Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Let's start it like this. Board games fucking rock.

I've been jaded without knowing it towards the board games for a while now. After a while, everything starts feeling pretty similar what with the moving pieces around a board, dice rolls, landing on stuff, and well...you know the drill. That's not to say that it's a bad formula, but it just starts to feel pretty soulless after a while.

Anyway, I have some friends who are into gaming in pretty much every form, though video games take a back seat to them. This is interesting since I'm into gaming in pretty much every form, with video games taking the front seat, jamming down the gas pedal and rocketing me up into the atmosphere, only to slam on the brakes, projecting me through the windshield.
(Andrew and Amber, you complete me.)

So, they have quite an extensive collection of board games which they have been kind enough to share with my wife and me. On Sunday, we got to experience the awesome that is Heroscape. Basically the way it works is you pick some army units, all of which have differing stats like attack power, move speed and defensive skill. They also have unique abilities, like the ability to parachute onto the board late in the game, put up a smoke screen so they cannot be attacked, and grenade chucking. Brilliant. And did I mention that the units are well crafted plastic figures with a pretty incredible amount of detail and character?

You then take these units and place them on a board which you create. The landscape consists of hexagonal spaces which you can snap together, stack on top of each other or connect with bridges. If you have some creativity, or are good at building houses in The Sims, you'll be able to have a different game experience every time. Game types consist of Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Capture the Flag, and King of the Hill. Yes these are terms from multiplayer video games, but it's eerie how well they fit here.

This all combines to create a fantastic gaming experience, the likes of which I have not had in years. Shockingly, the game is published by Milton Bradley which is a mainstream publishing house, responsible for games like Life, Battleship and Hungry Hungry Hippos. In all fairness, maybe I shouldn't be too hard on good ol' Milton. If Wikipedia is to be believed, these guys are responsible for some pretty unique games. It's just been so long since I've played one of those unique games.

Buy it.

I've got more board games that I need to talk about as well, but not right now. I'm done here.


Dr-Rotwang said...

Don't forget that some of the figs are smokin' HAWT.

wulfgar said...

Howdy. Good luck on the new blog. I've come here on the recommendation of the good Dr. posting above me.

My thoughts on hereoscape are mixed. In terms of how much STUFF you get in that box, it is absolutely amazing. The terrain is great, the minis are great. You get a bunch of everything. It is all durable, and it all looks great. The rules are easy to learn and work well.

There are 2 major downsides to the game for me.

1. It takes a long time to set up and to put away. At first, the setup part is part of the fun, but after awhile it gets a little bit old.

2. The game is a money pit. It sucks you in and won't let your wallet go. Everytime I go to walmart, there are those booster packs whispering "yoohooo...we're only $10. That's not very expensive. Come play with us" Yes, $10 isn't very expensive, but those boosters can add up fast. Add in some of the bigger expansions and all of sudden you have what is essentially a bunch of army men and building blocks that cost you over a $100. I really like games. I really like expansions. I HATE feeling that my game is incomplete. All those things rolled together mean that this game was like crack. I mean it comes "incomplete". The guy riding the Tyranosaurus can't use his one power without any orcs around. What's that? There aren't any orcs in the base game? Oh ok, I'll buy that booster. Then you buy another booster that requires, a third booster to be complete, and so on...

I had to quit cold turkey. There are just a bunch of other games that I'd rather spend the money on. I kept all the Heroscape stuff I have, but have vowed not to buy any more. Everytime I go to walmart, I hear those sirens calling to me though....

Meraud said...

I would completely agree with you wulfgar. In fact, your first problem with the game echoes the sentiments of my wife. Takes too long to set up and it also takes quite a while to actually play the game if you want some substance. I mean you could play a 10 minute game with 2 armies, but that would hella suck.

I can see the money pit point as well, though I don't think I would have so much of a problem with that. I would probably only be drawn to additional units, not structural add ons, so that eliminates some of the pull though it would still be pretty strong.

After all is said and done, it may just end up being a Christmas present request for myself. Erin (wife) doesn't feel like we'd play it enough to justify spending our own money on it and there are too many video games coming out in the next few months that I want to pick up, thus blowing my own spending budget.

And thanks for checking me out.

Stan said...

"1. It takes a long time to set up and to put away."

I think part of the trick is to not worry about the details. Don't try to exactly replicate the map for a scenario, just start slapping down pieces to get something similar that has some interesting aspects to it