Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Heroica - Draida

Good evening children of the Plague father, I hope in this time of excess you have grown fat and are cultivating his diseases as we speak. I apologise that I have not posted much of late but the poor weather has stopped me spraying my Necrons so I have been playing Star Wars: The Old Republic and I have to say it is amazing.

Today I offer you my experience with the first in Lego's Heroica games. As part of my Christmas box my wife gave me the four currently available on the sly. Without me playing them before hand or even reading any reviews this was a bit of a gamble ( but who doesn't love Lego and gaming ).

The port city of Draida under vicious Goblin occupation

Heroica - Draida is set in Draida Bay, a port town currently occupied by Goblins in an effort to keep the heroes from aiding the land. Out of the box it was almost exactly what I was expecting with standard Lego pieces and easy to follow instructions on how to set it up. The rule book was similarly easy to get to grips with as it only had 4 pages and a lot of that is illustrations and dice tables.

The Heroes of the day line up against the Goblin horde

When I finished building the board it was smaller than I expected as had assumed the Lego Heroes / Monsters would be the standard sized Lego models. They have been designed to be placed on one stud rather than the traditional two studs. This has been done by making them shorter, thinner and removing the arms. On the upside the board was small enough to put back in the box fully constructed.

It suggests 5-10 minutes per game though I am always wary of these timings as they are normally off by a country mile, however this was pretty much spot on. It took 10 minutes for the first game while I made sure I was using the rules right and 5 minutes for the follow up games. The rules are very simple which allows them to hold up well as there is very little to be manipulated. The goal of the heroes is to kill the area boss or reach a set marker on the board, any other monsters killed on the way is just to help you get there without getting ganged up on in the last section.

The Goblin General stands watch over his mystical Artefact

The monsters on the other hand have to defeat any two heroes or one hero twice though with them being considerably weaker than the heroes this isn't as unfair as it first sounds. After 5 or 6 games it was pretty even between the sides win/lose ratio. It came down to dice rolls a lot of the time as the monsters can kill themselves on a bad dice roll ( even the area boss ), while the heroes only take one point of damage out of the 4 starting wounds for a bad roll.

The game is designed for ages 7+ but with a little patience I'm sure you could teach younger children how to play. It is a wonderful introduction to wargaming with it being quick and simple to learn but is still fun. In the next games it has rules for buying new weapons to take with you through the other dungeons or playing it all as one ( it even suggests making up your own rules and the forums have some nice ideas on this )

Beware the die forged in the ninth circle of hell

My only criticism is the rubber bound die provided, I imagine this is to protect the plastic sections you add when building it but it causes two issues when rolling;

i) The rubber sticks and it doesn't roll it just stays on whatever it landed on immediately
ii) The rubber decides it let us all down with sticking last time and will atone for it by attempting to bounce itself through your roof like it is possessed by the spirit of Icarus.

In the end I would recommend this game for people who remember Lego fondly, people who want an easy way into table top gaming or want to try and bring the next generation into table top games without dropping a four hundred page tome of rules on the them to read by candle light in a gloomy dungeon until they understand the horror that has been unleashed on the land and how they as a halfling bard are the only one who can stop the Dragon Queen's tyrannical rule.

Until next time continue to freely give out his gifts to anyone who is willing to help usher in his latest dire creations.


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