One of the things I most enjoy about Heroscape is the great variety of figures in the expansions. Because I was introduced to the game years after it first debuted, I’ve missed out on a number of the earlier sets. I’ve been trying out all of the recent expansion sets, though. What I didn’t know when Wave 10 arrived was that half of it was a reprint from Wave 5t — now very hard to find — that another quarter of it reprinted some hard-to-find special release figures, and that the final quarter recast earlier molds with different colors and rules. I don’t mean that to sound like a complaint, because 3/4 of those figures are nearly impossible to lay hands on and the other quarter, those recasts, are now among my favorite squads.
I want to first look at the reprints from Wave 5. The two packs contain 3 female elven warriors (Warriors of Ashra) four giant rat type robots called Deathreavers, four humanoid robots called Blastotrons, and three cyborg hounds, Deathstalkers. The Deathstalkers were an immediate hit and have appeared in nearly every army my daughter has assembled since we first tried them. The elven warriors had an excellent defense and are great to put up as a protective screen. None of us understood the purpose of the Deathreavers at first because they have a lousy attack. Then we realized that with their high defense they were really good at darting out and keeping enemy figures busy while you brought up allies. The Blastotrons looked great, but after lots of experimenting, they just didn’t seem very powerful without their link to some other robots in a previous set that’s out of print, and we haven’t ended up using them much.
The third quarter of Wave 10, Champions of Renown, includes an orc riding a sabertooth cat (A Glacial Swog Rider), a black knight named Sir Hawthorne, and a squad of sinister snake men called Elite Vipers. My playtesters and I enjoyed deploying all three, but Sir Hawthorne became a house favorite. His special attack is that if he rolls two hits out of three dice he can keep attacking, which can get pretty deadly pretty fast. The only drawback is that if you roll a 1 with Sir Hawthorne, he switches to your opponent’s side!
The only figures that are completely new to Wave 10 are recast from the out of print tundra and lava expansions. The Granite Guardians used to be red (lava), and the furry brown Quasatch Hunters used to be Yeti (well, Dzu-Teh, technically. An ape by any other name would smell as…uh…). Not having either of those rare expansions, I can’t compare them to these sets in play, but we’ve enjoyed playing both the Granite Guardians and the Quasatch Hunters, and given my daughter’s preference for fielding some kind of robot and my son’s for using squads, I usually draft the Quasatch Hunters because they get extra attack dice against robots, and have extra attacks against groups of figures.
From what I’ve seen, Valkrill’s Gambit is one of the stronger waves. I like that it’s a mix of reprints and rarities. The next two waves are reputed to be devoted purely to Dungeons and Dragons figures, and while some Heroscape fans are afraid that there will be nothing but Dungeons and Dragons figures to come now that Wizards of the Coast has taken over the game, I’m not at all against the fantasy figures. I just hope that we’ll continue to see some new historicals and some reprints as well. It’s that bizarre blend of historically accurate characters with figures from mythology, science fiction, fantasy, and horror that makes Heroscape so much fun to play.