Sunday, 8 July 2018

Varchilde's Relics: Heroquest

In this post we visit one of the deepest chambers of the Vault; the Reliquary where ancient treasures can be found! 

My house is in turmoil at the moment as work is being done on the kitchen and so my hobby related activities have been restricted to reading books and surfing the web. Top of the reading list has been a couple of Frostgrave supplements; Maze of Malcor and The Frostgrave Folio.

Maze of Malcor is particularly intriguing as it allows an option for a 3rd party player to be involved and run a number of intelligent opponents to confound all the wizard players. In my mind this starts to blur Frostgrave's game boundaries even further, part skirmish war game, and part RPG-like. My roots as as a gamer are firmly in role playing games (I started on Red Box basic D&D), then board games, and then war games; and I have very fond memories of playing Heroquest (which blurs the lines between RPG and board game) and uses some wonderful minis.

I thought it would be fun to crack open my old Heroquest set and take a trip down memory lane dungeon!

Heroquest pits 4 heroes against a variety of foes in a Games Master controlled dungeon. (Please excuse the unpainted models; these minis harken from an ancient time before I had learnt the ways of the paintbrush!)

Wizard, Elf, Barbarian, Dwarf
The Games Master sets up the board including monsters and terrain in accordance with the description in the scenario booklet. I've set the board up below as per a full scenario but during the game each chamber and tunnel would be revealed as the players explore further into the depths.

As the party break into each room they can encounter a variety of foes who once defeated may yield valuable treasures!  Each character who survives the scenario can then trade gold for new equipment and may of course use treasures and magic he has found in the course of his adventures in later trials.

As can be seen in the pictures above, the board is dressed with a number of colourful and characterful scenery pieces. I particularly like the Sarcophagus:

And don't forget skull dice, because every game needs special dice right?

Heroquest was produced by Milton Bradley (MB Games), but the miniatures were produced by Citadel/Games Workshop. A number of the Warhammer Fantasy aesthetics can be seen in the various foes (and who else was producing Fimir?)

Chaos Warrior





These models are showing their age, but I really dig the Old Hammer vibe they have about them. I'm tempted to paint a few of them up! (Oh no, another project!)

Heroquest was so popular that it spawned a number of expansions (and there are a number of fan made expansions available on the web as well).

Wizards of Morcar introduces 4 hostile mages to oppose the Heroquest players whilst Maze of Malcor introduces spell casting foes in Frostgrave; I wonder if the former inspired the latter?

For me the seeds of the more modern dungeon crawler and fantasy skirmish games are all here in Heroquest: 
  • Heroes seeking fortune against various evil foes
  • A system to let players "grow" their forces between games
  • A wide variety of scenarios
  • Evocative miniatures
  • Wonderful terrain and trappings to elevate the game above a simple board
I've really enjoyed this re-exploration of an old favourite; I hope you've enjoyed the nostalgia (if you are a Heroquest veteran), or perhaps this might inspire you to try the game if you haven't played it before. I'll be sure to take my copy to the club before long!


  1. Great to see Heroquest I have such fond memories of playing it.
    I didn't know about the ogre expansion or the Wizards of Morcar!

    Did you have Space crusade as well?

  2. I have still got Space Crusade knocking about although the components have been used in various other gaming projects (including the infamous Aliens vs Settler extravaganza "Cosmic Blowout")!