DL11: Dragons of Glory (1986)

I have said before, and I guess will never stop saying, that I can’t quite wrap my brain around the DL-series adventures that make up the initial core Dragonlance experience. It meanders in surprising ways that, at least in this case, was probably expensive to produce. This is DL11: Dragons of Glory (1986). It isn’t an adventure module, but rather a strategy game that encompasses the entirety of the War of the Lance. It comes in a heavy cardstock folder, has heavy die-cut cardboard counters and two very big hex maps that display the entirety of the continent of Ansalon (which, admittedly, are pretty sharp); it doesn’t really look like any other ’80s TSR product.

I can’t really evaluate the actual strategy game without playing it, and I am not gonna do that. It looks…OK, neither particularly deep, no particularly lacking, laid out in just 8 pages. It gets the job done I guess. It also doesn’t mesh with any other of TSR’s available rules for mass combat (War Machine was in the Companion Rules in ’83, Battle System came out in ’85, the hybrid of both was in X10: Red Arrow, Black Shield in ’85, which amusingly, uses the bottom half of the painting that this module uses the top half of for its cover). It’s also distinct from the previous DL mass combat stuff (which was watered down Battlesystem, iirc), though I think all that was tactical rather than strategic? I guess all these things are tactical, now that I am thinking about it.

Regardless, sticking a strategy game in the series here, three modules from the end, seems odd. Did Dragonlance players really want this? Did it enrich the experience of the greater campaign? The action of the novels and the modules takes place in what is really a small portion of the overall war, so I can’t imagine using this as an integrated backdrop for the campaign, as the rulebook suggest. Aside of the fact that, like, most DL campaigns were 2+ years in when this dropped. I dunno. It’s strange.

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