Saturday, April 24, 2010

Heroscape Variant

A short while ago I needed a game that could accommodate a largish number of players (5-8) based on the number of people that showed up for a Friday night gaming session at my house. I also needed a quick to teach game where all the players could potential be involved at any moment. I turned to Heroscape for answers.

A year or two ago I started on my project to "pimp out" my heroscape tiles. I own three of the original master sets and the stone bridge set. I decided I would focus on the three master sets and reviewed a number of customizations on the infinitely helpful and interesting Heroscapers. Little did I know how much effort it would take to finish the sets. Keep reading below to find out for yourself.

Materials Used:
Green Craft Paint
Grey Craft Paint
Gold Craft Paint (not metalic gold)
Black Ink
Green Flock
Yellow Flock
Small Grey Rock "Flock"
Elmers White Glue

I used the black ink around the edges of all the pieces. After that, I used the appropriate paint color to cover the entire top of each piece in that color as well as adding spashes of colors to the black inked sides. Finally I used elemers glue on each hex and added the flocking. The process is much more time consuming that it is difficult. I probably should have started with just one set, but I decided to each type of piece as a group from all three sets. Once started, I pretty much had to keep going.

I decided to modify the Heroscape rules to add some interesting situations and decisions. I used 18-20 of the duplicate runes as markers scattered throughout the board. When a player had a figure end its turn on the rune, that player rolled a d20. To start, numbers 1-5 had enemies, 6-15 had runes/benefits and 16-20 had reinforcements. The toughest enemy was placed at 1 and the best reinforcement was placed at 20. As each of the numbers was rolled, numbers under 11 were replaced with enemies and numbers over 10 were replaced with other runes/artifacts. After I ran out of the good replacements, all numbers were replaced with enemies.
To start, each player received an army of approximately 220 points and a super hero. Players rolled off to pick armies from highest to lowest and heroes were picked in the reverse order. The remaining heroes started in the cneter of the board (spiderman, hulk, abomination, silver surfer and Thanos). I ran theses heroes and any other enemies rolled.

Each turn the players rolled initiative and play proceeded clockwise from the highest initiative. After the players completed all of their actions, I took one turn with each character or unit I controlled. Overall this game was fairly fun and even. Players scored points for enemy units destroyed (including each others) as well as 25 points for each rune collected. Points for runes provided added incentive in that late game to claim a rune even when only a few beneficial items remained.
The eventual winner was the orc/Venom team, aided by the chomping/one shot of the Silver Surfer earlyin the game and destroying Thanos after he returned from the dead on a lucky 19 roll after he was previously eliminated by another player. I was afraid the players would be overrun by the enemies because of the large point differential, but having the enemies only take one action at the end of the round evened out the point difference. Additionally, the players ganged up early on to take out some of the heroes before the hurt became too much for them.

We had five players plus the enemies I ran for a total of 6 people playing. It was fairly quick and fun. With the addition of the new D&D sets for herocape, I have even more excuses to pick up heroscape packs now and in the future.

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