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  #1  
Old December 11th, 2013, 06:54 PM
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How DnD screwed up Heroscape

Okay, I went searching through all my old posts the other night and I swear I posted this before, but I couldn't find it (But I did find the most hilarious fanfic that I had totally forgotten that I had ever written) so I thought I'd make a new post on ways that DnD screwed up Heroscape.

Now, you may (or may not) remember that I was an outspoken detractor of the direction Heroscape was going way back when Wizards took over. And honestly, I'm glad Heroscape ended when it did, because it was really starting to go to a very bad place from whence it could no longer return. This is not to dis the designers, because they just had to work with what they were given. And yes, I have gone on to collect all (most) of the DnD figs since the death of Heroscape was announced. At the time, though, I refused to purchase any of those products because I didn't want to give Wizards the message that we liked what they were doing (because I didn't). I know, long preface. Let's get to the meat:

1. Uncommon Heroes. Heroscape was a very simple well-designed system before the DnD master set was released. You had Unique figures/squads and Common figures/squads. Uniques acted like Uniques and Commons acted like Commons. Simple. Because of the nature of DnD, the Uncommon hero was born. I imagine the conversation went something like this:

HS Designer: "Oh, let's just give this Hydra a name and make it a Unique Hero."

Wizards Exec: "You can't do that."

HS Designer: "Why?"

Wizards Exec: "Because in DnD there are looots of Hydras, not just one."

HS Designer: "Oh, okay, let's just make him a Common Hero, then."

Wizards Exec: "You can't do that."

HS Designer: "Why?"

Wizard Exec: "Because Hydras are super-tough! It can't just have one life!"

HS Designer: "I see...."

So we got the Uncommon Hero, which was a compromise. Compromises are mostly always horrible. In the case of the Uncommon Hero, we now have a figure that has to be marked in some way (to distinguish between multiples). This is a small change, sure, as are most of the others that I'll be mentioning. But taken as a whole, they start to change HS into a whole new game, and not a good one. Also, how many times do you take multiple Uncommon Heroes in an army? They're expensive which makes it prohibitive as well as being redundant (you rarely need the same exact set of abilities).

2. Also, with BftU came Shadow tiles. The thing that bugs me about these is that they're treated the same way as water, molten lava and swamp water. But all of those things are actual substances. Shadow isn't a substance. So the question becomes: "Why can't my hero use his terrain-specific ability on a shadow space?" I mean, say the actual tile under the shadow is a dungeon tile. Shouldn't my Drow figure get to use its dungeon-tile ability on that tile? Messy. I know, thematics vs. technicalities, and yes, a small thing, but again, taken as a whole, these make one big, messy game out of what was once a simple, streamlined product.

3. Small bases. When the waves started being released we got some other weird changes. I forget which order these came in so I'll just address them as I see fit. First, the change to smaller bases. Not sure why this was introduced other than that (non-HS) DnD figures came with a smaller base, so perhaps this made it so they didn't need to re-base the figs. The problem here is that now you have some figs with regular HS-sized bases and some with the smaller DnD bases. This makes the smaller based figs slightly easier to conceal (I know, probably only going to affect only a handful of games, but still). Plus, did they take that into consideration when pricing the new, smaller-based figs? I don't know.

4. Large/Huge figs on one big round base. I'll admit there was a slight precedent for this with DW9K and DW8K, both of which are mounted on single bases rather than double/peanut bases. It seems that Hasbro learned from those early two figs and decided to use the familiar double/peanut bases from there on out. DnD brought the single large bases back with a vengeance. Lots of tournament maps (wrongly or rightly so) tend to limit spaces where double based figs could get height advantages. This is particularly true with Dragons. With all the large/huge, single-spaced figs being released, that is no longer an option. Again, were these figures priced accordingly for having an advantage over most other large/huge peanut-based figs? Especially egregious is the Dragon Moltenclaw, a flying, ranged figure comparable to Mimring, without the double-base restriction.

Again, some of these seem small on their own but taken as a whole changed the game I loved just enough to muddy it up. I know, "big deal, B.I.V." Thanks for listening to my ramblings, though...

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  #2  
Old December 11th, 2013, 09:17 PM
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Re: How DnD screwed up Heroscape

I actually liked the D&D sets quite a bit BIV, but I must admit that you make some good points that I hadn't considered.

Last edited by Garada; December 12th, 2013 at 04:33 AM.
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Old December 11th, 2013, 10:16 PM
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Re: How DnD screwed up Heroscape

I myself use the D&D figures all the time! I love them and some of them are my favorite characters of all time!(Sharwin Wildborn) But I do agree with the bases problems they have become very problematic for me with some of my figures, especially when one of them was bent in the package and he will not stand up because of the tiny base, but I do think that they made a huge and necessary impact towards the game and its playing strategies. Without it I think I would love the game much less than I do now, and so would my friends. I also love the new terrain once again bringing more complexities and strategies to the table that just make the game better. Overall, I would agree that some of the figures qualities are unpleasant but I think they are a necessary part of the games development and character that we all know and love.

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Old December 11th, 2013, 10:17 PM
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Re: How DnD screwed up Heroscape

I believe the decision to use smaller bases was to accommodate the other miniatures crowds. Notice how Heroscape can use almost any size base; DnD, Star Wars, etc. all require small round bases. With Heroscape having smaller bases, the DnD crowd might want to buy Heroscape for the miniatures, this helping keep the Heroscape brand afloat.

That said, I dislike the small bases, but love the DnD waves overall. They had some of the most creative powers.
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Old December 11th, 2013, 10:36 PM
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Re: How DnD screwed up Heroscape



WotC ruined 'scape. DnD 'scape is practically its own separate game, like Marvelscape.
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  #6  
Old December 11th, 2013, 11:25 PM
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Re: How DnD screwed up Heroscape

Well, the cost of plastic ruined Heroscape. It just wasn't profitable any more for a game to put that much plastic-y goodness in a box and sell it at board game prices.

I like the bases and some of my favorite units in the game were produced in D&D 'Scape.

Uncommon Heroes are an unbelievable PITA, though, speaking as a guy in the customs community. They are damn thorny. I would have like a unique hydra, for sure. I would have preferred it if he was bigger, too...

Besides the uncommon hero thing, though, I'm good with shadow, the vertical-edge bases, and large/huge on single hex bases.

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  #7  
Old December 12th, 2013, 12:00 AM
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Re: How DnD screwed up Heroscape

DnD made Heroscape better. More focus went into heroes and less into squads.

Treasure Glyphs for one are awesome.

Common squads ruined Heroscape.

People love their Commonsquadscape though.

To each his own.

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Old December 12th, 2013, 12:10 AM
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Re: How DnD screwed up Heroscape

On the contrary, common squads make 'scape so much more fun for me! I just love having a swarm of marro march across the swamp or having an entire army of vipers for my Warlord to command. Give me that over an assortment of lone heroes any day.

But yes, to each his own.
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Old December 12th, 2013, 12:15 AM
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Re: How DnD screwed up Heroscape

Too many games vs rats and 4th sucked the fun out for me.

I am so much happier playing C3G, where Heroes rule, but if you enjoy squads, go for it. Nothing is more important than fun.

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Old December 12th, 2013, 12:56 AM
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Re: How DnD screwed up Heroscape

Nothing "screwed up" Heroscape, because you can play it any way you like in the privacy of your own home with your own pals. As for what screwed up Official Tournament rules for Scape, there are many variant types of tournaments I'd imagine, although I rarely attend any. Finally, as for what screwed up GenCon Heroscape play, I don't go there either.

So I have no problem whatsoever, although I do enjoy both CustomScape and SuperScape as well. In my own group, The New York City Gang of Four, we rotate GMing, and let the individual GM set his own restrictions for his own game (within reasonable limits of what the rest of us will deal with). As for DnD Scape, again, you can take the parts you like and leave those you don't. I'm sorry Scape ended officially, but glad this site keeps it going. Half of my player group is in The Sanctum that makes it so...

Last edited by chas; December 12th, 2013 at 01:04 AM.
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Old December 12th, 2013, 07:12 AM
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Re: How DnD screwed up Heroscape

I pretty much agree with you. Except for Uncommon Heroes that don't bother me much.

But there is worse:

- HSB and some other figures with small bases can't be placed on ladders.
- Ogre Pulverizer can't be placed in a single water hex surrounded by normal land.
- Mezzodemons markers were in the wrong box
- Obvious sizes problems
- An ad for classic DnD was present in all wave D3 packs but no ad for Heroscape whatsoever.
- The waves were going stronger and stronger just like in Magic.

That's how WotC cared about Heroscape.
They're a bunch of d****. Wizards my a**.

Fortunately some designers were still in and made some very good cards out of poor figures.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tornado View Post
Treasure Glyphs for one are awesome.
Lol with the trap odd plus the fact you don't know what glyph it is, going for a treasure glyph is a bad move for what it offers you.
Good players knows that those things are not worth the risk and the time to go for it.

But they're fun tho, just useless in a battle between two good players because no ones takes them. ^^

In all the games I played never a Treasure glyph was positively game changing but 2times it was negatively game changing because of the loss of turns due to trap roll.

And keep in mind that they created more heroes just because the figures they had were heroes and they did not have much figures to transform in squads. They never thought about make Heroscape better. Plus all these heroes don't compete with squads at all so it change nothing.


Last edited by Foudzing; December 12th, 2013 at 07:34 AM.
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Old December 12th, 2013, 10:36 AM
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Re: How DnD screwed up Heroscape

I liked the advent of Uncommon Heroes because it opened up a lot of flexibility for army building as well as customs makers. In fact some customs makers (Greyowl) were using that concept way before DND. With UC Heroes you can now choose to have several powerful, identical characters. Now you can make a "squad" of trooper type figures with more than one life and add some Unique Heroes to lead them. Previously we only had Common Heroes, which in my opinion, are generally a waste of an OM.
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