Heroes of History Review:
Merging history and board/card games has proven to be difficult if history itself is any indication. Either the themes seem to be too romanticized (or outright untruthful) or the mechanics do not match correctly with the setting. This is NOT one of those times. Braden’s World brings you a perfect match of beautiful game mechanics with accurate, articulate, and action-packed historical theme in their 2016 publishing of Heroes of History: Collectible Card Game. The base game comes with two decks, Midnight Riders and Echoes of the Plains, in addition to two playing mats. The game is made for 2 – 4 players, ages 8+, with a playing time ranging from 20 – 60 minutes. They also have an additional deck that can be found on their website (www.bradansworld.com).
It can be hard for parents to let their kids play games in lieu of doing actual school work or studying. In the digital age, it can be extremely difficult to get children and teens off of their tablets and phones and participate in some real world interaction. While board/card games do not fully accomplish this goal, they do get people going in the right direction in terms. Games force face-to-face interaction, and if you can get one that enhances your view of the world we live in today (from a historical perspective), all the better! That’s where Heroes of History (HOH) comes in. By taking the best components of several trading card games (and a few unique ones as well) HOH gives its players an efficient gaming experience set in themes that are historically accurate. While there is another edition more recently published, the one that particularly peaked our interest was the edition that came with the Midnight Rider and Echoes of the Plains decks. The setting in this edition contains cards that showcase a variety of cards related to historical settings, individuals, and artifacts. You may see Battlefield cards related to places like the Alamo, Supply cards related to different items like a Brown Bess Musket, and General cards related to individuals like George Washington. Each card comes with beautifully illustrated artwork in addition to a brief summary of the significance of the card in history. For those of you who love Magic: The Gathering, you will have no trouble whatsoever picking up this game, as many (though not all) of the mechanics crossover.
While the gameplay of HOH is extremely well thought out, what makes this game stand out (by far) is how much time and energy went into the theme. Tying mechanics to theme is important as well, and while Bradan’s World did a solid job making sure the gameplay of building your army and destroying your opponent using historical facts, the fact that you learn about history while having fun is what should be focused on here. Playing a card game, like video games, can sometimes be viewed as a waste of time–I can only think of a handful of games that actually increase your knowledge in a meaningful way as a result of playing the game (this one probably being at the top of the list). The gameplay also is not too complex to learn or teach, so it can also be used as a gateway game. However, I would not consider it a filler game, as the playing time can run longer than 20 minutes at times. All things considered, this is a must-buy game for anyone wanting to understand more about history or to get more out of their next game night than just entertainment.
Heroes of History: Collectible Card Game combines the efficiency of play from other popular trading card games and combines it with potential learning outcomes related to history. People learn in a variety of ways, and usually the learning tools that come in the form of games are not that fun. However, Bradan’s World knocks this one out of the park with the perfect pairing of a fantastic game that happens to help you learn about history in the process.
Until next time,