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Advanced Heroquest, Where is the Love?

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Re: Advanced Heroquest, Where is the Love?

Postby lestodante » Saturday July 7th, 2018 6:58am

I can quote this answer by Bryan Ansell (founder of Citadel), it is taken from his comment at Steve Casey's blog in 2014: http://eldritchepistles.blogspot.com/20 ... otype.html
They were discussing about HQ and some metal unreleased miniatures.

Bryan Ansell wrote:Stephen Baker, Roger Ford, and Ben Rathbone had damn all to do with HQ's developement. SB had produced a poor derivative of D&D. GW had to be called in to perform a rescue mission and deliver an actual game. We did that: we were paid for delivering an actual game that actually worked. We used nothing from the SB version. Stephen Baker managed one of our shops. I have no idea who Ford and Rathbone are.

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Re: Advanced Heroquest, Where is the Love?

Postby Daedalus » Tuesday July 10th, 2018 5:16am

Wow, a response from Bryan Ansell! His strong tone sheds a bit more light on the acrimonious MB-GW split. Someone may be misrepresenting the past as another vestige of his contentious split.

Ansell claims that GW used absolutely nothing of Baker's (invented) version, which he also called a poor D&D derivative. A few elements at least appear attributable to Baker. The first seem to be the dice. He used a similar design with the same odds in both Battle Masters and Heroscape. The second would be the gameboard, which Baker specifically mentioned as as design choice his interview. I suppose it's possible the gameboard was swapped in after GW's contributions, but that suit-approved design choice would likely have preceded a deal with GW. The last element mentioned by Baker as an up-front design choice was the game screen.

However, Baker also mentioned his prototype underwent simplification. Ansell's story that "Stephen Baker, Roger Ford, and Ben Rathbone had damn all to do with HQ's developement" fits here if by "working game" Ansell is referring to a rules set. It would then stand to reason Jervis Johnson was involved in Hero Quest development, as well. This is corroborated by the White Dwarf promo.

In his Kaos interview, Baker was straight-out asked: "Do you think HeroQuest is totally yours? After you were the creator, was the development entrusted to a team?" His answer: "I invented it and I personally participated in a large part of the development, with the help of Ben Rathbone . He still works in MB , in particular he worked on a lot of ideas from the expansions." So Baker admits he didn't work alone, but neglects to mention GW development. We know GW contributed card art and miniatures, though only minis help was previously mentioned by Baker. There is at least a partial untruth here due to omission.

If Ansell's words were intended to apply to rules development, I feel the rescue mission GW was called in for (cited by Ansell) came first and took priority over development of AHQ, a more complex game. Baker had stated AHQ came out 18 months after the initial licensing agreement. Wasn't Hero Quest released months in advance of AHQ? The name alone implies that. I can see a scenario where MB comes in with a Baker HQ prototype, Johnson revamps it while simultaneously developing AHQ ideas, then finishes AHQ after the MB collaboration is wrapped up.

Or was Ansell comment merely referring to the physical aspects of game production, such as the game cards featuring art? If Ansell was referring to only that, then both the Baker and Ansell stories basically check out.

Taken in the context of the blog discussion which Ansell goes on to discuss only their miniatures production, I think it's more likely GW only had a direct hand in the physical copy of Hero Quest, not the rules. Unless Ansell can be bothered to clarify his comment with specific GW rules-related design contributions and names involved, I'm likely not to be swayed by a lone, unspecific post. It more reflects the unhappy ending of the partnership than anything else.

But should he reveal more . . . whoa boy, this could get interesting.

For my part, there are a. couple of errors in my post quoted in the blog. It would have been better to call Ansell a GW founder than just an employee. Also, AHQ was released after the prototype of Hero Quest was brought to GW, not developed.

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