Review – Meek Heroes: Victory

Our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against henchmen, agents, and principalities.

MH Box

 

Designer Joe Bragg

Artist Jason Licht

Publisher Meek Heroes Gaming

Category Deck-Building, Boss-Battling

Length 30-90min

Release Date 2023

Player Count 2-4

Take on the role of a new Christian believer and fight the forces of evil in order to save the city in this deck-building, spiritually-themed game from Meek Heroes Gaming. So, is it worth fastening on the full armor of God for this one, or would it be better to stomp this dust off your feet? 

Review

In Meek Heroes: Victory, each player will play as 1 of the 4 protagonists. Players will compete to collect gems, buy upgrade cards, and battle bosses. In order to win, a player must defeat 3 henchmen, then 2 agents, and then 2 principalities. 

To set up, each player receives 10 cards that go with their protagonist, a mech card, mech batteries, and a pawn. On your turn, you’ll move your pawn to a new action space (similar to Disney Villainous), which allows you to gain gems (currency), buy a card from the pasture, buy a battery for your mech, trash a card from your deck, and/or exchange gems. There are 4 types of gems, with the blue and black ones being more valuable, there are 8 cards in the pasture at all times, and for every mech battery you have, it adds 2 strength points. A fully charged mech grants 10 strength points and an ability that cancels an auto-loss in battle. 

The fifth action space allows you to battle a boss. To battle a boss, first draw the boss from the appropriate deck (henchmen, agent, principalities) to determine how many strength points (SPs) you’ll need to redeem or defeat as necessary, shuffle your whole deck, and flip over 5 cards, 1 at a time. As you flip cards, you can perform special actions (if any), but if you ever draw an auto-loss, you lose the battle immediately… unless you have a card or ability that can cancel the auto-loss card, in which case you can keep drawing. If your SP equals or exceeds the boss’s, you win! If not, you lose and must pay the penalty, as well as add any auto-loss cards to the boss, increasing his/her SP by 1 or 2. 

So, you buy cards, upgrade your mechs, and fight bosses. The only other wrinkle is that, in a boss fight, you can purchase the help of allies for a 1-time bonus such as decreasing the boss’s health by 5, negating an auto-loss, etc. Meek Heroes: Victory is simple at its core, and that increases its learnability. It takes familiar, well-known mechanics like action-selection, deck-building, and the time-tested flip-a-card-from-your-deck-and-see-if-you’ve-won we’ve seen in War since who-knows-when (I Googled it and no one knows when the card game War was invented). 

The pasture is the 8 cards with the lighter background; allies are the 4 cards with the red background.

The components are a mixed bag. The gems, mech batteries, and pawns are all great, and the cardstock is solid. There’s a QR code for the instructions, which isn’t a deal-breaker and even helped to save some trees, but I do enjoy having a physical rulebook. The art is fun and cartoony, and there’s specifically some really cool-looking principalities. However, I wish there had been names attached to the bosses to help with world-building. Some of the art is also pretty inconsistent. There’s pictures of the city on the player action boards instead of cartoony pictures of the city, and some of the female characters in particular are oddly proportioned (70% legs, 20% torso, 10% head). I’m also confused why the allies aren’t actual people…

Designing a tabletop game is hard. What’s even harder is designing a good tabletop game. I wasn’t expecting Meek Heroes: Victory to be a good tabletop game, but there are 2 head-scratching design decisions. There is not an excess of upgrade cards, which makes it very difficult to defeat principalities later, especially after everyone has purchased multiple upgrade cards. Moreover, as you move from henchmen to agents to principalities, you add more auto-loss cards to your deck, even though the bosses increase in difficulty. This drags the game on much longer than it has a right to last, and it feels like you’re getting weaker throughout the game, not stronger, which is unhelpful in this boss-battling deck-builder. 

I enjoyed playing Meek Heroes: Victory once because I don’t get to play many biblically-inspired board games, and I appreciated all the references and seeing the cool art on the cards. However, after my first play, I felt like I’d seen it all. There’s no excess upgrade cards, the beginning of the game is super slow, and having to add more and more auto-loss cards into my deck with hardly a way to get rid of them makes me think this game needs a second edition with some fixes. The core is good: action-selection, deck-building, and a familiar boss-battling system are all winning formulas. If you’re looking for a family-friendly, easy-to-learn board game with a biblical theme, check out Meek Heroes

Meek Heroes Gaming kindly provided a review copy. 

The Bottom Line

Some solid core mechanics will keep Meek Heroes: Victory enjoyable for those interested in the theme and looking for a light family game.

 

5.5

Spencer Patterson

I'm a teacher, writer, and board game reviewer. I especially love board games that pull me in like a good book. My wife is my favorite gaming partner.