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Tinderbox Tales – The Damsel’s Tale Kickstarter Preview (Part 1 of 3)

Damsel etiquette will tell you that although you can never really trust a knight to save you properly, as long as your dragon needs feeding you should let them have a go. Welcome to the Damsel’s Tale….

Set Up

Damsel Cards setup
Damsel Cards setup


Start of the Round

To start The Damsel’s Tale, each player takes all of their cards and Shuffles them. Two cards are discarded facedown to the side. Players look at the remaining 4 cards, these will form the player’s hand for this round

Player Turns:

Each player selects 1 card from there hand and places it face down. Once both players have chosen a card, they are both revealed.

The player with the lowest number resolves the action/s on the card they have chosen. Then resolve the other player’s card.

This is repeated until all 4 cards have been used, then the round ends

Movement Rules

Whenever the Knight moves into a hidden space; on the Lair Track, the Baby Dragon’s panic is increased by one. Move the Panic Cube one space on the Panic Track, once it reaches the fourth spot it can only be reduced, ignore any actions that advance it.

When a card indicates the Knight must Move to advance the Knight Meeple the number of spaces on the Lair Track equal to the current level of the Panic Track. However, if during their movement they enter a hidden space, it will end their movement for that card (even if there are multiple Move actions on the card). To win the Knight must reach the final space at any point in a Movement action.

If a Knight ends its movement on a noisy space; resolve the top card of the Mumma Dragon deck by moving the Mumma Dragon Meeple one space up the Cavern Steps for each footprint on the card.

Hidden / Open

If the Knight meeple is not on one of the Hidden spaces on the Lair Track it is considered Open. Some of the cards work differently depending on where the Knight is on the Lair Track when the card resolves.

Mumma Dragon

Whenever an Action calls for a ‘Dragon Card’ draw the top card from the Mumma Dragon Deck and move the Mumma Dragon Meeple one space up the Cavern Steps for each footprint on the card.

The Mumma Dragon is a ferociously protective being. If she ever reaches the final space of the Cavern Track when the knight is in the open, the knight is doomed – BUT – if the Knight is hidden the Mumma Dragon gets annoyed and returns to the first space of the Cavern Track.

Win Conditions

If you are the Baby Dragon:

You need Mumma Dragon to SEE the Knight. If at any stage the Mumma Dragon is on the last step of the Cavern Track, and the Knight is in the open, the Baby Dragon player wins.

If you are the Knight:

You need to retrieve the Prince’s Crown from the treasure pile. If at any stage the Knight is on the final space of the Lair Track you win.

Damsel's Tales board
Damsel’s Tale board

The Damsel’s Tale is the first game I played out of the Tinderbox Tales Box Set. A set of 3 games from Red Genie Games; set in the same world as their highly successful game, The Brigade. The Tinderbox Tales consists of The Damsel’s Tale, The Barmaid’s Tale & the Trader’s Tale. They are a group of small box games that add an amazing amount of depth to the already beautifully designed world.

This is my favourite game of the two I have; but I must say, if you are a Damsel and I’m your knight in shining armour, don’t get excited. You’ll probably be stuck in that castle forever. I’m not kidding, I won the first game and that was only because we misread a rule and I accidentally cheated for the win.

I had my friend from England staying with me on the weekend and forced her to play 2 of the 3 Tinderbox Tales’ games. I say forced, but really, she was so excited to play board games. She couldn’t remember the last time she has played one and loves board games.

We had a ball with the Damsel’s Tale, it has this old school feel it. It is challenging and yet simple, it has this elegance to it. I feel like with so many games nowadays, there is so much overcomplication of rules and people trying to overthink the gameplay. This has none of that, everything has a purpose, a plan and doesn’t take away from the challenging gameplay.

Damsel's Tales Cards
Damsel’s Tale Cards

In my brigade review, I summed up the art by saying:

“The art gives it an almost fairytale feel, and doesn’t just add a visual element to the story but really breathes life into the world. The characters, the crews, and the buildings are all so unique and beautiful, but have a stunning cohesion between them which really makes this game the complete package for me.”

And I couldn’t have said it better for The Damsel’s Tale, it truly has carried on where the Brigade has left off. It has kept the world alive, deepened it, and reinforced this world is truly something that needs to be explored more. As the depth is endless.

If you would like to get yourself a copy of the 3 games in Tinderbox Tales. You can head over to the Kickstarter Page. (Going live on the 9th of October)

Also, remember to check out my other 2 reviews of the other games in this series:

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Derek 'Dez' Maggs

Board Game & Tech Reviewer / Podcast Host of Rapid Reviews on the Boomer Radio Network / Assistant Producer of Creaytors Series on YouTube / Coffee & Hug Addict

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