Saturday, September 23, 2023

Chaos Spells from Against the Ogre Horde

Against the Ogre Horde was the first European expansion to feature spells for evil sorcerers. Chaos Spell cards were not available in the European edition, they were an addition from the North American version of the game. The spell included in Against the Ogre Horde were not released as cards but as tokens, made of thick cardboard and with an oval shape. There were three different spells in this expansion and each of them came in five copies. Some sorcerers from this pack could cast spells multiple times so they added more copies of the same token for each spell. Characters that could cast a spell multiple times in the North American version were indicated in the Quest notes (for example: "he can cast Fireball twice").
What was the reason to not include them as cards is just my guessing but enough attendible I think. It seems the MB standard production for cards was a deck of 64 cards. 64 was the cards in the European Game-System and 64 was also the number of cards coming with the Wizards of Morcar pack. It seems they added lot of extra Men-at-Arms cards to fill the deck and reach the desidered number of 64. This would also explain why there was only five Helbardier cards against the six featured for each of the other Men-at-Arms type. Space Crusade (aka Star Quest) was also featuring a deck of 64 cards. It is possible They didn't have enough cards for Against the Ogre Horde pack (only 3 spells and 4 monster cards) to be worth the production of  a new deck. This would also explain why they put the four Ogre Monster cards on the rear of the questbook, to be cut, instead of using standard cards.

So, going back to the Chaos Spells, I recently converted the tokens into cards to match the style of my other custom made European Chaos Spells. I re-wrote a bit the text for each spell as the original tokens text was only partially written and you needed to read the full description inside the questbook to properly understand how each of these spells was intended to work (check the picture below).

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

A Lesson in Card Size








In this post I want to talk about something that many of us already know but others really miss.
There are three different sizes and layouts for the HeroQuest cards (but we could say five or even six exist...).
I am comfortable to refer to them as UK 1989, US 1989 and AH 2021 (or simply the NEW version).
Let's see them in detail...

Saturday, July 1, 2023

Evil Wizard Deck

The Chaos Event deck (also called Evil Wizard deck) is a set of cards created to add some variety to our favourite dungeon crawler game and spice up your quests, solving annoying problems like a hero (usually the Barbarian) blocking a door and many other things.
Each card is different but players don’t need to study any additional rule because everything you need to know is written on the cards. The most common way to use this deck is the following: if the Evil Wizard player starts his turn with no monster to move (no miniatures placed on the board or unable to reach the Heroes or attacking them), he may roll one combat die. If a skull is rolled, he may draw one Chaos Event card. Remember, the card eventually drawn is for the Evil Wizard player’s eyes only and must be revealed to the Heroes only when it’s played. The text on the card explains when it can be used.
Only one card per turn can be played and its effect cannot be combined with other cards.
A card is discarded after it is used.
At the end of a Quest, all unused Chaos Event cards must be returned to the deck and shuffled.

Thursday, June 8, 2023

Mound of the Beastmen

Mound of the Beastmen is a HeroQuest fanmade expansion created by French artist Mathieu Pascal in 2013, featuring six new quests journeying our heroes into the dark depths of the Mound of the Beastmen in search of a mysterious artifact, the Black Stone. In these sordid places, they will face the legions of Morcar (or Zargon) who have in their ranks new enemies and new perils. However, a powerful arsenal of never-before-seen artifacts will help the heroes accomplish their goal and gain even greater power. New tiles will bring an original experience to our adventurers, from the sweltering Forest of Shadows to the mystical Halls of Evil. Will you be ready to face the terrifying armies of Morcar once more? Will you succeed in thwarting his vile designs concerning the Black Stone in time?

Let's see what's new in Mound of the Beastmen!

Thursday, April 6, 2023

Against the Ogre Horde (reworked stats)

I guess we all agree the variable Body Points system used in Against the Ogre Horde was a bit odd. I decided to rework Ogre stats but also considering the Elf Quest Pack Ogres. In the original 1992 edition of The Mage of the Mirror they had 10 Body Points which seems being too much. Neither a huge monster like the Frozen Horror has so many! Fortunately with the new 2023 edition of The Mage of the Mirror, Ogre body points were dropped to 5. Someone already tried to revisit the Ogre stats already, but no one was considering to create a version combatible with both expansions (ATOH and MOTM). Also the ogre pictured on the new 2022 version of the card (in MOTM) is looking more like an Ogre Chieftain than an Ogre Warrior: same weapon, same hairstyle. He is missing the chainmail spiked fist but he has a spiked shoulder plate attached with a chain. So much common points for me! Also his stats are more similar to the Ogre Chieftain, with just the exception of a lower defense (4 dice instead of 6).

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Female Wizard Hero (custom sculpt)

I've always wished for a female wizard to join my party of heroes. One project of mine was to completely re-write the Wizards of Morcar expansion turning it into my own Wizard Quest Pack (since the original pack was never released) and featuring a female hero as it was for the released Barbarian and Elf Quest Packs. This project was then shelved (but not abandoned) as the real drafts for the two unreleased expansions, Wizard Quest Pack and Dwarf Quest Pack, came to light recently thanks to one of the original designers shared them with LucaPaschi (which is one of the greatest HeroQuest collectors I know) and Luca involved me with the process of restoring them.



So, going back in topic, this miniature was originally inspired by a drawing from Luis Octavio NB - link here but modified a lot of time during the sculpting process.
Then I was sitting together with my friend Valentina Conte aka Valevidart and she started to sculpt the miniature, at first following the sketch, but then we tried to include elements to recall the male Wizard too. The intent was to have a mini which could immediately remind to the official HeroQuest Wizard and looking as a model coming from the 90's. I have to say I am not easy on liking something so this mini was subjected to several revisions and the whole process was quite long but in the end I was very satisfied with the achieved result.
Instead of using a solid base, I preferred the miniature to feature a slotta base, removable, so it could be used both as a HeroQuest mini and as a Warhammer mini. Valentina sculpted a classic lipped, rectangular, HeroQuest base which is removable and the slotta tab under the wizard's feet allows the miniature to be mounted on its original base or on any standard base.

Monday, August 15, 2022

Featured Artist: Staz Johnson (Legacy of Sorasil)

HeroQuest II - "Legacy of Sorasil" was the sequel for the HeroQuest videogame.
It was published in 1994 only as a videogame for the Commodore Amiga and Amiga CD32 by Gremlin - link here. No official boardgame was ever released as a sequel or with this title, so I don't know if this was a Gremlin only project or if it was involving someone else from Hasbro staff but then remained an unreleased expansion as the Wizard and the Dwarf Quest Packs did.

The game box had a stunning cover artwork painted by artist Staz Johnson, featuring the four classic heroes from the original boardgame, Barbarian, Dwarf, Elf (with a new haircut) and Wizard plus four new entries, Knight, Ranger, Cleric and Mystic (last two are female characters).

(more of Staz Johnson art on DeviantArt or ArtStation)

Gremlin Archive website stores high quality scans of the individual artworks for four of the characters: Barbarian, Ranger, Knight and Wizard - link here
I dropped a couple of comments there asking if they could upload more but seems they are lost somewhere. It is possible if more peole ask them for updates, they will find the time to perform a new search and eventually upload the missing ones. These individual artworks were also painted by Staz Johnson.

The rear of the box featured individual artworks for all the characters but the Mystic was missing. While looking at this character in the game and her line art inside the rulebook of the game I noticed she is only dressed with a chainmail bikini and a cloak, so I guessed she may have been removed because of censorship.

Going deeply into this, I contacted artist Staz Johnson asking if he also drawn an artwork for the Mystic and if he could remember if any kind of censorship was affecting her. Staz Johnson was s o kind to reply me and his answer was very interesting:

"Hi, yes I did do an individual painting of the female barbarian. She was the cause of a lot of problems, in the initial layout for the Sorasil cover she was right at the front of the group in her chain-mail bikini. However, it was felt that her look might offend a lot of potential Muslim buyers so she was moved to the back of the group with her back facing toward the viewer, however this still wasn't good enough because her butt was on display, so I was asked to add the blue cape to cover her completely. This is probably why she was left off the cover, because the individual painting I did of her was from the front."


characters line arts

Saturday, March 26, 2022

Chaos Spell & Witch Lord Spell Cards

I finally managed to retire some of the custom cards I sent for the print! I made two different decks to try how they will look when professionally printed: the Chaos Spell in their Italian incarnation and the Witch Lord Spells (brand new set, I will present in another post). I love the vibrant colors on these ones.
Card size is the same of the European 1989 version, mm 54x80.
I wanted these cards to look very close to the style of the Wizards of Morcar cards so for the Chaos Spells are also using a custom artwork; the background recalls the original one from the American cards while the Chaos Sorcerer has a color scheme inspired by the Chaos Tokens featured in Against the Ogre Horde pack. The Chaos Sorcerer is also represented in the same pose of the Wizard Hero on the Legacy of Sorasil cover art.
The cover artworks are made by Luis Octavio NB and since I didn't want to use anything from the original stuff, the title banners at the bottom were also re-drawn (by spevna_studio) but still matching the original vibes of the 1989-1990 version of the game.
The photos below will show you better the final result; these are the Italian version of the cards, I made an English version for the WL spells too:

Sunday, March 20, 2022

Featured Artist: Wyrmwalk and his Zombie Barbarian

Zombie Attack! Just found this supercool Zombie Barbarian art painted by Wyrmwalk on a 11x14 wood panel as a tribute piece to the great Les Edwards Heroquest box art.
He wrote he was a great Les Edwards fan and idolized him when he was a kid.
Wyrmwalk is a lover of all things sci-fi, fantasy, horror, heavy metal, and 70s prog.
We hope to see more of this in the future.
Visit his website for more great art or follow him on Instagram at @wyrmwalk to like the picture.
This picture will fit good as a cover art for a Zombie theme questbook.