Part I: Rooms and Your Dungeon
Welcome to Herobane! The goal of the game is to improve your dungeon by building rooms and hiring minions, then fight heroes for reputation and epic heroes for victory points. Will you be the first to gain so many victory points that you crush the heroes' spirits and become the most feared villain?
We'll present three articles, one per week, to look at the features of the game and its overall flow. These aren't going to be an in-depth, exhaustive rulebook - we want you to understand enough to follow along when you see new cards and to be excited about Herobane, but the final details will wait until the published rulebook. Please contact us by email or Twitter if you have any questions!
To begin the game, each player picks an avatar. For this article, you'll be the Minotaur of the Maze.
The six-by-six grid of cells occupying most of the dungeon board is your dungeon proper. Each avatar's board is different, but most have the same assortment of cells in different configurations. The cells contain two chips each: two black, two red, or one of each.
The numbers at the top and left match the two larger dice in the game, the resource dice. Each turn, the player whose turn it is rolls the resource dice, and that player and the next player in turn order find the corresponding cell in their own dungeon and collect its resources. So in a two-player game, if either player rolls 2 on black and 4 on red, the Minotaur collects one of each chip from their chip bank. Black and red chips are the game resource that make up your purchasing power.
But the fun of running a dungeon is customizing it to your liking. Perhaps you would care for a Snake Pit? The number in the black diamond is how many black chips you have to pay to play the room. Snake Pit costs just one, so move one black chip from your collected chips pile back to your chip bank. The room card shows which tiles you'll pick up: two tiles that have two black chips and one red chip on each cell, and one that has three black and one red. Grab these from the pile of tiles and put the room card aside.
You place these tiles in your dungeon, covering up the dungeon board's natural cells. You can rotate them and place them in any configuration. They don't have to touch the edges of your dungeon or other tiles you've already got, but all of the tiles from one room card have to touch each other. The new set of symbols will change how many chips you get when you're collecting resources from your dungeon - so now with the placement on the left, the next time you collect on a 2-black-4-red roll you'll pick up two black chips and one red chip instead of one of each.
Each avatar has a couple of unique abilities. The Minotaur's Dread Renown gives you one reputation chip, starting you a little bit closer to victory than your rivals (we'll talk more about reputation when we look at heroes and minions next week). The Monumental ability gets you two free rooms so you can start raking in loot faster.
Most avatars have abilities that do something every turn, while the Minotaur prefers simplicity and straight-forward answers, making it a good choice for your first play-through.
The white-on-green text under the abilities is just a reminder about turn structure. We'll talk about the turn structure in the third rules article, but next we need to look at how minions and heroes do battle!