A Woman Scorned…
This is not the first time Hera has been upset by her husband Zeus, and his wandering eye (and hands, and other parts). However, it has to be the most dramatic fallout. Since she released the Titans, several Gods have died, the rest have lost their immortality, and Greece lies in ruins.
This expansion pack includes some of the most famous Heroes and Monsters that have been associated with the Goddess Hera over the centuries. It also includes a flexible campaign in which you can revisit some of the 12 Labours of Heracles.
For just $49 you get:
- A 2 player narrative campaign with 12 scenarios
- 1 new board, with 2 new maps (Garden of the Hesperides, Stymphalian Lake)
- 1 new God: Hera
- 6 new Heroes: Eurystheus, Autolycus, Perseus, Veteran Achilles, Veteran Heracles, Chiron
- 3 new Monsters: Geryon, Ladon, Calydonian Boar
- 3 new Troops: Stymphalian Birds (3) (Kickstarter Exclusive)
The Campaign: New Labours
This exciting and highly replayable 2 player campaign pits the Heroes Heracles and Achilles against each other.
As usual, Zeus is behind it all. He has used Eurystheus to persuade Hera that he can create a new series of Labours. This will, she thinks, make Zeus and his chosen Hero look bad, and Hera will get her own back on her wayward husband.
At the start of the campaign, one player chooses Achilles, and the other Heracles. Each has a small set of predefined units from which he will draft his forces. Unlike normal games, each player drafts from their own pool rather than a common one, though they can still react to each other’s decisions during the process of picking their army.
The campaign stats out with an introductory scenario. This sets the scene for the conflict that is to come.
Once the introductory scenario has been played, there are 10 new labours for the loser to choose from. The campaign has a short and a long version. In the short version you play a total of 6 scenarios; in the long version you play all 12. The first and last scenarios are always the same, and this means you can play the short form several times with quite different results.
One extra feature of this campaign is an experience system. Each scenario rewards both players with renown points, and these can be spent between scenarios on a number of things. This could be an additional unit to add to your draft pool, giving you more choice for future scenarios. It could be an item such as a xiphos, or a composite bow which are also added to your draft pool. When chosen, these items may be allocated to a Hero to give them a new Talent. Troops can gain similar benefits from a third type of cards. Finally, 3 renown buys you the upgrade from the normal version of Achilles or Heracles to his veteran form.
Overall, this campaign offers a load more options and many hours of entertainment for your gaming group.
One final note: this campaign is designed to stand on its own. However, it is set before the campaign in the Hephaistos expansion. If you are going to play both, then we recommend that you play this one first so the story carries on.
A New Battleground
As well as the campaign, this expansion includes a new board, with two new maps to play on.
These maps are usable with your normal games of Mythic Battles: Pantheon, and are used along with the maps in the core box for the New Labours campaign.
Hera wants her family nearby. Except Zeus. Obviously not Zeus. But in general, Hera wants other units near her because that improves both her attack and defence that, while not awful in a general sense, are terrible for a God. In fact, Hera has the worst stats of any God.
She does bring more to the table than everyone else though. A bonus 2RP is a very welcome bonus. It can bump both Achilles and Heracles to Veteran status (see below), give her 2 units of Troops as bodyguards, or simply add to the budget for buying psycho-killers to obliterate the opposition. It is especially interesting against Titans who have 2 fewer RP. That 4RP gap in armies is as big as a Hydra.
The other major feature of Hera, and the reason Greece is in such a mess, is her fondness for vengeance. This makes it harder to attacker with impunity, and as she’s unlikely to be on her own, her sizable entourage will find it all the easier to punish those who have crossed their patron.
One of the more peculiar units in the game, the Labour of Eurytheus’ Power means that he simply cannot be harmed for the first part of the game. Total immunity would be amazing for, say, Leonidas, but is harder to exploit with Eurystheus because he cannot attack. History tells us what a coward he was, and so it’s hardly surprising that he has an attack stat of zero.
Eurytheus has two possible uses. The first is as a mobile buff for your other units. All his friends nearby get improved defence. That’s useful for everyone, so he’s always likely to have friends nearby to take advantage. If you have the ability to pass attacks onto him then he is invaluable because he can still be attacked – he just ignored the damage. There is no better way to soak enemy effort.
Of course, once the labour he set is complete, then all bets are off and Eurytheus probably has a lifetime measured in seconds. If he’s worth the effort of killing, that is. You might just be putting Art of War cards in your opponent’s hand.
Our Autolycus focuses on his thievery rather than is wrestling, and this makes him a far more interesting and unusual unit in the game.
He can ignore Block, which gives him much more freedom to escape from tricky situations, and he will get into plenty of those. Because he has difficulty with property ownership, he is happy to take whatever shiny things he can see, and this means Omphalos. The only way to hide Omphalos from Autolycus is to absorb it. Anything else and he can steal it from under your nose, and then scamper of with it using Climb to get where you cannot always follow.
It is the ability to take Omphalos off an enemy unit by simply claiming it that makes the difference here. Autolycus doesn’t have to fight his foes for it, he just runs up and takes it off them. They can’t do the same back, so they’ll have to fight him for it, and while Autolycus isn’t the toughest fighter around, he’s likely to survive at one attack, at which point he can head for the hills. At the very least it makes a mess of their plan, and causes a turn or two delay in getting the Omphalos harvest back to their God.
The most obvious feature of Perseus’ offensive capabilities is the fact that he’s carrying Medusa’s head with him, and can petrify his enemies with it. On the face of it that might seem like a hard act to follow, but I actually think that his second power is probably the more dangerous one. Many Monsters get their fighting edge from their Powers, and denying them this makes them far less dangerous, and much easier for a young monster hunter to improve his reputation with.
One important thing to note is that this is an upgraded version of a previous Hero, and not an entirely new unit. So, while you can have both versions of Achilles in the same draft pool, as soon as one is recruited the other must be removed too. Only one version of Achilles can be in play at a time.
As a 5RP unit, Achilles is even more insanely dangerous than he was before. And he was no slouch in his original incarnation. The bump in abilities makes a few key changes. The main improvement is speed. A change to move 2 is a big help in getting the killing machine that is Achilles where he needs to be to put all those stats and Powers to good use. And, with an additional activation card, you now have 25% more Achilles time to cause that carnage.
Like the old one, but better.
This veteran Heracles is a different version of the Heracles from the core box and works in the same way as the Veteran Achilles, above. Both can be in the same draft pool, but only one can be in a game at a time.
Here we see the benefits of the Hydra’s blood on his arrows, and the Nemean Lion skin on his head. His already impressive defence has improved, and he now has very powerful ranged attacks that do not rely on being in a particular type of terrain. He is an extremely good, all-round fighter, and although he is still slow that matters far less when he can reach out and touch someone with his 8 dice Hydra blood tipped arrows up to range 2.
Lastly, Heraclean Might means that he can make either his melee or ranged attacks into area attack, and this feels very cinematic to me. I can just see him lumbering into a mass of foes and laying about him with devastating power. Veteran Heracles is going to cause some final-reel-showdown carnage whenever he can find the Art of War cards to power his rage.
Unlike other Centaurs, Chiron thinks before he rampages. He’s a mix of archer and philosopher, with a bit of anachronistic Die Hard thrown in for good measure.
He isn’t able to stand toe-to-toe with the top rank of warriors, but he can hold his own with the more common middle tier of Heroes and Monsters, and will inspire Troops, so perhaps accompanying him with a unit of those would work well.
Chiron’s intelligence and erudition inspired the card play options (and the Art of War cards he brings). He doesn’t have to draw an extra card, but if he does then he gets two, and then all of his opponents get one as well. He just can’t help educating everyone, even when he doesn’t really want to. When you use this Power really depends on what your opponent(s) have in their discard piles, and as you can’t look this becomes part of the challenge. “I let them have an Art of War card last turn, so do they still have one left? I know I do…”
And Art of War cards are really useful to Chiron because they can literally keep him alive. Granted, his stats will have taken a battering if he’s on 1 Vitality, but he’s still in the fight, and he can still carry Omphalos.
Geryon is the ultimate Guard. Maybe. He’s certainly up there with the best. His particular trick is to be able to protect units in adjacent areas as well as the one he is in, and that is very useful indeed. He is also hard as nails, with 10 Vitality and a defence of 8, so he can soak up a lot of punishment for his friends. Hard to think of an army you wouldn’t want that sort of ability.
This guarding function is, of course, not the Guard Talent, but his Shepherd Power, which incidentally leaves a Talent slot open for something else. IN this case, Force of nature, so he can throw scenery at enemies too.
The rest is simple: Geryon is good at hitting stuff, especially so if you have Art of War cards to power his Three-headed special attack. It’s not an area attack, but there are unlikely to be more than 3 enemy units that matter within 1 area of him anyway. Three 8 dice attacks is a pretty convincing way to shut the door in someone’s face.
Ladon is great. At least, he’s great when he’s in my army. He’s a pain when he’s on the wrong side of the table. All those attacks!
The hundred-headed dragon of the Hesperides is a brilliant Guard, as you’d expect given his history. Any attacker usually ends up muttering, “damned if you do… ”, as he tries to decide whether it’s best to just go for it or to wait a little longer and hope Ladon dies of old age before he has to jump in. Nor is dithering a safe strategy, as Ladon has a wonderfully nasty area attack on all areas in range. And, if he Climbs onto a rock, then the range of this attack is all areas within 2….
Oh, and he has Block as well, so you can’t get away either.
In many ways, the Calydonian Boar is Minotaur v2. He has the same charge (which is awesome, by the way), and similar stats. Like the Minotaur he is a combat specialist, though the Boar is even more focussed on melee than his bull-headed friend.
Where the Minotaur has the ability to throw scenery about as a ranged attack, the Boar is all about stomping on folk up close. His Noxious Breath may not be a big attack, but it has three big advantages: it’s free, it’s an area attack, and it stacks with the attack he just did (either a basic attack or a charge). This double-whammy of an attack makes the Calydonian Boar’s charge especially nasty, and if you charged first that means you’ll get two attacks on every unit in the area you finish your move.
How do you deal with it?
Stay out of the way.
This is a Kickstarter Exclusive unit.
Troops are unlikely to be the most amazing units in terms of stats and Talents simply because they are cheap units of mortals in a game of Gods and Heroes. However, every now and again one comes along which has an intriguing combination of features. The Stymphalian birds are one such unit.
It’s not their stats that make them stand out, but the combination of flying (rare for Troops) and an area attack (unique for Troops). Their few dice won’t wipe out powerful enemies in one go, but being able to move with ease and drop an area attack on several enemy units at once makes these Birds rather more of a threat than an unsuspecting foe might be prepared for.
A second time round is unlikely to work as well…
Voice of Olympus