Learning Power Rangers is a series of tutorial videos and blogs that teach Power Rangers: Heroes of the Grid Board Game. This guide is updated regularly to provide the most accurate and current information.
In this chapter, we will cover everything you need to know in order to dive into the Power Rangers: Heroes of the Grid board game! You can watch the video below, or keep reading for a full summary of the rules (click here to download the rules).
If you watch the video above and are ready to learn what you need to buy to start playing the game, you may want to skip to the Buyer’s Guide. In the chapter after that, we cover the rules we missed or didn’t understand when we were first started playing the game.
Before starting a game, you will build the map and enemy decks as pictured below. Every player will choose a Ranger – each with a unique deck of 10 cards, a character card, and their corresponding miniature.
Each player shuffles their deck of 10 cards and draws up to 5 cards to start the game. They will also take two action tokens and an energy token and place them near their Ranger card. The energy next to your card is referred to as your Reserved Energy.
You win the game after you defeat the Boss. In the case of the core game, this is Rita Ripulsa! You lose if every location becomes panicked (defined later) or if any of the Rangers are permanently defeated.
The game is played in a series of rounds. Rounds are broken into two phases: Deployment and Action.
During the Deployment Phase, you reveal 5 deployment cards from the deployment deck (pictured below), one at a time. The card you flip tells you the type and quantity of enemies to deploy.
To determine where these enemies enter play, look at the back of the top card of the deployment deck. In this case, it shows Ernie’s Juice Bar. As shown, 2 Super Putty Patrollers enter play at Ernie’s Juice Bar.
You continue to flip cards in this way until you have flipped 5 cards.
If a card back ever shows the picture of a Monster or Boss instead of a location, flip the Monster or Boss card over and deploy it along with the previously revealed foot soldiers. These enemies deploy to the newly revealed location.
As you can see in this case, both the Super Putty Patrollers and Pudgy Pig enter play at Ernie’s Juice Bar. Whenever a monster or boss is deployed, the location they are deployed to is immediately panicked. This is represented with a panic token, pictured below.
The number next to the name of the map tile is a location’s figure limit. There can only ever be that many enemy figures in that location. If you reach this limit, the location immediately becomes panicked. In order for the location to become un-panicked, you must defeat every enemy at that location.
When deploying enemies, start with the lowest priority figures. This means that you deploy Foot Soldiers first, followed by Monsters and then Bosses. If you reach the figure limit, place a panic token on the location and continuing deploying enemies clockwise on the map. If the next location is also at its figure limit, continue on until all revealed enemies are placed.
So you flip cards from the deployment deck, and then deploy whatever pops up to the location listed on the back of the next card in the stack. Easy enough, right?
To give you an idea of how big of a problem you should expect, understand that this deck is made up of 20 Foot Soldier cards, 2 Monsters, and 1 Boss. It is built in such a way that when you reveal 5 cards on the first turn, you are unlikely to reveal a Monster. If you don’t reveal a monster on the first turn, you will reveal one on turns 2 and 3. And given how you shuffle the cards during setup, the Boss will always hit on turn 4.
So who cares about enemies, right? Well, enemies that are flipped up and deployed have corresponding enemy decks that reveal all of the bad cards you need to deal with when fighting them – and you’ll need to.
For foot soldiers, these decks start out shuffled and in play – ready to deal you the pain. Whenever you flip a Monster or Boss card, you shuffle their corresponding enemy deck and place it above the Foot Soldier decks. These decks are arranged vertically in order of priority, from Foot Soldiers to Monsters to Bosses. You can see the Putty Patroller and Super Putty Patroller foot soldier enemy decks below.
During the Action Phase, each Ranger gets two actions. These actions can be taken in any order by any player, and they cannot be saved for future rounds – so use them! As you use actions, you flip your action tokens over to indicate that they are spent.
Each of the following costs one action:
- Move – move your ranger to any location on the map.
- Battle – take the lead ranger token and initiate a battle between all the Rangers and enemies at your current location.
- Recover – take an energy from the supply and shuffle up to 6-shields worth of cards from your discard pile back into your deck (shields defined later).
When a Ranger takes an action to initiate a battle – the bulk of the game – follow these four steps.
1. Ranger Preparation
Take 2 energy tokens and put them in the shared energy pool on the power tracker (pictured below). Rangers can move their reserved energy to the shared pool at any time, as long as they are participating in the battle. This is essentially allowing other Rangers to use your energy, which is a nice thing to do.
During this phase, every participating ranger with fewer than 5 cards in hand can draw cards until they have 5 cards in hand. You can decide to continue or stop drawing cards after every card that you draw. You would do this because running out of cards leads to defeat, but more on that later.
2. Enemy Preparation
Count the number of Foot Soldiers at the current location and draw that number of cards from the corresponding enemy deck to a maximum of 4. There can never be more than 4 participating Foot Soldiers in a single battle!
As you are revealing enemy cards, you may notice keywords that appear in the black bar along the middle of the card. In the core game, there are three enemy keywords you need to be familiar with.
- Fast – when revealed, this enemy moves to the leftmost spot in their corresponding row. If there is a Fast card revealed, the enemy takes the first turn during a battle.
- Guard – a card with ‘Guard’ must be defeated before any non-Guard card to next to it (top, bottom, left, and right) can be attacked.
- Passive – this effect is ongoing, as long as the card is in play and undefeated.
If there is a Monster or Boss figure in the current location, also draw 4 cards from their corresponding deck. These cards go into a separate row, just above the foot soldier row of cards.
If you look at the enemy cards above, you will see that the Rangers are fighting against 2 Putty Patrollers (foot soldiers), 2 Super Putty Patrollers (foot soldiers), and Pudgy Pig (monster).
3. Ranger and Enemy Turns
During this phase, the Rangers and enemies alternate taking turns. The Rangers take the first turn of the battle unless there were any enemy cards revealed with the FAST keyword.
When the Rangers take a turn during a battle, one player gets to either play a card from their hand OR spend an unused action to add 2 energy to the shared energy pool. The three types of cards you will have in your hand are:
- Attacks – When you play an attack, you target an enemy card. If the attack requires a die roll, roll the dice shown and deal any damage rolled to the card you targeted. Whenever a card has equal or more damage on it than its health value, it is flipped face down.
- Maneuvers – These are immediately resolved, often times gaining the Rangers energy.
- Reactions – These are the only cards that can be played out of turn. They will indicate when you can react to something in game. For example, reactions that prevent damage can be played any time you are taking damage and do not cost an action or turn during a battle.
When it is the enemy turn, start with the top-left-most card that has not already been activated. After an enemy card activities, turn it 90-degrees. Resolve the card text as indicated, this will often deal damage to a Ranger.
If a card is flipped over, like the second card in the Super Putty Patroller Row above, it still uses an enemy turn. This is a huge rule that we missed early one. Even if the card is flipped over when it is time to act, it does so, turns 90 degrees, and nothing happens. It is now the Rangers’ turn again!
When a foot soldier card is defeated (and therefore flipped over), take a corresponding enemy miniature from the location of the battle and place it on the experience track on the power board as seen below. When you fill the power board with 6 enemy Foot Soldiers, you will move the power level up 1 level and reveal the top card in the Zord deck. We cover this more in depth later in this chapter, but basically you destroy foot soldiers and by doing so you gain access to Zords and essentially start leveling up. It’s awesome.
When you have activated the final enemy card in the battle, the Rangers get one additional turn before the battle ends. After a battle with either a Monster or Boss ends, shuffle all non-defeated cards back into their corresponding enemy deck. Defeated Monster and Boss cards form a discard pile and are no longer a part of their deck.
Unlike Foot Soldiers who are removed from play by defeating a single card (1 for 1), you must defeat 4 Monster cards or 6 Boss cards to remove them from play. This can take multiple battles to accomplish and it can be difficult, so hang in there.
When you defeat a Monster, you get to move the power level up one and reveal the top card of the Zord deck. In that way it’s basically equivalent to wiping 6 foot soldiers.
When you defeat a Boss, you win the game!
Now, of course, none of this would matter if there wasn’t something important on the line. Enemies do not simply let you foil their plans – you have to get in the fight and scrap with them. Inevitably, this leads to the Rangers getting a little roughed up.
When an enemy card deals damage, the Rangers choose a participating Ranger to take the damage (unless the card says specifically who is damaged). The Ranger suffering damage reveals cards from the top of their deck and compares the shield value on the bottom right of the card to the damage being dealt.
Reminder: When you take a recover action on your turn, you get to shuffle up to 6 shields worth of cards back into your deck!
If the number of shields revealed is greater than the damage you are taking, put the revealed card on the bottom of your deck. If it is equal to the damage, discard the card.
If the shield value is less than the damage, discard the card and reveal another card. This continues until you’ve revealed enough cumulative shields to absorb all the damage. Even if it takes you several cards, if at any point you reveal a card with more shields than the damage remaining, it goes to the bottom of your deck.
Some cards are actually built for this, in that they have “star” abilities that trigger when they are flipped for defense. Check the card in the image above – Mighty Maces – to see an example. You gain a free energy when it is flipped for defense!
So, simply, when you take damage, you flip cards from your deck to your discard pile until you reveal shields greater than or equal to the damage you are taking. It’s fair to equate your deck to your total health in this way, so be careful when you are wheeling and dealing card after card from your hand. Inevitably…
If you run out of combat cards in your deck, you are defeated. Move your Ranger figure to the Command Center and remove an energy token from it. If there is no energy left in the Command Center for you to remove, you are permanently defeated and the game is over.
If there are energy tokens remaining, remove an energy from the Command Center, shuffle your hand and discard pile together, draw up to 5 cards, and gain a reserved energy. You are still in the fight!
4. Battle Cleanup
During this phase, distribute any unused energy from the shared pool back to the Rangers. Each Ranger can store one energy, known as their Reserved Energy.
Shuffle Foot Soldier cards back into the appropriate decks, discard any defeated Monster or Boss cards, and shuffle undefeated Monster and Boss cards back into their corresponding decks.
Occasionally, enemy cards will drain energy. When energy is drained, it is taken from the shared pool first. If there is more energy being drained than energy in the shared pool, you must remove stored energy from Rangers in the battle to make up the difference. If there is not enough energy to drain, the Rangers must discard a combined number of cards from their hand equal to the amount of energy that could not be drained.
If you watched Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, you know when the Zords show up the bad guys are in trouble! In this game, you get to summon a new Zord every time you fill up the experience track with defeated Foot Soldiers and when you defeat a Monster.
When this happens, reveal the top card in the Zord deck and advance the power marker 1 level. When a Zord is summoned, place it in front of the associated Ranger.
Rangers can activate their Zords once per round by turning them 90-degrees and resolving their card text. This does not take an action during a round or a turn during a battle.
Once you summon all of the Zords and reach power level 6, the MegaZord is summoned! Any Ranger can activate the Megazord’s ability, but it can only be used once per round. When you activate the Megazord, you put the Megazord token (or miniature if you have it!) on the corresponding map tile to indicate the affected area.
And that is it. Turn after turn of madness, chaos, and decision-making, all culminating into quite a challenge. If this were a standard board game, we would caution that after a few games you might feel that the excitement fades as you run into the same enemies and encounter cards – ultimately meaning a similar set of decisions. This is where Power Rangers comes to life, though.
As we mentioned above, Power Rangers is really exploring that line between an expandable miniatures game and a traditional board game, and its expandability is one of the key reasons that we are recommending it. With so many new enemies, new Rangers, new maps, and who knows what else on the horizon, the game will continue to add massive amounts of replayability. The core system is strong, relatively simple, and exceedingly thematic – which makes it very easy to bring new and fulfilling experiences to the table.
Interested in having those experiences? We certainly are. Join us in the next chapter to learn everything you need to know about buying into the game.