1-4 Players, Competitive, Area Control
Designer: Adam Kwapinski
Artwork: Piotr Gacek
Publisher: Awaken Realms
You and up to 4 players are fighting for dominance in this semi area control game of robotic mythical proportions! You must grow your army, battle mythical monsters, adventure on quests and build monuments and temples if you hope to become the one true Lord of Hellas!
Game length is usually around 2 hours for 2-4 players. Playing the solo campaign is an entirely different beast and as such game length varies greatly from as little as 30 minutes to longer depending on your luck, more on that later. To win you need to either control 2 full lands of regions, control 5 regions with temples, fully build a monument and hold it for 3 turns or defeat 3 monsters.
The game comes with a batch of really nice and detailed minis. You have the starting 4 character minis and minis for all the monsters you can battle in the game and they all look very nice. Some of the monsters specifically look extremely detailed. Also the game comes with the 3 monuments to the gods you can build. These are like oversized minis that are broken into 5 parts each that you assemble in the game working towards a win condition. There are also some cardboard pieces that are your pretty standard cardboard fare with board games. A few small plastic cubes for monster damage which are normal. The biggest letdowns are the temple standees and honestly they probably wouldn’t be a letdown if it wasn’t for the “terrain expansion” that was released separately from the game. The base game comes with little cardboard standees when you build a temple, which just look poor. I’m not a huge fan of cardboard standees in games anyway, especially games that come with such beautiful miniatures. Personally if you are going to buy this game, then please purchase the terrain expansion as well as it comes with gorgeous temple and city miniatures which improve the gorgeousness of the board significantly.
The box is a tight fit. It comes with an insert to store all the monster minis and the cards and components nicely but the box itself is a little too short and the lid doesn’t close fully with the board and player mats lying on top of the insert. A good workaround for this is to slide the player boards to the 4 sides of the insert which actually frees up enough space for the lid to almost fully close flush with the bottom of the box.
Visual Appeal –
The artwork is absolutely gorgeous in this game. The artwork is expertly done and the monsters especially look awesome, what with their robotic/mythic combinations. The colors on the board look great and all the cards pop and are different enough to really stand out from one another. Each of the 4 players are in a different color so the armies are easily distinguished on the board and each hero has a colored base matching their army so you can keep track on where you are. Also each different colored army minis are a totally different sculpt so each army not only has a different color but they look completely different as well!
The Rulebook is set up very nicely and has oversized pages and lots of pictures to help you understand how to play. It really isn’t very long either and they break it up nicely so you aren’t reading walls of text. That said there were still some questions that are not specifically addressed in the rulebook and also some specific things that were kind of obscure. Such as the movements of troops and some special actions like when you recruit troops, do you recruit to just a single city or EVERY city? We played a bunch of games recruiting to just a single city before we realized you need to recruit in every city you control. The game also comes with a separate campaign book that specifically focuses on the single player game which is actually really cool. It has tons of possible scenario situations but is also heavily luck based. But because of this no two single player games will be alike.
Table Presence –
This game takes about 15-20 minutes to setup but once you get it setup ready to play it looks SO AWESOME, especially if you opted for the terrain expansion as well. You have usually 3-4 huge monster minis on the board in random places, your starting hero and a couple hoplites in regions and all the cards you will play with all along the outside edges of the board. If you have the terrain expansion you will also have minis for all the cities on the board as well. It looks really filled out and exciting. The board is massive as well so be prepared to really fill up your table. Even with the cards allotted a spot on the board; you still need room for your player board and extra hoplite and priest minis off the board. Also space to set up the extra monsters that will probably be put on the board as you play and their respective monster battle sheets.
Table Talk/Fun Factor –
The table talk is kept to a minimum as you are actively working against the other players. So of course you will want to keep your strategies secret to gain the upper hand. But I have still found that our group ends up discussing possible strategies of the other players and how to counter them whenever we make a move. Also whenever one of us battles a monster another player has to control the monster battle cards so that ends up creating interesting talking points during the battle. You can also send your heroes on quests in the game which award you a pretty powerful bonus to random things in the game. There are a number of different quest cards that are randomly placed at the beginning of the game so no two games will be the exact same in that regard. Building temples also rewards you with a priest mini that you can use to pray at a monument to increase the stats of your hero on your player board. This in turn can either help your army’s movement, help your hero when fighting monsters or help your hero’s movement depending on which monument you pray at.
Optimal Player Count –
I think this game plays much better multiplayer than it does solo. The more the better on this one as you have more interaction. On a 2 player game you can start at totally different sides of this huge map and are pretty much left to your own devices for a long time, which is fun in its own little way. But with a full 4 players there is just so much happening. You have player interactions and more monster interactions, plus you can actively work on countering players win condition much easier and not have to waste a ton of time moving across the board. The solo campaign is a totally different beast as discussed above. You play as just Achilles and his armies and you are working on thwarting the Persian invasion. It is completely story based and there is a large amount of luck involved on what could happen. It is an intriguing idea for a solo game and I appreciate that it’s not another game where you have to play as 2 characters for the solo experience. However it is very flawed. For example a lose condition is for a monster to completely destroy one of the 3 built monuments. They have a specific route they have to follow and there is no way to stop them unless you kill them. And since the solo campaign relies so heavily on luck, it’s crapshoot whether you will or will not be able to stop them in time. Set aside the fact that while you are doing this, the Persians are invading and you are ignoring trying to stop them.
Final Thoughts –
All in all this is one of my favorite semi area control games I own. I love the robotic mythical Greece theme. I love the minis and the monument building aspect and I love all the different win conditions which create a variety of different ways to play. Considering the setup is random every time, you will encounter different monsters and placements every time you play. The table presence this game creates with the terrain expansion is my all-time TOP game. The first time I set it up I took out my cell phone and snapped a couple pictures because it looked so awesome. I wouldn’t buy this game specifically for solo play however as I feel it’s not fleshed out enough. The real meat of this is in the multiplayer. I do feel some of the rules need to be tweaked though, such as the build monument win condition. As cool as it is, it really detracts from the multiple win conditions as it forces players to stop what they are doing to try and stop whoever builds it first. Other than that this game is superb and is different enough to warrant a place in anyone’s collection.