The box contains part cards, vehicles, reference cards, and the instigator card. It also includes the rule book.
The Goal of HEAP is to be the first to add three parts to each of your vehicles. Once achieved all players participate in the Pile Up for a final decisive victory.
I will have to admit when I was reading the rules I thought this game was going to be awful. I was wrong. The rules are hard to follow if you don’t try and play the game while reading them. That is because it is difficult to process all the information that is given to you as fast as you can read.
In HEAP you can have up to 4 players. Each player starts with 4 vehicles, Bigg Rigg, Gyrohopper, Scrap Hog, and a Doombuggy. Then the players draw their hand. The player that goes first can attach parts or repair damaged ones. There are no damaged parts on turn 1. Parts are attached to the vehicle that matches the icon in upper right hand of the card. There are also 4 types of parts. You may only attach one of each type to your vehicle. After each player has had the opportunity to build the player who started the turn initiates the “rush the Heap” phase. This is where players use the remainder of their hands for combat.
Combat starts by flipping over the the top card of the deck. This is the players first card for the turn. Then play proceeds with the next player who can play a card from his hand. Every part card has an explosion symbol on it with a color, and a shield with a color. There are a few special symbols that have more than one color or are black, but for now we don’t need them. The Defending or current player in the cycle picks a card from his hand that has a shield that matches the color of the explosion symbol. This will block the attack. The explosion symbol on his card is now the attack for the next player. It is important to note triggers effect combat. Triggers are listed on the card and they often have a trigger event. The effects of a trigger can be anything from drawing card, discarding or damaging an opponents part. Some cards have a swerve arrow on them that even changes the direction of play. Combat continues until only one player is left dueling.
When combat is over players get cards for their haul. The haul is a face down set of cards that players earn from the deck or draw pile. During the haul phase players may attach these parts to their vehicles.
HEAP is a great game that surprised me. I thought it was going to be an over complicated game that totally relied on what you had. What I find appealing about Heap is the simplicity of the concept, and the complexity of the tactics. We have played three 4 player games now and look forward to more.
We will be filming a game in the next few days, if you’re intrigued watch for it.