March 05, 2018

Wakening Lair Card Types (and How to Read Them)

There are several different types of cards in Wakening Lair: Hero, Room, Monster, and Treasure cards. Each of them serve a distinct purpose, but share some common symbology that will help you strategize


All 9 hero types can be played as either male or female. The hero abilities are the same, regardless of gender. Each hero has an archetype, indicated by color, and two Attack type strengths, indicted by the two symbols on the left side of the card. Matching the color and symbols to Weapons, Rooms, and Monsters will give you different advantages in combat.

Each hero has 5 damage boxes down the center of the card. When a Monster attacks your hero, it must roll equal or higher to these numbers in the order they appear, top to bottom, to damage your hero. Cover damaged boxes with red cubes as you take the damage to track your health.

Once all 5 boxes are covered, that hero has died and must be resurrected through special treasure cards (see Treasure below) or the game is over. All heroes must survive for gameplay to continue.


Room cards create the “game board” by being placed in a single vertical row at the center of the table. This is the Lair. All Room cards start the game face down, except Room 1 (the Lair entrance). Rooms are “awakened” at the beginning of each player’s turn by rolling 2D6, combining the total roll, and counting back from the Lair entrance.

Turn over the appropriate card to reveal the room type (the symbols will match some hero’s attack types) and a number. The number indicates how many monsters were waiting in that room; add them to the right of the room from monster pile. If a hero is in a room with a symbol that matches one of their hero attack symbols, they will get a +1 bonus to EACH dice they roll in combat while in that room!

If you roll a number for a room that has already been awakened, simply add 1 more monster to that room, up to a maximum of 3 monsters per room.


Monster cards are added to rooms at the beginning of each player’s turn when rooms are awakened (see Rooms above). Players must defeat monsters using Attack Actions. Defeating monsters is how heroes obtain Treasure (see Treasure below).

The Monster cards show you which specific Monster you are fighting, that Monster’s Attack Type weakness (indicated by the symbol on the left), and the combat roll numbers required to cause damage to that monster.

To damage the monster your attack roll must be equal to or higher than the leftmost uncovered damage box on the monster card. If you roll multiple D6 (with the aid of a weapon) you start with your highest roll and work through all the dice you rolled individually to see how many hits you landed. It is possible to hit a Monster multiple times on a multi-dice roll.

You may Press the Attack (see Rules p. 6) against a monster whose weakness symbol matches your hero attack symbol. This means if you land a hit on your roll, you may reroll to try to hit again on the same attack action.


Treasure cards are gained when a monster is defeated. Each card is divided in half and shows a Weapon on the left and a Magic Item on the right. Heroes will “equip” these items by choosing EITHER the weapon OR the magic item and sliding them under their hero card to display the item they chose to equip/use.

Heroes may equip several weapons and magic items, but each hero can only have one of each specific item (e.g. only on set of Beads of the Four Winds). You will want your weapons to match your hero archetype (indicated by color) and hero Attack types (indicted by symbols) as closely as possible. This determines whether you get extra dice to roll in combat.

There are two additional treasure card types – Scrolls of Resurrection and Traps. Scrolls can be used to bring a hero back to life that has taken too much damage to survive. Remember: ALL heroes must survive in order the win the game. Traps are surprises and can wreak havoc on your party. When a trap is drawn, follow the instructions on the card.

For information on how a combat works, check out our article: Combatting Monsters in Wakening Lair.

Download a copy of the Rules for Wakening Lair.

March 05, 2018

Combating Monsters in Wakening Lair

Wakening Lair is a cooperative dungeon crawl experience designed for 2-6 players that borrows the narrative style of traditional RPGs (Role Playing Games) and presents many of the aspects of that genre in an introductory, accessible way. You can play the equivalent of a full campaign in less than an hour, leveling your character and defeating a wide array of monsters with a concise combat structure.

Combating monsters is key to surviving the Wakening Lair. You must defeat monsters to obtain Treasure, which allows you to “level up” your heroes and strengthen your attacks through weapons and magic items.

You have 3 Actions on your turn and can choose to perform any of the following three actions: Move, Attack, or use your Hero Special Ability, in any combination and order. We are going to focus on the Attack Action for this article.

When attacking a monster, you must declare which monster you are attacking, which Hero Attack Type you are using, and, which weapon you are using (if you have equipped a weapon).

Mobius has not equipped any weapons yet. He would roll only 1D6 in combat at this time.

If your hero has no weapons, you roll 1D6 in combat. This is how all heroes start the game.

Mobius is equipped with a weapon that matches his Hero Archetype (blue color) but not his Attack Types. Kata is equipped with a weapon that matches one of her Attack Types (Holy symbol) but not her Hero Archetype. They would each be able to roll 2D6 in combat while using their equipped weapons.

If your hero has a weapon that has a Hero Preference (color) that matches your Hero Archetype (color), you can choose that weapon and roll an additional D6, for 2D6 roll.
If your hero has a weapon that has an Attack type (symbol) that matches one of your Hero Attack type (symbols), you can choose that weapon and roll an additional D6, for 2D6 roll.

Mobius has equipped Northwind Wand which matches his Hero Archetype (blue) AND his Frost Attack Type. He would roll 3D6 in combat using this weapon. 

IF your weapon matches BOTH your Hero Archetype (color) AND your Hero Attack Type (symbol), you can choose that weapon and roll 2 additional D6, for a 3D6 roll.

Roll the appropriate dice count and compare each die individually to the damage box numbers on the monster card for the monster you are attacking, starting with the leftmost damage box on the monster card and your highest die roll. If the roll is equal to or higher than the number on the monster card, you hit the monster! Place a red damage cube over that box, and proceed to your next highest die, and so on, if you rolled more than one.

Kata is currently in a Precision Room which matches her Precision Attack Type. She gets a Room Bonus, which allows her to add +1 to every die she rolls while in that room. 

Room Bonus

If the room your hero is in has a symbol that matches one of your hero’s Attack Type symbols, you get a +1 to each dice you roll! Don’t forget to take advantage of this bonus.

Kata’s Precision Attack Type matches the Golem’s Weakness. If Kata attacks and hits the Golem, she can continue to reroll and attack on the same Attack Action as long as she continues to get hits. This is called Pressing the Attack. 

Press the Attack

If the Hero Attack type (symbol) you are using matches the monster weakness (symbol) displayed on the monster card of the monster you are attacking, AND you hit the monster on your first roll during an Attack Action, you may reroll the dice to try to hit that same monster again as part of the same attack action.

The Orc Marauder has been defeated once all the damage boxes are covered. The hero who defeated it may immediately claim a Treasure card from the deck. 

Getting Treasure

If you completely defeat a monster by hitting all (or the last remaining) damage boxes on the monster’s card during an attack action, you get to remove that monster from the game and draw a card from the Treasure deck.

You may choose to “equip” (apply to your hero) the weapon (left) or magic item (right) by sliding the card beneath your hero card to display the item you chose to equip. That item is now immediately available to you if you have actions remaining.

You may also choose to hold the treasure in reserve for future equipping or to give to another player when you are in the same room as them. This helps you obtain and equip weapons that are best suited to your hero’s archetype and attack types.

Mobius has received the Dwarven HandCannon as Treasure. The weapon does no match any of his bonuses, so he is holding this card in Reserve to equip later (for the Magic Item) or to give to a fellow player that can use the bonuses. 

Remember you are working as a team in Wakening Lair, so you will want to strategize with your fellow heroes to maximize weapons, room bonuses, special abilities, and magic items for the best combat scenarios.

For information on how to read the symbols on the various types of cards, check out our article: Wakening Lair Card Types and How to Read Them.

Download a copy of the Rules for Wakening Lair.

December 07, 2017

Best Boardgames for the Holidays

Looking for suggestions on which games to give as gifts or add to your own list this year? Here’s a few recommendation lists you should check out!

So1ks Gaming: Taco’s End of Year Buyer’s Guide 2017

 “Element was a surprise hit for me this year and has become one of my favorite abstract strategy games to date. If you are fan of chess or checkers, Element will take you to a whole new level and you will never want to go back. Highly recommend.”

Also included in Taco’s list are some of this year’s heavy hitters from other publishers such as Terraforming Mars, Gloomhaven, and Pandemic Legacy Season 2. We’re honored to have Element among such beloved company! And, at $34.99, Element is a great price point for the family or work gift exchange.

Under the Radar’s Holiday Gift Guide 2017 Part 2: Board Games

This guide is a look at some of “the year’s best tabletop entertainment” and is broken down by categories that include Dice Games, Family Games, Strategy Games, and even Gaming Accessories! So much goodness. Check out the full list on Under Radar’s website

Austin Trunick sings Element’s praises in the Strategy Games category. “This game boasts a rare, highly successful blend of luck and tactical thinking, not to mention some great components: each sage looks as if it was carved in ancient times, like something you’d find in a glass case at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.”


Phil’s Picks from Golden Distribution

Most of our fellow industry professionals are also gamers at heart, so we take their recommendations seriously. Phil Lacefield of Golden Distribution pulled together a great list of game and geek-related items he has seen this year that he is very excited about.

We are honored that Hafid’s Grand Bazaar made the list and are pleased that Phil has honed in on what makes this game special in a sea of bidding and trading games.

“The elements of how this works are both luck and skill combined in a way I’ve never really seen before. I enjoy this game greatly… good for all ages.”

We hope you find something you like on these lists. If you are interested in Element, Hafid’s Grand Bazaar, or any of our other games, we invite you to learn more on the Game pages of our website.

Order through our web store by December 10 and take $10 off your purchase of 2 or more games when you use code GAME10 at checkout! Or visit your Friendly Local Game Store to get a copy today. 

November 24, 2017

A Rather Dashing Road Trip

We’re hitting the road to visit local game stores!

Join the Rather Dashing team as Tim and Mike travel around IL, WI, and IN next week visiting some of your favorite local game stores. 

They will be teaching demos of Element and Hafid’s Grand Bazaar, two of our 2017 new releases that both make great gifts and encourage quality family time!

Be sure to pick up an Uncle Barnaby poster to remind you to Play More Games and grab the promo cards for the games while supplies last. 


Castle Perilous (Carbondale, IL) Tuesday, November 28 4-7PM

Games Plus (Mount Prospect, IL) Wednesday, November 29 4-7PM

I’m Board Games (Middleton, WI) Thursday, November 30 5-9PM

Gnome Games (Green Bay West, WI) Friday, December 1 4-7PM

White Flag Games (Mooresville, IN) Saturday, December 2 4-7PM

We look forward to meeting many of our dashing supporters while we are on the road!

November 14, 2017

Wakening Lair Coming Spring 2018 from Rather Dashing Games

Evil stirs in the catacombs at the center of dense woods not far from your village. Do you have the courage to venture into the depths and combat the creatures that lurk within? Rather Dashing Games is excited to announce Wakening Lair, a fully cooperative dungeon delve card game for 2-6 heroic adventurers, coming in March 2018.

Built long ago and all but forgotten, the lair has lain silent for generations. A noxious reek now wafts from the entrance, and unsettling noises echo up out of the darkness, signaling that something terrible is about to awaken.

Play heroes from nine different character classes, each with unique abilities to help vanquish your foes. Double-sided hero cards provide both male and female versions of each class for a total of 18 heroes to choose from.

In Wakening Lair, players take turns exploring rooms, defeating monsters, disarming traps, and gathering weapons and magic items to equip themselves for to battle the Monstrous Terror. There are six different Monstrous Terror options, and the Monstrous Terror awakens at randomized moments, making each game unique. Once the Monstrous Terror awakens, you’ll need all your heroic might to keep it from escaping the lair and sweeping the land!

Each game includes
• 9 Hero cards (double-sided)
• 24 Monster cards
• 1 Monstrous Terror Awakens! card
• 24 Treasure cards
• 12 Room cards
• 6 Monstrous Terror boards
• 70 Wooden cubes
• 9 Wooden hero tokens
• 3 Six-sided dice
• Rulebook

Wakening Lair was designed by Michael Richie and Grant Wilson, the design team that brought you Element, Hafid’s Grand Bazaar, and more. The game is designed for 2-6 players, aged 14 and up, and plays in 30-40 minutes. Wakening Lair captures the narrative nature of an RPG in a cooperative card game format. A variety of monsters, weapons, treasure, and hero combinations offer a unique gameplay experience every time you play.

Can YOU survive the Wakening Lair? Sharpen your wits and weapons for Wakening Lair, coming March 2018!

Release date: March 2018
Average game play: 30-40 minutes
MSRP: $34.99
SKU: RDG704006

November 13, 2017

PAX Unplugged 2017

Visit Us in Booth 552!

This week we are headed to Philadelphia, PA for the first ever PAX Unplugged! 

Join us in the Exhibit Hall at Booth #552 for demos of Element, Hafid’s Grand Bazaar, and This Belongs in a Museum. We will also have collectible buttons, game room posters, and more! 

Game designer Mike Richie will be available to sign copies of Element purchased at the show! 

This is a great opportunity to grab your own copy of our 2017 releases and take advantage of our show special! Get $10 off your purchase total when you buy 2 or more games. Our games make great holiday gifts! 

October 31, 2017

Play Through Video for Hafid's Grand Bazaar

You’ve seen our How to Play video, you’ve read about epic trades, and watched the Art of the Trade highlight reel… but you’re still curious to see how Hafid’s Grand Bazaar plays through all the phases and rounds with actual players.

Good news! We’re here to satisfy that curiosity with our Full Play Through video with Tim, Leah, Mike, and Grant. 

Navigate the four phases of each round of play alongside our ambitious merchants. In this video they are playing four rounds, one for each player to have the opportunity to begin bidding first. 

Hafid’s Grand Bazaar can be played with 2-6 players and makes for a great game night and family night game. Available now at your Friendly Local Game Store and on our webstore

October 26, 2017

Hafid's Grand Bazaar Pleases Reviewers

Hafid’s Grand Bazaar hit store shelves earlier this month and has received some high praise among reviewers.

This lively bidding and negotiation game for 2-6 players has inspired some pretty lively table talk and player interaction in our demos. You can read more about an epic session at Gen Con that lead to real money and steak dinners entering the trade discussions in our blog “Trading Gets Wild in Hafid’s Grand Bazaar.”

Mark Streed from Boardgame Corner got an advance look at this game back at the GAMA Trade Show in March and eagerly anticipated its release:

“Not only is [Hafid’s Grand Bazaar] a beautiful game, but it is also one of the best bidding and negotiating games I’ve played in a while. So many fantastic negotiating moments! With some unique set collection, each game round is unique in some way.”

Over at A Pawn’s Perspective, Rob Kalajian was impressed, despite his normal dislike for bidding games!

“I’m not normally a fan of bidding games, but Hafid’s Grand Bazaar manages to take the mechanic and make it approachable and fun,” Kalajian says. “Player interaction is high and makes for some great game sessions … Everything, box included, is ultra sturdy and high quality … The game feels built to last.”

The highly social aspect of this game was not lost on Paste Magazine’s Keith Law, landing Hafid’s Grand Bazaar in their list of Best Games from Gen Con 2017!

Hafid’s [Grand Bazaar] has a big negotiation component on top of its set collection mechanic that makes this a much more social game than all of the others of its ilk, like adding Go Fish to a multi-player Jaipur,” he wrote.

This was echoed in by Roll Dice Take Names when they said the game has “a good mix of a lot of interaction, some take that, and a lot of table talk” and that “thematically it’s a pretty cool game.”

Game Nite Magazine’s Serge Pierro also felt the potential for group fun with this one. “Hafid’s Grand Bazaar is a fine family/party type game, as the freeform trading phase will be both chaotic and provide lots of laughs (and frustration) for all of the participants.”

Why should you get Hafid’s Grand Bazaar? Dave Merrell at Everything Board Games says, “I can’t recommend this game highly enough.”

Or you can take Streed’s word for it: “Really enjoyable, this is one to not be missed, folks. Give it a closer look.”

Still not convinced? Kalajian has the last word, “Hafid’s Grand Bazaar is just that. A grand time.”

Hafid’s Grand Bazaar is available at your Friendly Local Game Store and through our website.

Check out How to Play videos, Play Throughs, and more on the game page for Hafid’s Grand Bazaar.

October 20, 2017

Rather Dashing Games at Essen Spiel 2017

We are very excited to announce that Rather Dashing Games will be represented at Essen Spiel this year by BNW Distribution!

Attendees will be able to purchase a limited supply of Element, Hafid’s Grand Bazaar, and This Belongs in a Museum (English language versions) at booth 6B127 with BraveNewWorld. 

If you will be at the show this year we’d love to see your pictures from the show, so please tag Rather Dashing Games in your relevant posts!  

We look forward to bringing these games (and future titles) to the European gaming market with partners like BNW.

September 21, 2017

How to Play Hafid's Grand Bazaar

Hafid’s Grand Bazaar immerses you in the bustle of a thriving marketplace. Bid on caravans, negotiate with other merchants, sell your wares, and amass the most wealth to become the greatest trader in the land!

The game is played in a series of rounds consisting of four phases: Bidding, Caravan, Trading, Selling. You play enough rounds for each player to have a chance to be the first player once (twice for a 2-player game).

Collect sets of goods from five categories (Food, Textiles, Livestock, Raw Materials, Finished Goods) with five unique goods in each category to appease your customers. Other merchants can see the category of goods in your hand (back of the cards), but do not know which specific goods you have within that category (front of the cards).


Players take turns placing bidding cubes on various market segments to gain access to Caravans (provide additional goods from Foreign Markets), Customers (allow you to sell specific set types for scoring), or Influence (provide access to information or extra Merchant cards).

Players bid on the order in which these caravans are claimed (1st Choice, 2nd choice, etc. as indicated by the numbered circles at the center of the board), not specific cities. Players CAN be outbid on caravans.

Bidding ends once all players have placed all of their bidding cubes in play. If you are outbid on a Caravan or the Informant, you do not get your cubes back until the next Phase.


Players claim Foreign Markets and Influence based on their bids in the previous phase. The winning bidder on the Informant space chooses to view the cards from a single city or a single Merchant card category in the Foreign Markets, then draws 1 card from the discard pile or draw pile.

Next, beginning with the 1st space in the Caravans, winning bids choose the caravan they want from ANY of the remaining Foreign Markets. If players were outbid, they do not choose a caravan, and instead take the top card from the draw pile. While caravans are being claimed, players may activate their Free Trade bid to draw the top 2 cards from the draw pile.

Players retrieve their bidding cubes as they claim Caravans and their Free Trade bids. Once all cubes have been retrieved from the Caravan and Free Trade spaces, the Caravan Phase ends.


Players haggle with other merchants to obtain the goods they need to complete sets for their customers. You cannot lie or steal, and you MUST honor your deals.

Only players who bid on the Negotiator may initiate trades. Multiple players can bid on the Negotiator. Players who did NOT bid can only trade with a player who did. Negotiators can facilitate trades for other players and are permitted to charge a surcharge for the service.

Trading is wide open and NOT limited to cards. You can trade for information, access to customers, even the last slice of pizza or a ride to the airport!

A Negotiator ends trade by removing their cube from the Negotiator space. Once all cubes have been removed the Trading Phase ends.


Players now sell their wares to customers. There are 3 customer types looking for different types of sets: Haggler, Collector, Guild Master. 

You can sell multiple sets to each customer and sell to more than one customer. If you cannot complete a customer set (or did not bid on a customer) you may sell up to 10 cards for their face gold value. This is called Plying Your Wares.

Collect gold Talents for the sales you were able to make and add them to your scoring pile. The Merchant with the highest total Talent value at the end of the final round wins!

There is little downtime as all players are engaged in all phases of each round and you will want to be paying attention to the trades going on around you for clues as to what each player is planning to sell. Creative negotiation is highly encouraged and table talk can get raucous.

Download a copy of the Rules and get ready to haggle! Hafid’s Grand Bazaar is available October 4, 2017 at your Friendly Local Game Store!