Thursday, November 04, 2010

Heroscape: It's Been a Great Six Years

Here's what I wrote back in September of 2004, not long after Frank "Moo" Branham dropped me a line & told me to go see what Hasbro had put out to the mass market.
There's a lot more here than just pretty bits - but it's still easy to get lost in the "shock & awe" of the massive brick of terrain and the great figures. Under girding that, however, is two solid game systems (basic & master), fast gameplay, a perfect sense of playing to it's audience (throwing together LOTR, the Matrix, Viking hordes, dragons, the Terminator films), and the ability to create a wide variety of interesting scenarios.

This is what Duel of Ages or Epic Duels want to be when they grow up.
Heroscape was all that & more... and now it's dead.

Well, as Mark Twain once (purportedly) said, "The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated." Because, unless Hasbro/Wizards of the Coast has manufactured the terrain out of some kind of special plastic that they can detonate by remote control and/or they've hired the Taelord & the Minions of Utgar to swoop down on game rooms 'round the world and steal back the stacks of miniatures, we can still play this wonderful game. (BTW, this would be the most effective use of Taelord & the Minions. In other news, Taelord & the Minions would make a great rock band name.)

Don't get me wrong - I'm sad to see it go. I'll be getting one last box (D&D Heroscape Wave 3) in a couple of weeks & then the new stuff will stop rolling in. My oldest son & I had a wish for figures that needed to be created (pirates! cowboys & Indians on horseback! gelatinous cube! biker gangs! civil war squads! more scary bugs for Aquilla!) that will only see the light of day now as fan-created mods.

Still, it was an amazing run:
  • 4 Master box sets
  • 13 waves of small figures
  • 3 boxes of large figures
  • 4 boxes of special terrain

I even got to have a small part in it - I was one of the playtesters for "hot lava death" and the surrounding figure waves. (That was fun - although the NDA [non-disclosure agreement] Hasbro required myself & my game group to sign is literally the ONLY legal document I've ever signed for playtesting.)

Thanks to Craig, Rob, Stephen & a host of other folks for creating & shepherding this wonderful game along. You can read more about them and about the "death" of Heroscape in an excellent post by Truth on his site,

Anyone want to play? Braeden & I are trying to figure out how to build a swamp map with two Marro Hives!

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