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Warrior Hereos - LegendsGame Name: Warrior Heroes – Legends

Publisher: Two Hour Wargames

Designer: Ed Teixeira

Year: 2012

Players: One or more

Ages: 12+

Playing Time: Two hours, more or less

Pages: 146

Retail Price: $25.00 for a plastic comb bound book or $20.00 for the PDF

Category: Skirmish level fantasy miniatures/RPG hybrid

Two Hour Wargames’ (THW) latest release is Warrior Heroes – Legends.  THW is famously known for their All Things Zombie game which was the winner of the 2006 Origins Award for Best Miniatures Game or Expansion of the Year. The underlying system used for Warrior Heroes – Legends is the same one used for All Things Zombie, which author Ed Teixeira calls “Chain Reaction”. Chain Reaction is a system very cleverly designed to cause an automated reaction from an opposing side when your side activates some move or action.  In turn, the opposing side reacts and their reaction may cause your side to react in some way as well. The game is designed for either solo play, playing with others against the system, or for head to head combat.

You don’t need much to play: the rulebook obviously, a handful of six sided dice, miniatures of your choice (or markers of some kind representing the characters), a table area mapped and marked off into 1′” squares as a grid, and whatever you’d like to use as terrain – if you’d like to get that fancy. Beyond the wonderful cover art, you won’t find any other art in the book besides text, charts, and a few utilitarian graphics to portray figures in combat.

Warrior Heroes – Legends is a fantasy skirmish game where you use miniatures to fight tabletop battles against other forces. The other forces can be played by the system or by another player. You can play one-off games or run a campaign if you want to go that route as well.

Legendsgraphic1You start off as a “Star” and recruit a band of “Grunts” to assist you in your quests and battles. Grunts are essentially Non-Player Characters (NPCs). Star characters are those who lead bands and are essentially the personification of the player. The six classes you can pick from are Caster, Healer, Missiles, Noble, Soldier, or Warrior. Casters are spellcasters, Healers are essentially clerics, Missiles are those characters who fight with ranged weapons, Nobles are elite fighters who may be mounted, Soldiers are characters who fight with melee weapons and fight in organized units, and Warriors are melee fighters who are more aggressive and do not fight in organized units.

The races you can choose from are demons, dwarves, elves, feral vampires, ghouls, giants, goblins, lycaon (essentially shape shifters), men, orcs, skeletal undead, vampires, or wererats.

After you create your Star and recruit your band, you can play any of the five mini skirmish games at the back of the book, you can create a random dungeon using a standard deck of playing cards or you can, of course, create your own scenarios.

“Oh, Oh It’s Magic…You Know…” The magic system is boiled down to three types of spells:  Damage, Defend, or Dazzle. Damage spells are used to cause physical damage to a target. Defend spells are used to protect the Caster or another target.  Dazzle spells are used to daze and distract a target. The system allows you to decide how you want to describe your spells. So if you use a Damage spell, it’s up to you if you want fireballs, lightning bolts, or magic missiles. It’s the same thing for the Defend and Dazzle spells.

You can also use magic items in this game. Magic items are classified as single use (use once and then it’s done), multiple use (roll each time you use the item and determine if it gets used up or not), and constant use (use an unlimited amount of times). What I found very clever was how cursed items or poisons are handled.  In this game if you find a magic item you won’t know if it’s cursed or not. The way you determine that is that the first time you use magic item, it functions as a normal magic item. Then you immediately roll 2d6. If the total of your roll is 12 then the item is cursed and you have to immediately carry out the effects. With poison potions, you drink it and roll 2d6. Again, if the total is 12 then you just drank some nasty poison and take the effects.

Let’s talk about the not so good news about Warrior Heroes – Legends.

A little background is in order… I consider myself reasonably educated and of average smarts. I’ve got a technically oriented college degree, have a mentally challenging job, and am a voracious reader. However, figuring out how to play this game with all its charts, rules, and sometimes lack of clear examples gave me fits. I read this PDF at least twice cover to cover, highlighted like crazy, added page cross references and still had questions about how to run a simple skirmish. At least twice I threw in the towel and decided I’d had enough.  But the problem solver in me kept coming back.

Legendsgraphic2My best analogy for this game is to describe a similar experience I had with the Game of Thrones book. I’ve read hundreds of full length novels since I was a kid. But the Game of Thrones book had such a convoluted beginning with numerous characters and subplots that it was very easy to get lost. Once I started watching the DVDs, it made so much more sense.  And now I absolutely enjoy the Game of Thrones saga.

Mr. Teixeira has designed a great game and certainly I don’t think I’d be clever enough to do what he did. However, the rules lack some cohesiveness as new concepts are introduced but not explained until the next chapter. The rules are described well… just not in an order that makes sense. I finally started figuring out how to play this game only when I put together a very basic flow chart.

On to the good news…

When I last checked, there were 5,560 members in the THW Yahoo! Group and they are very active members, let me tell you. If you post a question, you will get a response within hours. Even better is that Mr. Teixeira himself monitors this group very regularly (hourly, possibly) and answers a lot of questions himself or at least provides input. Now that’s customer service!  So if you’re struggling with any aspect of this game, you post a question and you’ll get a quick response. That alone is a huge selling point for me and helped me stay the course in learning the system. In addition, from what I understand, if you learn how to play one Two Hour Wargame, then you will be able to learn the other games since they all use essentially the same system: Chain Reaction.

If you’re looking for a fantasy skirmish game where you can fight opponents without the need for a game master, then this is it.  You have fighters, magic users, clerics, magic items, and opponents who react with basic artificial intelligence.  However, as I mentioned above, be prepared to seriously study this system and exercise a great deal of patience before you fully grasp its mechanics.

David Hinojosa

1 Comment

  1. Found out recently that a flowchart has been made available to help new players get the hang of the Two Hour Wargame system. I haven’t used it yet but thought I’d share the link:


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