Champions of Hara

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Publisher: Greenbrier Games

Designer: Andrew Zimmerman, Ian VanNest, Walter Barber

Players: 2-6

Time: 90-180 minutes

Champions of Hara is a competitive/co-operative game where players take the role of Demi Gods of the land of Hara battling each other as well as enemies in different regions and fulfilling quests.  The object of the game is to be the first to collect 10 of each of the three resources.

Players will play cards from their hands in order to perform actions.  Moving, attacking and exploring the land is all part of the game.  Each player will have their own deck of cards to use through out the game….with the ability to add other cards to their deck.  The other cards are specific to each character also.

Each character excels in specific areas of the game and are unique from the other players.  Players will go to different areas of the game trying to conquer monsters, and each other.  The person who wins the competitive part will then join forces to protect their land from the evil boss that has shown up.

Positives

  • The art work and components in Champions of Hara are really solid.  Some of it can get a little busy on the board but the cards and player boards are great.
  • Each player has a special deck of cards that is made only for them which makes each character unique.  I really like this mechanism as it lends some variety to each play.  They also have different effects on the land and how it interacts with the world.  For example, the character I play in the demo thrived on fear.  The more fear I was able to create the more powerful it became and could then use special skills to unleash on others.
  • The first time you play a card you have to activate the top abilities.  Once you have played all your cards, you can then only use the bottom of each card.  This adds quite a bit of strategy in an easy way to make things interesting.

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Neutral

  • Can be confusing…. Not really sure it is streamlined as much as it could be.  It feels high maintenance for a board game and it takes away from the enjoyment of playing.  Not sure really how the competitive switched over to co-operative thing would work.
  • I struggle with games that you have the choice to either do what the board game has for you or go attack someone else just to do it.  Not exactly sure which of these choices to do, to whom and when best to do them.

Negatives

  • I just don’t see there being much replayability in this one.  The only thing that seems to change is the ability your character has and the order in which enemies come out in each area.  Each area will have the same enemies each time as they come from a preset deck.  So, the desert area will always use the same desert deck of enemies, and there are not that many enemies in the deck so you will see them often and each game.

Final Thoughts

On my radar!  I will keep an eye on this one as it continues to develop but it doesn’t look to be that great…yet! There is just not enough there for me to want to go back to it.  The interesting things it attempts to do are not enough to make up for the lack of replayability.  It seems more confusing than fluid and I just don’t feel like putting the time into it that it probably needs in order to understand fully the strategies available.

-Tim