Saturday, December 14, 2013

HeroQuest! (The Original)

I broke out my old copy of HeroQuest at Treefort Games last night. I'd been thinking a lot about the game since its failed 25th Anniversary Kickstarter. I hadn't played in 4 or 5 years. And before that... who knows? My copy is old, but in descent shape. The only problem was that some of the pieces were not in the box--they'd been stored elsewhere for D&D use.

The barbarian and Chaos Warlock, for example, are painted up and located in a carrying case, instead of floating around in a box with the rest of the miniatures. Here they are on the left. The Barbarian was among the first miniatures I ever painted, 15+ years ago. 
I painted the Chaos Warlock about a year ago. I'd like to think my painting has improved.

I felt a little annoyed that I'd forgotten them along with some key things like the stairway and trap and secret door tiles in a little Tupperware container. D'oh. 

But we improvised and the game was fun anyway. Three players participated. They got through the first three quests in the Quest Book with only the dwarf dying. And, just like in OD&D, you just erased and replaced the name on top of the character sheet. Heroes only loose their equipment upon death if nobody else is the room. 

Here's a picture from the first Quest, "The Trial."  The heroes are coming out of the blue chamber (where the stair case is supposed to be). We replaced the Barbarian with Regdar from the old D&D 3e/3.5e miniatures line.  They are fighting their first orcs.  They prevailed and searched the room, found some minor treasures before the Dwarf sprung a wondering monster--the Dwarf always seemed to draw the wondering monster from the treasure deck. 

In my opinion, "The Trial" truly is one of the hardest adventures in the Quest Book. It seems like every time I've run it (or ran through it) the character get the snot beat out of them. While they are more powerful that many of the monsters, the attrition of wounds can get them. If an orc gets a lucky swing with three skulls and the hero doesn't roll any shields, that's 3 hits right there. Enough to reduce the wizard from 4 to 1 hit point. Or the barbarian from 8 to 5. Another couple hits like that and they're done. 

There's a room where two Chaos Warriors await. Heavily armed and armored, they are the second most powerful enemies in the game, after the Gargoyle. They really put a hurt on the heroes. 

But the group made it to the center of the board where the Verag, the "foul gargoyle" of the catacombs of Fellmarg's tomb awaited. Oddly enough the Gargoyle fell without too much of a fight. The Wizard or Elf wounded it with a summoned Genie, the Barbarian finished it off. (I used a "Death Knight" from the old DragonStrike board game to represent a Chaos Warrior. )
Then a funny thing happened: the orc in the lower left hand corner just wouldn't die--even after the Chaos Warrior fell and Verag was killed. The Wizard blasted it with a Ball of Flame--it made its "saving throws" and took no damage. Somebody tried Sleep--it again made it saving throws. The Elf attacked it and missed. Nobody else could get to it because it was in the corner. The wizard threw his 2 daggers he had found elsewhere in the dungeon--both missed. 

Finally, after about 3 turns, the elf finished the orc off. But the party was so beat up that they left the dungeon--they didn't want to explore the rest. The rulebook doesn't say the can't return--but they did complete their objective. Quest 2 and Quest 3 ("The Rescue of Sir Ragnar" and "The Lair of the Orc Warlord") went much more smoothly. With the gold they had accumulated they had started buying items from the Armory. 

Everybody had a good time. HeroQuest is such a "meat and potatoes" hack-in-slash fantasy board game. I know nostalgia is one of the reasons I like it so much. But at the same time, its an easy game to learn. You pretty much just sit down and play it.

I don't know if this is the start of a new HeroQuest "campaign," but it was just fun to play it again.  

1 comment:

  1. Great game, I've been thinking about playing it latetly as well.


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