Heroes of Xhandar is on Kickstarter. You can find details of it here.
Heroes of Xhandar Board Game Preview - This is a prototype version with only some parts of the game and it does not represent the final quality of the game.
This is a trick taking game, set in a fantasy world, with amazing art, slick gameplay, and Lego-style brick characters to build and fight with!
That's right. Lego-style brick minis to build and use in the game. Check them out! How cool is this?!
There are a couple of different ways to play, but I wont go into that fully here. The rules are still being worked on. You can check them out on the link on the Kickstarter page. Again, you can find details of it here.
But in short, here is how you play one version of the two player game.
Each player will be dealt three of the Hero cards. Each player can choose one of these three Heroes to play as, discarding the other two back into the box. They will place their hero card face down in front of them, hiding who they are from the other players. Their Hero card will grant them two different powers. One that is offered to the player once when they choose to reveal who they are. Something they can do whenever they wish. Adding a fun reveal to the game. The other which can be used at any time after they are revealed. Their hero card will also show them their own special win condition, usually a specific Diamond points target. Check out a few here.
Each player is then dealt ten cards from the main deck. They will then draw the top card from the deck to see which number they got. The player who draws the highest number will start. The drawn cards are placed into a face up discard pile.
The first player will now look at their hand of ten cards and choose one to play. They are looking to win a trick in order to claim the cards from that trick and place then into their Pocket. Once all cards have been played and tricks won, each player can then move two cards from their Pocket into their Stash. From here, in the stash, players can then gain the Diamonds shown on their chosen cards. If a player ever reaches the target points from cards in their Stash then the game is over and they win. If neither player has achieved their goal yet, ten more cards are dealt out and another round begins.
The tricks are won simply by the highest card played. The first player will play one card, then the next player will play one card. Then back to the first player again who plays their second card. Then the second player plays their second and final card. You don't have to follow suit, and suits don't determine the winning card. It is simply the highest card played. From these four cards, the highest card wins, and the player that payed that card takes all four cards and places them into their Pocket.
Sounds simple enough right? Well, the lower cards below eight have powers on them as well as a value. This is where the colours come in. Some cards stop cards of certain colours being played. On some it states that certain coloured cards cannot win that time. Others state that for this trick it is the lowest card that wins. Something that really annoys the other player if they lead with a particular high card! Others let you take cards back from your Pocket, replace some from the deck, or make other cards that you play have a higher power. It makes each hand different, unpredictable, and highly entertaining. Their is a Seer card that lets you see other players hands though, so you can strategies to an extent. And once you learn the deck and the cards powers you can begin to really build some clever strategies.
But what about those Lego-style minis? Well, there is another way to play with battle tracks and your minis, where players run through a similar style trick taking battle but with face up Hero cards, and each time you win a trick you can move your hero one space on their track, giving you extra powers as you play. It's a simple addition that adds a lot of drama, theatre and table presence to an otherwise fairly simple card game. I love it. I won't go into too much more detail with the rules for this version or the other ways to play with these cards because, well.. in truth, I didn't quite understand the rule book! It's early stages and I am sure it will get sorted. But I had to ask a fair few questions of Kay from Kay Plays Games to understand the above as I did, so thanks to her! I believe she figured it out from talking with the designer.
This game has wonderful art. That is the stand out feature for me. The card play is fun, and offers a surprising level of depth once you start to understand how the powers all interlink and can be used with and against each other. But the art captivates me each turn, each play, each game. The designer of the game, Florian Fiedler, is also the artist, and it must be said, this is a truly wonderful looking game that deserves a lot of praise. I was captivated after seeing the card art myself and desperate to play. I am very glad I have now done that and hope the campaign is a huge success, if only to sort the rule book!
But also because I think within these stunning cards is a brilliant and very clever trick-taking game that I believe a lot of people can have a lot of fun with.
Go check out the Kickstarter page now for more details. You can find details of it here.