'Divinity: Dragon Commander' and the board game that helped it come to life

Divinity: Dragon Command and the board game that helped it come to life.

Dragon Commander was once the prototype board game created to test out just how the gameplay of its PC brethren, a real-time strategy game called Divinity: Dragon Commander, would work. Now the team is taking it upon themselves to develop the board game itself, to be packaged with the collector's edition of the upcoming PC game.

So far it's still in its prototype form. The board, built out of moveable hexagons, is cut from cardboard and overlayed with a paper print-out of the world. The play pieces have been 3D printed. And while the rules are still subject to change at this stage, the gameplay, detailed by Larian Studios CEO and game director Swen Vincke, shows a robust game in place just underneath.

The game is built around hexes. The more players involved, the more hexes placed to create a larger board. On top of hexes are markers that provide special properties to each, such as gold generators, card generators, and factories.

The player begins with an empty map, a factory to themselves, and some gold. Gold is used to buy various units, which will allow them to conquer other hexes and receive the special properties associated to them. With every turn they receive a card which represents factions met in the Dragon Commander universe, and give certain abilities to the player and their units. The lizard card, for example, allows the user to teleport all units within one country to another, which can have dramatic results in combat.

Combat itself is a dice throw. The attacking units will enter a hex of another player. The attacker will throw "attacking dice" which is countered by the "defending dice" of the attacked units. This determines who will win.

"We had quite a lot of fun making this one and playing it," said Vincke. "We're not finished with it yet, so it's possible that the rules will change and you will see different things when it finally ships but thiswill give you an idea of more or less the type of game that Dragon Commander: The Board Game is going to be."

This leaves the game open to change until the scheduled release of Divinity: Dragon Commander, slated to hit March of next year on PC.

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