Monday, July 16, 2012

Future Nerds pt. 2: LEGO Heroica Gaming for Parents

(The second in an irregular series of reviews based on the Lego build-and-play games.)

My daughter Avery is all of 7 years old. She loves to paint 40k Orks and help dad base his Marines and Daemons. She’ll even humor me by trying her best to play games I enjoy, like chess.

In turn, I often humor her by playing Candyland and various other insufferable kids games. But, she’s finally to an age where I can influence her gaming habits to more amicable territory: dungeon crawls.


As the tagline goes… “The World of HEROICA was a peaceful place of culture and beauty. Now overrun by monsters and in turmoil, the fate of the world now hangs by a thread. Join the heroes and free HEROICA!”

I stumbled across this toddler dungeon crawl accidently as I was browsing through blogs and other bits of internet refuse. I was immediately intrigued due to my childhood love of Legos and adult love of tabletop gaming. And because I have a kid that I need to make sure I keep her brain engaged in positive activities.

Last time, I discussed how we started with the entry in the Heroica collection that appeared the easiest to grasp: Draida.  This time, I decided to kick it up a notch with another entry: Waldurk Forrest.

Right out of the box, Waldurk felt more advanced than Draida.  There was more of everything this time around… more tiles, more characters, more monsters, and this time there was weapons and gold.  Avery was a little overwhelmed at first but soon politely asked me to back off as she “could do it herself!”  She had a real sense of accomplishment after sitting back and surveying her job well-done.

The real reason I chose Waldurk Forrest?  It included the archer hero, who looks effeminate enough to be mistaken for a girl.  My daughter knew better, but she played along because she really wanted a female avatar when we eventually played.  In all of the Heroica box sets, not one gal to be found; hero or villain.  Sad.

Putting this puppy together took the better part of an hour plus.  That included a couple of mistakenly placed tiles and some fun idle chatter along the way.  Oh, and we of course had to give a name to each hero.  Time to play! 

Our task this time?  To defeat various werewolves, ghosts, and giant spiders to claim the magical golden chalice that would help restore peace to the kingdom.

Or, at least that’s what we came up with; a slight alteration from the actual rulebook (which is all of about three pages long!).  The rules are simple but leave lots of room for interpretation.  They even encourage a liberal dose of your own ideas to make the game different everytime you play.

This is the dice that controls everything; both movement and battle.  Games typically last less than 10 minutes, allowing for replays that foster silly, farfetched new stories for the heroes.  We had a great couple of games before packing everything up. 

Final Comments:

LEGO Heroica is perfect for tabletop gaming parents looking for another fun way to bond with their children.  Plus, it is cheaper than the least expensive 40k or WFB box set at $15-$25. Aimed at the 7-12 year old crowd, a game of Heroica only takes 10 minutes or less and you can transform it into whatever you want. Make up rules and change them as you go. I feel that a game like this encourages critical thinking and creativity, important skills for kids to develop young.

Many of us FC40k bloggers either have one or two children. I think there are probably others out there on the interwebs with kids that are looking for a way out of the Candyland stage and want to transition their kids into something more advanced. (You don't go from Twister to Warmachine overnight!)

Consider Heroica as a way to make that leap. Waldurk Forrest is one of now five HEROICA themed games available, each becoming more detailed (with later versions that include collecting loot and buying weapons).  They just released a brand new fifth entry into the series and it is probably the next on our list.  Sometime in the future, I'll be posting a review.  Stay tuned!*
(*But don't hold your breath.)  :)


  1. Sold! I've almost picked this up a dozen times for Oscar. He actually read this article with me. He wants to know if you can bring Avery with you to GS sometime so she can show him how to play!

  2. Looks fun for kids!

    If I could recommend: Print-up your own decals of female characters for her! If you can't find the decal print sheets I still have a package of blank sheets from the Space Hulk ship we built. In fact, Muggins might have a few of the sheets I gave him left over too! ;)

  3. Another one you might try is Hero Quest.

    It's aimed at 10+ yr olds, but I used to play this with my younger brother when he was 7-12. The models are old Warhammer sculpts. This was meant to be a doorway game to Warhammer Fantasy.

    I still have my copy, and look forward to playing (and painting) it with my daughters (4.5 and 3). You should be able to find a copy on Ebay for $60 or so.

    The next game released was Warhammer Quest. I had friends in college who played it a lot, and liked it.

    1. I had Hero Quest when I was a lil tyke too! Back on my radar, thanks :)