HeroQuest: Against the Ogre Horde Expansion Review

HeroQuest Against the HordeIf you are a fan of the HeroQuest Game System, you are probably already looking into getting more expansions for the game. It only makes sense as the base game comes with a mere 4 heroes and one short(ish) campaign. So with that in mind, we are going to look at the newest offering from publisher Hasbro, Against the Ogre Horde. Are you ready to add some hulking brutes to your list of adversaries? Let’s find out.

Expansion Overview:

For those familiar with the original HeroQuest from the 90s, the title of the expansion may sound familiar to you. That’s because, like most of the previous HeroQuest expansions, this is a remake of a previously released one, with some slight upgrades and modifications.

HeroQuest Against The Horde Druid
The new druid hero is… fine.

So what’s new in this expansion? Good question. For heroes, you can now play as a Druid. Much like the Elf, the Druid is a melee fighter who has a few magic spells. In the druid’s case it’s a healing spell, a pixie that can heal or find traps/secret doors, or shapeshift, which gives you an attack boost until you take damage. Other than that, the Druid is a tad weak, boasting only 1 attack die, 2 defend, and 6 hit points.

On the other side of the coin are the new monsters and spells for Zargon. Much as you expect, this expansion features Ogres to battle. These monsters are pretty big, taking up two squares of space. Also included are variant Goblins, Orcs, and Skeletons. These are archers that may be deployed instead of the original versions.

Finally, there is the new campaign , which is a reprint of the original one from the 90s. This is a 10-mission quest that will have players facing off against the Ogres. But in addition to this new quest line, players also have access to a new played mode: arena fight. Teams are assembled and move into an arena to fight to the death.

HeroQuest Against The Horde
The new minis are great, arena mode is not.

Game Experience with the Expansion:

If you are already knee-deep in HeroQuest goodness, Against the Ogre Horde is a solid expansion to pick up. For me, the stars of the expansion are the new enemies, the quest line, and the wolf (more on that in a bit).

The druid as a hero is… OK. It feels kind of like a less useful Elf as while the wild shape is a powerful spell, as soon as one lucky hit sneaks through, it’s gone. This leaves you with 1 attack die and only 6 hit points, which feels marginally better than a wizard after his spells are used. One other thing that felt a bit odd was the inclusion of two different druid minis (different genders), which normally I’d say is fine, but why not make one of them the druid in bear form? If you are limiting yourself to 2 minis for the new hero, this feels like a pretty clear miss to me.

HeroQuest Against The Horde Archers
The new archer variants are a great addition!

The new monsters though are great. I love the giant Ogres and how they aren’t shoehorned into one square as the original version had them (which always felt super awkward). But even better than that are the new archer variants. For a Zargon player, it’s great having these added options. What’s interesting is that they roll full attack dice against ranged targets, but lose one attack dice when a Hero gets into melee. This creates some decision points for the heroes on whether they want to rush in to engage the enemies or play it safely and search for traps first. I could see a devious Zargon player using these archers to lure heroes into trapped spaces.

For those curious about the new arena mode… don’t be. While it’s always nice to have other play modes, this one isn’t worth picking up for the arena battles. HeroQuest has always been more interesting when it leans into its exploration and delving, with combat being rather basic. The arena focuses just on combat, which usually ends in two players rolling opposed dice in the center for 10 minutes. It’s lackluster at best.

But one last thing I wanted to touch on was the inclusion of the new wolf figure. The wolf is an animal ally that can be included in the party if there are fewer than 4 heroes. I thought this was a great idea as we don’t always have a 4 or 5-person group. This allows players to not have to control two characters, but still maintain some fighting prowess. I hope to see more animal companions from future expansions.

Final Thoughts:

Looking at HeroQuest through the lens of a game system, this is a worthwhile expansion. It adds more variety for both the Heroes and Zargon, and even comes with some fun new set pieces and traps. While the druid isn’t the most powerful hero, and Arena mode kind of sucks, the campaign is on par with others and the added variety will be a delight to anyone homebrewing their own missions. For fans of HeroQuest, Against the Horde is a worthy addition. If you didn’t like HeroQuest to begin with, there is nothing here that will change your mind.

Expansion BuyHits:
• New variety in monsters
• Wolf ally for when you have fewer heroes
• New set pieces and quest line

• Arena mode is not good
• No bear form miniature!

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