Tuesday, 16 September 2014

The Good...

Heroquest isn't the only golden oldie who's presence still haunts my collection.

Age twelve, I remember going to the after-school wargames club. There was no room at table for me, so I watched over the shoulders of four players as they tried to make their way through the deadly maze below Dragonfire Castle.

Fantasy Jigsaw 

Nobody made it. Nobody even made it to the Dragon's chamber. Everyone died, falling down bottomless chasms or being mugged by goblins. Or the best one, being trapped against a board edge by a rotating room.

I speak, of course, of Dungeonquest.

Dare you Face the Dragon's Challenge?
Hell,  no.

A proper old school piece of game design. Like many eighties and early nineties RPG computer games, it preferred the Rogue-like difficulty approach. Against a turn limit, you bashed your face against a series of random card draws to try and make it to the dragon's hoard and back. Cards that determined, amongst other things, how stuck all the doors were, how many chaos warriors killed you on the way and what the board even looked like in the first place. Also, technically, how much money you stole from the dragon. Not that you needed them all that often.

The basic mechanic, I recall, was multiplying the d12 result by the d6 result and that was the number of games you'd sit out after a random death three turns in.

Your heroes were the standard fantasy fare. A knight, a barbarian, an archer and a guy so generic he was just an adventurer. The GW version of the game I bought (the original, Drakborgen, can still be bought in an updated Legendary version in Sweden) came with chunky Citadel minis. I painted them all ages ago, and ye gods, time had not been kind to that brush work.

I don't have good 'before' photos, But they were at least this blurry. 

So updating time, in keeping with my current spirit of Heroquest rediscovery.

I pretty much just kept to the original paint schemes, to be honest. It's been a long week, and if I don't really like the colours I originally chose, at least I'd been fairly neat about applying them.

This is an old shot, but you can see most of these recently updated fellas lined up in it. Just to prove there was progress, you know.

So, yes, Volrik the Adventurer looks like Volrik the Seventies Pimp. But he's marginally sharper than he used to be. That's HD for you, folks. The Future.

Dungeonquest Hero
How does that old rhyme go? Something like
'Red, yellow, purple and green
Should never be seen'

Sir Rohan's shield is only a small improvement, I think. My freehand this week has been even worse than usual, really blobby.

Before - the Super Mario Bros on the SNES era 
Dungeonquest Knight
After - graphically updated to Early Eighties DOS 

At least you can tell what the dragon's head is, more or less. I'm not convinced that's true of the Barbarian's shield. It might have been crap before, but at least it was identifiable.

Ulv Grimhand is a Weatherman
Dungeonquest citadel model
A Weatherman?
A Weatherman

And El-Adoran Sureshot, winner of multiple 'Worst Heroic Name Ever' awards? Well, sorry, but I just inked and drybrushed him before ruining his eyes all over again. And that's going to be it for him until I'm another twenty years down the line and out of miniatures to paint again.

Dungeonquest hero
Yeah, sorry. Sometimes corrective surgery goes wrong.

Joining them in the heroic paint pit are some Heroquest Men-At-Arms from the Ogre expansion...

Heroquest Henchman
Odd detail I noticed - these guys all have their right boot torn open to show their toes. I didn't paint it on, it's just a weird thing to model in - all your henchmen having duff footwear? Strange.

A viking head and shield added for a bit of variety. 

...And this splendedly sculpted Dwarf from Warhammer Quest, which might not have been a great game but was certainly an entertaining one with good models. The doorways particularly. Ah, great days.

Warhammer Dwarf Hero painted
This is all that remains of Warhammer Quest for me, another victim of a purge. But it's a goodun. This really is just shading and highlights added to the original, very quick brushup job.

 [Footnote - rooting about on the net for Dungeonquest pics, I found this image of the first expansion, which added twelve more heroes. That one on the end of the second row looked mighty familiar...]

Dungeonquest expansion models
Thorgrim the Defiler, apparently. Azorg the Faceless, the chaos sorceror on the bottom row, is a lovely model.

1 comment:

  1. Nice freehand dragon on the shield - I still daren't attempt anything more ambitious than geometric shapes.

    Interesting snippet about the expansion figures - now I realise that the legendary Fhyll Madaxe is gracing my leadpile, I may have to move him up the queue.