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Heroes of the World

A friend from Spain is living with us at the moment and having never played a 'proper' boardgame before 2010 is now demanding a new game every night and has worked his (and mine) way through the Spiele Des Jahres winners of the last decade.

As a diversion from the relentless demand for Zooloretto and Carcassonne i tried 'Heroes of the World' as an introduction to area majority . Somewhere at the back of my mind i was hoping he'd like it and demand 'El Grande' or 'History of the World' next. Perhaps a little unrealistic...

Well he did not like it but i did. It's made by Sirius game who don't seem to have a website or to be very good at publicising their games. It's a shame as 'Heroes of the World' deserves a wider audience. Gameplay can be described as 'A briefer brief History of the World'. It has attractive components and the game is played on a map of the world divided into nine regions. Each region has either three or four boxes in which discovery tiles are placed. On a players turn he or she plays a historical leader card from his hand who has 'influence' in one or more regions on the board. The leader has ratings for how many population can be placed on the board, how many dicovery tiles are drawn form a bag and placed on a region, a conquest rating for bashing people and an income. The player gets to take all of these rated actions in the order above. All of the activities can only take place in a region where the leader has influence and when the discovery boxes are full a region scores - with the players with the most population in a region scoring points depending on the value of the discovery tiles (tiles vary in value from 0 to 4 - hte zero ones are great for screwage)in the region. Players can spend their income to buy Wonders of the World which provide a one off benefit or can buy VPS or to move population around.

The game is played in two epochs, the first ending when four regions have been scored and the second when eight regions have scored. There is a different deck of leaders ofr each epoch and a different set of discovery tiles. One of the best parts of the game is that at the begining of the game you are dealt two random leaders and on your turn you select a third from a face up pile or a random leader from the deck. This gives you a little bit of control, you can try and plan ahead or keep a portfolio of leaders to react to other players moves.

This is a light and quick game and is not going to appeal to those looking for a quicker version of '7 ages' or even, 'Endeavor'. It will appeal to family gamers and i think it would be an excellent purchase if you wanted to try and ween a teenager off 'Risk'. Just don't try it on my lodger....

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