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Thunder & Lightning
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Thunder & Lightning

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Ages Play Time Players
13+ 40 minutes 2

Designer(s): Richard Borg

Publisher(s): Z-Man Games, Asmodee North America

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Product Description

In Thunder & Lightning, players take on the role of Thor or Loki and fight their way through an army in an epic mythological showdown. Because Loki has already stolen Odin's Crown, the Allfather has entrusted his son Thor with his prized ring of power, Draupnir, to help him defeat the vile trickster. But who really has what it takes to gain control over both relics and therefore claim the throne of Asgard?

Thunder & Lightning, a reimplementation of Hera and Zeus, features the same gameplay as the earlier design, but with larger decks of cards with a different distribution of powers.

In the game, each player starts with nine cards in hand, then places three cards face down in their first row, with these rows butting against one another and each player having space for four rows in their playing area. If a player loses a card in a row, then any cards in the same column behind this card slide forward to fill the empty slot. On a turn, a player has as many action points as the number of columns they have in the playing area. They can use these action points to draw cards, play cards to the battlefield, play a mythological card for its power, or challenge an opponent's card.

To challenge, the player chooses a card in their first row that abuts an opponent's card, then reveals both of them. Most cards have a strength value (0-7), and the card with the lower strength value is discarded, with the opponent's other cards in the same column then sliding forward.

If a player cannot use all of their actions or has no actions (due to having no cards on the battlefield) or loses control of Odin's Crown/Ring, then they lose the game.

Product Information

Product Reviews


Average Rating: 4.4 in 34 reviews

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by Red3
January 03, 2008

Hera and Zeus looks like it has promise, but I was disappointed. I don't like the victory conditions (there are about four or five different ways the game can end - some very abrupt). And I didn't much like the blind luck 'strategy'. Ultimately, I didn't find it much fun to play.

If it weren't trying to be so much like "Stratego with cards", I feel it would be a better game.

On the other hand, Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation had the opposite effect on me. The victory conditions are well defined and logical. The strategy grows on you as you learn to utilize the abilities of the characters. A much better choice if you like this type of game, in my opinion.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
Easy to learn, difficult to master.
April 19, 2007

If you like fair games that rely more on skill than on luck, this is the game for you! Both players have equivalent decks, so winning has to do more with playing your cards right, and at times, some calculated bluffing! Learning the game is pretty easy, it is just a matter of memorizing what each card does and playing the game a couple of times. For those of you who don't like games that rely on memorizing card functions, fear not! There is a handy cheat-sheet for you to refer to in-game.

My long-term fascination with the game has to do with how a seemingly simple game can draw upon so many modes of strategy to become truly proficient in playing it. It is possible to have an incredibly strong first hand, and blow the game, or an incredibly weak hand and win it all. It is all to do with who you're playing, and how well you can skill your way through. Are you ready for the fun and up to the challenge?

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
Tons of replay value
November 22, 2005
After playing a couple of times, I thought the game would lose its freshness and I'd tire of it in short order. 70+ games later, and I have to say I still enjoy it. The interplay between strategy and luck makes the game always interesting. I do not find that one victory condition predominates significantly, and altering your strategy can easily influence the way in which the game is won or lost. This makes for moments when your strategy must shift midgame, and identifying that point is key for victory.
Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.

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