Monday, July 8, 2024

Review: Against the Ogre Horde - Hasbro


Those following along since Christmas know that I got the Heroquest boxed set for Christmas of 2023.  One of my Goals for this year was to get it all painted up.  I did not allow myself to buy any expansions until the original box was all ready to be played.  Thankfully, I managed that task! 

Therefore, I went to my FLGS and picked up my first expansion for the game.  I was lucky because they actually carried some of them on the shelf.  I decided to pick-up this one first.....

I chose Against the Ogre Horde as my first expansion for one major reason.  It introduces the concept of ranged enemies.  This was a new idea that I have never seen in Heroquest before.  The other sets seemed to be mostly be new monsters, spells, and heroes.  This one is not remarkably different, but the ranged guys intrigued me as new foes.  

So, let's delve into this dungeon.....

Things I Liked

First off, I have been consistently impressed with the miniatures that have come with this game.  They are chonky and have taken paint well.  The level of detail is also very good, especially for a board game.  The Ogres in this set are no exception and are suitably HUGE compared to the Heroes.  Love this additions to my miniature collection.  I have all ready been using mine as miniatures for my RPGs and Fantasy Model-vs-Model style skirmish games too.

The Quest Book introduces the idea of "Unthreatened Movement".  In this case, the players can treat each Red die they normally roll as a result of 4.  They can do this IF no monsters are on the game board.  I was toying around with giving each Hero a set movement rate, but this seems like a good alternative.  It keeps the uncertainty for when it adds value. 

The Ranged Attack monsters are of Orcs, Skeletons, and Goblins.  The GM can use them OR a close combat monster as they wish.  Ranged monsters can attack any square they are not adjacent with as normal, but adjacent squares they only get 1 Attack dice.  Simple and easy, as Heroquest should be.  These guys will really change up the basic dynamics of the game.  

At the end of the Quest book, they give you a blank map and some symbols for monsters and other terrain that you can use to make your own quests.  I have not looked, but I hope that the App they advertise has this online so you can make them electronically and share them there.  Even if you can't, having access and implied permission to do so is a great addition to the game. 

Things I Did Not Like

Another new addition I am less sure about is Mind Points.  These are like Body Points only they measure mental ability.  If you go to 0 Mind Points, you enter a "stunned" state.  This reduces your movement dice and other stats.  You are the walking wounded.  There are some If This Than That rules that apply to Mind Points and being at 0 Mind Points.  I would also like to point out, most healing spells only effect Body Points and not Mind Points.  I am not sure this was needed for this game.  

Since the game now has Mind Points, it also adds some Dread Spells that impact the Heroes Mind Points.  There are 3 new Dread spells.  

This game also adds a Tournament for Heroes to take on the forces of Zargon in a battle arena. This feels a bit video gamey- but could be an interesting way to get people into the game.  In fact, the Ogre Quests start with 3 of these tournament style battles.  I am sure with a very small bit of effort, you could even make these Hero vs Hero teams if one was inclined to do so. 

Meh and Other Uncertainties

Interesting, the Quest Pack goes out of its way to make sure you know that the Ogres are not evil.  They have a society where the Strong rule over the weak.  That means some are good and some are bad.  Sometimes, their rulers are benevolent and sometimes they aren't.  The Lord in the Quest has fallen under the sway of the Forces of Dread.  

The new Hero card is a Druid.  The Druid is a spell-user that does not use metal armor.  They have three spells, and one is a pretty good healing spell, a detections spell, and a glass-cannon shape-shift spell.  I am not 100% sure about their utility at this point.  

This lays the groundwork so Players can hire Ogre Mercenaries to help them on their quest!  In addition, if you have less than 4 heroes, you can get animal companions as well.  The rules for both of these additions are relatively simple and straight forward.  

The Quest Book has 10 more quests, with the first 3 being of the Tournament Style.  The last 7 are more traditional.  Interestingly, you are not always looking for the spiral stairway out.  Sometimes, it is a doorway, and sometimes there is a different objective you need to complete before you can leave.  The quests look pretty tough.  Ogres themselves are pretty tough with good stats.  I think you will want some experienced players for these quests.    

Final Thoughts     

Overall, I am glad I picked up this one next.  The Ogres make for some high body, tough threats and have some interesting models.  In addition, the new Ranged enemies is a great new touch for the game and adds a new dimension that did not exist before.  The new art and cool minis are also a big plus.  I feel pretty satisfied with my purchase and look forward to painting it up and playing it. 

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1 comment:

  1. No conocía esta expansión de Heroquest, la verdad sólo jugué al básico y en España hubo un gran problema con el juego y hay una gran desconfianza en él.

    ¿Cual dirías que es la mejor expansión?

    Gracias, un saludo.