Power Rangers: Heroes of the Grid Review

Power Rangers: Heroes of the Grid is a game by Jonathan Ying, published by Renegade Game Studios. It is for 2-5 players. In this game, players take on the roles of the Power Rangers as they battle Rita Repulsa and her army of monsters. Players will need to work together as they defend Angel Grove from the neverending swarm of Rita’s Putties. Of course their powerful Zords will be there to help turn the tide and form the mighty Megazord. In the end, if the players are able to withstand Rita and her onslaught, the world will once again be safe and they will be declared the winners

To begin, each player chooses one of the Rangers to play as and receives the corresponding Ranger miniature, character card and character combat cards. Each player is also given 2 action tokens and 1 energy token. Players shuffle their combat cards to form their combat deck, placing it face down in front of themself. Players will now draw as many cards from their deck as they wish, up to their hand size of 5 cards. The Command Center board is placed in the middle of the play area. Each player places their Ranger miniature on the Command center and 3 energy tiles are placed alongside the figures. The 4 location boards are placed randomly around the Command Center board. The combat dice, hit tokens, panic tokens and energy tokens are all placed in separate piles near the main boards to form the supply, along with the lead Ranger token and all the enemy figures. The power board is placed near the main boards with the power marker placed on the 0 space on the bottom of the board. The Megazord token is placed near the board. The regular Zord cards are shuffled together to form the Zord deck. The Megazord card is placed on the bottom of the shuffled deck. The deck is then placed face down onto the power board. The foot soldier deployment cards are shuffled and divided into 4 face down piles of 5 cards each. Two monster deployment cards are chosen randomly without looking at them. One of the two cards is shuffled into the 2nd stack and one into the third stack of cards. The boss deployment card is shuffled into the 4th stack. The stacks are then placed on top of each other to form the deployment deck with the first stack on top of the second, then the third and finally the fourth with the boss card in it. The enemy decks for the different types of foot soldiers are shuffled separately and placed face down nearby, along with the enemy decks. Play now begins.

The game is played over a series of rounds. Each round consists of 2 phases; Deployment phase and Action phase. The first phase is the Deployment phase. In the Deployment phase, there are 5 enemy deployments. This is done by revealing the top card of the deployment deck. The revealed card determines the number and type of foot soldiers that are taken from the supply. the back of the next card determines which location the figures are placed. Once a deployment is resolved, the revealed card is placed face up in a discard pile next to the deployment deck. If at any time a location contains a number of enemy figures equal to it’s figure limit, it becomes panicked. This is shown by placing a panic token on the location. It should be noted that if a monster or boss deployment card is the next card in the deployment deck when revealing the top card, then it is also revealed and placed along with the previously revealed foot soldier. The location these figures are placed is determined by the next card in the deployment deck. When this happens, it only counts as 1 deployment. The boss or monster’s enemy deck is shuffled and placed face down near the other enemy decks. The monster or boss card is then removed from the game. Also of note, when a boss or monster figure is placed on a location, the location automatically becomes panicked. A panic token is then placed on the location. However, if a monster or boss figure is to be placed on a location that is already panicked, the monster or boss figure is instead placed in the next clockwise location that is not panicked. One last thing of note, if enemy figures are to be placed in a location that is already panicked, the additional figures are deployed to the next location clockwise that is not panicked. Once all 5 enemy deployments have been resolved, the foot soldier cards from the discard pile are shuffled together and placed on the bottom of the deployment deck face down.

The next phase is the Action phase. In the Action phase, each Ranger will spend their action tokens to perform actions. Each time an action is performed, the player flips over one of their action tokens. There are 3 types of actions that a player may take; move, battle and recover. The first action is to move. When the move action is chosen, the player may move their Ranger figure to any other location, regardless of distance. They may even move back to the Command Center to power up. To power up, the player shuffles all the cards from their hand and their discard pile back into their deck. They will then draw a new hand of up to 5 cards. They will then take 1 energy token from the supply, if they don’t already have one. It should be noted that powering up does not count as an action. It is a free action.

The next type of action is to battle. When performing the battle action, the player initiates a battle between the Rangers and any enemies in the player’s current location. The player that initiates the battle, will take the lead Ranger token. They will then follow 4 steps to resolve the conflict. First, the rangers must prepare. Players start by adding 2 energy tokens to the power board to create the shared energy pool. If a player has less than 5 cards in their hand, they are then able to draw as many cards as they would like, up to a hand size of 5. Players do this 1 card at a time and may stop when they wish or continue to draw more.

Next, the enemy prepares. This is done by counting the number of foot soldiers in the current location, then for each foot soldier, an enemy card is drawn from the matching enemy deck. As the cards are drawn, they are placed in a face up row from left to right. This is known as the combat sequence. If a card with the keyword “FAST” is drawn, it is placed at the left end of the row. It should be noted that during battle, there can never be more than 4 foot soldiers in a battle. If there are more than 4 foot soldiers in a location, then the lead Ranger chooses which 4 to battle and draws an enemy card for each one. If the location has a boss or monster figure on it, then the player must draw 4 cards from it’s exclusive deck. As these cards are drawn they are placed in a face up row as well from left to right, above the previous row in the combat sequence.

Once this is done, it’s time for the Rangers and enemies to take their turns. Combat will alternate back and forth between the Rangers and the enemies, with the Rangers normally taking the first turn. However, if at least 1 enemy card as the “FAST” keyword on it, then the enemies will take the first turn instead. On the Ranger’s turn, players choose one Ranger to be the active Ranger. That player will then play a combat card from their hand, spending energy tokens from the shared energy pool equal to the card’s cost. The card is then resolved and the player places the card into their own discard pile.

There are 3 different types of cards. They are attacks, maneuvers and reactions. Attacks are played against an enemy and the player chooses an enemy card as the target of the attack. If an attack roll is required, then the player will roll the number of dice shown on the card. Hits are dealt to the enemy based on the number of hits rolled and any special attacks or abilities from the card. Any hits dealt are represented by placing hit tokens on that enemies card equal to the amount of damage dealt. If an enemy has hit tokens on it equal to or greater than it’s health, then the enemy card is defeated and flipped face down in the combat sequence. When a foot soldier is defeated, one of the matching foot soldier figures is removed from the current location and placed on the experience track of the power board. Monsters and Bosses are a bit different. To defeat a monster, 4 of that monster’s cards must be defeated. At the end of a battle, if there are 4 or more cards in the monster’s discard pile, it is defeated. The monster and any remaining foot soldiers on the current location are returned to the supply. To defeat a boss, 6 of the boss’s cards must be defeated. At the end of battle, if there are 6 or more cards in the boss’s discard pile, it is defeated and the Power Rangers win. Maneuvers, when played, will normally provide energy or special ways to manipulate cards in the player’s hand, deck or discard pile. If a player gains energy, they will take the indicated number of energy tokens from the supply and places them into the shared energy pool. It should be noted, Rangers that participate in a battle may add their own stored energy tokens to the shared pool at any time. They may also spend any unused actions to gain energy by adding 2 energy tokens for each stored action token flipped. Reactions may be played out of turn in response to a certain event or circumstance.

On an Enemy’s turn, the cards in the combat sequence will be resolved, starting with the leftmost and topmost card in the combat sequence that has not been resolved yet. To resolved an enemy card, all the effects listed on the card are carried out. The card is then rotated 90 degrees to indicate it has been resolved. It should be noted, if a card has already been defeated and is turned face down, then no effects occur when it is resolved. Enemy cards have 3 different keywords that should be noted. They are FAST, GUARD and PASSIVE. FAST, as noted earlier, places the card at the beginning of the row of enemy cards and it allows the enemies to take the first turn in battle. GUARD protects any cards adjacent to it horizontally or vertically in the combat sequence. This means that Rangers may not attack those adjacent cards until the card with this keyword has been defeated first. PASSIVE contains an ongoing effect that is active until the card is defeated.

When an enemy card deals damage, the players must choose a Ranger participating in the battle to suffer the damage dealt by the card, unless otherwise specified. When a Ranger suffers damage, they must reveal the top card of their deck for defense. They will then compare the shields along the bottom of the card to the damage dealt by the enemy card. If the number of shields is greater than the amount of damage, then the card revealed is placed back on the bottom of the player’s deck face down. If the number of shields is equal to the amount of damage, then the revealed card is discarded. If the number of shields is less than the amount of damage, then that much damage is absorbed by the shields and the revealed card is discarded. The Ranger must then reveal the deck card from their deck and compare it’s shields to the remaining damage that wasn’t absorbed. This continues until the number of shields is greater or equal to the remaining damage. It should be noted, that if a Ranger’s combat deck is ever empty, then the Ranger is defeated. The player must then remove an energy token from the Command Center. If there are no energy tokens remaining in the Command Center at this time, then the Power Rangers lose. Otherwise, the player will then place their figure back at the Command Center. The player will then shuffle all their cards from their hand and discard pile together. They will then draw a new hand of up to 5 cards. They will also take an energy token from the supply, if they don’t already have one. If the player defeated was the lead Ranger, then the lead Ranger tokens is passed to another Ranger that is still in the battle. If all the Rangers in a battle are defeated, then players proceed to the battle cleanup step of the battle. Also of note, some enemy cards may drain energy. To do this, the number of energy tokens indicated on the card are removed from the shared energy pool and discarded back to the supply. If there aren’t enough energy tokens in the shared energy pool to equal the number drained, then stored energy tokens from Rangers participating in the battle must be used to make up the difference. If there aren’t enough there, then for each remaining energy that would be drained, a Ranger participating in the battle must discard a card from their hand.

One last thing of note, when Rangers defeat enemy foot soldiers they are placed on the experience track. Each time the experience track fills up with defeated foot soldiers or a monster is defeated, then the Rangers may summon a Zord. To do this, the players will reveal the top card of the Zord deck and advance the power marker one space forward on the power track. If the Zord was summoned due to the experience track filling up with foot soldiers, then those soldiers are returned to the supply. When a Zord card is summoned, the card is placed in front of the corresponding Ranger. The Ranger may then use the Zord’s ability by exhausting the card, rotating it by 90 degrees. At the end of each round, all exhausted Zords are readied, rotating them back upright. The Megazord is always the last card in the Zord deck. When the power marker reaches 6 on the power track, the Megazord is summoned. At this time, the Megazord card is revealed and placed near the power board. Any Ranger may then use the Megazord’s ability. When it’s ability is used, the Megazord token is placed on the the location affected. Once the Megazord is revealed, no other Zords may be summoned. Defeated foot soldiers are no longer added to the experience track.

Rangers and Enemies will continue going back and forth taking turns until the last enemy card in the combat sequence has been resolved. Once this happens, the Rangers get 1 final turn, then the battle ends. The battle can also end if all the enemy cards are defeated. This will then takes us to the final step of battle, the battle cleanup step. At this time, if there are any remaining energy tokens in the shared pool, then the Rangers that participated in the battle may split them up evenly among themselves. It should be noted that a Ranger may only store 1 energy token at a time. Any excess tokens not able to be taken by Rangers are discarded. All of the foot soldier, undefeated monster and boss enemy cards are removed from the combat sequence and shuffled back into their respective decks. Defeated monster and boss enemy cards are placed in face up discard piles next to their respective enemy decks. If the current location was panicked, but there are no more enemy figures in the current location after the battle, then the location is no longer panicked. The panic token is then removed from the location.

This takes us to the third type of action, recover. When performing the recover action, the player will choose cards from their discard pile with a total of up to 6 shields on the bottom right corner of the cards. These cards are then shuffled back into the player’s deck. They will then take an energy token from the supply, if they don’t already have one.

Once all players have taken all their actions, the round is over. Players will then flip their action tokens face up and ready any exhausted Zord cards. A new round will then begin.

The game continues until one of three different things happens. If all 4 of the locations around the Command Center are panicked at the same time, the game ends and the Power Rangers lose. If a Ranger is defeated when there are no more energy tokens at the Command Center, then the Power Rangers lose. If the Rangers are able to defeat the boss in battle and survive until the end of that battle, then the Power Rangers win.

COMPONENTS
The components for this game are Morphenomenal! Let’s just start with the parts that everyone wants to play with…the miniatures. These things are absolutely huge compared to other miniature games. While the sculpting on them isn’t the most detailed in the world, each one is super easy to tell apart from the others. The Rangers figures are all color coded. That means the Red Ranger is red and the Yellow Ranger is yellow. How cool is that? The putties, monsters and Rita figures are all a light shade of gray and each one looks ready to be painted. Oh yes, these bad boys want to be painted. As a matter of fact, this may end up being the game that gets me back into painting miniatures again. I was never great at it, but I was good enough to get the job done. Back to the minis, each one of them looks like it was ripped right from the show and is ready to battle it out on your table top. Next there are all the different cards. There are character cards, enemy cards and deployment cards for bosses, monsters and foot soldiers. There are also combat cards and zord cards. The artwork on these is absolutely amazing. If you’re familiar with the more recent version of the comics from artist Dan Mora, then you’ll recognize the art style here. Each piece of art on each card and throughout the game and rulebook looks like it came from the comics. I absolutely love the art style and have enjoyed reading the comics, so for me this is a huge win. The game also comes with several boards and tokens made of thick cardboard. There’s the power board, the command center and the location boards. Once again, these contain artwork with the same artistic style. Then there are the tokens, there are energy tokens, action tokens, panic tokens, hit tokens, the Megazord token, lead Ranger token and power marker. The Megazord token has a nice art piece of the Megazord, while the lead Ranger token has the lightning bolt design representative of the show. The hit tokens, action tokens and panic tokens are simple designs of blasts, arrows and exclamation points, while the power marker looks like the outline of a power morpher from the show. Finally there are the dice. These are really nice quality but a little bland looking with their sort of white see through look. Thankfully there are some nice replacements available to purchase that give you 2 of each of the main colors, including green and white. These 2 work with the green and white ranger that were available in the Kickstarter but should be available in retail eventually as well. In any case, I’m completely overwhelmed with the sheer amount of coolness that comes in this box. If that wasn’t enough, there’s lots of extra expansions and bits like the dice that can be purchased and added to the game to give it even more to love. Needless to say, this is one that absolutely love everything about. Two thumbs way up!
9 out of 10

RULEBOOK
The rulebook for this game is actually quite good. That starts with a 2 page spread of how to set up the game with some great looking pictures. Speaking of pictures, the rulebook has plenty of pictures and examples throughout it. In fact, the examples are really good at explaining some of the more difficult rules to understand. Not that the rules are hard, just that some things might be a bit more unclear without the examples to help out. The gameplay is explained in very good detail. However, I wish that the rules had been a bit more streamlined. As it is, the rules will introduce a concept and then a page or more later it will explain that concept, which will then introduce another new concept. You get the idea right? By the time you understand what was first discussed, you have to flip back several pages to get to where you were to begin with. The main example of this is in explaining the battle action. The action is introduced on page 8 which directs you to the next page which then begins to explain battling until page 10 where you’re directed to page 12 for more info on ranger and enemy turns. I think all this could have been as easy as 1, 2, 3, instead of forcing you to jump through the book. That said, the rules are quite clear and easy to understand and the jumping around is simply a minor inconvenience. When I need to look up a particular rule for clarification, it’s been pretty easy to find. The rulebook also includes special rules for playing with less than a full compliment of 5 players. There are rules for anywhere from 2 -4 players included near the back of the rulebook. The rules also include information on the location effects, which I didn’t mention in the overview. This involves the B side of the location boards and are for more advanced players with a higher level of difficulty. Also included in the rulebook are rules for adding in any of the expansion content found in stores or from Kickstarter. The back page of the rulebook has a great gameplay reference sheet that quickly explains various aspects of the game like the round structure and ranger actions. It also references the different icons found on the cards for both rangers and enemies. Overall the rulebook does a good job at providing all the pertinent information to play the game with very little fuss. I’m quite pleased.
8 out of 10

GAMEPLAY
Let me simply start off by saying, this is an insanely fun game. I have really enjoyed playing it. In a lot of ways, you feel like a power ranger fighting Rita and her army of putties and monsters. However in a game sense, it’s feel more like a tower defense game…kind of. I mean, like a tower defense game, you’re trying to keep the bad guys out of your castle. In this game, you’re trying to keep the putties and monsters from panicking too many locations. In both cases, you lose if the bad guys get into where they’re trying to get to. So the idea is to not let this happen, of course you have to make sure that you have the right cards when you need them. That relies heavily on hand management. You have to know when to draw another card and when is the right moment to use that card in your hand. Some times your actions will pretty much be decided for you ahead of time. Such as when a location gets panicked, you’ll want to clear out that area or at least keep any other areas from getting panicked in the meantime. I have to say that using the character’s combat cards as their life is an ingenious way of dealing with health points. I don’t think a card with a couple of tokens thrown on them to indicate hit points would have had the same effect that this does. Every time you use a card, you have to be thinking about how that’s gonna affect your character down the road. Is it really worth losing a card from your deck and thus a bit of your life force simply to take down this single putty patroller? These are the struggles that you’ll discover when playing this game. It really forces you to weigh your options heavily and it can be stressful, but in a good way. I like that this game really makes things tense, especially when Rita comes out and you’re then fighting for your life. Needless to say, this has become one of my favorite games to come out this year. I always loved watching the power rangers back when I was younger and with the advent of Netflix, I’ve been able to share the show with my daughter. Guess what, she loves it too! As a matter of fact, last Halloween she dressed up as the Pink Ranger. Imagine my surprise! As for the game, she has really enjoyed playing this one with me. However it seems that shes become more taken with the Yellow Ranger now, go figure. In any event, this is a great game and it’s one that can bring father and daughter together in a love for giant monsters and super powered monster fighters. Fans of tower defense games like Castle Panic should enjoy the feel that this game gives players. This is also a game that Power Ranger fanatics like myself will absolutely love. This is a game that I highly recommend. It’s great for families and it’s great fun.
9 out of 10

OVERALL
Power Rangers: Heroes of the Grid is a cooperative game of super charged martial arts fun where players get to take on the forces of Rita Repulsa and her army of baddies. The game isn’t too long. Most game sessions last around an hour or so, however the first couple of times you play may take a bit longer. The game looks amazing with some really huge miniatures and awesome looking artwork on every card. The cards and boards have some truly amazing looking artwork that I absolutely love. The rulebook, while it does jump around a bit, is pretty easy to find what you’re looking for and it does a great job of giving you all the required information to play the game. I especially like that the rules provide for playing with any number of players, changing up the gameplay a little bit each time. The game itself is a whole lot of fun. In some ways it makes me think of a tower defense game with a bit of hand management thrown in. The tension that this game provides is intense. Many times I found myself struggling with my next move as I was afraid of letting down the team, much like any good Power Ranger would. For me, this game truly makes you feel like a Power Ranger and each character plays different than the others making for lots of replayability. I love this game and so does my daughter. She loved playing it and likes that we work together instead of playing against each other. This is a game that fans of the Power Rangers will absolutely love, as I did. I also think that fans of games like Castle Panic or any other tower defense style games will also enjoy this one. This is a game that I highly recommend. It’s definitely one that I look forward to playing again and adding in some of the expansion materials, once I get my hands on them. Needless to say, this is a great game and it is a family friendly one to boot. I can’t wait to play it again. So as the Power Rangers say, “It’s Morphin’ Time!”
9 out of 10

For more information about this and other great games, please check out Renegade Game Studios at their site.

https://www.renegadegamestudios.com/

 

 

About Gaming Bits - Jonathan Nelson

I'm a happily married man with 2 wonderful kids. I love my family very much. I'm a big fan of board, card and RPG games and have been playing for over 20 years. As a board and card game reviewer, I'm hoping that this blog will inform, educate and entertain you. If you like it, please tell your friends and have them join in on the conversations. Thanks and GAME ON!!
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