Unsung Heroes: How to Play

These instructions are for both Unsung Heroes and Unsung Heroes: Court of the Pixie Queen. The rules will refer to Rats and Pixies in general as 'Minions' and the King Rat or Pixie Queen as 'The Boss'.

Before You Start

Choose if you want to play against the Rats or the Pixies. Or, if you want to combine sets, see the guidelines on how to combine sets. 

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    How to Win

    You win if you get The Boss. Nothing else matters. Just whoever wins The Boss.


    • Find The Boss card and place it face down in the middle of the table. Shuffle the 4 other Minion Cards facedown and place them on top of The Boss.
      • Note: If you are playing with Pixies, the Line Leader Pixie always goes on top of the pile.
    • Shuffle 8 Treasure Cards facedown and place next to the Minion Cards.
    • Place all dice in the center into a common pool or split into smaller pools among the players. Whichever is easier. Then each player chooses a character.
    • Find your character’s Identity Card and place it face up in front of you.
      • If you chose Tilda, find her Gold Card and set it to the side.
      • Tilda, Betty, Karl, Greg, and Ellen have token cards that are used for their passive abilities. Keep these to the side for later use and do not shuffle into the deck.
        • Though printed on cards, Tokens are not discarded into discard piles.
        • The maximum number of tokens allowed in play is limited by the number included.
        • Additionally, Ellen has 4 Puppet Cards. These are arranged to the side of her deck for easy access. 
    • All players shuffle their remaining cards together and place them facedown to the left of your Identity Card as your draw deck.
      • Tilda then puts her Gold Card on the bottom of her draw deck (valuable things need time to grow).
    • Your discard pile is to the left of your draw deck.
    • Draw 7 cards and start the first round.

    Gameplay and How to Win a Minion

    Players fight through 4 Minion to get to The Boss, earning treasures and powerups along the way. Whoever gets The Boss at the end of the 5th round wins!

    To win a Minion, you need the highest score out of all the players at the end of the round. Your score is the combination of all dice values and card bonuses you have played. 

    During each round, you take turns playing a card from your hand, taking an Action, or passing without playing a card. The round is over once all players have passed in a row. An action is when you use a passive ability, or activate a Minion Powerup.

    At the end of every round but the last, the winner takes the Minion Card and 2 Treasure Cards. The Minion Card is placed under your Identity Card so that the Powerup is showing on the right hand side of the card.

    The winner then looks at their 2 Treasure Cards, keeps one, and gives the other to the player who came in second (in a 2 player game, the winner still draws 2 Treasure Cards, but keeps one and discards the other facedown).

    Everyone then discards all cards they have played and returns all dice to the common pool. All players draw two cards, to a maximum hand size of seven. Flip over the next Minion and start the next round!

    Anatomy of a Round

    1. Flip over the top Minion Card.
    2. The round starts with everyone rolling their starting dice. Your starting dice are found on the top right of your Identity Card. The player who has the lowest score starts playing cards first.
    3. On your turn, you can play 1 card, perform an action, or pass. If you play a card or generate a token from an action, it is placed in front of your draw deck. As you play more cards in the round, place them next to the other cards you have played, not on top. This way the cards act as a history and a reminder for the round. Cards that you play in a round do not go into the discard until the end of the round.
      • If you choose to pass, you can play cards or make actions again on your next turn. However, once all players pass in a row, the round is over. So make sure that you don’t miss out on the action!
      • An action is using any ability that attempts to manipulate the score of the game. For example, activating one of Ellen’s Puppets, flipping over one an Angry Betty Token, or using the a Minion Powerup that rerolls a die.
    4. Once all players have passed in a row, the round is over. Discard all cards played and put all dice played back into the common pools. The winner then takes the Minion Card and draws Treasure Cards as described in “Gameplay and How to Win a Minion”. These cards are kept to the side and face down until The Boss round.
    5. Players draw up to 2 cards from their draw deck. However, your hand size is limited to 7 non Treasure Cards. This means that if you only played 1 card on the first round of the game, you only draw 1 card. Similarly, if you have 7 cards in your hand at the end of the round, you don’t draw any cards.
      • The draw deck is sized so that if you play at least 2 cards every round, you will be able to play all your cards by the end of the game.
      • Luckily enough, the Line Leader Pixie will also be happy to draw a card for you if you get behind or to press your advantage.

    The 5th round is also known as The Boss round. Players put any treasure cards they have earned into their hand, and prepare to get sung.

    Whoever wins this round, wins the game.


    If scores are tied, then the player that has won less Minions wins the tie. If there is a tie in the number of Minions, then the player who has less Treasures wins the tie. And finally, if players are tied for Minions and Treasures, then the player who reached the score second wins the tie.

    Because the player who came in second in a round can win a treasure, the tie breakers also apply to anyone tied for second. 

    Example 1: Wanda and Tilda have a score of 20. However, Wanda has won 1 Minion and Tilda has won none, so Tilda wins the tie. 

    Example 2: Alfred has rolled well and played his Gold Card and is well ahead the other players with a score of 25. Jerry then takes several turns playing cards and also reaches 25. Since Jerry reached that score second, he wins the tie. 

    Some rare situations might have players reaching the same score at the same time and be tied on the number of Minions and Treasure Cards.

    For this, there is the Tone Deaf Bards Special.

    The Tone Deaf Bards Special:

    The tied players have a singing contest and the loudest player wins the tie!

    Alternatively, the younger player wins the tie!

    Note: instruments are allowed.

    Note: It is the loudest player that wins, but there should be some melody. This is not a yelling match after all. 

    Example Rounds

    Example 1

    Alfred and Wanda are battling over the first Minion of the game.

    To begin, they roll their starting dice. Alfred rolls 2 Blue dice and rolls 2x 4s for a total of 8. Wanda rolls a White die and gets a 2. Since she has the lower score, she has the first turn of the game.

    Wanda plays a ‘Big Stick’ and get’s a static +4 bonus putting her score at 6. Since Alfred is at 8, and winning, he passes his turn.

    Wanda then plays ‘Nature’s Wrath’ and rolls a Blue die and a Red die.

    The Blue die rolls a 4 and the Red die rolls a 1.

    Due to her passive ability, she get’s to roll another Red die, and it rolls a 6. Her score is now 17. 

    Alfred has done the math and plays his Gold Card giving him +9.

    This also puts him at 17, but because Alfred got to the score after Wanda, he breaks the tie and counts as winning. All according to plan.

    Wanda plays a ‘Note from Mom’ and rerolls one of Alfred’s 4s, which results in a 1. Alfred then Nopes that card to keep his score and the die is reset to a 4. This ends Wanda’s turn.

    However, since Alfred is still breaking the tie and winning, he passes.

    Wanda then decides to save her other cards and passes too. This ends the round as all players have passed consecutively. All cards that were played are discarded and all dice are returned to the common pools.

    Then Alfred takes the Minion Card and gains its powerup. He then draws 2 Treasures and chooses the one he wants and discards the other.

    If there were more than 2 Players in the game, the 2nd place Player would get the 2nd Treasure. (Which would most likely be Wanda as she tied for 1st).

    After, both draw up to 2 cards (not to exceed 7 cards in their hand). The next Minion is flipped over, and Wanda and Alfred roll their starting dice to begin round 2!

    Example 2

    Karl and Ellen are battling over the first Pixie of the game. To begin, they roll their starting dice. Karl rolls a Blue die and gets a 1. Ellen rolls a Blue die and gets a 4.

    As Karl also starts with a Karat Coin, his score is 3 to Ellen’s 4. Since Karl has the lower score, he has the first turn of the game.

    Karl plays Aura of Brilliance gaining a White set to the value 2 and rolls a Red die. The Red die rolls a 4. This brings Karl’s Score to 9. Ellen plays a Big Stick to gain +4 putting her score to 8. 

    Even though Karl is winning, he chooses not to pass and plays a Pointy Stick to gain +2 and bring his score to 11.

    Karl does this for 2 reasons: 

    1) He has 6 cards in his hand, and if Ellen were to pass, the round would end (since both players would have passed in a row). While Karl would win the round and get the Minion, he would only be able to draw 1 card. This would end up stranding a card on the last round (The Line Leader Pixie helps with this).

    2) Karl needs at least 10 points to activate his Forge ability.

    Ellen then plays an Octa Stone and rolls a White die. The White die rolls a 3 bringing her score to 11 as well. Since Ellen got to the score after Karl, she breaks the tie and is winning the round. 

    On Karl’s turn, he uses his Forge ability and discards his 2 dice, Pointy Stick and his Karat Coin to gain a Gold Bar with the +10 side facing up.

    Since his overall score did not change, even though he did an action, he is still losing the tie breaker. 

    As Ellen is winning, she passes the turn. Content with forging his own gold, Karl also passes. This ends the round as both players have passed in a row.

    Ellen, the winner, takes the Minion and gains its powerup, and places it under her ID Card.

    After choosing her Treasure, Ellen discards her 2 cards. However, instead of placing them into the discard pile, she Stuffs them into her Puppets.

    Karl takes the Gold Bar, flips it over so the +1 bonus is showing, and places it under his ID Card.

    All other dice are discarded. After, both draw up to 2 cards (not to exceed 7 cards in their hand). The next Pixie is flipped over, and Karl and Ellen roll their starting dice to begin round 2!


    Player’s decks contain the same 10 Common Cards and 5 unique Player Cards. Though some cards may give multiple bonuses, you can choose not to use all of them.

    Common Cards

    Static bonuses – Add the number indicated to your score. It’s that simple!

    Dice bonuses – Roll the dice indicated and add that value to your score!

    Nope – Each player has 1 Nope that can cancel another player’s card. Nopes are not played on your turn, but played when another player plays a card you do not like. The card that you Nope is discarded, all effects are nullified, and ends that player’s turn. If your card was Noped, it does not count as a pass. Nopes cannot be Noped. You can wait to see the result of a card before Nope’ing it.

    Reroll 1 of your dice.

    Reroll any 1 die on the table.

    Dice can be rerolled more than once. If you play a card with multiple reroll symbols, you can choose the same die to reroll multiple times.

    Player Cards

    Play an Item Card out of your discard (Items are marked with the word ‘Item’).

    Play an Item Card out of ANY discard pile.

    Choose 2 dice in play. Swap ownership of them. This could be one of your dice with an opponent’s, or two different  opponents’ dice. 

    Reroll all of everyone else’s dice. Everyone else’s, not yours. Yes, really.

    Reroll a Purple Die.

    Discard any White or Red die. That player gains 2 Blue dice. 

    Gain an Angry Betty Token or flip a Happy Betty Token.

    Flip all Happy Betty Tokens. For the remainder of the round, Angry Betty Tokens can be flipped to reroll Any Die.

    Replace any White or Red die with a Blue die set to 4. 

    Stuff an Item Card from any discard pile.

    Activate all puppet abilities without discarding cards. Stuff this card.
    Subtract X from an opponent’s die. If the die’s value cannot be reduced, gain Cheese Tokens equal to the difference. Cheese Tokens are discarded at the end of the Round. Add X to any die.
    Subtract 1 from everyone else’s dice. For any die that is not reduced, gain a Cheese Token. Discard Cheese Tokens at the end of the Round. +1 to all your dice.

    Gold Cards

    Each character has a super move that can blow away the competition. These cards have a gold background and are the best the character has to offer. When you play a Gold Card, it cannot be Noped. Further, any cards resulting from it cannot be Noped and any dice resulting from it cannot be modified or swapped by other players. This is generally called ‘Gold Card Protection.’

    Pro Tip: Dice generated by Gold Cards can be placed on top of Gold Cards to identify them as untouchable by enemy actions.

    Remember, your actions can manipulate and affect the dice created by your Gold card.

    Treasure Cards

    Treasure Cards are only played in The Boss round and do not count towards your hand size limit of 7.

    Treasure Cards cannot be Noped.

    Minion Powerups

    Winning a Minion gives you the experience needed to take down The Boss! Take the card and slide it under your Identity card so that the bonus is showing on the right. You can use the bonus once per round. 

    Character Abilities

    Wanda’s ability is the Comedy of Errors. Whenever she rolls a 1 on a non-Purple die, she can roll an additional die of the same type.  This ability only applies to newly added dice and not dice rerolled for any reason or dice generated by Comedy of Errors.

    Jerry’s ability is Fixing the Odds. Whenever he plays a card that adds dice, or rolls his starting roll, he rolls an additional Red die. He then removes one die.  For example, Jerry plays a Skipping Stone which gives him a Blue die. He then rolls a Blue and a Red die and discards one of his choice.

    Tilda’s ability is extra motivation to Save the Rats. Whenever another player wins a Minion, she get’s so wound up that Tilda get’s a static +1 bonus for the rest of the game. These are symbolized by the Rat Bonus Cards. Once another player wins a Minion, slide a Rat Bonus Card under Tilda’s Identity Card so that the +1 is showing on the right side.

    However, Tilda is pacified by treasure. In a round where she receives a Treasure Card, she does not get the Save the Rats bonus.

    Betty’s ability is Rage. Every time she rolls a 1 on her dice, rerolls one of her dice into a 1, or another player rerolls one of her dice into a 1, she Rages and gains an Angry Betty Token or flips a Happy Betty Token. For each Angry Betty Token, Betty gains +1. Angry Betty Tokens are not discarded at the end of the round. As an action, Betty can flip an Angry Betty Token into a Happy Betty Token and reroll one of her dice. At the end of each round, all Happy Betty Token are flipped back over into Angry Betty Tokens.

    Karl’s starting roll includes his Lucky Coin. If his Karat Coin is not in play at the start of the round, place it into play.

    Karl’s ability is to Forge Gold Bars. He can take at least 10 points worth of any of his dice, tokens, cards, or power up abilities, and discard them. Karl then replaces them with a Gold Bar worth 10 points. at the end of the round, Gold Bars are flipped to show +1 and placed under Karl’s ID Card like a Pixie Powerup.

    Subtract 1 from everyone else’s dice. For any die that is not reduced, gain a Cheese Token. Discard Cheese Tokens at the end of the Round. +1 to all your dice.

    Ellen has four Puppets that she uses throughout the game. At the end of each round, instead of discarding cards, Ellen can place them face down on top of her Puppets. Only one card can be placed on a Puppet at a time. Any cards that are not placed on top of a Puppet are discarded as normal. As an action, Ellen can discard the card on a Puppet to gain its bonus.



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