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More than four Heroes at a time... (6+ players)

Discuss new Rules for HeroQuest.

More than four Heroes at a time... (6+ players)

Postby Kurgan » Saturday March 2nd, 2019 2:06pm

Probably ever since I started seeing those custom heroes people were releasing online about a decade ago, I've wondered what it would be like to have more than four heroes playing a quest
together.

I guess I put that idea aside being at first not too excited about the idea of changing too many things about the game (other than just adding "more" of everything, or creating quests from
the materials already provided). Now I have fully embraced the joy of trying to keep the "spirit" of HQ while adding new things to make it seem fresh and new (suppose we all have an opinion
where that "line" should be, or if there should be one). I love playing HQ, but I don't want to turn it into D&D or Warhammer, even if a few aspects of those games seem compatible and even
desirable to be adapted to this system.

Growing up we rarely had more than 2 players to go through a quest anyway, so we were used to controlling multiple heroes at a time. We didn't have BQP and we didn't even know about WOM
(being in the USA), but now I see that with mercenaries, it seems pretty common and well within HQ's boundaries without serious rule modifications or specially designed quests to make
this work out.

Having multiple magic users just means the newbies have to either have pre-set ones or we need more spells (EQP and WOM help a bit with this).
Then I thought of just printing extra spell scrolls and handing them out as starting equipment... but then balance is the issue.

Considering the extreme difficulty of some of the official quest packs, it actually seems desirable to have more players (who can always bow out if they get iced early on). The EQP
explicitly says only one Elf per quest in a party, and I can see the point of the rule of only one Barbarian from the BQP (for balance issues). But then if it's that hard, perhaps that rule
could be bent...

The only major downside I can see is quests that formerly took 2-2.5 hours taking twice that long, and people starting to get bored. I often hear fans saying "just add more monsters"
or "remove some of the good cards"... so it won't be "too easy" but I wonder if that won't mess things up more. The gold will be divided among more people, and Zargon has to keep track of
more things (which in casual games isn't so important... and lets face it, most games are going to be casual for most of those involved).

I went ahead and designed some little tiles to make it easier to keep track of which mercenaries belong to each character, but I am really interested in trying out a campaign with 5 or
even 6 heroes. "Group tactics" really interest me, but I suppose with a big group, players could just wander all over the board (maybe complete it faster than normal) or just get in each
other's way.

The UK version of HQ strikes me as being a little less "team" focused, so maybe a "competitive" mode would be neat, where you can do friendly fire and compete for gold. I saw one guy on
youtube had made a video talking about playing casually with big family groups, and there was another person on a blog who had a "6 player mod." Any other experiences?
Onlyplay-testing will tell if it's worth the while or if it would turn newcomers away from the game for good. So then I'd like to hear from people who have tried it, and how they made it work
(or didn't).

Dreaming here, but imagine playing the "Dark Company" not just as a four part quest, but actually with four boards going on simultaneously, with heroes spread out all over the place!
Maybe then it would be time for Zargon to have an "assistant" ? :chaoswarrior:
Last edited by Kurgan on Monday March 18th, 2019 5:04am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: More than four Heroes at a time... (5+ players)

Postby Pancho » Saturday March 2nd, 2019 3:49pm

Hello Kurgan

Your dream of having Dark Company playing out over four boards simultaneously is really great. I think it fits thematically too, because having to face a small army of Hinsgrims minions it would make sense for the Heroes to go in in larger numbers than usual. The only issue is ensuring that the Heroes actually split up into all areas of the board, so you might have to set a special time limit rule (I.e. If you don't find Hinsgrim in time he escapes, or raises a greater demon, etc).

In general I am not against 5+ players, so long as you have the right gaming group. If you have one or two guys who always procrastinate on their turns then it could be a real drag.


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Re: More than four Heroes at a time... (5+ players)

Postby mitchiemasha » Saturday March 2nd, 2019 4:46pm

Mighty Warriors was team focused. This could easily be played on HeroQuest board as HeroQuest can easily be played on it's boards. Playing Might Warriors on HeroQuest board does lose 1 part of the game, the placement of each board at the start, this is where each team will first try to establish their strategy or hinder, detect the others. This could still be done by placement of doors, some rooms with multiples others with non. It also had a unique quirk like the combat dice, rolling was done in the lid with hit or miss squares wrote inside it... adding a bit of dexterity to a table top fantasy game.

I wouldn't worry about balanced Heroes too much... as in ones suiting everything. Part of the fun in HeroQuest is learning different playstyles and what works well for you. I've often added very hard heroes to play, having a unique quirk to the game. They might work well in 1 quest but wont last long overall. Making things too easy would be the only issue but if you stick to basic modding guidelines it wont be.


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Re: More than four Heroes at a time... (5+ players)

Postby Kurgan » Saturday March 2nd, 2019 6:09pm

Good stuff. I was thinking... the rules for BQP, if I'm not mistaken, allow each hero to control up to three mercenaries (but there are only 6 mercenary figures included in the barbarian quest pack). So if they each have 2 body points, that's 12 BP, equivalent to 3 weaker heroes (wizard bp level) or 2 stronger ones (elf bp level). So there's the 6-7 right there.

It even works out with Wizards of Morcar... 12 Men-at-Arms figures, up to four per hero, and each with 1 body point... 12 BP total. Strictly speaking, you could probably get away with having more "weaker" heroes on at the same time. I see some custom heroes with only 3 BP, which personally I think is too low, unless they have some super terrific powers (and of course aren't going it solo!).

Edit: Same with the "Advanced Quest" UK set, which if I recall correctly, also had 12 mercs using the same rules as above. In my custom set I have 24 figures for this purpose and have given them US stats, so I guess it's going to be mayhem either way... (but it leaves room for "dark warriors" as well, which was my goal). To be fair, none of the mercenaries had anything special about them except one could disarm traps, but imagine each player potentially managing five unique characters each! That's going to be one crowded card table...

I am now imagining some kind of "tournament heroquest" convention with referees walking around, overhead cameras, a big board on the wall and guys using those casino rakes to move stuff around. :redheart:
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Re: More than four Heroes at a time... (5+ players)

Postby lestodante » Sunday March 3rd, 2019 6:00am

In my youht I played an 8-player-quest, designed on my own. Two sets of standard Heroes were involved in the quest (we had 2 HeroQuest).
To balance the turns, I could move my monsters after 4 players turns. The characters started from different parts of the board (4 and 4) and one single deck of treasure cards was used. If I remember good I used 2 boards connected by the 2 stairways tiles.
Monsters were everywhere and in huge quantity because I've always hated the low difficult of the basic game. I did it very hard.
It goes ahead for several hours but one of the players, playing as one of the 2 Wizards, was wounded with no more healing spells and only 1 BP left so he was in panic and started to escape from the monsters and going on to find the final room to end the quest opening all the rooms!!! I was evil enough to let him act without being attacked by the monsters because he was activating all the monsters in every room while all the other players were screaming at him to stop opening doors. At the end he falled in a pit trap and died. The other Heroes were all surrounded by monsters and also died fast. Definetely it was really too long for my tastes.

As for the mercenaries, an idea I had was about some kind of mercenary-champion, an adventurer with special skills, similar to the Heroes and interested only in treasures; he will cost lot of money and can be hired only for certain quests.
I was thinking to use one of the Dungeonques miniatures for this purpose (the characters are all "gold-diggers").


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Re: More than four Heroes at a time... (5+ players)

Postby Kurgan » Tuesday March 5th, 2019 8:13pm

That's another good point about Zargon's turn... he's going to have to wait a long time to not move those monsters that the heroes wiped out with ease...

Then again, how does Wizards of Morcar do it? They expect you to have four heroes out there, each controlling 3 Mercs, that's 16 "good guys" on the board at any one time... (then again, those mercs are soft as butter, but still...)

I could see the heroes voluntarily splitting up to "cover more ground" and forming little teams, which would be cool. Then again I could also see them clogging up hallways and fighting over the treasure. Any other experiences?

I'm thinking now that a 5 or 6 Hero game (with the new guys only have 4-5 body points) would be perfectly possible, but a lot of it depends on what the players decide to do, as in your hilarious example.
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Re: More than four Heroes at a time... (6+ players)

Postby Stoner81 » Monday April 8th, 2019 8:26am

If playing with say 6 heroes then I would do the following (probably):

  • Limit each Hero to only 1 mercenary.
  • Add half as much again to all gold totals found in the quests and possibly add 1 or 2 extra items like healing potions just in case.
  • Set a definitive turn order for the Heroes before the quests starts to help move the game a long.
  • EWP gets to move/attack with monsters after 4 Heroes have had their turn OR add in a few more monsters for them to deal with (not sure on these).
  • Limit the Heroes to only one of each type e.g 1 Barbarian, 1 Wizard etc but leave the party makeup up to them depending on what classes etc you allow them to play.

That's all I can think of right now.

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Re: More than four Heroes at a time... (6+ players)

Postby Anderas » Monday April 8th, 2019 12:25pm

Yes! What Stoner said. And take an EWP card each turn. And add monsters to each room that has no monster.
And add a second Boss Room.


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Re: More than four Heroes at a time... (6+ players)

Postby arch8ngel » Monday April 8th, 2019 1:51pm

We just had a game during lunch where we ended up with 5 heroes.

I simply added a toned-down mercenary as player-character #5. (went with the crossbowman, with only 2 DEF default, and no melee weapon)

The evil wizard player added a few extra monsters to help balance it out.

Overall it flowed pretty well - as it opens up more search opportunities - and everyone had fun. (about 2 of the heroes had only played once before, 2 had never played before, and myself and the EWP had a lot of experience with the game)

If we had 6 player-characters instead of 5, I think the board would start to get way too crowded.


We also started playing with the house rule that the person that clears a room gets a freebie search action (again, to speed up play, since we're fitting a quest into a lunch break at the office).
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Re: More than four Heroes at a time... (6+ players)

Postby wallydubbs » Thursday September 12th, 2019 11:42am

I've playtested through Frozen Horror with 5 heroes (using both Male and Female Barbarians) and I think it helped in terms of difficulty and time. It allows the heroes to split up and clear out the board much more quickly. It also made it more dangerous in a fun way as the heroes had limited back-up in some situations.

The only down side was the confrontation with the Frozen Horror, he didn't last too long. Although the Male Barbarian slipped on the ice, the Elf was still wading through the Frozen river, and the Dwarf had Plate mail (along with Snowshoes of Speed), he didn't roll very far for movement, but reads his Skate spell scroll, castingit on the Female Barbarian; the Wizard cast Cloak of Shadows over himself, the Barbarian and Dwarf so they couldn't be attacked by all the monsters waiting by the door. The Female Barbarian rolled high and Skates after the Frozen Horror, with a Potion of Icey Strength she delivered 2 hits. Since no other hero could be attacked, I would've cast the Chill spell, but she had the Armband of Ice, so Frozen Horror casts Soothe and moved away while 4 of the monsters surrounded her, but she had a Potion of Frost Skin as well.
She was surrounded so she wouldn't be moving on her next turn. Dwarf goes after a Chaos Warrior. The Elf finally makes it into the room and casts Timestop on the Barbarian, who drinks a Potionof Battle Rage, killings Yeti in 3 attacks with 1 left over to deal damage to a Polar Warbear, stepping out of the Shadows, the Wizard casts "Dispell", randomly removing Skate from Frozen Horror's spells.
Frozen Horror casts Mind Freeze on the Elf and although it took 2 if his mind points he has the Sky Orb.
The Elf casts Slow on a Polar Warbear while the Female Barbarian continues fighting out of the monster bash as the Dwarf aids her. The Male Barbarian goes after the Frozen Horror, still under the effects of Battle Rage,getting 2 hits on Horror from the first attack, none on the 2nd. The Wizard backs him up with Ball of Flame, landing 2 more hits on the Frozen Horror.
The Frozen Horror and 3 monsters remain (Chaos Warrior, Polar Warbear and Yeti), the Female Barbarian remained strong with Potion of Frost Skin, but the Polar Warbears did manage to get a few points in. The Frozen Horror backs away from the Barbarian and casts Wall of Ice around himself. A Yeti did manage to hit the Dwarf and grabs him in a hug. The Elf runs to save him on his next turn while the Female Barbarian kills the Chaos Warrior. The Wizard casts his last spell on the Barbarian (Future Sight), who drinks his last Potion of Icey Strength, getting to reroll any and all rolls he pulls out 3 skulls, which equals 6 hits, shattering the wall. Takes his movement followed by 2nd attack on the Frozen Horror, 1 skulls, rerolling the rest 2 skulls. The Frozen Horror fails to block and is defeated.

As is bound to happen, though, in Search for the Scepter the Female Barbarian slipped in the Ice Ledge room and fell over the edge. This would have been awfully traumatic if the Elf didn't immediately drink a Potion of Recall and cast "Flashback" to save her. It would happen again to a Halberdier, and even though the Elf had another Potion of Recall, it wasn't worth the money to save him.
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