Saturday, July 26, 2008

Gaming With Grandma - 71

Another Saturday morning of playing games with my mother (AKA Grandma) and my 7 year-old daughter Maddie.

I'd received a discounted Heroscape Marvel: The Conflict Begins in the mail yesterday and was keen to try it out. While Grandma and I were sitting down enjoying a cup of tea Maddie couldn't restrain her eagerness for setting up all the Heroscape terrain again as we'd done last week. It's interesting from my perspective to observe Maddie's impatience to immediately start playing games as soon as Grandma walks in the door. I remember when I was kid feeling the same way. Sometimes grown-ups can take forever to get around to doing things, and why were they always so tired when I had heaps of energy? Well now, as a tired grown-up myself, I can finally understand.

I love the artwork on the front of the box

We decided to set up the Marvel Heroscape (or Marvelscape as it's also known) on the dining room table. Marvelscape is a stand-alone game using the Heroscape rules and set in the Marvel comic universe. It contains rules, dice, order markers, terrain and figures. I was very impressed with the ten plastic pre-painted superhero miniatures. They were well-sculpted and well-painted. I was less impressed with the amount of terrain in the box. It has much less terrain than that included in the original Heroscape Master Set: Rise of the Valkyrie. However, Marvelscape is essentially a two-player game and the small battlefield is adequate for that purpose.

The ten figures included are (superheroes) Captain America, Iron Man, Spider-Man, Silver Surfer, Incredible Hulk, and (supervillains) Thanos, Red Skull, Doctor Doom, Venom and Abomination. I must point out that I was only familiar with Spider-Man and Incredible Hulk. I was vaguely aware of Captain America, and had recently seen Iron Man, Silver Surfer and Venom in advertisements for movies, but knew nothing about Thanos, Red Skull, Doctor Doom and Abomination. In the expectation of the arrival of this game I'd borrowed several Marvel graphic novels from the library as well as rented out The Hulk, and the Spiderman series on DVD. This game has got me enthused for exploring the Marvel (and DC) comic universes further.

It would be myself, Wayne (AKA Dad), versus Maddie (with advice from her Grandma who had a bit of a cold and was fine with just sitting back and watching). The battlefield I created was the triangular map from the initial scenario. I let Maddie choose whatever three characters she wanted. She chose Spider-Man, the Hulk and Silver Surfer. I chose the supervillains Venom, the Abomination and Red Skull.

Our teams started on opposing corners of the triangular battlefield with the ruined warehouse in front of the third corner.

The starting positions viewed from my side of the battlefield

Turn 1 - Maddie gets initiative with a roll of 19. I rolled an 8.

Order 1
Maddie - Spider-Man races towards the only elevated piece of terrain available - the ruined warehouse.
Wayne - Venom sees what his arch-enemy Spidey is up to so he sprints to the warehouse in an effort to gain the heights before him.

Order 2
Maddie - The Hulk uses his special ability of Super Leap to jump 10 hexes to land right beside Venom who has just reached the warehouse. Hulk smashes Venom [rolls 3 hits vs 1 defense for 2 damage. Venom has a special ability called Spider-Sense which if he is attacked and at least one skull is rolled, allows him to evade all damage if he rolls 14 or higher on a d20. Unfortunately I rolled below 14 on this occasion].

"Hulk smash Venom!"

Wayne - Venom recoils from the blow and lashes back at his attacker [rolls 5 hits vs 3 defense for 2 damage]. Hulk just gets more angry [Hulk has a special ability called Rage Smash in which every hit he takes gives him an extra attack die (up to a maximum of 5 extra dice)].

Order 3
Maddie - Silver Surfer zooms towards Red Skull and the Abomination who have not as yet moved. He does a Cosmic Force Blast at Abomination [rolls 3 hits versus 1 defense for 2 hits. If Silver Surfer causes at least one hit with his Cosmic Force Blast and rolls 16 or higher on a d20 he may remove one of the order markers from his target. In this instance Maddie rolled below 16].

Sliver Surfer uses his Cosmic Force Blast against Abomination

Wayne - Abomination, reeling somewhat from the attack, launches himself at Silver Surfer [rolls 2 hits vs 1 defense for 1 damage].

Turn 2 - Maddie gains the initiative once again with a roll of 15. I rolled 11.

Order 1
Maddie - Silver Surfer decides to help the Hulk in destroying Venom. He flies towards the battling duo in front of the warehouse and fires a Cosmic Force Blast at Venom which has no effect [rolls 3 hits but Venom rolls a 20 for his Spider-Sense which meant he took no damage].

Silver Surfer attacks Venom with a Cosmic Force Blast but to no avail

Wayne - Venom uses his special ability of Swing Line to move to the top of the warehouse [Swing Line allows Venom to move up to a maximum of 4 spaces and ignore elevation to a height of 40 levels up or down]. He then does a Web Special Attack against the Hulk [rolls 1 hit vs 2 defense for no damage].

Order 2
Maddie - The Hulk is pretty mad at Venom after getting hit in the previous turn. He leaps up after Venom to the top of the warehouse and punches him [rolls 3 hits vs 1 defense for 2 damage. Venom fails his Spider-Sense with a roll of 12].

"Hulk mad!"

Wayne - Red Skull moves towards the warehouse to help Venom. He shoots at Silver Surfer but misses [rolls 2 hits vs 2 defense for no damage. I forget to use Red Skull's Dust of Doom special ability].

Order 3
Maddie - Spider-Man moves towards Red Skull and does his Web Special Attack which misses [rolls 2 hits vs 2 defense for no damage].
Wayne - Abomination uses his special ability of Super Leap to jump to land right beside Silver Surfer. He swings and connects with a glancing blow [rolls 3 hits vs 2 defense for 1 damage].

Abomination attacks Silver Surfer

Turn 3 - I win initiative with a roll of 16. Maddie rolled 13.

Order 1
Wayne - Venom has taken a pounding from the Hulk [only has 1 life remaining] so Swing Lines to the ground in front of the warehouse and fires a Web Special Attack at Silver Surfer [rolls 1 hit vs 4 defense for no damage].
Maddie - Silver Surfer flies away and fires a Cosmic Force Blast at Venom at extreme range [rolls 3 hits. Venom fails his Spider-Sense roll with a 6. Venom rolls 2 defense and takes 1 damage]. Venom is killed.

Order 2
Wayne - Red Skull rushes forward and uses his special Dust of Death ability on the Hulk [if he rolls 19 or higher on a d20 the enemy is dead. Red Skull rolls an 18! Aaaargh! Just one more point and Hulk would have been dead. In my frustration I forget to take my normal attack].
Maddie - Hulk jumps down from the warehouse and attacks Abomination [5 hits vs 4 defense for 1 damage].

Order 3
Wayne - Abomination punches Hulk [rolls 2 hits vs 0 defense for 2 damage]. Hulk gets more angry [as he's taken 4 damage he gets to roll an extra 4 attack dice].
Maddie - Spider-Man moves close to Red Skull to attack [rolls 2 hits vs 2 defense for no damage].

Superhero melee

Turn 4 - I retain initiative with a roll of 12. Maddie rolled a 4.

Order 1
Wayne - Abomination punches Hulk [rolls 3 hits vs 2 defense for 1 damage. Hulk is now as mad as he's gonna get with 5 extra attack dice. Uh-oh!]
Maddie - Spider-Man attacks Red Skull with a flurry of kicks and punches [rolls 2 hits vs 0 defense for 2 damage]

Order 2
Wayne - Red Skull uses his special power of Master Manipulator on Abomination [allows Red Skull to use his order to move and attack with any friendly Unique Hero]. Abomination swings at Hulk but misses [rolls 2 hits vs 3 defense for no damage].
Maddie - Hulk is super mad and smashes Abomination [this is the moment I'd been fearing. Maddie gets to roll 11 dice for her attack]

The most dice I've ever seen about to be rolled in a single attack in a game of Heroscape

I take a deep breath as Maddie raises her hand above the dice tower. My heart is racing as she lets the dice fall and they rattle their way through the tower and come bouncing into the tray at the bottom. What will be the fate of Abomination?

She rolls 9 hits on 11 dice!!!

Hulk almost knocks Abomination's head right off with a mighty smash of his huge fists. Abomination falls dead at Hulk's feet.

"Hulk kill!"

Order 3
Wayne - My third order was on Abomination. As he's dead the order is wasted.
Maddie - Silver Surfer flies towards the sole remaining supervillain, Red Skull. He fires off another Cosmic Force Blast [rolls 3 hits vs 1 defense for 1 damage. Red Skull on has 2 life remaining].

Red Skull is wetting his pants about now...

Turn 5 - I again win initiative with a roll of 6. Maddie rolled a 1.

Order 1
Wayne - Red Skull uses Dust of Death on Spider-Man to no effect [rolled a 12]. He then shoots at Spider-Man [rolls 3 hits but Spider-Man's Spider Sense roll of 12 saves him from any damage. Spider-Man only needs an 11 or higher on a d20 to take no damage from an attack].
Maddie - Hulk attacks Red Skull and smashes him into the ground with a mighty blow [rolls 4 hits vs 0 defense for 4 damage]. Red Skull is dead.

Good prevails

The forces of good prevail with no losses. Maddie does a victory dance and I give her a high-five. She played well and rolled well. Even though I lost I really enjoyed the game. Sure, there is a high luck factor, but Marvelscape is very thematic and most of all fun. I can see us playing this again soon.

1 comment:

Kurt Purcell said...

My son really only became interested in Heroscape once we had the Marvel addition, setting up larger battlefields for 6v6 contests.
He then started creating his own characters using toy figures from Kinder Suprise. Alas he hasn't quite worked out "play balance" yet, or maybe he has and really enjoys beating his Dad! Each of his new special attacks seem to get stronger.
Enjoy the blog.