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Heroscape, the beloved hex-based battle game, is back with a new starter set

Avalon Hill teased the release of HeroScape: Age of Annhilation

A dragon stands over a set of hex-shaped tiles. Photo: Charlie Hall/Polygon
Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

Heroscape, the beloved hex-based battle game, is coming back with a brand-new starter set. Titled Heroscape: Age of Annihilation, the set will include a massive red dragon as well as a rogues gallery of humanoid, dwarven, and other fantasy creatures.

Avalon Hill revealed Heroscape: Age of Annihilation at Gen Con, the nation’s largest tabletop gaming convention, and also released a brief teaser trailer which we’ve embedded below.

A tree-woman holding a staff. She has the horns of an elk. Photo: Charlie Hall/Polygon
A green humaniod with only four fingers holds a mace. He’s wearing a leather respirator. Photo: Charlie Hall/Polygon
An ape-like man whose tail is fused to a mace. He has a mechanical left arm augmentation. Photo: Charlie Hall/Polygon
A gunfighter with fangs and snake-like hair. Photo: Charlie Hall/Polygon

In Heroscape, players take on the role of powerful generals who have gathered warriors from across time and space to fight their battles. The original system was developed by Stephen Baker (HeroQuest), Rob Daviau (Risk Legacy, Return to Dark Tower), and Craig Van Ness (Star Wars: Epic Duels). The base set, first released in 2004, eventually expanded to include characters from the Marvel Comics universe, Dungeons & Dragons, and Magic: The Gathering. The game remains highly collectible for its dozens of unique, pre-painted figures — but also for its elaborate terrain. The tiles are stackable, and remain sought after by fans of just about every hex-based combat system — including BattleTech.

A gunfighter with mechanical augmentations. She has a bandolier of throwing knives on her hip. Photo: Charlie Hall/Polygon
Another tree-person, this one with long arms that grow down root-like into the ground. Its horns are the skeletal jaws of some large cow-like creature. Photo: Charlie Hall/Polygon
A man with the unmistakable had of a hammerhead shark. He’s holding a massive harpoon. Photo: Charlie Hall/Polygon
A four-armed, purple humanoid with two toes. It wears a respirator and carries four knives. Photo: Charlie Hall/Polygon
A powerful dwarf with a chain axe. His blonde beard is breaded, and he is wearing eye protection (as he should). Photo: Charlie Hall/Polygon

Heroscape casts a long shadow in the tabletop space. It was highly successful both among hobbyists and mainstream consumers, and helped to launch the careers of many budding young designers who would go on to help fuel the current board game renaissance. It also helped to inspire many collectible miniatures games, including HeroClicks and Unmatched.

Hasbro’s Avalon Hill imprint had a lot to talk about at this year’s Gen Con. It unveiled the first look at Risk: Shadow Forces, the spiritual successor to the first legacy-style board game, as well as multiple expansions for the recently rebooted HeroQuest. The convention marked the United States debut of the revised Betrayal at House on the Hill as well as its first expansion, which focuses on a new werewolf character. Finally, it also ran several demos of Dungeons & Dragons: The Yawning Portal, a game about feeding hungry adventurers inside D&D’s most iconic tavern.

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