy to figure out from the rule book and explain to the other player. It felt like a few things may have been missing from the rulebook. As we played, we tried to look things up that we had questions about and we did not find the answers. Maybe these were things players would know if they played the original Dwarven Miner. I haven’t played it, so I can’t answer that. We just played what felt right.
The game pacing felt a bit slow. Other player’s turns can seem long and this may be amplified when playing with four or five players. But turns are not overly complicated and allow for visiting and discussing strategies. I think that replays will be much quicker and the pacing will speed up once people understand the mechanics.
Game Build Quality
The build quality is very nice. The components were well made with thick cardboard and nice card stock. I did have a couple of issues. The first was with the tokens. Part of the treasure tokens were square and the rest were circles. All of the tokens were like this. I wish that a token type was all the same. It wasn’t a problem while playing, just annoying.
The other issue I had was with the game insert. It didn’t quite hold everything. Each compartment needed to be just a bit bigger to fit everything. Again, not a major issue. Also, I may have a pre-production copy. I am not really sure. So, this all may be of no consequence.
This is where Dwarven Miner Reforged really shines. The artwork is so important to the game that the artist’s name is across the box and main game board, right under the game title.
The artwork captures the theme and allows players access to a fantasy world. Every piece of art continues the story, but is also its own little story.
Fans of classic fantasy art will want to pick up a copy if for no other reason than for the beautiful imagery. Larry Elmore did a wonderful job with Dwarven Miner Reforged.
Dwarven Miner Reforged gives players plenty of opportunities for “take that” moments. It can be stealing resources or stealing equipment. As the main board fills up with Rune tokens it begins to get very difficult to craft the items needed to attract adventurers. This will lead to lots of moaning and scheming to figure out the best way to complete cards and score victory points. I have not played with 4 or 5 players but I can see this happening even more when adding players.
I also like the Orc Mischief cards. Once enough orcs have been rolled, it triggers Orc Mischief. These cards interrupt the flow of the game, either for a single player or for the entire group. Because of the randomness the dice provide, you never really know when this will happen.
Age Range & Weight
The recommended age range for Dwarven Miner Reforged is 12+. That feels like a very fair suggestion. I could see myself playing it with my 11-year-old but not with my 8-year-old. It can be a challenge trying to figure out how to craft the right combinations of items when the main board starts to fill in. At that point players need to quickly change strategies and need to flow with options that are available.
Don’t worry about excessive heaviness in game play. Dwarven Miner Reforged can be picked up quickly and after a game or two players should be comfortable to have the game move at a more manageable pace.
Dwarven Miner Reforged has one huge advantage, the artwork. It really does stand out if you like the fantasy genre. The overall game experience is enhanced because of it. Besides the art, the game is a decent set collection/dice rolling game. It doesn’t really offer anything new and the pacing can seem slow, especially when adding more players. But this is offset by some really great “take that” moments that are built into the game.
This game should find a home on the shelves of people who like dice rolling games, people who like strong fantasy themes and people who like working through tough choices late in games once the board fills up. It is not difficult, but does allow players to be creative with their decisions. It would make a great addition to any of the above types of people’s game nights.