Tuesday, 22 June 2010

HeroQuest - Back to Basics

Last weekend Arabiansquire and I went back to basic gaming and dug out our copy of the classic MG Games/GW boardgame HeroQuest. Now alot is made about "Songs Of Blades and Heroes" being a gateway game for kids & dads to play, and it is. But for us it was our first simplified game of HeroQuest that caught the wee lad's imagination. Going through doors, reviewing monsters, dungeon scenery. He still lists this as his favourite game and has played it so often himself I found he knows the monster stats off by heart even though the box hasn't been off the shelf in any capacity several months - "Goblins move 10 spaces, Daddy!" as I looked for the stat.

Well so far we've come through a variety of house rules and simplifications. From just using a single (non-magic) adventurer, biasing combat towards the player, or adding in extra places to pick up healing potions. But having played quite a few games of Songs of... and other wargames I thought it was time to start from the beginning again with a full party and magic rules on a campaign. We skipped the first introductory quest "The Maze", which is very space and dull in the UK edition (although I believe the US version was a bit more action packed for some reason with a quest called ") and went onto Q2 "The Rescue Of Sir Ragnar". nothing too challenging really here.

Arabian Squire was so confident that he almost immediately split the party into two groups to search for the knight - Barbarian & Dwarf and Elf & Mage. This almost proved fatal for the poor Elf who fell foul to a 3 skull attack roll from an Orc, but thankfully the Mage still had his cure wound spell to save the day. If nothing else it proved that although the monsters die quite easily in this game they do have the capabilities to hurt you on their attack. Hopefully next quest we'll see a bit more magic as well as the wee lad starts to get used to it. it'll also be interesting to see what he spends his Gold Coins on between quests. I'll have to get on and get some colour on some more characters.


  1. Man, that was an awesome game. I loved how the same board fit into so many different scenarios just by not using some pieces of it (the one where there were no corridors and you teleported between rooms was a bit frustrating, but an inevitable and rather nice idea).

    Glad you guys are enjoying it. :D

  2. A couple years ago my parents were moving and found my old box of HQ. It still had all the pieces and a few maps I created when I was like 12. I played a couple games with my daughter. She was put off by all the movement through the halls with nothing happening. I'll have to revisit the game and work out some house rule for skipping straight to the doors.

  3. Andrew, the corridors can be a bit of a pain, can't they. There's usually at least one character who keeps only moving 1 square and is miles behind.

    Maybe just give the characters a set number of movement squares instead of rolling a die? Or make the corridors a bit more exciting by occassionally puting the odd goblin round a corner where it's not expected. I've actually had goblins move down corridors to join a fight from out of sight, instead of just guarding their door. This'll hopefully make the corridors a bit more like log thin rooms instead of long periods of dullness?

  4. ahh, Hero Quest, that Gateway into the hobby for many of my age group....

    I agree the opening quest in the 1989 first edition was far too easy, so much so that they changed it for "The Trial" in all later releases of the game from 1990 onwards....

    Of course the USA had different rules for their version, all the monsters IIRC had more then one Body Point......