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Heroica

davee123davee123 USAMember Posts: 832
edited June 2011 in Everything else LEGO
As mentioned elsewhere, I picked up Heroica, and there's obviously a lot of potential discussion that could spew forth! So, as suggested by @rocao, here's a summary and review. Hopefully I'm remembering the rules correctly:

=== The Rules ===

The object

Be the first hero to complete the mission, OR complete the most missions. The missions vary depending on the board setup, and will typically be to obtain a particular object, defeat a particular monster, or get to a specific square on the board.

Choose your hero

There are 6 different classes of hero in the 4 available games. Each one has a special "ability":

A) Barbarian: MELEE - defeat all adjacent monsters, and then move 1 space
B) Druid: RANGED - restore yourself to your full health
C) Knight: RANGED - move up to 2 spaces and defeat an adjacent monster
D) Ranger: RANGED - move up to 1 square, and defeat a monster up to 5 squares away, in a straight line
E) Thief: MELEE - defeat an adjacent monster, and take 2 gold from the bank
F) Wizard: RANGED - defeat a monster up to 4 squares away, even around corners

Your character has a "Hero Pack", which is usually a small 4x3 construction built to hold your equipment, potions, and hit points.

Each character has 4 "Health" (or Hit Points), represented by 4 red 1x1 cones on your Hero Pack.

Gameplay

1) Roll the die. You will get a 1, 2, 3, or a "shield". If you get a 1, 2, or 3, you may move up to the number of squares rolled on the die. If you roll a "shield", you have to option to either move up to 4 squares, OR to use a "RANGED" ability, if you have one, in lieu of moving.

2) If, when moving, you move to a space that is adjacent (but not diagonal) to a monster, you MUST stop there and immediately "Fight" the monster. After combat is resolved, any remaining movement you had initially is lost.

3) If your movement ends on another Hero's square, move your Hero one square BEYOND the other Hero.

Fighting

1) When you Fight a monster, you must first declare which monster you're fighting (you may choose which monster you fight if you're adjacent to more than 1 monster).

2) Resolve the Fight by rolling the die. You will roll one of:

A) Shield (Defeat the monster OR use one of your MELEE skills)
B) Sword (Defeat the monster)
C) Skull (Take damage from the monster, and retreat 1 square)
D) Sword and Skull (Defeat the monster, take damage from the monster, AND retreat 1 square)

When taking damage from the monster, you must remove the number of Health 'cones' matching the "Power" of the monster you're fighting.

If you've taken damage, you'll be forced to retreat, and are no longer Fighting. If you defeat the monster, but there are still more adjacent monsters, then you must immediately Fight the next adjacent monster. When you defeat a monster, place it on your Hero Pack.

Defeat

If, at any point during the game, your Hero loses all of his Health, he is Defeated. He must then spend his turns healing rather than moving and fighting. On your turn, roll the die, and heal your character the corresponding number of Health (full health for rolling a "shield"). Once your Hero is fully healed, you may continue moving as normal.

Items

Various items may be on squares you reach, including:

- Potions
- Gold
- Torches
- Keys
- Helmet (unique)
- Chalice (unique)
- Scepter (unique)

If any of these are on squares that you move through during your turn, pick them up and place them on your Hero Pack. Some items (keys, torches) restrict you to carrying at most 1 at a time.

For items that have special powers, you may use item them at any point during your turn, after which they are expended, and placed back in the box.

Strength Potion - Defeat an adjacent monster
Life Potion - Restore 2 Health
Speed Potion - Move up to 4 additional squares
Luck Potion - Re-Roll the die
Torch - Move 1 extra square while being carried. If you lose any Health while carrying a torch, it is extinguished (limit one torch at a time)
Key - If you have a key, you may unlock a door on your turn by moving through it, and the key is expended (stick it into the door frame). Limit of 1 key at a time in your Hero Pack
Helmet - grants 1 extra maximum Health point.
Chalice - Restores 1 Health (only usable when a Shield is rolled)
Scepter - Resurrects one defeated monster from an opponent's Hero Pack

Weapons, Gold, and the Bank

On your turn, you may purchase items from the Bank for 3 gold. The standard items grant additional special abilities to your character, and are very similar (not QUITE as good) as the special abilities of each character:

A) Battle Axe: MELEE - defeat all adjacent monsters
B) Staff: RANGED - restore up to 2 Health
C) Sword: RANGED - move up to 1 space and defeat an adjacent monster
D) Bow & Arrow: RANGED - Defeat a monster up to 5 squares away, in a straight line
E) Dagger: MELEE - Defeat an adjacent monster, and take 1 gold from the Bank
F) Wand: RANGED - Defeat a monster up to 3 squares away, even around corners

You may also sell any items you have BACK to the bank for 2 gold.

Special Square Objects

Some squares contain special objects, including:

- Treasure Chests: Your turn ends as soon as you land on a Treasure Chest. Roll a die to determine the contents of a chest, and then remove it from the board:
Shield: 2 gold
Sword: 1 gold
Skull: take 1 damage from a trap
Sword and Skull: 1 gold and take 1 damage from the trap

- Magic Doors: You cannot pass through Magic Doors, unless you are immediately adjacent to them at the start of your turn, and you roll a "Shield". In that case, you can move through the Magic Door, but only 1 square to the opposite side.

- Magic Spaces: If you end your turn on a Magic Space, you may select a Magic Door from somewhere on the board, and move it to an unoccupied *dark-colored* space.

- Rock Piles: You cannot pass normally through rock piles, but instead must roll the die to determine how to proceed:
Shield: Pass through the rock pile to the opposite side (1 square only)
Sword: Remove the rock pile from the board
Skull: Move backwards 1 square
Sword and Skull: Remove the rock pile from the board AND move backwards one square

- Locked Doors: You cannot pass through a locked door normally, unless you have a key. If you have a key, remove it from your Hero Pack, and place it on top of the door, signifying that it is now unlocked (so any player may pass through).

DaveE

Comments

  • davee123davee123 USAMember Posts: 832
    Honestly, the game seems pretty boring if you have only 1 copy of the game-- Just as the game ends, you MIGHT have enough gold to buy something, and you probably won't have fought that many monsters (especially in a 2-player game).

    But if you have all 4 scenarios, there's enough going on to keep in interesting, and enough time and "stuff" on the board to get more involved. Not that you need to actually buy fully-fledged copies of the game, although the elements are handily ready-to-go and official looking when you use the provided boards.

    Also, not all the games have all the "stuff". For example, the "Waldurk" (forest) game is the ONLY one to have the Magic Doors, Magic Spaces, Chalice, and the particular monsters it comes with (Dark Druid, Wolfmen, Spiders). Each game has its own combination of Heros, Monsters, Items, etc.

    DaveE
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,290
    Thanks for doing this DaveE. I didn't mean to sign you up for more work re: posting the full rules, but thanks for doing it anyhow! :P
  • YellowcastleYellowcastle Northern VirginiaAdministrator, Moderator Posts: 5,245
    Very awesome writeup
  • YpresYpres Member Posts: 200
    Well Heroica sounds like a fun twist for role playing games. As a Lego fan, I'm more interested in being able to design my own boards... that won't stop me from buying the actual sets though! Thanks for posting the rules!
  • davee123davee123 USAMember Posts: 832
    My next foray into Heroica will probably be adding the little "Mummies" and "Mummy King" from the Rameses' Pyramid game, since they'll fit in nicely. As-is, since we have an even number of "missions" to complete, we have to have a tiebreaker. Having a 5th mission should help solve that nicely.

    Only question is, what other sort of special "thing" should happen in a zone involving Mummies? Perhaps (similar to the pyramid game), the board moves when a lever/switch is touched? Maybe there are special "trap" squares that have the potential to send you backwards when rolling poorly?

    One other comment-- regarding "Magic Doors". They CAN create a very stagnant situation. When we played, it just-so-happened that we EACH were standing in front of a Magic Square, and were constantly pressing-and-re-pressing them so that the Magic Doors would block the other player. If playing with 3+ people, it probably wouldn't be so bad (since there are only 2 Magic Doors), but there should probably be a restriction on them so that that can't happen (IE, don't let someone keep re-pressing a button).

    Perhaps the button that you stepped on moves to the location where the Magic Door you just moved previously was? Or maybe a 1x1 plate/brick can be stacked onto the button matching your player's color, and you can't re-press the button if your color is on it? That might be better, hmm...

    DaveE
  • brickmaticbrickmatic Member Posts: 1,071
    First of all, thank you for such a thorough and thoughtful review. Reading it has made me really want to get all of the Herioica games.

    As for the mummy board idea, you should have quicksand! And snake pits! And hidden passages behind walls that you can only access if you've found the secret map!
  • mkoeselmkoesel USAMember Posts: 97
    edited June 2011
    Thanks again davee123. Man, the more I read of this game and see feedback from others, the more excited I get. Could this turn out to be one of the most popular new Lego Themes (subtheme, actually, heh) in years? I can really see the popularity exploding, especially once customs start appearing across the web and new rules are adapted and refined. It could really take off.

    I also love your mummy idea, davee. The one I had been thinking of incorporating is the ninjas, from the Ninjago board game (not to be confused with the minifig-based Ninjago spinner game). I think they would fit in nicely with Heroica also. For that matter, there might be some usable stuff from the Harry Potter game too. Even the space game parts could fit in an alternate universe type scenario. Along this line, I mentioned the game "Talisman" in another thread, as it was a popular RPG-ish board game when I was young. It tended to mix in characters of all different themes, genres, and worlds through expansion packs in a pretty fun and innovative way. I could see Heroica really working well in that capacity as well.

    I love it when new themes get my brain going and excited like this. Ok that's it - I am buying these today. :)
  • brickmaticbrickmatic Member Posts: 1,071
    ^ Yes! For a space theme you would "teleport" to a distant space station. Then you could "change" into an available spacesuit to go outside. Awesome.
  • davee123davee123 USAMember Posts: 832
    Ohhh, the Ninjago game also has skeletons too! A must-have for any fantasy-themed environment!

    Otherwise, browsing around the other microfig assortment, I don't see too many candidates for "fantasy-era" opponents beyond those mentioned. Maybe some brigands using the Pirate Plank microfigs?

    I like the idea of quicksand as a trap. Roll to see if you get stuck in it, and then roll to wriggle your way out? Not sure how to work snake pits, though-- maybe you just get a -1 to health? Or... maybe you get your choice of losing a turn (while you navigate carefully) or losing 1 health (walking straight through the pit and getting bitten)?

    Sadly, with the Egyptian theme, tan/dark tan would make a great color combo for the squares, but tan 2x2 tiles w/ center stud are seemingly pretty rare (but dark tan is plentiful!)

    DaveE
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,290
    ^ perhaps, if bitten, the venom has toxic effects that slow movement or inhibit the effectiveness of other actions until a certain amount of game time has passed or the character takes an antidote
  • brickmaticbrickmatic Member Posts: 1,071
    I was thinking of the classic scene from Indiana Jones with the snake pit. So, if we think of a snake pit as a chamber you fall into and then must climb out of while avoiding dangerous snakes, then we can break it down to crossing the pit and climbing out of the pit.

    1) Crossing: I suggest when you move adjacent to a snake pit you can immediately roll to see if you can cross it safely. If you roll a shield you cross to the tile on the other side of the pit. If not you fall into the pit and move to the pit tile. If you want to play it safe you can wait a turn to roll. If you wait, your chances are better: you can roll shield or sword to cross safely. Anything else and you fall in anyway. Third option, if you have enough movement points, is to jump in. In that case you're taking the snakes head on and get to immediately roll to get out.

    2) Getting out of the pit: Once you're in the pit, each turn you roll to get out.
    Sword: You get out safely
    Shield: You don't get bit, but you failed to climb out.
    Skull: You got bit and failed to climb out. Take damage
    Skull and Sword: You get bit on your way out. Take damage.

    If you're defeated in the pit, you get moved out of it and a space behind.
  • brickmaticbrickmatic Member Posts: 1,071
    Ooo! I like the idea of an antidote. If you want to incorporate the antidote into the rules I laid out above, then you can drink the antidote at any time in the pit or right after you exit the pit to restore any damage taken from the snakes.
  • bluelion3bluelion3 Member Posts: 156
    Thanks for the great info, DaveE! The game sounds better to me the more I read about it.
    I didn't realize there were so many different microfigures in the other LEGO games. Lava Dragon is reduced on the US LEGO [email protected] site and its figs would look good in a Heroica game.
  • mkoeselmkoesel USAMember Posts: 97
    davee, I was thinking about the 2x2 jumper plate dilema also - as far as available colors and quantities (not to mention, available supply within my own existing collection).

    One thing that occured to me is that if you use the more traditional, more common 1x2 jumper plates with a 1x2 tile between them, you get the same spacing at if you use the 2x2s. Drawbacks of course are that you don't get quite the desired look when switching between colors, and also you end up with a half stud "error" when using them next to 2x2 jumper plates. Still, for shear convenience, not to mention colors available, the trade-off might be worth while on a case-by-case basis. And the half stud issue could be overcome by building up a "sub-floor" that itself is spaced over a half stud.

    Oh, and good idea on the skeletons too. The purple one could be used as a boss.
  • mkoeselmkoesel USAMember Posts: 97
    Adding to the idea of a "space-realm", I really like that alien microfig. That would make a great baddie.

    http://www.bricklink.com/catalogItem.asp?M=85863pb028

    BTW, for a complete (or what seems to be complete or close to it, anyway) list of the figs, see here:

    http://www.bricklink.com/catalogList.asp?q=microfig
  • bluelion3bluelion3 Member Posts: 156
    edited June 2011
    You could even use the dragon from Lava Dragon or the minotaur from Minotaurus ... but those Ninjago minifigs would be great.
  • sidersddsidersdd USAMember Posts: 2,432
    @mkoesel - actually, I'd like to see the use of just 2x2 plates, modify the rules and allow characters to share a space.
  • davee123davee123 USAMember Posts: 832
    In true geeky fashion, I decided to figure out which character class was the most effective in Heroica. So, I wrote a small simulator that runs characters through a random maze with (roughly) the same concentration of monsters, straightaways, monster strengths, etc. Each board was roughly 8800 squares long, and I ran 20 simulations of each character class to see who reached the "end" first.

    Some characters needed "AI" (like the Druid-- when should you opt to use your power to heal yourself? When you're at 1 health? At 3 health? Etc.) Typically, each class used its "special ability" whenever it was possible to do so, but for the Ranger, Wizard, and Druid, there were some exceptions, see below.

    So, here's the standings in order from best-to-worst:

    1) Knight. Average number of turns: 6159.40. He's the best by a decent chunk, and I guess it makes sense. For all the other "ranged" abilities, you don't actually MOVE on your turn, you just take down enemies-- but the Knight does both at once.

    2) Barbarian. Average number of turns: 6502.55. The Barbarian wins 2nd place, but not by that much (IE, he's close to 3rd)-- I expect it's because (again) he gets a free movement after defeating his opponents. Defeating multiples at once rarely comes in handy, but that extra square of movement is decent.

    3) Wizard. The average for the Wizard was between 6504.60 and 6580.55, depending on the "AI" used. Specifically, always attack the opponent when they're 4 squares away or less (6526.25), 3 squares away or less (6504.60), and 2 squares away or less (6580.55), always shooting the closest monster.

    4) Ranger. Average of the Ranger was between 6729.70 and 6758.55, again using 5-or-less squares away (6758.55), 4-or-less (6731.4), 3-or-less (6729.7), 2-or-less (6755.5), always shooting the closest monster.

    NOTE: for the Wizard and Ranger, I'm not quite sure what's going on. I tried a few things (opting to shoot the closest monster, the furthest monster, shooting 3-or-less squares and 3-or-more squares, etc), but I couldn't find a good logical reason for why they behaved as they did, and I couldn't get nice progressive results, so I'm not sure what the "best strategy" is with them.

    5) Thief. Average number of turns: 6755.25. For all intents and purposes, the Thief in simulation was as though you never used your special ability, since gold doesn't directly affect your ability to reach your destination (just your ability to buy OTHER abilities, or maybe tiebreaker points in the form of gold)

    6) Druid. Average number for the Druid when healing with 1-or-less health (6765.10), 2-or-less health (6832.45), 3-or-less health (7026.15 health). The Druid is obviously pretty poor, and I suspect that's because by spending your turn healing and not moving, you're doing (essentially) the same thing that you'd be doing if you were penalized by having been defeated-- IE, healing and not moving. It's CLOSE to normal when you use the "heal only at 1 health" AI, but certainly healing when you're at 2 or 3 health is a waste of time (generally speaking).

    ====

    The above obviously doesn't take a lot of strategy into account. Perhaps the best combination is (say) the Barbarian equipped with the sword, or the Knight equipped with the staff. And since you can strategically pick up potions, you might be able to use them effectively to improve the weaker points of your character.

    Also, the above demonstrates that apart from the Knight being a little bit better than the other classes, they're pretty well balanced. You might have (say) a 1% better chance of winning by selecting the Wizard over the Thief, but that's not enough to have an overpowering effect.

    DaveE
  • mkoeselmkoesel USAMember Posts: 97
    Nicely done davee. Thanks for posting.
  • brickmaticbrickmatic Member Posts: 1,071
    edited June 2011
    ^^ Nice.
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