Heroes of Tersia is a lightweight game for 2 to 5 players age 10+ that takes a minute to set up and about half an hour to play. The game uses cards to represent Heroes, Monsters, the Treasure those Monsters guard, and the Actions that the Heroes can take. Dice are used to help resolve combat and tokens track damage. There’s no game board – just use a table with enough space (about 3’x3’). To win, a player must either defeat the final boss, Shayd, or equip the 3 pieces of the legendary Dragon Armor.
There are four types of cards:
- 5 Hero Cards (purple cardback) – at the start of the game, each player selects one Hero card that represents them in the game. The Hero card’s location on the table indicates who the Hero is fighting, if they are in the City, or if they are dead (off the table). All Heroes have a base 2d6 Attack and Defense, which can be increased by equipping Treasure or using Action cards. Heroes also already have some bonus to a few of their attributes as indicated on the Hero card. There are two copies of each Hero card. Keep one in front of the player at all times so they remember who they are and the other on the table.
- 45 Treasure Cards (beige cardback) – when equipped, these cards augment your Hero’s attributes and are looted from Monsters when they are defeated. At the start of your turn, you can equip a Treasure card by placing it face-up in front of you. You can only have one type of Treasure in a given slot.
- 31 Monster Cards (red cardback) – show the attributes of the monsters invading the land of Tersia.
- 28 Action Cards (yellow cardback) – can be used at any time during your turn and represent special abilities that your Hero can perform. Once used, place the card face-up in front of you and must be Recharged at the start of your next turn before you can use it again.
Whenever any deck runs out of cards, shuffle the discarded cards together to make a new deck.
There is a special “City” card where the Heroes start the game and are also safe from any damage. They may also exchange Treasure Cards there. (See The City for more details)
Damage counters are used to track damage that Monsters and Heroes receive.
Roll dice to see who goes first. Each player picks a hero and places it in front of them so they remember who they are. The other copy of that Hero card starts in the City. Each player also draws two Action Cards.
Put 4 Treasure cards on the table in their own piles. Then place 1 standard (non-Elite) Monster on each Treasure card, but slightly offset so you can still see the Treasure underneath. The Treasure underneath a Monster augments that Monster’s stats accordingly.
Put the boss Shayd on the side. Shayd can be engaged at any time, and defeating him wins the game. But be warned that he is tough!
Order of Phases
Each player takes their turn clockwise, and their turn is made up of 3 phases:
- Prepare (Recharge and Equip): At the start of their turn, players attempt to Recharge any used Action cards by rolling two dice and if their roll is higher than the Recharge number on any used Action cards, they can return those to their hand. They can also equip their Treasure cards by placing the cards face-up in front of them. Players also must discard down to 2 Treasure cards in their hand by the end of this phase.
- Engage (or Retreat): Players can either move their Hero next to a Monster to enter combat with that Monster (or Hero), keep their Hero in the same place, or go to the City to recuperate. When a Hero recuperates, removes all damage counters from them and end their turn.
- Attack!: Players attack the Monster or Hero they are next to. (See Combat for more details) If the target is still alive, it retaliates. If a monster dies, award treasure to those in combat with it, remove the Hero cards that were in combat with that monster from the table, and place a new Treasure card and Monster card on the table unless an Elite (green text) monster is already anywhere on the table.
The Attacker’s Attack minus the Defender’s Defense equals to the number of Damage Countersthe Defender will receive. If the Defender has more Damage Counters than Health, they die. If the Defender is still alive, it retaliates and the Defender’s Attack minus the Attacker’s Defense equals to the number of Damage Counters received by the initial Attacker. There is only one round of combat per turn. All Heroes have a base 2d6 Attack and Defense which can be augmented by their Equipment or as noted on their Hero card.
Example: Marina attacks a Goblin. Marina rolls a 7, but she also has +1 Attack, giving her 8. The Goblin’s Defense is 4, so the Goblin takes 4 damage. It has 5 Health, so it’s still alive and retaliates. Marina rolls a 8. With her +1 Defense, that totals to 9. The Goblin has only 8 Attack, so Marina takes no damage. This is the end of this combat round.
If a hero dies, they skip the rest of the current round and their next turn. But they come back with no damage counters and all Action cards recharged in their hand. If a Hero dies to another player, the living player can take any 1 Card from the dying Hero.
If a monster dies, the player that lands the killing blows takes the Treasure Card that is directly beneath the Monster. That Hero also triggers the effect listed on the “Deathblow:” for that Monster, if there is one. In addition, all players in the area have a chance for additional Treasure. They roll the dice and it to the Monster’s Loot number. If that total exceeds certain amounts, they draw additional Treasure and possibly Action Cards:
|Player Roll + Loot is greater than or equal to||# of Treasure Cards||# of Action Cards|
Also, when a Monster dies, the Heroes go immediately to the City (keep damage counters on them), and if there is no Elite (green text box) on the board, replace that Monster with a new one from the deck. Remember to place a Treasure Card face-up under that Monster also, with its stats visible.
Each Hero and Monster have attributes that affect combat and the rewards that Heroes receive after a Monster dies.
- Attack = how much damage you do when attacking
- Defense = decreases the damage you take from an attack
- Health = how much damage you can sustain before dying
- Loot = increases your chances to get Treasure
- Magic = augments certain Actions
Action Cards have a yellow card back and are special powers that can be performed by Heroes only during their turn. Once used, they are placed face-up in front of the player and only return to the player’s hand if they are Recharged at the start of their turn (roll higher than the Recharge number in the upper left corner). You must be in combat with your target (either just about to attack or just attacked) unless the Action Card says “everywhere” or “anywhere”.
There are five elements in the world of Tersia: Earth, Water, Fire, Metal, and Wood.
Earth stops Water, Water douses Fire, Fire melts Metal, Metal splits Wood, and Wood parts Earth. Elements that have an advantage over other elements have those bonuses shown on their cards.
Heroes can equip Treasure cards and can receive increased attributes. You can not equip more than one Treasure in a particular slot. (You can’t wear two Helms.) Also, equipping 2 or more Treasure cards from the same set will reward the Hero with additional bonuses:
The City is a special place. Heroes start the game here and they can not take any damage while they stay in the City. In addition, if a Hero decides to spend their turn in the City rather than fighting, they will fully recuperate – remove all damage counters from that Hero.
There is also a marketplace in the City. At any time during their turn, if a Hero is in the City, they may exchange two of their own Treasure Cards for one of the Treasure Cards already in the marketplace. At the start of the game, place 3 Treasure Cards face up in the City. Note that as Heroes exchange their Treasure Cards for those from the City, that this pool of available Treasure Cards in the City will grow.
There are a few powerful monsters in Tersia that guard immense amounts of treasure and whose deaths empower the Heroes. These Elites have green text for their names instead of the normal white. When an Elite is on the table and another Monster dies, do not replace it with a new Monster (and Treasure) card from the deck. The number of available Monsters will gradually decrease until the Heroes are forced to deal with the Elite.
When an Elite dies, ALL players receive two Treasure cards and one Action card in addition to whatever other loot they may have acquired from the monster’s death. Then put Monster cards back on the table until there are four face-up. (It’s okay if another Elite shows up now)
The final boss, Shayd, is available to be engaged from the very start of the game, which is why he was placed on the side. (Shayd does not get a Treasure card like all other Monsters.) However, players are warned that he is very tough to defeat and should only engage when they have acquired sufficient Treasure and/or allies. Note that when Shayd retaliates, reveal the top Action Card in the deck, and play it for Shayd. Then discard that Action Card. The Hero (or Heroes) who defeats Shayd is the winner!
Another way to play Heroes of Tersia is to work together to defeat Shayd. Players win if Shayd is defeated. However, if all the players are dead, then they lose.
- No City. Remove the City card. There’s no safe spot to recuperate and no purchasing of Treasure from the Marketplace.
- Trading. Players are allowed to trade Treasure cards with each other at the beginning of the round. Action cards are NOT tradeable.
- When a player dies, their corpse remains in the same spot and isn’t removed from the table. A player must be rescued – the monster that killed the player must be defeated before the deceased player can come back to life.
- Whenever a Monster is defeated, place it face-down near Shayd. Each face-down Monster card provides an additional 5 Health to Shayd.
Order of phases:
- At the beginning of their round, the players select where they want to go and in what order to take their turns. Players may trade Treasure Cards at this time.
- If any monster is not engaged in combat, place another Treasure card beneath them, face-up. (This card will augment the Monster also) No Monster should have more than 3 Treasure Cards though.
- In the order they chose at the beginning of the round, players attempt to Recharge their Action Cards, attack Monsters, and are retaliated against.
- If any Monster dies, place a new Treasure and Monster card on the board, unless there is an Elite on the table. (as usual)