Legends of Hellas is part of the second cycle of Quined Games’ Masterprint Mini line, which consists of games that last 10 to 20 minutes and fit into a small, sturdy box. Legends of Hellas is a cooperative game for 1 to 5 players where you must defeat the legions of Hades before time (which is represented by your deck) runs out. The game has multiple “Missions” with each one slowly ramping up the difficulty and sometimes throwing new challenges your way.
As mentioned above, Legends of Hellas is part of the Master Print Mini Series, which means it comes in a small box. Inside you’ll find 10 standard-size monster cards, 61 small-sized action cards and 5 wooden tokens. You will also get a sheet of stickers that you’ll stick into the wooden hero disc, on both sides (one active, one inactive).
At first, I was surprised that the player action cards were small, instead of regular sized, but the truth is they are simple (basically only their colour and icon matter), so keeping them small reduces the amount of table and box space required, so I have no problem with it.
As far as the artwork goes, it’s simple and colourful and I quite like it. Especially the action cards. I really like that the players’ hero discs are wooden instead of cardboard. They look great and it’s (mostly) easy to distinguish their active/inactive side.
Like the other Masterprint Mini Series, the rulebook is not truly a booklet but a horizontal-accordion-like sheet of paper (which I don’t hate, but am also not a big fan of) and the box is a single-piece sturdy piece (which I quite like).
The rulebook is good and I quite like that they start by explaining the crux of the game. This made the game far easier to understand. I have a couple of minor complaints with the first one being that there is no Reference card to remind you of the 5 actions.
Sure, they are all easy, but it would be way smoother if all actions were listed in a single card for easy reference. The second one is that I would prefer if the missions were cards that you can shuffle and choose randomly (once you are comfortable with the game), rather than being listed on the rulebook.
Still, I understand the compromises one must make when making a small game - add too much nice-to-have stuff and your game is no longer small.
I enjoy that the rulebook clearly states that Mission 1 through 3 are meant to teach you the game and I appreciate the slow ramp up. If you are confident, you can always skip those and jump to higher challenges. Well done!
Legends of Hellas is a 1-5 cooperative game where you must defeat all monsters Hades is throwing at you before time runs out.
Before each game, you will choose a Mission which will tell you how many monsters you start with when new monsters come in and maybe a special effect.
You must defeat all the monsters in the mission before any player is unable to take one of the 5 actions, which only happens if a player has no cards in hand and the deck is depleted.
You start by shuffling the Monster deck and dealing out as many monsters as the Mission dictates. Then, each player draws 4 cards, places their hero disc in one of the monsters in play and you are ready to go.
Your goal is to fight and defeat monsters by playing cards with them. Each monster shows two icons that must be played onto it. When you play 5 cards showing those icons (you need at least 1 card of each of the 2 icons), you defeat the monster and, depending on what the Mission dictates, you might add a new monster to the table.
As you can see the game is all about playing the right cards to the right monsters. The thing is, every action you take will cost the team 1 card, be it because it was played to a monster or because it was discarded. Drawing cards is also one of the actions, which means that the more times you draw cards, the more cards you discard and the less time you have.
Let’s Take A Look At The 5 Actions:
- Move: Discard a card from your hand. Move your hero from your current monster card to another monster card.
- Fight: Play a card to the monster card you are on. The icon on the card must match one of the icons on the monster card it’s being played to.
- Recover: Draw cards until you have up to 5 cards in hand. Then, discard a card from your hand.
- Support: Give another player (regardless of where they are) a card from your hand. Then, the player discards a card from their hand.
- Consult the Oracle: Look at the top 6 cards from the deck. Discard one and put the remaining 5 cards back in any order. With clever use of these 5 actions, players must achieve their goals before time runs out.
There Are Also A Few Caveats:
Players cannot speak with each other. This means players can give no information about what they plan on doing or what they need. This is especially important for the Consult the Oracle action, where you need to put the cards in a certain order, but you don’t know who will draw them first via the Recover action.
Players can use a special type of action card, called Divine Interventions to easily defeat Monsters. Divine Interventions can be either played as a wild icon or used to defeat a Monster that already has at least 1 card of each icon, meaning you can defeat a Monsters with as few as 2 cards + 1 Divine Intervention.
The number of Divine Interventions cards in the deck depends on the number of players and chosen difficulty.
Each player can, once per game, use their Special Ability to play any card as a Joker. To do so, the player flips their hero disc to the inactive side and plays the card face down next to the icon they want it to represent.
Lastly, the last monster of a round is always a Chimera. A Chimera is a monster made up of 2 Monster cards, which means it’s a monster with 4 icons. To defeat a Chimera, you need to play 8 cards, with at least 1 card matching each icon. Divine intervention can still be used, but the 1 card per matching icon still applies, so you need at least 4 cards + 1 Divine Intervention.
That’s pretty much all you need to know to play Legends of Hellas: defeat all Monsters and win the game. Missions will sometimes throw a special rule in, but other than that the gameplay remains pretty much the same.
Legends of Hellas is a surprisingly engaging and very simple game. The core concept is so easy: Move and Fight. However, you need to be very efficient while doing so, which makes the Recover (aka Draw) and Consult the Oracle actions very important.
In the early game, you will want to reduce the number of times you draw and draw the maximum amount possible every time so that you don’t keep wasting cards. Towards the end of the game, you need to make sure to not overdraw and leave your teammates without possible actions to take.
Furthermore, if you are looking for a specific type of card, drawing blindly might not be the best choice - for you or your teammates. So, Consulting the Oracle becomes crucial as you can stack which cards you get and which ones are left for your teammates. Heck, you might even take this action to help a teammate you know will draw soon.
However, because players cannot communicate, you need to guesstimate what is going to happen, or you might end up stacking cards in a completely wrong way.
I’ve said it a few times, but I need to say it again: the game is all about efficiency. Jumping around from monster to monster or blindly drawing cards is a good way to quickly lose the game.
By playing the game you get better at it and there’s also the Hanabi-effect, whereby playing multiple games with the same group, you get better as a team. Because of this, Legends of Hellas, while enjoyable as a solo game, shines as a cooperative experience.
Missions don't radically change the gameplay, but they give you a slowly increasing challenge that will sometimes throw a wrench into your well-oiled machine. You can also increase or decrease the difficulty by adjusting the number of Divine Interventions cards in the deck.
Legends of Hellas is not a complex game, but that doesn’t mean it’s an easy game. Playing the last mission, on Godlike mode will prove to be a massive challenge. You’ll need well efficient and coordinated plays, and perhaps a bit of luck of the draw, to win such a challenge.
Legends of Hellas positively surprised me. After reading the rules and playing the game for the first time, I thought “this is too simple”, but the truth is that it’s weirdly addictive.
It’s an easy, even relaxing game to play since you need to plan for the now and not for the far future. Still, the game challenges you to be efficient with your cards and be in line with your teammates, without saying a word.
Sometimes your best way to win the game, will not be to defeat your current Monster but to Consult the Oracle or Support your opponent, which I find a pretty cool thing.
The game is easy to learn and play through the Missions is a nice experience. As a 10-20 minutes game, Legends of Hellas will not be the main event at game night, but it’s a great filler. I can see this as a great game to play at a picnic or when you want to burn some time on a train ride.
If you are looking for a simple, portable game you could do a lot worse than Legends of Hellas!