Monday, May 24, 2010

Horus Heresy: First Impressions

Despite a volcano getting in the way, my copy of the Horus Heresy board game finally arrived.

My first impressions of the game were largely positive. The sheer number and quality of the miniatures contained therein is impressive. However, my singular gripe was that the initial assembling of the playing pieces was tedious and not always easy. By that, I mean that inserting some of the pieces in to their bases was problematic: one or two of the bits were slightly too large for the holes they were meant to be inserted in to. I filed on of the bits down after struggling. It fit eventually! We did spend a lot of time assembling the pieces which delayed the start of our first game, but the assembling was fun in itself.

There are also so many detailed cards that come with the board game. They required little more than sorting in to their correct piles and shuffling.

The board itself is reasonably large, and comes with a three dimensional aspect as raised plastic parts are used to depict the palace region of Terra, alongside the Warmaster's Vengeful Spirit battlebarge. I like the detail around the board and was immediately taken by the initiative system that is used to drive the game.

The rulebook is a fair size and will appear complex to people who have not played similar games before. It takes a few readings to get all the main rules right, but I guess the best way to learn the rules is actually to go ahead and play the game.

Although I will write another article on the first game that I had, I will note here that setting a game up requires time. We followed the instructions and decided to play the first scenario (brother vs brother). It took a long ten minutes to set up all the playing pieces in to their initial positions on the board, but once in place, they looked good. Both Horus and the Emperor looked like un-assailable targets holed up in their respective places. It can appear very intimidating to both players to think how they're going to get past all their personal guards and take on the other. But there are two other ways to win: both players can achieve a space port victory by holding all four ports from just about half way through the game. The third way is that the Imperial player can hold out for a reinforcement victory: the loyalists fleets are on their way to bolster the White Scars, Imperial Fists and Blood Angels.

But... there is an event card that can potentially swallow up the inbound fleets thanks to the Warp. So in some games, the Imperial player cannot aim for a hold-out victory thanks to inertia. I like this twist on events personally, even though it is not cannon. I'll post again on Horus Hersey and show how one game played out.


Kraggi said...

I saw someone buy this game in our local store, then he and a friend took it upstairs, opened it and proceeded to play... I just wish I could justify the price tag on a game I may not play that often lol.

I does look amazing tho!

b.smoove said...

I've been resisting, but with this article you've pushed me one step closer to jumping in.

jabberjabber said...

I'll post a full "battle report" on a game I had in the next few weeks. Hopefully it'll illuminate how it all works.

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