Hegemony in the late Han dystany, Rising of Heroes. Brings together hand management, resource production, area control. Well the real question is does it?
At first glance, the artwork on the box had me! I'm a big sucker for anything that has this level of artwork with a Feudal Japan style. But, and there's a big but, the gameplay itself doesn't carry across.
I did really like the battle mechanism, of comparing attributes, essentially you commit units and cards, reveal an area card and you're comparing on those 3 attributes. Which I thought was something new and added a level of needing to balance armies with generals and strategy cards. But there are some region's with a fan icon where a d12 roll off decides the fate of battle, which just doesn't fit! And losing a battle can inflict you with negative effects until you get the resources to pay them off.
Sadly, I'm struggling to draw much else from this. I'm pretty confident there is a game here, that has been lovingly created but it needs a rules refresh, and review. And there's so much iconography here!!
E.g. the rulebook refers to the players as he throughout, and uses interchangeable names for components, which means during setup you'll be asked to setup tokens which are referred to something else later on in the rulebook, and in another example states how you can use a type of card, but not how to get one of those cards or where they go during setup.
There's also a big reliance on using d6 to determine the actions you can take across the 12 rounds, which on the face of it. Is okay, but when there's no way to change the dice faces and you roll a pile of 5's followed by a pile of 4's that's two rounds out of 12, where I've not been able to take 4 other potential actions. While my opponent had a spread of actions. Now the number of dice e.g. 5 5's means your recruitment action is stronger, but I'm not convinced having 4 different actions is balanced by having one slightly stronger action. There's also some forced movement and battle after player actions, which seem a bit funky, but I get that they are trying to encourage players not to hold back and replicate the back and forth between dystanys. But that action selection means you could lose a battle, need resources to pay off the penalty and not actually roll the relevant action for a few rounds to gather resources (which resource you gather is then determined by a random card draw). And across a total of 12 rounds (at 2 players) that ongoing negative penalty could be pretty hampering.
The publisher did take all the feedback on board, and are reviewing their rulebook etc. I've agreed to take another look once it's gone through that process. But until then I can't really recommend this game!
Disclaimer: I was sent this game to play and was then repeatedly requested to turn the review and a video (which I haven't done) around in a week or two, which was not explained up front, when agreeing to try the game, I wasn't paid for this content and am posting the game onto another content creator.