Calling all Heroes! Save the day in Heroes Wanted!

Players:1-4
Cost:$65
Recommended Age:13+
Play Time:60­-90 minutes
Company Site:www.actionphasegames.com
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Heroes Wanted is the first game by Action Phase Games and is honestly one of our Game Night favorites. Every time you play you are a new Hero, face a new Villain and compete to get the most Fame. The base of the game stays the same but you NEVER play the same game twice!

Action Phase Games is an Indianapolis, Indiana based company which, since I live here, is awesome! Heroes Wanted is their first game and I cannot wait to see what they come up with next. Everything about this game is good including the pieces, the cards, the box and of course the fun of playing. The box design is fun with a different super hero on each side of it. On the top is a newspaper (and coffee cup) calling for Super Heroes.2014-10-13 17.37.51 copy

Inside is my favorite box feature…organization. There are spots for all the cards and a big area for all the pieces. We put the pieces in baggies…cause it’s what we do. The TWO double-sided game boards fit neatly on top. There was even room for the expansion.

The Player pieces are those sturdy pieces that look like the top half of a person. Circle head, body with arms at its side. The villain, minions and henchmen are all made out of wood and look kind of like tiny meeples. The only other wood pieces are the little circle bits and everything else is either a card, a die or that sturdy cardboard material.

Let’s talk about contents for a moment. I have played games that have a lot of parts and come with a ton of stuff but this is a scale that is new to me. I mean you get 216 cards alone! 216! 24 Basic actions (6 of each), 24 Special actions (6 of each), 6 Super Power actions, 20 epic actions (5 of each), 20 Hero Bonus cards for the 4 Hero types (5 each), 32 Hero A cards, 32 Hero B, 18 Villain A, 18 Villain B, 10 Quirk and 12 blank cards to create your own! Those are JUST the cards!

2014-10-13 19.54.00 copyIt also comes with 2 double-sided game boards, 1 Fame Track, 9 headline tiles, 6 counter tokens, 14 event tokens, 1 1st Hero Phase marker, 1 threat track token (this is TINY and my only real complaint is that it is too small), 5 Hero Pawns (Blue, Green, Purple, Yellow, and Red, 5 Dice (1 in each color), 1 Black Villain meeple, 40 grey Underling Meeples, 20 beige Henchmen Meeples, 20 1-HP Tokens, 20 5-Hp Tokens and 25 Injury Tokens.

Learning the game took a bit for us but after you start playing it literally takes 2-3 rounds before you have the game down. The learning curve was a bit rough but it IS worth it so push on through…and hang in there while I try not to confuse you further when I explain how to play. My son plays a slightly adjusted version. We leave out the Quirks, the Hero B card extras, and dealing damage to other Players. We will add those in later but for now we just adjust the game slightly and go over his Super Powers once he chooses his Hero. Otherwise he plays normally with a little help of course.

2014-10-14 17.53.35-5 copyObjective:

Earn the most Fame. Defeat the Villain before he escapes….usually.

Setup:

Soooo Setup…First! Read the directions…carefully. Choose a Scenario. If you have never played before I suggest starting with the first one, Littering, Loitering, and Jaywalking! We play this one with my son for the most part and my daughter thinks this is the only board for now. Follow the instructions for setting up the Scenario. I’ll go over LL&J in a minute. Before we continue there are a few terms that you should know:

Hero: That’s YOU! and any other Player in the game.

Villain: The bad guy. Try to stop his dastardly plan!

2014-10-14 19.46.03 copyMinions: The Villains helpers. He has Underlings and Henchmen.

Underlings: These are the low men on the Villain totem pole.

Henchmen: These guys are like the Administrative Assistants to the Villain.

Character: Any Hero, Minion, or Villain. If it has a meeple (pawn) it is a Character.

Fame: You want this. You want lots of this. In fact you want the most at the end of the game.

Headlines: Special task that get you more Fame. These are randomly selected except for the first Scenario when you play the first time. 

Actions: Cards that you play in order to anything in the game, like move or deal damage (DMG).

Spent Action:  A card you played and put in your discard pile.

Retrieve: Take a Spent Action and put it back in your hand. Yep you can do that.

Event Token: Tokens that have pictures on them. These are specific to various Scenarios. Litter, Bystanders, Boxes, Mirrors.

Now set the crossword puzzle like board, Fame Track, next to the game board. This is like a score board where you move a Circle token in your color forward for each Fame you get during game play. Next choose a color to be and get your Hero Board and matching pieces and die. It is the same on both sides so that part doesn’t matter. Now you get to choose a Super Hero!

2014-10-14 20.17.07 copyDeal out 3 Hero A and 3 Hero B cards to each Player. They select ONE of each to create their Hero. The instructions have a first game recommendation for every section so check your booklet and pull those particular Hero cards out. Otherwise choose carefully. Some people choose based on abilities the card has but we tend to choose based on the coolest sounding name. The names start with the Hero B card and some of the combinations are hilarious!

Once everyone has their Hero every one takes turns introducing themselves as their Hero. Simply read the name of your Hero and the information written on the A and B cards. We usually read the Quotes too for fun as it is your tagline! I love the little things.

If you have played before you can choose to draw a Quirk. These are fun and add another “tracking” element to the game with a chance to earn more Fame but I don’t recommend them for a first or even second game. You would read your Quirk when you read your Hero name.2014-10-14 20.06.06-2 copy

Make sure everyone gets Actions Cards. Each Player will get the following cards…every time for every game. Costume, Strike, Super Power, Maneuver, and Charge. These have Action! on the back of them. We have each Player color in its own baggie for convenience. Makes things so much easier to just grab a Player color and have all the pieces for that color along with the standard starting cards in one bag.

Then pass out Bonus cards based on the chosen Heroes. Each Hero is 1 of 4 Types, Cosmic (Aliens), Mutants, Tech and Vigilante. If your Hero is Tech you would get a Bonus card, an Epic Action card and a Special Action card for Tech. These are also the same per Type. For Tech you would get a Gadget and a Gizmo card so if there were two Heroes that were Tech they would each have the same Special, Epic and Bonus cards.

2014-10-14 18.09.50 copyThe Epic card goes under your Player board, the Bonus card goes in its designated spot on the Player board and the Special Card goes in your hand to use as you will. The Bonus card has little icons for your Type next to Bonuses! Put 1 little circle token in your color on each of those symbols. When you complete a Headline you will remove it and place it on the Headline. Once you remove all of the tokens in a line you get that Bonus immediately. The top Bonus requires 2 but gives you your Epic card.

Now Randomly draw 1 Villain A and 1 Villain B card to create your Villain. Add Headlines , the Villain meeple, and anything else you need for the Scenario. Determine who goes first, rolling is a good way, place your Hero pawns on the board in the Blue circle spots starting with First Hero. He also gets the 1st Hero Token and the Start of Hero Phase token. This let’s you know who started the round because Players can get the 1st Hero Token to be first in the next round.

NOW! You can start playing. I know the instructions look intimidating but it does not take as long as it looks like it will. I thought the same thing when we were reading. I literally thought it was going to take an hour or more just to set up and learn how to play. That first time was pretty long but the second game with a new scenario took no time at all. Again, worth it!2014-10-14 18.36.10-3 copy

Play:

When you play there is a Hero Phase and a Villain Phase. During the Hero Phase each player, starting with whoever has the 1st Hero Token, will play 1 card (unless another card or ability says otherwise) or Rest if they choose to or have spent all their cards. Follow the instructions on the card to Move, deal DMG with in certain Range or use your Super Power.

You can ONLY move to spaces that do NOT have a Red border (either the dotted/dashed lines). You can share spaces with anything and anyone. When you want to deal DMG you have to be within the range (RNG) allowed on your card or ability. If it says within RNG 1 that means you have to in a space NEXT to the Character you are attacking. You CAN attack other Heroes btw.

If you attack an Underling you have to deal 4 DMG or more to kill it or it doesn’t die. These are worth 1 Fame each. Henchmen need 5 DMG to die and are worth 2 Fame each. When you defeat either you place the token on your Hero Board at the bottom where it says Achievements.

2014-10-14 18.10.15 copyWhen you attack the Villain you simply take the HP token or tokens that have the correct number of DMG you did to him. If you hit him for 5 DMG take a 5 HP token from his Villain HP spot on the board.

After each Player has had a turn it becomes the Villain Phase. During this phase you have to do a few things every game no matter the scenario and some that are specific to the Villain or the Scenario. Every time you will move the Threat Track down one spot and resolve what happens. This info is on the board in the Villain section.

Next the Villain and his minions attack everyone starting with the 1st Hero. This is important as some Villains do special DMG to the 1st Hero. Underlings deal 1 DMG, Henchmen deal 2 DMG and Villains deal whatever it says on their card. Sometimes this hurts…

You CAN defend. You should have at least 1 Block card which means you take no DMG and can do what the card says. Otherwise you HAVE to discard cards equal to the DMG you are taking. Each card has a number in the top left corner. If you are getting 8 DMG you have to either Block or discard cards that total 8 points.2014-10-14 18.37.20 copy

If you cannot defend at all then you are KO’ed. Put all your cards in your discard pile and get a Injury Token. These count against your Fame. When it is next your turn all you get to do is pick up your cards.

After everyone has dealt with DMG from Villains the Phase is over and a new Round begins. Once a Villain is KO’ed, or all his HP is gone from its pile, the game is over. Another way to end the game is to let the Villain escape or depending on the Scenario if another requirement is met. Tie breakers are neat…if a tie happens then the Hero who is furthest from the 1st Hero in turn order wins. Ha! Too funny.

I hope I haven’t confused or overwhelmed you too much. I know it looks like…well is…a lot of info to take in but it IS truly worth the effort and time to play.

My Diva wants to play…but can’t really. Right now we just let her pick a Hero and a Villain and try to beat him and a few Henchmen and Minions we place in correct spots on a board. This is the very basic way we play and as your child understands this version better you can add in different elements and play the Villain and cards the correct way.

2014-10-14 20.04.11-2 copySetup:

We only play the Littering, Loitering, and Jaywalking board as it is the easiest to start with understand. The Villain starts on 0 and add Henchmen and Underlings every 1-3 spaces. You don’t need a lot at all. Also, the Villain’s HP should just be about 10-20 depending on your child. Mine can last til about 15-20 depending on her mood.

The cards we use are just Maneuver, Charge and Strike. Remove the rest from your hand and do NOT add special abilities. The goal is to teach MOVE and DMG from the three cards that one or both. ALL DMG is RNG 1 so just teach her that you have to be next to someone to do DMG.

You will use the Fame Track but literally nothing else. No headlines, no Litter, no 1st Hero or anything else. You CAN use Injury tokens when DMG from a Villain happens. I’ll explain the change in the Play section.

2014-10-14 20.15.46 copyPlay:

On her turn she plays a card of her choice and follows it…with some help usually. We don’t discard. We simply choose one of the 3 cards to play and declare that card somehow. We play face up cards and just move it slightly up or point to it.

Then I take a turn and then the Villain takes a turn. We are working with her to use the cards and learn the words (abbreviations) Move, and DMG. This will help her learn how to sort of use the cards to move around the board, deal damage to a Villain or kill a Minion or Henchman.

We have the Villain move around the board following the numbered path every turn and if he is near her or me he can do damage. He has to roll a die and get 4, 5 or 6 or he “misses”. If he does DMG we get an Injury token. If you fill up your Injury line you lose. I know this changes the game instead of just removes aspects it but we can show her the proper way to play the Villain as she starts understanding the cards a bit more.

2014-10-14 20.12.37-4 copyThe Villain can only do DMG during his proper turn to and ONLY if he is next to a Player. This helps her learn RNG 1 really well and keeps the Villain from slaughtering you both. Also, he has to roll a 4, 5, or 6 in order to succeed in hitting you.

When she gets hit by the Villain (not Minions) she gains an Injury token. You can also remove 1 or 2 Fame if she gets Injured but for now if the Villain rolls a 4, 5, or 6 we get an Injury token and she says, “aww he got me!”

Again, I know this changes the game but it is the BEST way for her to learn the basic rules, actually play a version of the game and doesn’t change it too much. We will gradually work in the correct details later.

Winning:

Since we need a winner we still use Fame and the Fame Track with our color Circle tokens. Every time she kills a minion she gets the proper Fame and puts it in her Achievements section. She is learning how many Fame for each but we tell her and she just moves her token up the Fame Track or I do it when she is distracted.2014-10-14 19.21.47-1 copy

You win if you kill the Villain OR have the most points. We usually win if you kill the Villain because she forgets about the points halfway through the game and focuses on killing the Minions and Villain.

My son has to play normally and although he killed the Villain in the game we played for these pictures he lost to his daddy by two Fame. He was less than thrilled about that but said “Good Game” anyway. He did end up beating me by like 5 Fame…without me letting him do that too. Little…darling. I can’t even win against my 5 year old! Ugh….still a great game.

I cannot stress enough how much fun this game is and how worth it it will be to push through those initial instructions. It just LOOKS like a lot of information but it really isn’t that bad. We play this at almost every Game Night and it is NEVER the same game. My Gentleman is even starting to play during Game Night…and yes he still beats me about as often as I beat him.

The replay value of this game is worth buying this game alone! Seriously, I know how hard that is to believe given that the game only comes with 4 Scenarios but it is true. The goal is going to be the same but the Heroes, the Villain and cards change every game. Which means I even have a good chance of winning!…except apparently against my son.  If you are looking for a quality game that is insanely fun for all ages AND one you can replay without ever getting bored…this is your game come true.

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“That’s the real trouble with the world, too many people grow up.”
~ Walt Disney , attributed, The Quotable Walt Disney

Author: sandyz

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