Rob Lyon
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The next installment in the D&D themed Heroscape sets is out and I like what I see. More of the choice sculpts from the D&D cosmology. Repros all, but alternate paint jobs on many. For many DDM players, collectors certainly, alternate paint schemes are something to add to the collection. For me, if it’s a sculpt I like, it vivifies the creature represented, gives it a bit more dimension and I make a point of trying to pick them up. So, when I see goblin cutters (picadors) with snappy red wrist bands, a dope Shadow Flayer in red cape, Warforged guys themed in contrasting blue and shiny plate mail, including a dapper Warforged Wizard, I am pleased. All in all I’ll be porting 13 figures over to DDM play, most of those with a fresh face! The mini dragons remained unchanged from color schemes in D&D though; the red is cool, the black neat, the blue pretty nice, and the white horrible. Stat cards for the HS figs are available at the DDM Guild site (http://www.ddmguild.com/articles/article.php?article_id=99).

Furthermore, this release marks the conversion to a base size that matches our DDM medium figures and fit PERFECTLY onto one inch square map spaces. NO REBASING REQUIRED, a smart bit of design cross-over, that. As for how this slight base reduction translates for HS players—not a problem, I expect, excepting of course, the break in continuity. But as Eastern wisdom purports, change is the only constant in the universe. Annica, in a word (Sanskrit). The only other issue I can imagine would be the smaller bases in the ladders they have in the game, but I checked and the fit is satisfactory. We have yet to incorporate ladders into our games anyway.



What else . . . well, again, a stroke or two of overview regarding HS components for your DDM play. HS tiles and the trees are a boon to DDM. We play on HS tiles exclusively with D&D Minis, Small up through the older style Large base figures, and prefer it over anything else. Better than two dimensional tiles or maps, certainly, even detailed plaster layouts like you can get from castlekits.com. Reason being: it’s like the little bear’s porridge! In this case, just enough suggestion of fantasy realism with a big dose of plasticity. Create, play, breakdown, stow and create again. And like D&D miniatures, the plastic temper is just right and nothing ever breaks.

HS tiles provide a fundamental level of increased dimensionality, just enough to seduce the critical mind! Sure, a custom pimped out diorama is dope, but at the price of minimal utility. HS tiles are modular and quality control is exceptionally high. I can hardly emphasize this enough; the stuff is made to hand down to your grandkids.



A small thing to some, there is the matter of color. We prefer outdoor settings with trees, both evergreen and tropical, and I’m convinced there is color therapy at work here with these soothing green tones. I can hardly use the other colored tiles, excepting occasionally the dark gray rock. The sparkly water tiles are also right there with the greens and lovely too look at, but difficult to find.

I have another thread detailing how we play DDM on HS tiles (http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/385765/thoughts-on-how-to-en...) so I won’t flog it again here. But I have to say that perhaps the most important gain to tactical skirming with these things is the ability to establish elevation. Not only does it LOOK cool, it offers offensive and defensive advantage. House ruled, of course, but an easy and exciting addition to flatland play. Frankly, I don’t play without it.

Suffice it to say that treatment of the new D&D themed releases from Hasbro is well received in most DDM circles. That’s good business, of course, but you get the feeling they’re listening to what players have to say. More and more we see this in the hobby and it bodes well for the future.



robbage
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Austin King
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Great read man.

Variety in units is excellent in this sort of game and I love that us DDMers are given at least bit of a nod in regards to making the re-basing issue a little less tedious/necessary.

Cheers.

P.S. Kudos on the DDM Guild shout-out; this game is far from dead.
 
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Rob Lyon
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No kidding it's far from dead. It is BASIC FANTASY GAMING, really. It was the D&D geeks playing back in Gygax's day that fleshed in the archetypal fantasy races and that for the most part this game draws upon. Humans, orcs, elves, devils and dwarves, minotaurs, giants, ogres and trolls and out of the box from there, planar beings, demigods, demons and Thri-kreens. And that, as you know, is a patch on the fantasy pantheon. Granted, this is tactical, but tactical gaming for many of us is bread and butter. Is comfort gaming. To this day, after, what, six years of playing, I can reach into one of my drawers and pick up a mini at random, enjoying the serviceable impression of what it attempts to convey, then flip it over read the core stats and date of creation. I mean, the figs are just too kewl. Funny too, but the older they get the more I like them.

So you take a game that draws from this well developed cosmology and has done so with consistently high production values, take a playable rule set and a playing field of choice, 2 or 3D, and season to taste, you've got a game that my grandkids will be playing when their my age.

We've got the DDM Guild now picking up the flag. If that doesn't speak to how deeply the game is embraced . . . and WoC releasing the next set the way some players like them, randomly packaged, and maybe it's not so much because they're listening to us as much as it's the only profitable marketing choice they've got.

Yeah, the game's collectible and that runs some people off. And yeah, I've got a nice collection. I'm not a completist I just have all the figs I like with dupes to spare. That's enough for me. Granted, that's a bit, but for me building the collection, the figure pool, is part of the fun.

But collecting aside, even starting out, you know, when a guy picks up his first dozen minis and discovers his bands, and begins to have fun running them, it's easy not to feel a rush to amass a collection. Not just because of the money involved, or the difficulty in tracking down those figures, but because much of the fun is seeing how the new figures fit in, kind of like the NFL each year.

I went off there, sorry . . .

robbage
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Austin King
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Right on man.

I really need to get a few warbands put together and get some skirmishing on the go, it's been a while.
 
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Thanks for your thoughts, Rob. I am just the opposite of you, I am a Heroscape player (1000+ miniatures) who has been buying up DDM figures for use in HS for a few years. I, too, am liking the crossover between our realms. It strengthens both of our communities. You're spot-on about the new HS bases too. At first I hated that the new ones would be "different", but understood the logic behind them. Now that I've had some time to get used to them, they are alright. My biggest problem now is integrating all my customized-for-HS DDM figures with the new, official reissued-for-HS DDM figures.
 
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William W
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I think the boon is in diversity / custom stats for alternate paints. People who like the gameplay may transition over to D&D minis and keep that line funded and developing.

Unfortunately, I also feel that the change is working against some HSers. Personally, I didn't like the change and moved on from the game (and I had a very sizeable collection).
 
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