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Subject: Heroes of Tenefyr: A Solo Review rss

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Greg Mahler
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Intro

I received this game second-hand, but I remember when it was on Kickstarter. Back then I passed on backing it because the mechanics seemed too basic and also the set-up layout looked very messy and cluttered. After getting the game and playing it both 2-handed and with a single deck, I can honestly say that I made a mistake by not backing it. Heroes of Tenefyr is very good!

Gameplay

The gameplay is pretty basic like I had originally thought, but it has a layer of surprise and excitement that I was not expecting. When playing two-handed, your heroes start with a deck of six basic 1 value cards and six basic 0 value cards along with their starting Class card. When playing Solo with one deck, you mix all of those together into one deck, taking 2 turns from the deck for each round.



At set-up, you have 10 different choices to "go". The first column is Level 1, the second column is Level 2, so on and so forth on down to Level 5. Each Level has 2 different "Dungeons" that you can go to along with a unique bonus card underneath them which you will receive if you clear all 4 cards from the pile.

Since you can see the first Enemy in each Dungeon along with the Reward for completing the pile, you do have some strategic choice about where to go, but this will not be fully apparent until your second playthrough after you get a sense of the flow and what type of strategies and synergies that the Hero cards provide.

Basically there are cards that riff off of basic 1 and basic 0 cards in your discard pile, with them becoming very strong depending on if you have 3 or 6 there. So one strategy is to keep those cards in your deck. Another strategy is to thin your deck down to where you only have strong cards. However this can backfire because you have to draw 3 cards each turn and so you may get "fatigued" too soon if you are not careful.

If you are playing 2-handed, some of the game will be a puzzle that involves trying to figure out how to balance out the decks and get the right cards in the right ones. This is because whichever deck gets the "killing blow" gets the card in their deck. If you are playing only 1 deck, this goes away and you can focus more on efficiency.

I think I preferred a single deck, for a couple reasons. 1.) I did not think the puzzle of getting the right cards in the right decks was that fun or interesting and 2.) I was having to shuffle the decks way more than I would like to which added length to the game session.

Where the game impressed me was in the drawing 3 cards each time and having to decide when to stop. This made for a lot of tense moments where you were not sure if your deck would run out before you got enough power to beat the enemy. The game is also pretty difficult. You need quite a bit of fortune and strategy to get a win.

I was also impressed with the enemy abilities. Many of them have neat things that they do that make you change your tactics on the fly. For example, sometimes they cannot be defeated on the first turn or sometimes they have to be defeated by the last hero in turn order. Sometimes they can't be damaged by basic cards or even move around to other dungeons in the tableau.

I was also impressed with the card abilities themselves. Most of them where thematically tied to the enemy's ability. For example if the enemy made the next dungeon card get +2 to defeat, the Hero ability on the card made the next dungeon card get -2. If the card was a big Ogre with lots of health, the card did high damage. If it was a rogue, it allowed you to do more sneaky things. I really appreciated this thematically mirrored design choice.

Another thing that I was impressed by was the math and progression of the game. The game felt "tight" and highly playtested. If you play well, you should have just enough cards to clear a Level 1 dungeon right out of the gates. And as you progress to harder dungeons, the pacing feels very well thought-out and structured.

When you finally are ready to face the Boss, or once the timer runs out on you, I also really enjoyed the way these fights worked. Essentially they are like a “6th Dungeon” because they have 4 cards that you have to get through just like the other ones except if you fail on this one, the game is over. Again the math and difficulty feels spot on compared to the power of your deck (at this point in the game). Also there are 4 different Bosses to face and each one presents a very unique challenge as far as what they throw at you. It may help to look at what the Boss is going to do to you before you start the game so that you can build your decks to counter that.

Compared to Other Games

Some of the mechanics in Heroes of Tenefyr remind me of Dark Souls: The Card Game in the way in which you set out to fight in segments and go until you are too fatigued, followed by a reset of your deck. Then, when you are ready, make your way to the Boss and have a showdown. Other than that, I feel like Heroes of Tenefyr really stands out as unique mechanically in both the way you build up your deck(s) and in the mechanical structure of the game.

Conclusion

Heroes of Tenefyr really took me by surprise and it is a game that I will look forward to playing in my solo rotation. It has all the things I like in a game:

thumbsup Quick play time.
thumbsup Difficult but fair.
thumbsup Nice mix of strategy and tactical play.
thumbsup A good amount of variety.
thumbsup Low manual overhead requirements.

I look forward to seeing what the designer does with future expansions to the game and will be picking them up without an afterthought this time around!
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Frankie Bones
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I traded for this game because of your reports on SGOYT. I look forward to trying it out! Nice review as well!
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dirk stouten
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BrokenAxe wrote:
I traded for this game because of your reports on SGOYT. I look forward to trying it out! Nice review as well!

What's SGOYT?
 
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Greg Mahler
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manducator wrote:
BrokenAxe wrote:
I traded for this game because of your reports on SGOYT. I look forward to trying it out! Nice review as well!

What's SGOYT?

Solitaire Games on your table. It's a Geeklist that the 1 Player Guild (1PG) runs every month where we record play sessions of the games we play. Here is this month's:

Solitaire Games on Your Table July 2019
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Maricel Edwards
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Okay, Greg, need your expertise. I, too, prefer playing solo with one deck rather than two-handed, but here's my question: since one deck represents 1 character with two skills (as per the creator), how do draws and turns go? Do you only draw twice per each character, so 12 total cards (4 draws of 3 cards each)? If so, does the second set of draws count as the "last" or "final" player when the dungeons call for it?

Or, as per rules for multiplayer, can I draw and discard 3 cards as many times as I want as one character, so at that point there are no more "turns" to consider?

I hope the question makes sense and I hope you can give me some clarity.
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dirk stouten
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mtsedwards wrote:
I hope you can give me some clarity.

Maybe this topic is helpful to explain it?

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/2198816/character-skills-so...
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Pepijn van Loon
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mtsedwards wrote:
Okay, Greg, need your expertise. I, too, prefer playing solo with one deck rather than two-handed, but here's my question: since one deck represents 1 character with two skills (as per the creator), how do draws and turns go?

It works almost the same as a two player game, except that you're drawing from 1 deck.

So, on your first turn:

1) you draw 3 cards and decide if you want to keep them or not. You can discard them and draw 3 new cards as often as you want.

2) you play all your cards.

3) you check to see if the enemy is defeated. If the enemy isn't defeated, you take your second turn. And on your second turn you follow the same steps as your first turn.
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Maricel Edwards
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Oloring wrote:
mtsedwards wrote:
Okay, Greg, need your expertise. I, too, prefer playing solo with one deck rather than two-handed, but here's my question: since one deck represents 1 character with two skills (as per the creator), how do draws and turns go?

It works almost the same as a two player game, except that you're drawing from 1 deck.

So, on your first turn:

1) you draw 3 cards and decide if you want to keep them or not. You can discard them and draw 3 new cards as often as you want.

2) you play all your cards.

3) you check to see if the enemy is defeated. If the enemy isn't defeated, you take your second turn. And on your second turn you follow the same steps as your first turn.

Huzzah! This was his I'd been playing! Thank you very much! I'm enjoying this game immensely and am so happy I backed it!
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Greg Mahler
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Looks like Mr. van Loon himself took care of answering that!

I was playing that my second "turn" was the "last player" and my first "turn" was the "starting player" when it comes to effects in the game.
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Maricel Edwards
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tyk567 wrote:
Looks like Mr. van Loon himself took care of answering that!

I was playing that my second "turn" was the "last player" and my first "turn" was the "starting player" when it comes to effects in the game.

Me, too! Boy, Greg, you and I are in sync today! Between this and Marvel LCG clarity, you may just be my board game guardian angel. Btw, bought the TF new components only package yesterday then realized I needed more game cubes and cancelled to re-order today, forgetting about their promo for g.c. ended yesterday. Insert sad face here.
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