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. 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 The Hero card’s location on the table indicates who the Hero is fighting, or if they have withdrawn from combat. All Heroes have a base 2d6 Attack and Defense, which can be increased by equipping Treasure, using Action cards, or already have some bonus as indicated on the Hero card.
- 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.
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 holds that Hero card. 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!
A quick setup video can be found here
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 remove their Hero from the playing field to show that they’re recuperating. When a Hero recuperates, removes all damage counters from them and end their turn. A recuperating Hero cannot be attacked by other Heroes.
- 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 Counters the 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 + Monster Loot
Is greater than or equal to
|# of Treasure Cards||# of Action Cards|
Also, when a Monster dies, the Heroes take their cards off the board (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. 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:
|Symbol||2 pieces||3 pieces||4 pieces|
|Red Diamond||+2 Loot||+2 Health||Whenever you deal damage, remove 2 damage counters from your Hero|
|Black Circle||+2 Attack||+2 Defense||Whenever your attack is successful, you may attack again but lose 2 Attack|
|Green Triangle||+2 Defense||+2 Magic||At the begin of your turn, remove 4 damage counters from your Hero|
|Orange Triangle||+2 Magic||+2 Loot||+5 to your Recharge rolls|
|White Square||+2 Health||+2 Attack||+5 to your Loot rolls|
These bonuses stack – so having 3 pieces of Red Diamond will give you +2 Loot AND +2 Absorb.
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!
A short playthrough of the setup and first ten minutes of a 3 player game can be found here.