Dungeon Lords Board Game

by Gary Sonnenberg

(Waukesha, WI)

Dungeon Lords Board Game

Dungeon Lords Board Game

Dungeon Lords Board Game

Dungeon Lords Board Game Player Mat

Dungeon Lords Board Game Monsters

Dungeon Lords Board Game Imp

Click to buy Dungeon Lords Board Game from Amazon!Click to buy this item from Amazon!Dungeon Lords Board Game
Z-Man games
Number of players:
90 mins

Quick verdict

Dungeon Lords is a worker placement/resource management game that is a bit on the heavier side, but is dripping with theme so that even non-hardcore gamers can enjoy it.

The game and gameplay

In Dungeon Lords, you play the role of, you guessed it, a Dungeon Lord. As a Dungeon Lord, you are preparing your dungeon for battle against those pesky adventurers that are always up to (no) good.

You prepare your dungeon by adding tunnels and rooms and by buying monsters and traps. Each turn, every player chooses three of eight possible actions using their action cards. They are placed facedown on their player boards and revealed one at a time. The actions are:

  • Collect Food
  • Move Down the Evilometer
  • Dig Tunnels
  • Mine for Gold
  • Recruit Imps
  • Buy a Trap
  • Buy a Monster
  • Buy a Room

There’s a catch though (actually there are two). First, the second and third action you choose cannot be used on your next turn. However, each of the actions has only three spaces for workers. Each of these spaces contains a different “offer” for which you can exchange different resources to gain other resources.

The player who gets the third space will generally get the best offer. However, if you try to get the third spot, you probably will not be able to use that action again on your next turn (because you will probably chose it as your second or third action) and you also run the risk of having the other three players choose that action before you do, leaving you out of the action for that turn.

Second, on top of the nuances of worker placement, you also must carefully balance the four main resources: Food, Gold, Imps, and Evil “Points”. Perhaps the most important of these is the Evil “Points”. At the beginning of the game, all the players start at the same place on the Evilometer.

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Throughout the game, players will move up the meter by doing evil things (such as buying/feeding certain monsters) and move down the meter by doing good things (such as letting the adventurers conquer their rooms). At several points during the game, players will be assigned adventurers that will eventually come to try to conquer their dungeon.

The adventurers will be of varying strengths and abilities and the toughest adventurers will go to the players who are highest on the Evilometer. Additionally, a player can reach a point where they become so evil that an extremely strong and able Paladin will come and try to conquer their dungeon in addition to the other adventurers.

The game is played over the course of two years, each divided into four seasons. Each season represents a turn in which the players prepare their dungeons. At the end of each year, the adventurers arrive, and each player fights to defend their dungeon.

Points are scored at the end of the game for having certain items (monsters, rooms, imprisoned adventurers) and for claiming certain titles (Most Evil, Most Imps, Most Monsters, etc.). The player with the most points wins.

Pros and cons

The theme in this game is about as rich as you can get without it being a simulation.

Gameplay is challenging but in an extremely fun way.

The game is humorous and the rulebook is well-written and funny.

The game is designed for 4 players and suffers when there are less (though it is still playable).

You will make many mistakes on your first game or two, and a more experienced player will take advantage of those mistakes.

The verdict

This review focuses on a few of the trickier aspects of the gameplay, and I won’t deny that this game is tricky. However, that’s what makes Dungeon Lords so much fun. The game is rich in theme, has great artwork and components, and is a very rewarding experience.

If you’ve played Dungeon Lords board game, please leave a rating and comments using the link below.

Click to buy Dungeon Lords Board Game from Amazon!
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