Heroes of Tenefyr (Broken Mill) – First Reaction

Heroes of Tenefyr (Broken Mill) is the latest board game to join our ever expanding collection. We first caught sight of it at the UKGE last year, but every time we walked past the Broken Mill stall was mega-busy, so we never got a chance to play the demo. Still, the glimpses we did see left a lasting impression and we backed it on Kickstarter as soon as the campaign launched.

Now we’ve had a few plays, here’s our thoughts!

Off the box

The board game box for Heroes of Tenefyr
  • Players: 1 to 4
  • Ages: 14 and up
  • Playtime: 60 minutes
  • Designer: Pepijn van Loon
  • Publisher: Broken Mill
  • Key gaming mechanics

What is Heroes of Tenefyr about?

Heroes of Tenefyr is a co-operative deck-building game, where you and your player comrades fight various dungeon monsters to grow as strong as possible before the big bad boss arrives for the final battle. Each player has different characters that add a variable player power to their decks.

A photo showing some of the card and game setup in Heroes of Tenefyr. In the foreground is a character deck, player cards and the first player token. In the background are monster cards for each dungeon.
If you’re playing 2 players, you get two character powers!
A player holding the 3 cards types that are included in the starter deck for Heroes of Tenefyr: the basic 1 card, basic 0 card and character skill card.
The 3 card typed you have in the Heroes of Tenefyr starter deck: basic 1, basic 0 and your character skill

The deck building comes from the monster cards you fight in the various dungeons. IF you manage to defeat them, the monster cards are inverted and added to a players deck (the player who made the final blow). The monster’s strength (and any extra powers) can then be used in future fights. However, if you leave a dungeon (or if you’re thrown out in defeat!), the boss tracker moves ever closer to the end. Then it’s time for the final boss fight!

A player holding 2 'Goblin' monster cards.

A player holding 2 Werewolf monster cards.

Amazing artwork & components

I’m not going to say much here, as I hope my (admittedly amateurish) photos speak for themselves. We both like the design and artwork that have gone into Heroes of Tenefyr – it’s what first drew us to the game, after all. I’m a particular fan of the Barbarian!

A player holding the first player token for Heroes of Tenefyr
First player token
A player holding the Barbarian character card - a strong female wielding an axe
The Barbarian! ARGGGHHH!
A player holding the current dungeon token (with a picture of a flaming torch).
Current dungeon token

The only criticism we have about the cards is that the smaller writing can be difficult to read, particularly in the grey boxes (enemy text).

The cards feel of good quality, as do the other components, including the box itself. I do think we might have to invest in some card protectors for this one though – there’s a LOT of reshuffling involved. The box also includes card separators; however, they are too big to stay upright in the box, which is a little annoying. It’s a shame, because they also have good artwork and quality, but they can’t really do their job!

Top tip: don’t forget to discard!

I’m sure other people, like us, miss something in the rules during the first play of a game. Meaning you usually play the first game wrong, making it either impossibly difficult, or unsatisfyingly easy.

Our misunderstanding was around the draw step:

Draw step
First, draw a hand of 3 cards from your deck (some enemy cards might make you draw more or less than 3). If you have fewer than 3 cards left in your deck, draw all of them. Then, decide if you want to keep your hand or not. If you keep your hand, proceed to the Play step. If you don’t want to keep your hand, place all the cards into your discard pile and draw a new hand of 3 cards. You can repeat this step as many times as you want, until you run out of cards in your deck.

Rulebook, Heroes of Tenefyr

We missed the fact that you could draw your hand, discard and repeat as many times as you want until you get a hand you’re happy with (or run out of cards). I think it was because it followed instructions on drawing the end of your deck, so we foolishly thought the rest of the paragraph applied to that situation alone. This made the first play really hard!

But even after realising the truth, we still curse when we draw a bad hand, forgetting we can try again…and again…and again! So learn from our mistakes and don’t forget you can discard!

Other top tip: Spider Queen misprint

Since the game’s release, Broken Mill have published a correction for one of the Spider Queen boss cards. The card in question has incorrect power values:

Spider Queen misprint card and corrected version, from Broken Mill.
Image from Broken Mill

As far as we’re aware, Broken Mill haven’t said anything about sending out correct cards to people who have the game already – but they are looking at including the correct card in the expansion. They’ve also shared PDF versions for people to print.

Final thought on Heroes of Tenefyr

It was quite a gamble to go for a game we’d hardly even seen in action, but we aren’t disappointed! The art, character design, component quality are exceptionally good, especially when you consider that Heroes of Tenefyr is in the lower price bracket for a board game (Kickstarter price £19).

We’ve yet to defeat a boss and win the game, so it’s challenging enough to keep us entertained. And with a new expansion already in the works, we’re looking forward to what comes next!

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