18/06/2021

Lords of Hellas: A war board game in the futuristic Greek mythology [Review]

Original text & pictures: Adhitya Mulyono. Editing & translation: Stephan Celebesario Sonny

I can still recall my very first time noticing the Lords of Hellas. It was a memorable Kickstarter campaign that blew me away, period. I can cite the whole article, if you ask why. Nevertheless, I will keep it short and simple just to illustrate the whole answer. 

For starters, the miniatures looked great. I could vouch that they were much cooler than CMON’s. In addition, the dev team successfully designed an intriguing gameplay. Not to mention that I am a sucker for Greek mythology, too.

A GLANCE OF LORDS OF HELLAS

What is Lords of Hellas, anyway?

It is a competitive game developed by Awaken Realms, a publishing company that gets popular because of their high-quality miniatures. And Lords of Hellas is not an exception. 

Each player gains control over one of many renowned Greek heroes. We’ll find some familiar names, such as Heracles, Achilles, Athena, and Theseus.

More of them came in the expansion boxes, and with the vast Greek mythology universe, we’ll have plenty to play with.

These heroes come with different stats and special abilities, and skilled players will utilize it to be the Lords of Hellas. Looking deeper at the game, we win not my collecting victory points. The game ends when one of the possible objectives is fulfilled, as follows:

  1. Controlling two lands, whereas each consists of 4-5 Area, depicted on the board with similar colour.
  2. Defeating three Monsters.
  3. Completing a Level 5 Monument and maintaining control over it for three turns.
  4. Controlling area that has five Temples in it.

Taking actions during turns

Players start their turn by playing the Regular actions and conclude it with the Special action. The Regular ones can be taken multiple times, but not consecutively. 

The tweak lies in the rules where the next player cannot take the same Special action done by the previous players until someone does the Building Monument action. This action triggers all monsters to roam, attacking the players’ army located in the same area.

The heroes’ stats that establish almost everything

Speaking of the Heroes’ stats, they have three to consider.

The leadership stat decides how many armies can move under your command.

Meanwhile, strength empowers the heroes while hunting monsters. On special occasions, this stat also supports them during battles.

And last, but not least, the speed. This stat determines how fast the heroes move.

These stats are not static, which means all players may modify them during the game.

Their improvement can be gained via devoting priests to the monument, defeating monsters, and completing quests. 

In Lords of Hellas, artefacts also are instrumental as they support many actions taken during the game. Some notable effects include enhancement to the strength stats during combats, and they assist heroes to cull down the opponent’s army in battles.

MY PERSONAL THOUGHTS ON LORDS OF HELLAS

I’ve played this game several times, and I must say I’m hooked, even since our first session. And, boy, Lords of Hellas shoots straight to my current favourite war board game.

Our Adam Kwapiñski created a not-so-simple mechanic which surprisingly easy-to-savvy.

Through the game, the sense of a race to complete objectives always exist.

In fact, if ones become oblivious to this conduit, they are rendered unable to see how close their opponents get so close to completing one of the objectives.

Lords of Hellas is definitely more than just eye-catching and detailed miniatures. Nevertheless, this aspect is one of the selling points from this game. It’s really a wonderful sight during the late-game, when all heroes, armies, monuments, and monsters appear on the board.

The lows I tolerate fully

If I can nitpick, maybe my biggest gripe with this game is how some objectives are less lucrative to complete. For example, unless the game extends for a longer time it’s difficult for any player to win by killing 3 monsters. 

From my observation, players can win by killing monsters if stalemate occurs during the attempt for area control, and some players can take the chance to increase their heroes’ strength stats, killing three monsters in three consecutive turns. 

If the game extends for that long, the monument has most likely been built.

This event opens the window to win through monument control.

Of course, it depends on the play style of the group.

Coming back to the mere appearance, Lords of Hellas is quite intimidating.

The sheer size creates the perception that it is a long and complicated game, making it a hard job to convince new players to try it. Well, once again, this is me nitpicking.

VERDICT

To sum it up, Lords of Hellas is a great game for me. It easily replaced Blood Rage’s and Cry Havoc’s position as my most favourite war board games in the same complexity level.

Honestly, I haven’t tried all the available heroes and really can’t wait to get this on the table again. With so many things to pick and try, Lords of Hellas has a replay value that should not be underestimated.

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