Dwarven Smithy: Masterforge Expansion – Flatworks Gaming – Preview

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Ben

Meeplegamers Writer

Ben started playing Magic The Gathering in 1994. Over the years he developed a new appreciation for table top gaming after wanting to find a way to spend more time with his kids. He now has a serious board game addiction. When he is not gaming he makes money by doing product development and marketing for a guitar company.

While Dwarven Smithy was a great game, with fairly solid game play, the Masterforge expansion helped me see that it was missing a few things that would make it better. 

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The forge fires have been rekindled. It is time of the master of the Dwarven mines to show what they are made of. The Master Forge is where only the best of the very best gather to impress the Dwarven King. Each master takes turn showcasing their skills and bringing glory to their clan. Although all here are masters, only one can earn the honor of the greatest smithy in the underground kingdom. The competition is fierce and intense and the winner will have earned the glory that will come to them.
Dwarven Smithy: Masterforge is an expansion for the base game of Dwarven Smithy.
 
The Masterforge expansion adds new types of cards.
The first are Trait cards. These are permanent cards that take up a space in the item tool or apprentice area. Trait cards give an ability that can be used throughout the game. Trait cards can be purchased anytime during the game from a shared deck.
Trait cards are two sided and once a player owns the Trait card, they can pay to have the card flip and gain access to other abilities. The Trait cards can be flipped as many times as a player wants, they just have to pay each time.
The other cards are Masterforge cards. There are three types of Masterforge cards in the deck. Prospector and Equipment cards can help players get the resources they need.  Contract cards are played to add bonus when contract conditions are met.
All three of these cards are shuffled together and that deck is used to create the Marketplace. Players have the choice to draw up to four cards each turn and they can now decide if they want use some of those draws to pay for cards in the Marketplace.
The last major addition is a new Auction phase. Players can place a card from their hand up for auction. The other players can bid for it. The winning player can choose to have the auctioned card go on their area facedown.
There are a few minor adjustments to end of game scoring to accommodate the new cards.

The art follows the base game and fits right in. If you enjoyed the artwork from the original you won’t find any variance in the Masterforge expansion.
I love that all of the Dwarves women are true to the mythos and have luscious beards.

I already really enjoy the base game of Dwarven Smithy, but I really like some of the changes that are happening. The Marketplace with the Masterforge cards add new options that give players the ability to take control of their moves and strategies. It opens up ways to create combos that will lead to the cards a player needs.
The Auction is a hit or a miss. It can add lots of time to the game, but it also let’s everyone have the chance to be involved on each turn instead of having lots of downtime. It is a two-edged sword. When we played, we did not use the Auction phase very often so it didn’t extend the game and it was a nice little break when it happened.

I always like having more options that give me more control. That way I do not have to rely on luck to get what I need. That always makes the game feel more strategic and allows me to feel like I have ways to control my game.
The other aspect that I love is using draws as currency. That is really cool. If I can buy something I need with draws, which may not gain me anything, that is wonderful. Again, it is a way to take control of what I want to do to accomplish my goals. The draws as currency is probably my favorite aspect of the expansion.

While Dwarven Smithy was a great game, with fairly solid game play, the Masterforge expansion helped me see that it was missing a few things that would make it better. The Masterforge expansion fits into the base game without having to make any adjustments to the base game. It gives players more options that are less random and it allows players to interact (although I suggest this interaction not happen all the time so it keeps the game to a nice length). The expansion is also made to fit right in the original base game box. Once players have experienced Dwarven Smithy with the Masterforge expansion there is not a reason not to use every time and the expansion should be treated like it is part of the game instead of just an extension of the base game. 

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