Here to Slay is a strategy card game. I had never heard of the game prior to a recent visit with my youngest son and grandchildren. And when my son asked me to play, my initial reaction was "oh gross". But I gave it a try and I loved it. We had so much fun that we are planning on figuring out how to play long distance video chats.
Here to Slay
My first thought was one of dread. I fully expected this game to be a copy-cat version of Dungeons & Dragons (D&D). I am not cut out for playing D&D. It just doesn't compute for me. Role-play and creating your characters is too much for me. I've had young people at work try to "teach" me. Or, when we don't have access to the actual game, these hopeful students would give me watered down role-play versions via asking me "what would you do" scenarios. My answers were always based on what I would really do - which is always very mundane. For this reason, I thought I'd try Here to Slay once then gently guide us back to the other board games we had been playing.
But once we got started, I found that I LOVED Here to Slay. As did my son. We had a great time. One of the many good things about the game is that it doesn't take a long time to get through it. So we played round after round and enjoyed each game more as we became accustomed to the rules.
How to Play
As we read through the brief How to Play we felt thoroughly confused. And I thought the one page (front and back) of instructions clearly was not sufficient. But it was! It is a strategy game with many different options and outcomes but really very simple.
"In this game, you'll assemble a full Party of Heroes to slay dangerous Monsters while working to avoid the sabotage of your [friends] enemies. You'll also equip items to your Heroes, harness powerful mage, and use roll modifiers to tip the adds in your favor."
We played with just the 2 of us. Which was fun. But the game can accommodate up to 6 players. The more players to battle, curse, and steal their heroes the more fun (and strategic) the game would be.
Each play chooses a Party Leader card. Each Party Leader has a special skill/power. I chose the Leader that had a bit more strength against fighting the monsters. My son chose the Leader that had a bit more power during each roll.
During each turn, the player has 3 "actions". During those actions, you could choose to draw cards, battle a Monster (which takes 2 of your 3 actions) or roll to have one of your Heroes do something against your opponent.
To win the game you must either slay 3 Monsters or gather a party of Heroes that represents at least one each of the 6 classes (Fighter, Guardian, Ranger, Thief, Wizard, Bard). During each turn you have to try to build your Party of Heroes or do something to try to set back your opponent.
There are challenge cards and modification cards. These cards can make your rolls of the dice stronger or your opponents rolls weaker. Or, you can challenge your opponent and if you win the challenge roll of the dice you can in effect take away their turn.
I am probably making it sound more difficult than it is. Perhaps some visuals will help.
There was a handy and very helpful direction card to keep next to me. To remind me of what my turn (my 3 actions) could consist of. It also reminded me of the 6 different party classes - an easy reminder of the different Heroes I was trying to collect.
These were my favorite Party Leader and Hero cards so far. The Divine Arrow Party Leader added one point to each of my rolls against the Monsters. And Wiggles the Hero allowed me to steal my opponent's Hero card - if I was able to roll a 10 or higher.
If you have children (or grandchildren) who like strategy and/or role playing card games but you aren't as enthused about them this may be a wonderful compromise. If you are competitive and like to steal things from your opponent or block their play, you will love this game. I was a skeptic. But it turns out that the game was so much fun that I have been trying to figure out how to Face Time or Zoom with my camera pointed at my table.
If you are more imaginative than I am, you may want to take a look at Wednesday Elf's Dungeons & Dragons - Fantasy Role-Playing Game Review. In that review she shares how she is familiar with the game. Two years ago she wrote, "D&D is here to stay". Ms. Elf was not wrong about that. As I mentioned above, there have been quite a few students I work with who play the game today (and try to get me to play despite my imagination limits).
You can see her review here.
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