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Digital Subscriptions > The Best Games of 2019 > The Best Games of 2019 > POWER RANGERS: HEROES OF THE GRID

POWER RANGERS: HEROES OF THE GRID

A Megazord of a board game

POWER RANGERS: HEROES OF THE GRID

A Megazord of a board game

Having been burnt before by board games that entice you with nostalgia, I approached Power Rangers: Heroes of a Grid with low expectations. If nothing else, I would probably enjoy the wonderfully detailed miniatures of the rangers and their various adversaries, including Rita Repulsa, Knasty Knight, Pudgy Pig (by far the most glorious) and others, while reminiscing about the series from my childhood.

My initial worry that the game was more about looks than gameplay was dispensed within the span of a single playthrough. Heroes of the Grid assembled a set of interesting and enticing separate parts into a Megazord of a board game.

At its distilled core, Heroes of the Grid is Pandemic in a Power Ranger outfit – just switch disease cubes for the Putty Patrol. Yet it is far from being a mere copycat. Some ideas have been simplified – for example, condensing the board to five areas, making movement easy but maintaining control of areas harder. If one of the areas becomes overrun with Putty Patrollers it must be cleared as urgently as possible because, once it cascades into adjacent areas, it becomes almost impossible to stop. Once all the areas are overrun and enter a panic state, the game is lost.

It is the ‘clearing’ of these areas that gets a deeper, layered treatment in Heroes of the Grid. Every ranger comes with their own deck of attacks, moves and manoeuvres that they can utilise during the fight. Some cards simply do damage to enemies, while others generate tokens that can be spent on more powerful moves or can otherwise be used to help other players during each round. Putty Patrollers and monsters also come with their own decks of varying actions. As the attack cards are laid out for the round, players can assess which enemy cards are more dangerous and should be prioritised. The rangers’ remaining health is the size of their deck –when the last card runs out, they have been defeated. This means using your most powerful attacks at the beginning of the fight may not be the best strategy, especially as monsters and, eventually, the main boss make their appearance.

Card management becomes key, as players decide if they need to team up to defeat the enemy or if their hand is strong enough to face them alone. Players can always discuss together which enemy attacks need to be throttled and if the rangers can take some damage to save powerful cards in their hand for the next round. The rangers’ decks have just enough variation to make every card draw exciting, but not too much to exhaust players with options and abilities. Each ranger is different – which might seem like an obvious statement, but not every game makes such an effort to make its characters stand out. Some rangers’ cards are more attack-focused, while others are better at manoeuvring and generating energy tokens.

During your first game, you’ll be able to learn your deck and begin to use your cards in an informed way, taking advantage of natural combos and figuring out which cards can be discarded and which should be kept in reserve for stronger enemies. While the Putty Patrollers are not as dangerous as they are numerous, if left alone, their cards can combine to deal a significant blow. As the enemies get stronger, so do the rangers. They gain experience by defeating enemies that allows them to unlock Zord cards, and eventually a Megazord card that provides bonus actions during fights.

The Power Rangers theme may have been the initial draw of Heroes of the Grid, but take that away and this is still a great area-control and card-management game in its own right. It presents a tough fight, but with some strategy, a bit of luck and great teamwork, players can give Rita one hell of the headache.

ALEX SONECHKINA

WE SAY

Board games based on a beloved licence unfortunately tend to rely too much on the theme at the cost of gameplay, but Power Rangers: Heroes of the Grid doesn’t pull any punches.

WHAT’S IN THE BOX?

► Five ranger figures

► Five character cards

► 24 foot soldier figures

► 20 foot soldier enemy cards

► 20 foot soldier deployment cards

► Boss figure

► Eight boss enemy cards

► Boss deployment card

► Four monster figures

► 32 monster enemy cards

► Four monster deployment cards

► 50 combat cards

► Power board

► Six Zord cards

► Megazord token

► Five location boards

► 15 energy tokens

► 12 action tokens

► Lead ranger token

► Four panic tokens

► Six combat dice

► Power marker

TRY THIS IF YOU LIKED… PANDEMIC

Heroes of the Grid is just as tough to beat as Pandemic, with the added challenge of having to fight the Putty Patrol, instead of just removing them.

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About The Best Games of 2019

Must Plays and more in our Best Games of 2019 issue of Tabletop Gaming. Over the next 196 pages discover all of the most positively reviewed games of the year. With a massive 181 games reviewed, this is the definitive “what to play next” guide of 2019! Games reviewed include: Wingspan Copenhagen Hellboy: The Board Game Res Arcana Lifeform Century: A New World Megacity: Oceania Pandemic: Fall of Rome Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay: Rough Nights & Hard Days Azul: Stained Glass of Sinatra Tapestry Letter Jam Hako Onna Everdell Battle Ravens Dune + Many more!

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