User Tools

Site Tools


Dragons of War


The Temeraire books of Naomi Novik - wonderful descriptions of battles in the sky involving armadas of dragons.


The Temeraire books are set during the Napoleonic Wars. Dragons are treated in a similar way to men-of-war ships and have crews.

'Fighting the Grand Chevalier' (watercolour, 2007)
Fighting the Grand Chevalier (watercolour, 2007)
by Anke Eissmann, published in His Majesty's Dragon, Subterranean Press.

  • Scenarios - Famous battles during the Napoleonic Wars.


Dragon Types

There are 48 known breeds of Dragon in the Temeraire books - of different colouration, size, and ability as well as known habitat.

  • Size Division
    • Light Weight, Middle Weight, Heavy Weight
  • Nationality / Habitat
    • British, Canadian, Chinese, French, Incan, Japanese, Prussian, Russian, Scandinavian, Spanish, Turkish
  • Special Abilities
    • Acid Spitter, Agile, Divine Wind, Fire Breather, Hovering, Night Vision, Speedy, Spiked Spine, Tail Weapon, Venomous, Water Spitter.

Size Divisions

  • Light Weight
    • Crew: 1-10
    • This group is divided between courier and light-combat dragons. Couriers are the lightest of dragons, and usually carry mail, important military messages, and royalty/VIPs. They range in weight from a mere 2 tons (Winchester), to around 5 tons (Greyling). Couriers also do work as scout dragons doing reconnaissance over enemy territory. Light-combat dragons are little larger, and act as skirmishers and flank attackers against enemy formations. They range in weight from around 6 to 9 tons, with the French Pascal's Blue being a prime example of such a breed. Lightweights exhibit more excitable behaviour than do other dragons of heavier weights. The Spanish possess a fire-breathing lightweight, the Flecha-del-Fuego (Fire Arrow“), which is the rare lightweight breed that is a prime combat dragon.”
  • Middle Weight
    • Crew: 10-30
    • Much more common than heavyweights, these dragons make up the bulk of any country's aerial forces. Middleweights range in weight from 10 tons to 20 tons. Yellow Reapers can weigh as little as 10 tons (with a maximum weight of 17 tons), making them one of the smallest middleweights. British Parnassians are said to be large middleweights, weighing around 18 tons on average, very close to the minimum weight of a heavyweight dragon. Middleweights are much more likely to show special offensive capabilities, such as spitting acidic venom (Longwings), or breathing fire (Flamme-de-Gloire) than heavyweights. Middleweights tend to be faster and more agile than heavyweights, although if lacking special abilities, they are unlikely to be able to match any heavyweight in a fight.
  • Heavy Weight
    • Crew: 30-40
    • Dragons in this category are enormous, although size varies greatly between heavyweights of different breeds (20-50 ton weight range). The largest British heavyweight, the Regal Copper, weighs a maximum of 50 tons, can be up to 120 feet long (40 m) and have a wingspan of 180 feet (60 m). The smallest known heavyweights are the Chinese Celestial/Imperials and the French Chanson-de-Guerre, both of which weigh in around 20 tons at a minimum. The Turkish Kazilik is the only known fire-breathing heavyweight. Heavyweight eggs are extremely valuable, often said to be more valuable than gold per pound (a Regal Copper egg is said to be worth 56,000 pounds, an enormous amount of money in the early 1800s). Kazilik eggs command incredible value, with the British paying the Ottoman Empire half a million pounds for three eggs (most of which was allocated for the Kazilik).

Special Abilities

  • Acid Spitter
    • Causes acid burns
    • May not be used against targets at higher levels. Causes up to 3 turns of damage - take 3 acid counters. Each turn after the first, 1 card less of damage is taken.
  • Agile
    • Better at turning.
  • Divine Wind
    • Can shatter solid objects with a sonic shout
  • Fire Breather
    • Sets fires and causes heat damage
    • May not be used against targets at higher levels. Causes up to 3 turns of damage - take 3 fire counters. Each turn after the first, 1 card less of damage is taken.
  • Hovering
    • Able to beat wings backwards and forwards to stay in one location
  • Night Vision
    • Able to see at night, blinded by bright lights
  • Speedy
    • May perform bursts of speed
  • Spiked Spine
    • Defence against boarders
  • Tail Weapon
    • Melee weapon
    • Melee attacks are made with +1 Damage.
  • Venomous
    • Spits poison
    • May not be used against targets at higher levels.
  • Water Spitter
    • Able to put out fires
    • May not be used against targets at higher levels.
    • If used on a dragon, forces the dragon to lose a climb counter and that phase counts as having performed a steep manoeuvre.

Known Dragons


Dragons not used for courier work usually have more than one crew member riding on the harness, these range in duty from lookouts to riflemen.

  • Captain - every dragon has one captain. If the captain is ever slain or captured the dragon is immediately removed from the board as a casualty (it flees or is coerced) . Dragons and captains are bonded for life, and children of a captain generally inherit the role.
  • Lookouts, Runners, Bellmen - miscellaneous crew that maintain the dragon, its harness and perform necessary tasks during combat that aren't relevant to this game. Half a crew belong to this category.
  • Riflemen - these act as a unit, firing on other dragons and crew and repelling boarders as necessary.


games/card/dragonsofwar.txt · Last modified: 2013/03/19 18:15 by