Hordes of monsters are attacking the town and 2 to 5 heroes are summoned to defend it and defeat the evil creatures’ bosses!
The game starts by splitting the monsters into 5 monster piles. Each pile will contain 1 boss monster and some level 1 & level 2 monsters. All players receive 5 cards as a starting hand.
Each round the active player has the opportunity to play cards (heroes or action cards) to form his own band of heroes. In the next phase, these heroes can be activated by rolling dice.
Activated heroes attack monsters on one of the monster piles or increase the power of other activated heroes.
When a monster is defeated, the active player gains the monster card to keep track of his Victory Points. As soon as 3 boss monsters have been defeated the game is over and all player count their Victory Points.
If a player does not kill the top monster in the most left pile, that monster will attack the village. If that happens, the active player takes a village card and something bad happens to that player (discard treasures or losing Victory Points).
Some monsters will also perform an ambush at the end of the turn, killing activated heroes of the active player.
The active player ends his turn by drawing 4 new cards and discarding his hand down to 5 cards.
I’m sure that a lot of people will enjoy this game, but there are some elements to this game that spoiled it for me.
The main point of criticism (and other players agreed with me on this one) is that the game tends to get a little bit boring after a while. Heroes and monsters don’t have a lot of different special abilities, so after a few games you’ll get a “been there, done that”-feeling.
At the start of your first game, you’ll be excited to see what cards come up. By the end of your second game, you will conclude that you have seen all the cards & combo’s before and then the game will no longer be able to surprise you.
These problems could be fixed by an expansion and that’s exactly what’s in store for us later this year. Inside the box you’ll find a little card with the announcement of the upcoming expansion. The inlay in the box even has space for the cards of the expansion.
It’s nice to see that they were thinking ahead when designing this game, but I think the game would benefit if the expansion was included in the base game (or at least some elements of the expansions were included in this version).
A last point of criticism is about the artwork. Just like the rest of the game, it doesn’t feel like it’s “finished”. The plain background on most of the cards doesn’t add any excitement to the game.
(+) Easy to explain
(-) gets repetitive/boring after a few games
(-) not very excited about the artwork