Hero Realms: Boss Decks and Thandar's Bane - the review

Hero Realms: Boss Decks and Thandar's Bane - the review
Hero Realms, in its Italian version published by Devir, is a competitive card game characterized by a fast and "ruthless" deckbuilding. The players, from 2 to 4 (but with the character deck you get to five players), take on the role of a leader fighting against all the others: in each round, using their resources and the cards available, you will have to assemble a force powerful enough to defeat opponents but at the same time able to withstand the assaults of the enemy.

What's new?

In the previous review it was concluded that Hero Realms is “an adrenaline-pumping game that makes speed and simplicity its strong points without eliminating a priori the possibility of devising a tactic. The speed with which a match can be completed is ideal to avoid that, in matches between three or more players, whoever is eliminated will spend too much time watching the others play ”. The new expansions published by Devir respond in a masterly way to this reflection. Thanks to the decks of the Boss or the Ruin of Thandar in fact it will be possible to play in many versus an evil player with a dedicated deck (thus reducing the risk of letting the defeated player wait too long) or even play all together, cooperatively, against guided scenarios. from a very simple automatic mechanic that revolves around a pre-built villain deck.

The boss decks

Thanks to these two independently purchasable micro-expansions, a player will be able to play the role of a fire-breathing Dragon or a dark Lich, opposing other friends sitting around the table with a prepackaged deck with amazing powers. The rules allow you to balance the power of the boss based on the number of players he faces making the game very interesting even in three (two allies against each other against the evil boss). Each boss also has special rules that add liveliness to the game.

The Dragon

Defeating the dragon will require skill, strategy and… might! The treasure cards that can be stolen are very strong but will attract the wrath of the winged lizard to the players' heads. Taunting the dragon is a great way to defend weaker companions (if provoked voluntarily) or to find yourself eaten and smoked (if the taunt was not voluntary).

The Lich

This boss will add variety to the game also thanks to his Grimoire cards, which will allow him to cast very strong necromantic spells. The Lich possesses various abilities in addition to the Vessels of Souls that protect (the immortal) form, including "corruption" that can make the game progressively more difficult for loyal players. Players will be able to “challenge” the Lich to protect their weaker companions and give them time to restrain the necromantic hordes summoned by the terrifying undead.

Is it worth it?

Both the DRAGO and LICH expansions are a must-buy for fans of the title. Not only do they make it longer-lived but with very few rules they completely change the gameplay and make Hero Realms more fun and more suitable for odd-numbered players.

The Ruin of Thandar

The authors of Hero Realms present with this expansion a very smart and apt game-design move. Why not propose an expansion that completely changes the game by transforming it from competitive to collaborative? The Ruin of Thandar allows you to enjoy Hero Realms in cooperative mode, obviating the problem of eliminated players and adding a new level of challenge to the mechanics.

A new game

The Ruin of Thandar expansion comes in a box as big as the Hero Realms base game. An appropriate choice as it adds 150 cards and an adventure book to the title. Players will be able to face sixteen interconnected chapters in cooperative form (also at the narrative level) in which their characters will gain experience and will find themselves facing increasingly powerful enemies.

Even more details

In addition to gaining experience, the heroes will have to face different scenarios with dedicated cards and rules. On the one hand, this will make every game a discovery, but on the other hand, many rules and options are added to a game like Hero Realms which made the simplicity and immediacy of the rules its strength. Purchasing The Ruin of Thandar will guarantee new hours of play and fun around the table by transforming Hero Realms from filler to game for the whole evening.


The three expansions for Hero Realms The Boss's Deck (Dragon and Lich) and The Ruin of Thandar are a must buy for anyone who has enjoyed the base game . They add longevity and fun making the gaming experience more satisfying and balanced. Once the problem of the player eliminated (ie brutally killed) has been solved, the whole group can have fun playing together and always around the table. The novelties and the greater balance are paid for with a progressive increase in the rules that make the gaming experience (especially in The Ruin of Thandar) less linear.

The materials

The cards are of the same weight as the basic game and the rules slips are somewhat reminiscent of the drug leaflets, albeit printed on glossy and colored paper. The value for money is appropriate but collectors will have to find a larger box that can soon contain all the expansions, especially if you want to pack the cards (the adventure storage box dedicated to solving the problem is on sale separately HERE) .

Game suitable for

Hero Realms is a game suitable for practically anyone. The game found its strong point in competitiveness making it more congenial to those who prefer to challenge and fight their friends. Thanks to the boss expansions this feature is now even more pronounced. On the other hand, those who did not like the title due to the need to directly eliminate the other players, will be able to rediscover it in a cooperative key thanks to the Ruin of Thandar. The speed of setup and the overall limited duration of a game also makes it perfect for those who need to quickly set up a game break with limited time. The random deck building component, while adding just the right amount of adrenaline to games, may not make it suitable for those who prefer to be in total control of their plays.

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