H.E.A.D. Hunters is relatively easy to learn, but offers a lot of depth and strategic choices. What makes every game of H.E.A.D. Hunters a challenge are the more advanced mechanics, which add a new level of strategy and dimension to the game. The following will give you a glimpse of the more involved rules and features of H.E.A.D. Hunters.
Movement is decided by the character’s current speed, which is marked on their Health card. This number can vary, depending on how low the character’s health is. Usually, as a character takes wounds it moves slower. All movement in H.E.A.D. Hunters, unless affected by other gameplay factors, is in a straight line. After choosing a move (either a Basic Move, or one granted as part of a Move card) players place their battle platform where they want their character to end up. Players then use the measuring string to ensure that the move is legal. There are three main speeds at which characters can move across the battlefield: Fast, Medium, and Slow. These are also counted using the measuring string.
The two types of attacks in H.E.A.D. Hunters are Melee and Ranged. Melee attacks can only be made if the attacking figure’s battle platform is completely touching another. A ranged attack can only be made when the attacking figure’s platform is at least one hex away from the defending figure’s platform. The attacker must also be within range and have line of sight for the attack to be able to take place. You cannot make a Ranged attack if there is an enemy within Melee range. When making an attack, the players roll dice to determine if it is a success or not. Normally both dice are rolled, but on occasion there will only be one, or sometimes even three dice rolled. The attacker rolls first and totals the number of Swords they get, then the defender rolls. The goal of the defender’s roll is to get at least the same number of Shields as the attacker got Sword symbols. If the defender succeeds in this, then the attack fails. Otherwise the attack is a success and the hit deals a wound. Many attacks have special properties or effects if they hit. There are also Defense cards you can play. These usually have special circumstances depending on whether or not your Defense was a success.
Advantage is a crucial part of H.E.A.D. Hunters, and often times can mean the difference between victory or defeat. To gain Advantage an attacker must be behind the defender in either Ranged or Melee position. For the Defender to have Advantage vs a Ranged attack they must be in Cover (on a Terrain card). To gain Advantage vs a Melee attack the defender must be Face to Face with the attacker.
When a figure has Advantage, any side of the die with the Advantage symbol is “live” for them, whether attacking or defending. This symbol is added to the total of their Attacking or Defending score, depending on which action they are taking.
As you can see, H.E.A.D. Hunters is a vast, richly crafted game with enough depth to be enjoyed for countless battles with your favorite friends (or foes!).