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HeroScape

About.com Rating 5 Star Rating

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HeroScape Dragon and Terrain

HeroScape comes with 30 prepainted plastic miniatures, including this large dragon.

Erik Arneson

The Bottom Line

HeroScape's subtitle is "The Battle of All Time" and it certainly is. Everything about this game is well done: the figures, the terrain, the rules, the scenarios.

If you're at all interested in the theme (battles involving warriors from different time periods), I strongly recommend that you try HeroScape.

Pros

  • Clever, simple, flexible combat system.
  • Wonderful components, especially plastic terrain and warrior figures.
  • Ability to play a wide variety of scenarios and build new boards.

Cons

  • Very limited appeal to those who don't enjoy fantasy battle theme.

Description

  • For 2 or more players (best with 2 to 4), ages 8 and up.
  • Time to play varies by scenario.
  • Designed by Stephen Baker, Rob Daviau and Craig Van Ness.
  • Published by Milton Bradley / Hasbro.
  • Includes 30 painted figures and 16 army cards.
  • Includes grass, rock, sand and water terrain tiles, plus two ruins.
  • Includes basic and advanced rules.
  • Numerous expansions are available, including new figures and new terrain.

Guide Review - HeroScape

With HeroScape, the fun starts by setting up your battlefield. The interlocking terrain pieces can be assembled in a practically infinite number of combinations. Players then draft armies -- choosing from dinosaurs, robots, airborne troops, samurai, and more. Each army has unique statistics, including life points, movement, attack strength, and defense.

The game comes with five pre-planned battlefield layouts and 10 scenarios; more are promised for HeroScape.com, and players can easily create their own. Goals for scenarios range from "destroy all of your opponent's figures" to "make it through Durgeth Swamps to the Valkyrie's transfer post."

To accomplish a goal, players determine in which order to move their armies, then move and attack. Movement is simple on flat terrain, but moving up or down can cost energy. Attacks are carried out when the enemy is within range and a clear line of sight exists. Dice are used to resolve an attack. Special powers also factor into the game.

HeroScape is as elegant as I can imagine a battle game being. Its simplicity ensures that it will be played for countless hours by young boys -- and the young at heart. Deservedly so. But it's also flexible enough that more serious gamers can add rules if they want to.

I own multiple copies of the base game for HeroScape, and at least one of every expansion, so that the combat in my house can take place on a grander scale. In my mind, HeroScape rates as the ultimate battle game.

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