As Robin Hood, you must take on challenges and try to recruit your entire band of Merry Men while trying to keep the Sheriff of Nottingham’s bounty on your head from getting too high in this new card game designed by Rodney Owen.
What is Robin Hood: Hero of the People?
Robin Hood: Hero of the People is a 1 player card game for ages 12+ that takes between 15-30 minutes to play.
It was a finalist in The Game Crafter Solo Design Contest and placed third overall. The game is currently seeking funding on Kickstarter. A Print and Play version will cost $7 USD with a single copy of the game and a print and play at $18 USD. Stretch goals will include upgrades to components and additional Kickstarter exclusive cards.
Robin Hood: Hero of the People Components
Note: my review is based on access to a reviewer game, so pictures may not reflect the final quality and are subject to change. My review copy did come in a very finished looking box with a printed out rule book so I suspect my copy is close to final if not a final copy.
- 1 Robin Hood Card
- 6 Merry Men Cards (Alan a Dale, Little John, Maid Marian, Will Scarlett, Much the Miller, and Friar Tuck)
- 3 King Richard Cards
- 6 Sherwood Forest Cards
- Bounty Tracker
- Coin Token
- 11 Story 1 Cards
- 12 Story 2 Cards
- 50 Loot Cards
The game requires no assembly and is fairly compact, so easy to take to game nights or to find shelf space for.
How to Play Robin Hood: Hero of the People:
There are three difficulty levels for the game based on how high you want your bounty to start, for my test run I started on Easy.
The Goal of Robin Hood: Hero of the People is to recruit all of the Merry Men while keeping your bounty at 500 gold or less before the Story Cards run out.
Setup actually goes pretty quickly and the game has a very convenient diagram to sort where to put each card type.
The Loot Cards, Story 1 Cards, and Story 2 Cards all need to be shuffled. The Story 1 Cards go on top of the Story 2 cards and are on the top left of your playing area. Under those goes the Bounty Card and the Coin Token. To the left of the Story Cards is the Loot Card Deck and the Alan a Dale, Little John, and Maid Marian Cards. Under those 3 Merry Men Cards go Will Scarlett, Much the Miller, and Friar Tuck’s Cards. All the Merry Men Cards go Face Down. Under those cards go the King Richard Cards (also face down). Under the King Richard Cards go the Sherwood Forest Cards. The Robin Hood Card goes in front of the Player.
Draw 3 Loot Cards to start and now you can begin to play.
Gameplay goes fairly quick and has 3 specific stages that get repeated until you either lose or win the game.
Rob the Rich Phase
Put up to 3 Loot Cards from your hand into your Inventory. Only Inventory Cards can be used in the next 2 Phases. Only 3 Cards can be drawn and played unless a character ability says otherwise. You can have up to 5 Loot Cards in your hand (discard anything above that).
Spend Loot Cards or use Special Abilities to do one of the following:
- Recruit or Rescue a Character
- Buy/Spend King Richard Cards
- Buy Sherwood Forest Cards
- Lower the Bounty
First, you add Robin Hood’s skill’s to relevant Loot Cards in order to recruit a character. Once you have at least one Merry Men you can play with Robin or switch him out for another recruited Merry Man.
Getting all 6 Sherwood Forest Cards protects certain Merry Men from being captured, it also lowers your bounty by 200 gold. The King Richard Cards are extra bonuses that can be useful.
Draw a Story Card and take the actions to resolve it. It may end up costing you Loot Cards from your Inventory or raising your Bounty.
You win the game by having all of your Merry Men recruited along with Robin Hood (none captured) and your bounty being 500 or less. If your bounty goes to over 1000 or you run out of Story Cards, you lose.
Why You Should Play Robin Hood: Hero of the People
One of my favorite parts of this game is that it’s just for one player, which is nice when you struggle to get enough people together for bigger games. I also feel like the difficulty level could probably be handled by a kid as young as ten if they have solid thinking skills. The Robin Hood theme is a fun aspect I really liked which made me think that the older elementary school age crowd might be drawn to it as well.
The is fast and easy to set-up, which I always appreciate. The space it takes up is compact enough that I might even be able to get away with setting it out on a floor in front of me at a convention if I’m in waiting to get in line with my back to a wall.
I really like that the game mechanic is simple and lets me get straight to playing but still leaves enough strategy aspect to engage my mind. When I played, I found it did go easier if Maid Marian was one of the first characters I recruited because of her ability to help me get enough gold to recruit the others.
I was able to play on Easy mode having only grabbed one King Richard Card, and no Sherwood Forest Cards. It is possible that setting the game to a harder level will make those more relevant, but as long as I had the resources to recruit a new hero, I found myself only looking to grab those cards if I didn’t have the right loot to get another Merry Man, but did have enough on hand to grab something else.
Overall it was quick and fun to play and I think my 8-year-old will want to try it out in the next year or so. I do think it will make a nice bridge game to help him pick up on some harder games. Having a buy-in option as low as $7 dollars does turn the game into something quick, easy and affordable to play.