Justice League Hero Dice, a dice game for 1-4 players, by Heidelberger Spieleverlag (2015)

I love playing boardgames. There is just something about setting up a cool looking board with lots of features, cards, miniatures and other stuff. It can however sometimes be a lot of work to set up such a game. Luckily not every game has to have a massive set-up time to be enjoyable. Justice League Hero Dice falls into that last category, while still looking very cool it is quickly placed on the table and a blast to play.

Components

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Justice League Hero Dice currently has two sets. One for Superman, one for Batman. Each set is enabling you to play the game on your own, and by combining them you can play with two or more players depending on the number of sets that are used. The first thing you will notice is the cool artwork that is inside the box. If you are a comic book fan, you will definitely appreciate this. The other thing that is worth mentioning are the custom dice. These are absolutely gorgeous looking, chunky dice, and are the best that I have ever seen to date in any game whatsoever. The Superman set contains six of these, and the Batman set seven. Rounding out the game are 17 cards that contain 10 villains you will be fighting, six special superpower cards, and a card for the city you will be trying to protect. Finally each set has a number of tokens and the hero sheet that has all the information on it for the hero you have chosen.

Game overview

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Justice League Hero Dice is a dicegame in which you try to protect your hometown from a bunch of villains that are trying to destroy it. Superman for instance has to protect Metropolis from villains such as Lex Luthor and Doomsday. Each game plays in a series of rounds. Each round you decide which villain to fight against and then you roll your dice. A villain has a certain number of hits that he can take before being defeated. With the dice you are trying to score hits and avoid negative results that cancel these hits. Superman for example has dice which contain a Kryptonite symbol, a Superman logo, a Freeze breath symbol and a Heat Vision symbol. Each Superman logo rolled scores a hit, but each Kryptonite symbol negates these hits. Heat vision and Freeze breath symbols cancel out the Kryptonite. The Superman dice come in three colours, and after each roll you decide which colour to put aside, effectively locking the dice. After three rolls, you compare the results, and hopefully have scored enough hits to defeat the villain.

The dice results can be slightly altered by using the superpower cards of your hero. Since you only have six of them, you must use them wisely and at the times you need them the most. After each round a new villain enters the battlefield. If you have not managed to defeat the previous one, things can become very bad, very fast. When there are a certain number of enemies you risk the chance of being overrun, and they start tearing down the city you are trying to protect. But you won’t let that happen right?

The game ends after the villain deck runs out. The points that have been scored are then compared to the city card chart. And this determines if you are a Legendary hero, or just someone who is nothing more than a footnote in the history books.

Difficulty

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This game is very easy to learn. The rulebook is pretty straightforward, and explains things just enough to get a clear picture. Winning the game however, can be tough. As with most dicegames it depends a lot on luck. The superpower cards do let you manipulate the game a bit, so you do have some influence on the dicerolls. In order to get a cool Legendary Hero endresult however, you have to pull of some very nifty moves. But hey, that is what being a Superhero is all about right?

The Verdict

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I really liked this game. It looks great, is easy to learn and is just nice to play if you have some spare time to kill. It is not an earth-shattering or worldchanging game, but it doesn’t have to be. Supposedly there are two new sets in the works right now (The Flash and Green Lantern). I am looking forward to those, and wondering what they are going to come up with. The Batman set is different from the Superman set, in the way that the dice rolling mechanics are slightly changed.

All in all though this is a nice little game, and whether or not you will like it, all depends on if you want all your games to be really complex. If that is the case, you can pass on this one. If you like the occasional simple game that still looks great, and you are a fan of superheroes, than you should definitely give this a try.

I give Justice League Hero Dice a 8 out 10 score.

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