Tuesday, August 4, 2009


**Sure it's cool. If it wasn't cool, it wouldn't sell right? But coolness shouldn't be the sole thing that convinces me to buy something; I know better. Right? I hoped so, but it seems I may be suffering a tiny, tiny addiction to HeroScape. I have to admit being fascinated by the concept of the modular game board since I first played Survive! way back in the day (what am I saying?? I still play Survive!). Gammarauders did a variation on the modular board theme as well. Yet neither of them, nor any of the others that may have experimented with this concept, have done it quite in this manner. HeroScape is such pure eye candy that I can hardly stand it. Being one who never had the patience to learn how to paint miniatures for any other game, I am amazed by the level of detail in the figurines for this game. I probably shouldn't use the word 'miniature' since the dragon that come with the base game has got to be about 4-5" tall at the wing tips. The plates that you use to create the game board come in sizes from a single hex to 24 hexes, with each hex being maybe 1.5" across. These plates are made of a hard molded plastic and are shaped in such a way that they stack and interlock quite securely, enabling you to make 3D terrains that are only limited by how many plates you own (one way they get you to spend more money). Just setting up the terrain for one of the basic game scenarios has occupied just over half of my 6' dining room table. But, boy, does it look purty! So one of the hooks is getting you to want to buy more terrain plates to make bigger, badder, and more expansive game maps. The other is the nice quality figurines, which I have already mentioned. The base game I bought comes with 30 of these figurines, which represent everything from dragons to samurai to airborne rangers. Now, the rules to the game are simple. The basic rules, if printed without pictures and examples, would take up a front and back of one sheet of paper in my guess. A very, very simple rule set. The difference comes in when you step up to the Master Rules. Then thing get a bit more complicated. But not much, in my opinion. I've seen rule sets that were far more convoluted than these. Anyway, when you change over to the Master rules, the hook factor of the figurines comes into play. At the basic level, the figurines are far more equal. Each has a set of stats that tell you how far they can move in a turn, at what range the can attack, how many dice they roll to attack, and how many dice they roll to defend. At the Master level, each separate unit has a special power of some sort, and some have more than one. It's this addition of these special powers that make the game more flavorful and complex. The rather simple rule structure is necessary to allow for the addition of all these extras. The hook is that you can buy more units with new and different powers to add into the game as you see fit. That makes it customizable. Which is game-speak for "potentially expensive". Still, there's something about this particular game that has captured my interest, if only for the moment. I'm hoping that if Cromag ever comes up again, I can substitute this, at the basic level, for our usual Dungeon! sessions. And if I get back in touch with Trotz, we could play it at the Master level. I have yet to check and see how compatible it would be to use the terrains for Battletech layouts, but I think the scaling may be off by a bit. So, there you go. Yet another interest I have developed that has the potential to become a huge money sink. *SIGH* But hey, who's up for a game?!

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