Review – Hero Realms
A Fantasy Deck Building game.
Title: Hero Realms
Year Published: 2016
Designer: Robert Dougherty, Darwin Kastle
Publisher: White Wizard Games
Game Time: 20-30 mins
Set-up Time: ~1
Mechanic: Deck Building
How to win: Differs depending on game type, but “Defeat your Opponent” in a 1 on 1 game.
Hero Realms is a fantasy-themed deck-building game that includes basic rules for two-player games, along with rules for multiplayer formats such as Free-For-All, Hunter, and Hydra.
There are multiple ways to play, but a 1′ on 1 fight to the death’ will be the focus of this review.
Shuffle the Market deck, lay out 5 cards, and place the Fire Gems next to them.
Players get a life counter set to 50 Health. They also get a deck consisting of a Short Sword, Dagger, Ruby and 7 Gold that they shuffle into a deck.
A random start player draws 3 cards, the other player draws 5.
A player will play cards for their Ability, Buy cards and Attack in any order.
There are two types of currency, Gold to buy cards and Attack to deal damage.
Gold is used to buy cards from the row one at a time. Purchased cards go into the players discard pile and the row is replenished immediately.
Combat cards deal that much damage to the opponent or a Champion they control. (More on Champions in a bit)
Those are the main two types of cards, now the interesting stuff…
Ally cards share a symbol of the 4 Factions and if a player plays two cards of the same faction with Ally abilities, both cards will trigger their extra ability.
Champions stay in front of the player. Guards (with a Black Defence Shield, it also says Guard which is a big hint!) must be killed before the player, or the players non-guard Champions can be attacked.
Some Champions have an expend ability which allows you to rotate them to show the ability on the card has been used. Some cards let you Stun a Champion, discarding it to the player discard pile.
Some cards are sacrificed (removed from the game) for an extra ability. Fire Gems, when scarified, return to the Fire gem stack.
After all of the cards have been played, the active player Discards any cards in their hand and play area and prepares (straightens) their expended Champions.
Then they Draw 5 cards.
Play continues back and forth.
When a players health is reduced to 0, they lose.
I really like Star Realms, however it seemed really limited, it was only 2 player out the box and I’m not a sci-fi fan.
So when I found out they were releasing a Fantasy version that plays 4 out of the box AND has a campaign mode… I was in!
With the 1 on 1 game there are also a few other options in the base box…
Hunter, or Last One Standing is for 3 or more players and you attack left with the first kill or the last player alive winning.
There is also Hydra for 4 players, where 2 teams have 75 health and teams take turns together. They have their own play area but can combine combat to stun a Champion and Gold to buy cards. A Guard will block the whole team.
On top of that, there are character packs to give the game a slightly asynchronous start. One is a Rogue (Thief really but whatever) which is always good 😀
Also, Campaign mode! Yes!
Great fun! (Even solo)
I give it 8/10