Dungeon Mayhem is an absolutely delightful high action card game introduced to the group by Old Man Callahan. This game is a clinic in what good game design is. The mechanics are very simple and intuitive. The rules are clear and can be learned in a couple minutes. The game is fast paced, has plenty of action, and still room for strategy.
In other words it’s the full package. With many games only lasting 15 to 20 minutes or even less, it’s also a game you can break out even when there isn’t all that much time for a long form game. This card game is engaging, incredibly easy to learn, and very straight forward. Add in the fact it’s a blast and you have a winner.
So how do you play Dungeon Mayhem?
Quite easily. Just by setting up the deck you almost know everything you need to know. The little cheat card with each deck not only gives the general rules, but explains the special abilities or powers of each class.
Every single player has cards with the attack stat, letting them know how much damage they inflict. Shield cards, which count as extra defense (nothing too brain surgeon level here so far). Hearts that represent healing damage. And the little lightning bolts represent the ability to play an extra card (for each bolt) that turn.
Every player starts out with only 3 cards. At the beginning of their turn, they draw a card. This includes the player who takes the very first turn of the game.
The standard play is you get to play one card, unless you play a card that has a lightning bolt and thus allows you to play more. Once you run out of cards you may draw another one.
Lose all your hearts, and you die instantly. The last barbarian, paladin, rogue, or wizard standing wins the game.
How to Play Dungeon Mayhem Video
The how to play Dungeon Mayhem video was one of the first ones we put on our Assorted Meeples YouTube Channel.
Playing the Rogue
Line up those vicious attack cards for when you can play Cunning Action to throw ALL the daggers all at once. Play My Little Friend early for protection because everyone at the table wants to kill you before Clever Disguise comes up.
If you can play My Little Friend and then Clever Disguise, all the better! Sneaky strategy is the best for playing the rogue.
Playing the Barbarian
The barbarian hits, hits, and hits some more. The sooner you can damage everyone, and then play that Battle Roar to make every player throw away their hand, the better!
This is the deck that most often stopped me from winning as rogue as I would be forced to throw away Clever Disguise before I had a chance to use it.
So attack and keep beating on other players until they stop moving. That’s the barbarian rage way!
Playing the Paladin
Paladins don’t have an overly broken special power, but they are an extremely formidable class. Many of their cards damage opponents and heal themselves, damage opponents and give shields to themselves at the same time, and once in a while there’s just a nasty smite in the deck.
They have less “broken” special abilities but their standard cards are much stronger. Being able to attack and heal at the same time is pretty powerful.
Divine Shield, Fighting Words, and the Smite cards are definitely the stars of this deck.
Playing the Wizard
The wizard is all about two things: trickery and taking the whole table out with him. Fireball is a deadly effective card, as you would hope with any game featuring a wizard, while there are cards to grab more cards, zap opponents with lightning, or even switch places on the health track when they don’t like their situation.
Ouch to the barbarian on that one.
Great deck that’s a lot of fun, though carefully planning how to play your cards is important. You don’t want to use your tricks too early, but anyone who played this game knows how dangerous the wizard can be if you leave him/her unchecked.
Ready to Cause Some Dungeon Mayhem?
This is a really fantastic game and one that will be fully in the rotation once we can all meet in person once again. This game is always a blast, has the right blend of strategy and luck, and the chaos of these decks makes for exciting games with some pretty wild swings. If you haven’t played this game yet, don’t let it intimidate you.
The rules are easy to learn, the cheat cards are helpful, and there are few games that pack this much fun into such a short time!
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Proud to embrace the locally created moniker of “Corrupt Overlord” from one of the all time great Lords of Waterdeep runs, Shane is one member of the Assorted Meeples crew and will be hard at work creating awesome content for the website. He is a long-time player of board games, one time semi-professional poker player, and tends to run to the quirky or RPG side of things when it comes to playing video games. He loves tabletop roleplaying systems like Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder, Werewolf, Fate, and others, and not only has been a player but has run games as DM for years. You can find his other work in publications like Level Skip or Hobby Lark.