How to play Umbrella Academy: The Board Game – Hazard Cards

15th Jun 2022

Rob Burman


Hey folks, it’s time for another instalment of our ‘how to play Umbrella Academy: The Board Game blogs’, also known as HTPUATBGB (pronounced hutpuatbuguhbuh). Anyway, while we work on a much snappier title, why don’t you read about how Hazards and Villains work? Don’t forget, we’ve already given you a brief overview about how the game plays and explained what Skill cards do. So, make sure you check out those blogs too.

Hazards are a challenge Heroes will have to overcome by placing enough of the right type of Battle Tokens on them to match or beat the requirement displayed on the Hazard card. When a Hazard has enough Battle Tokens on it to meet the requirement, it can be immediately Destroyed.

In the game you’ll find 20 standard Hazards, ranging from Meteors to Missile Strikes… you know, just the sort of normal day-to-day, potentially world-ending events that heroes typically deal with. Hazard cards are randomly placed on the different locations on the board, so you’ll never be facing the same mix of Hazards in a game.

Each Hazard card has the symbol of the Battle Tokens that must be played by the heroes on that card before it can be destroyed. Thankfully, if you read our previous blog on Skill Cards, you’ll know that Skill Cards are used to place these all-important Battle Tokens.

You’ll also see that, just like Skill Cards, Hazard Cards have different effects that will change the way the game plays. For example, if you don’t destroy a Meteor hazard, then it will potentially force a hero to discard a Skill card or (even worse) Devastate a location. If too many locations are Devastated, then it’s game over, man!

You’ve got to stay on your toes, however, because Hazards are potentially regenerated each turn as part of the Crisis Phase. Starting with the Moon, cards are drawn from the Main Deck and placed faced up on each location without a Hazard. Sometimes you’ll get lucky and draw an Advantage cards, which we’ll cover in a future blog but you’ve also got to watch out for new Hazards that will have to be dealt with.

VILLAIN HAZARDS

These Villain Hazards will often affect the way the Villains behave in the game. For example, many of Hazel and Cha Cha’s cards see them moving around the board and working as a team to take out the heroes or Locations.

As well as the standard Hazard cards, you’ll also use 10 Villain Hazards depending upon the Villain you have decided to face. This means that Hazel and Cha Cha have a totally different set of Hazard cards to add to the mix, compared to the White Violin.

As well as the Villain Hazards, each Villain has their Super Villain card, which details the overall mission, while the Villain Card shows the behaviour for the Villain and what Battle Tokens are required to defeat them.

Thanks to this mix of standard Hazards and unique Villain Hazards, you’ve got an ever-changing game that never places quite the same. Plus, throw in the Advantage Cards, and you’ve got a recipe for replayability.

UMBRELLA ACADEMY: THE BOARD GAME IS LIVE ON GAMEFOUND. YOU CAN BACK THE PROJECT HERE.