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January 12, 2015

Heroica: Lego almost remakes HeroQuest.

A few people might remember a game put out years ago by Milton Bradley (with miniature design done by the talented people at Games Workshop) that was essentially the gateway board game into playing pen and paper rpgs like D&D. I bet fewer people realize that a kick ass series of games in the same vein and spirit of HeroQuest were released by Lego Games under the name of Heroica.

Even the map reminds me of old school NES game maps you'd get in the manuals.
 The set I am covering today is the Draida expansion, which was one of five (technically six) board game styled Lego sets that could be assembled in a Voltron forming way to create one long winding dungeon/castle/cave/forest crawl.

The rules for the game are insanely basic, with an oversized die that is rolled for movement, and depending on the set you have, various enemies, weapons, items, and micro figures to use as heroes on your quest. (<--- HA! Subliminal!)

It and many other games that have been developed for the board games line from Lego are not the most complex in explanation, and in all instances, not unlike the open ended aspects of building with Lego bricks, there are huge open possibilities to completely customizing the rules for this game to really ramp up the difficulty, quest intricacies, and danger for the characters. Which was even something done for the other game HeroQuest by many rabid fans.

Front and back of the box. The nice aspect of the size of the box is as noted on the back, you can store the board completely assembled in it's box when done.
The unfortunate thing is that more and more, mint copies of games for Heroica are becoming scarcer by the year, with prices climbing on the aftermarket very quickly ever since interest recently renewed. Draida was the first set released back in June of 2011 with an msrp of $15. The line lasted for about a year and a half and culminated with the retail release of the Ilrion add-on (although the incredibly rare Ganrash promotional set was available in Q3 of 2012 through a few places, I only saw one polybagged copy at Planet Comicon two years ago for $70).

The fortunate thing is that in some retail shops, like Hastings, where I found this box set, it was marked at clearance for $1.99, and had a pack in Nintendo DS game for Lego Harry Potter. Those are the kinds of toy finds I LIVE for.

(Top) Contents of the box all polybagged alongside Harry Potter for the NDS. (Bottom) Shot of one of the polybag contents.
Lego really went all out with Heroica's design and feel, and I think there was a lot of promise and potential that could have come out of this series if it had been out for a while longer. For a while animated adventures and even an online rendition of the board game was available on the Lego website.
The box set came with a game rules manual, combination comic and world map, and instructions on building Draida.
The set is small, and is actually the starting point when all of the sets are assembled together, but did come with a large amount of micro figs. (Inset image) A lego prybar is included for kids (and impatient adults with large fingers) to separate bricks.
The assembly didn't take long at all. Maybe a total of fifteen minutes, if that long. But in this case, as I'd mentioned before, the game aspect is what is being pushed more than the Lego form factor.

(Upper Left) Included comic adventure. (Upper Right) Wizard and Barbarian hero character micro figs. (Bottom) Goblin soldiers and Goblin General in the rear, standing in front of the "Crystal of Deflection".
And in case you have never seen these Lego micro figs compared to the main line mini figs, here's a comparison for you to check out...

I shall call him... mini me.

My final thoughts? If you have even the slightest love of board games and Lego, get these while you can now, before these sets get really high in price. The fun factor for this series can really be off the chart, and only limited by your imagination. 

Until next time! - Mario, the Rogue Hobbyist.
 
Stats Rating/Information
Item "Draida" Heroica Game
Made by Lego
Rarity Rare (The variant with the pack in HP game seems to be a bit rarer.)
Classification Out of Production
Condition Mint, but some shelf wear.
Procured Hastings - Warrensburg, Missouri
Worth $40 (based on current eBay findings)
Investment $2
Further Research N/A
Trivia & Fun Facts The Heroica line has a small but devout group of enthusiasts that have been creating new content and rules for playing in fan forums and sites, to having new official ideas submitted to Lego Idea. Check out the very cool Balkhur Moors set proposal on Lego Ideas here! And and incredible dual level build here.