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HeroScape - Great Armies for Beginners

Some tips on assembling a great army for your HeroScape battles

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HeroScape Figure - Grimnak

Grimnak, a figure from the HeroScape Master Set

Photo © 2006 Erik Arneson
One of the best parts of playing HeroScape is building an army and discovering how the different characters can work together. The HeroScape Master Set, Rise of the Valkyrie, includes 10 heroes and six squads with a variety of powers. Many expansions have been released, bringing the total number of heroes and squads available to more than 85.

For a beginner, the army options can seem overwhelming. With a little knowledge, you can feel confident that your army will be competitive.

Note: This article focuses only on the Master Set, but the figures available in expansion packs can greatly increase your army strength. Some Master Set figures, e.g. Grimnak, are significantly more powerful with expansion figures. As you gain experience with HeroScape, you'll probably want to add new heroes and squads.

Heroes from HeroScape Master Set: Rise of the Valkyrie

Agent Carr (100 points)
Deathwalker 9000 (140)
Finn the Viking Champion (80)
Grimnak (120)
Mimring (150)
Ne-Gok-Sa (90)
Raelin the Kyrie Warrior (80)
Sgt Drake Alexander (110)
Syvarris (100)
Thorgrim the Viking Champion (80)

Squads from HeroScape Master Set: Rise of the Valkyrie

Airborne Elite (110)
Izumi Samurai (60)
Krav Maga Agents (100)
Marro Warriors (50)
Tarn Viking Warriors (50)
Zettian Guards (70)

Building an Army

So that armies are generally balanced, every hero and squad in HeroScape has a cost, represented by points. The Master Set rulebook includes scenarios for 160-point, 200-point, 300-point, 400-point, and 500-point armies.

There are two kinds of HeroScape armies: pre-built and drafted. Using pre-built armies means that each player selects their army without regard to what his opponents are doing with their armies. With drafted armies, each player chooses a unit in turn and you can react to what other players draft.

How strong an army is depends on the map and scenario. One of the beauties of HeroScape is that there is no single best army. When putting an army together, there are three keys to keep in mind:

  • Direct synergy. Example: Deathwalker 9000 explicitly helps the Zettian Guards with range enhancement. Explicit synergies are more common as you add figures from expansions.

  • Indirect synergy. Example: Raelin's defensive aura helps every unit on your team, but it helps some more than others: the Izumi Samurai and the Krav Maga Agents both have special abilities which rely on good defense.

  • Your opponents' special powers. In a draft, you have to pay attention to who your opponent has taken. For example, if your opponent chooses Sgt. Alexander, normal ranged figures are less useful because Drake's Thorian speed is strong against them. Instead, consider Mimring or Deathwalker 9000; their ranged special attacks work against Sgt. Alexander.

By remembering these basics and the fact that a great deal of fun comes from exploring the HeroScape universe to learn how figures work in various situations, here are some suggestions designed to help beginning players get started.

160-Point Armies

Syvarris and Izumi: The Izumis have staying power to protect Syvarris, who can use his strong ranged attack to pick off your opponents.

Raelin and Izumi: Raelin's defensive aura is helpful to every figure, but giving an additional two defense to the Izumi with their counter strike power is extra deadly.

Tarn Vikings and Airborne Elite: The Tarns should be able to stay alive long enough to allow the Airborne Elite to enter the game. If it works, you could have eight figures on the board.

Tarn Vikings and Krav Maga: The Krav Maga are hard to kill and have good range; the Tarns are a solid hand-to-hand force.

Krav Maga and Izumi: Great defense makes for great offense with this army.

200-Point Armies

Krav Maga, Marro Warriors and Tarn Vikings: Range, speed and multiple attacks.

Agent Carr and Krav Maga: Brute strength paired with range and defense.

Grimnak and Raelin: Grimnak can chomp most of the Master Set; Raelin's defensive aura helps keep him alive.

Raelin and Krav Maga: With Raelin's defensive aura helping the Krav Maga, they have a good chance to pick off the emeny.

Deathwalker 9000 and Izumi: A hard team to attack because Deathwalker rolls nine defense dice and the Izumi roll five.

300-Point Armies

Raelin, Krav Maga and Sgt. Alexander.

Ne-Gok-Sa, Marro Warriors, Finn and Thorgrim.

Mimring, Raelin and Zettian Guards.

Sgt. Alexander, Airborne Elite and Finn.

400-Point Armies

Agent Carr, Marro Warriors, Izumi Samurai, Ne-Gok-Sa and Syvarris.

Thogrim, Krav Maga Agents, Grimnak and Agent Carr.

Deathwalker 9000, Zettian Guards, Syvvaris and Ne-Gok-Sa.

Deathwalker 9000, Zettian Guards and Raelin.

500-Point Armies

Raelin, Izumi Samurai, Tarn Vikings, Deathwalker 9000, Zettian Guards and Krav Maga Agents.

Syvvaris, Sgt. Alexander, Airborne Elite, Grimnak and Marro Warriors.

Thanks to the Heroscapers.com community members who helped with this article: CornPuff, Elginb, happyjosiah, reapersaurus, Rychean and yagyuninja.

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