- Place the gameboard in the middle of the table.
- Separate the cubes by their color and place them next to the board. Place the Multiplier tokens next to the corresponding colored cubes.
- Each player chooses a Hero taking the figure and player mat corresponding to their choice. Each player places their Hero figure on the Palace.
- Shuffle the Relic cards. If a player choses Artemis they will randomly take two Relic cards. They will choose one to keep and will place it face up in front of them. They will get to use this Relic for the rest of the game. The other will be added to the rest of the Relic cards.
- Four Relic cards will be randomly drawn and turned face up. Players will find the corresponding Relic tokens and place them next to the gameboard. The Relic cards and tokens that weren’t chosen are returned to the box.
- The chosen Relic cards are added to the rest of the Hero cards. The Hero cards are shuffled to form the draw deck.
- Place a Tracker token on the 20 space on the Defense track (left side of the board).
At this point the players will have to choose which enemy they will be playing against. The game recommends that you play your first game against Ares. You can choose one of the other two villains though. Most of the setup is the same, but there are a few steps that will change depending on what enemy was chosen.
- Take the mat and mover corresponding to the villain the players chose.
- Players will flip the enemy mat to the side corresponding to the number of players. The number of players supported by each side is shown in the bottom right corner.
- Depending on whether you want to play the normal or hard difficulty you will place a Tracker token on the Health track on the right side of the board. For the normal game place the Tracker on the number shown along the left side near the top of the villain mat. For the harder game place the Tracker on the number shown under “Difficulty” in the bottom right corner.
- Shuffle the deck of cards corresponding to the enemy you chose. Place this deck face down on the table next to the board.
- Give each player a reference card for the chosen villain and the Round Phases.
- The components not used for your chosen enemy are returned to the box.
These are the setup instructions that are specific to the various villains.
Place a Blessing token on each of the Monument and Temple spaces on the board. Take out the Sword of Hephaestus card and choose one player to take it for the game. The player who is given the card will keep it for the rest of the game as they try to collect the Blessing tokens spread around the board.
Find the four Artifact cards from The Cheetah’s deck and set them aside. The rest of The Cheetah’s deck will be shuffled.
Place one Magic Beacon (purple cube) on the gameboard for each player in the game. The location of each Magic Beacon is chosen by drawing one of the cards from Circe’s deck.
Playing the Game
The game is broken down into rounds with each round consisting of five phases.
- Start of Round
- Strategize Together
- Battle Begins
- Take Actions
- End of Round
The players will keep playing rounds until either they win or lose the game.
Start of Round
In this phase the chosen enemy will perform actions that will help them defeat the players. This phase will depend on the villain that was chosen. Some rules that apply to all of the villains are as follows:
When a villain card says deploy an obstacle, you will take the corresponding number of cubes of the color shown and place them on the location(s) mentioned. You can only place one Blockade on each road though. If all of the cubes of one type ever run out, replace the cubes with a Multiplayer token as the number of cubes are unlimited.
When a card instructs you to Replace cubes, you will take the cubes off the board and exchange them for the color mentioned on the card.
Draw the top card from the Ares deck and place the Ares marker on the location mentioned on the bottom of the card. This card is then discarded.
You will then add cubes to Ares’ current position. If there are any Warriors (white/clear cubes) on Ares’ current position they will be replaced with Corrupted Amazon cubes (purple). If there are no Warriors on the location you will add two Servants of War (orange cubes) to the location.
Player will then draw additional cards one at a time and take the actions listed on the card. You will ignore the location shown on the bottom of the card. After you take the action from the card, you will discard it. The number of cards that you will draw depends on the number of players:
- 2 players – one card
- 3 players – two cards
- 4-5 players – three cards
If the Ares’ deck ever runs out of cards, you will shuffle the discard pile to form another deck.
Place a Lycanthrope (orange cube) on The Cheetah’s current location. This action won’t be taken in the first round as The Cheetah is not on the board yet.
Draw the top card from The Cheetah’s deck and move The Cheetah to the space indicated on the card.
Players will then draw a number of cards and take the actions listed on the cards. You will ignore the location shown at the bottom of the card. The card will be discarded after the action is performed. The number of cards that will be drawn and whose effects will be applied depends on the number of players:
- 2 players – one card
- 3 players – two cards
- 4-5 players – three cards
Whenever the The Cheetah’s deck runs out of cards you will shuffle the discard pile to form a new deck. Before you do this one of the artifact cards that were set aside at the beginning of the game (chosen randomly) will be added to the deck before it is shuffled.
Draw the top card from Circe’s deck and move Circe to the location printed on the card. This card will then be discarded.
Place one Pig Amazon (green cube) on Circe’s current location.
The players will draw a number of cards and perform the actions printed on them. The number of cards that will be drawn depends on the number of players:
- 2 players – one card
- 3 players – two cards
- 4-5 players – three cards
When the Circe deck runs out of cards you will shuffle the discard pile to form the new draw pile.
In this phase the players will be able to openly discuss their strategy for the rest of the round. They can discuss all face up cards and which areas of the board that each player should focus on.
The phase begins with each player being dealt two Hero cards face up. If someone chose Philippus they will have three cards dealt face up to them.
Each player is then dealt three Hero cards face down to form their Battle Plan. If a player chose Nu’bia they will be dealt five cards face down. These cards cannot be looked at until the next phase.
If a player is dealt a Relic card they must immediately decide whether they will discover it or whether they will pass on it. See the Relic section below for more information.
If the Hero deck ever runs out of cards you will shuffle the discard pile to form a new deck.
Players that have a Hero ability that doesn’t immediately go into effect will have to choose during this phase whether they are going to use it. Using the Hero ability is optional as you can choose not to use it during some rounds.
Once this phase begins players can no longer discuss strategy.
Each player will pick up all of the Hero cards dealt to them. They will get to choose three of these cards and place them face down on the three spots of their player mat. These three cards will determine what actions that the player will take in the next phase. The order that you place the cards is important because you will take the actions in the order in which you played the cards.
Once a player has chosen their three cards they will discard their remaining Hero cards face up to the discard pile.
Your actions in the game are determined by the Hero cards that you are dealt and play. Each Hero card has two key pieces of information. Some cards have some text written in the middle of the card which outlines an ability. When you play one of these cards you will get to take the corresponding ability if you meet the requirements. Each Hero card has a set of Emblems along the bottom as well. These Emblems are used to take various actions in the game. For each card that is played the player will be able to use only one of the Emblem types.
Some cards in the game will allow players to double the value of their Emblems for a card. This effect can only be applied once. For example you can’t double an Emblem and then double it again.
The Emblems in the game will give you various abilities in the game. Some abilities are available against any enemy (basic actions) and others are specific to one of the enemies (special actions). Players may perform the same action multiple times with one card if they have enough Emblems, but they may not perform two different types of actions. You also can choose not to use all of the Emblems of the type you chose.
In order to move your character around the board you will have to spend footprint Emblems. For each footprint you can move to an adjacent location. To move between locations you must use the roads printed on the board. You can’t move through a road though that contains a Blockade.
Star Emblems are used to acquire Warriors (clear/white cubes). To acquire Warriors you need to currently be on a location that features a star symbol. For each Warrior Emblem you can recruit one Warrior. For more information about Warriors see the corresponding section below.
These actions depend on which villain you are facing.
For each three book Emblems you can remove one Corrupted Amazon (purple cube) from your current location.
For each two sword Emblems you can remove one Servants of War (orange cube) from your current location.
For each three footprint Emblems you can remove a Blockade from a road connected to your current location.
Finally you can spend four Emblems of any type to attack Ares if you are in the same location as him. For each four Emblems you will deal one damage to Ares which will be marked by moving the Tracker down one space on the right side of the board.
For each three book Emblems you can remove one Wounded Amazon (purple cube) from your current location.
For each three sword Emblems you can remove one Lycanthrope (orange cube) from your current location.
For each two sword or footprint Emblems you can remove one Hunting Party (green cube) from your current location. You can only use sword or footprint Emblems (not both) for this action.
For each four Emblems of one type you can deal one damage to The Cheetah’s health. You will reduce the Health track by the amount of damage dealt. A Lycanthrope (orange cube) will then be placed on your current location. You will then draw the top card from The Cheetah’s deck and move The Cheetah to the corresponding location shown on the card.
If a player uses three book Emblems they will remove all of the Magic Beacons from their current location.
For each three swords you can move a Wolf Amazon (orange cube) to an adjacent location. If you perform this action multiple times you can move multiple Wolf Amazons to different neighboring locations, you can move a Wolf Amazon multiple spaces, or you can do a combination of both.
For each two swords you can move a Pig Amazon (green cube) to an adjacent location. If you perform this action multiple times you can move multiple Pig Amazons to a neighboring location, you can move a Pig Amazon multiple spaces, or you can do a combination of both.
To deal damage to Circe you can use any type of Emblem. The number of that Emblem you need to deal damage though depends on how many Magic Beacons there are on the board. You will need four Emblems plus three Emblems for each Magic Beacon currently on the game board. After dealing damage to Circe you will move the Health Tracker down the corresponding number of spaces.
After dealing damage you will place a number of Magic Beacons based on the number of players. Draw a Circe card for each Magic Beacon in order to figure out which location to place them on.
When two players are on the same space and are using the same Emblem type they can choose to combine their Emblems to perform the chosen action together.
Once all of the players have chosen their three cards, play passes to the Take Actions Phase. At this point players may once again freely communicate and discuss all played cards.
Players will then begin by flipping over the first card that they played. The players will then take an action based on the card that they played. The order that the actions will take place in is determined by the players.
After all of the players have taken their first action, players will flip over their second card and take the following action. This will continue again with the players third card.
End of Round
After the players have taken all of their actions the End of Round Phase will conclude the round. The End of Round Phase will depend on the enemy that the players are fighting.
If the players haven’t won or lost the game at this point another round will be played.
You will lose one Defense for each region that has at least one Servants of War (orange cube).
You will lose two Defense for each Corrupted Amazon (purple cube) that is in the Palace.
You will lose three Defense for each region that features five or more Obstacles (Corrupted Amazons, Servants of War).
You must follow this process in order as you can end up losing multiple points from the same cube. You will move the Tracker down one space on the left track for each point of Defense lost. If your Defense ever reaches zero, all of the players will lose the game.
If the players reduce the enemy’s Health to zero they will win the game.
There is one caveat to this though for Ares. At the beginning of the game one of the players was given the Sword of Hephaestus card. Throughout the game this player is tasked with going around the board collecting the Blessings. When a player ends their action on a location featuring a Blessing they will pick it up and add it to the card.
After they have acquired all of the Blessings the sword is powered up and can be used. In order to defeat Ares the player controlling the Sword of Hephaestus has to deal the last point of damage to Ares. This can be accomplished by teaming up with another player to deal the last point of damage.
For each Wounded Amazon (purple cube) that is on the board, the players will lose one defense.
For each location that has a Lycanthrope (orange cube), place a Wounded Amazon (purple cube) on the location.
For each Hunting Party (green cube) on the board, the top card from The Cheetah’s deck is discarded.
In addition to losing if your Defense is eliminated, there is an additional way to lose to The Cheetah. If a third artifact is added to The Cheetah’s deck (the deck is going to be reshuffled for the third time), the players immediately lose the game.
For each location with a Wolf Amazon (orange cube) you will lose one Defense. You will ignore the first location with a Wolf Amazon.
For each location with a Pig Amazon (green cube) you will lose one Defense. You will ignore the first location with a Pig Amazon.
For each location with both a Wolf Amazon (orange cube) and Pig Amazon (green cube) you will lose three Defense.
Circe will be defeated if the players reduce her health to zero.
Relics are special items that will help you in the game. Whenever a Relic card is revealed in the game the player who is dealt the card must immediately decide whether they are going to Discover or Pass By the Relic.
When the player chooses to Discover a Relic they will find the token for the corresponding Relic and place it on the location indicated on the card. The Relic card will be set aside for when a player collects the Relic. The player will not draw a card to replace the Relic card.
If a player decides to Pass By a Relic they will discard the card and draw a new card to replace it. If you choose this action the Relic will come into play when it is drawn again.
When a player ends their action on the same location as a Relic token they have the opportunity to recover the Relic. Once a player recovers a Relic they will place the corresponding card in front of themselves and remove the token from the board. Once a player has taken a Relic it stays with them for the rest of the game.
Throughout the game players will be able to acquire Warriors (white/clear cubes). Warriors are usually acquired by using star Emblems on a space featuring the star symbol. Warriors are unlimited so if the cubes run out you can replace them with the corresponding Multiplier tokens.
Warriors will be first placed on the space where they are acquired. When a player that is on a space with a Warrior(s) moves to another location, they can take any or all of the Warriors on their current space with them.
Mala’s special ability allows players to place Warriors on the board. They can place one Warrior on two different spaces which feature one of the players’ playing pieces (this includes the player playing as Mala).
Warriors basically act as wilds when performing Special Actions. A player can use as many of the Warriors on their current space as they want. Each Warrior that is used will add one to the Emblem type that the player chose to use for their action. Warriors can only be used as the Emblem that the player choose to use, and can’t be used for an Emblem not shown on the card. Once a Warrior is used it will be returned to the supply.
If Wonder Woman: Challenge of the Amazons sounds interesting to you check out our review to see my thoughts on the game.