A Call to Arms (and LEGOs) !

In our zeal to liven up the LEGO boardgame madness, my family and I invented a few new weapons for our "Hero" figures to use.  And just like other weapons, each one can be purchased from the game "Store" (or bank) for three "Gold" pieces, and/or sold back to the "Store" for two "Gold".

 The  Fish Dagger , the  Staff of Chocolate Ice , a pair of  Fire Brand s, the  Magic Wand , ...an unnamed pie, some unnamed tridents, and various other accessories we never named or created rules for, not pictured here...

The Fish Dagger, the Staff of Chocolate Ice, a pair of Fire Brands, the Magic Wand, ...an unnamed pie, some unnamed tridents, and various other accessories we never named or created rules for, not pictured here...

The Fish Dagger was by far my niece's favorite weapon.  But then, of course, she invented it!  So it's only fitting.  Once activated, the Fish Dagger keeps opponent players at a distance of four spaces away from you.  It repels them!  (As though from a foul odor.)  You may use if for three turns of continuous use.

Next is the Staff of Chocolate Ice.  A player may use the Staff of Chocolate Ice to freeze an opponent player in their current position or "Space" for two consecutive turns.  It must be returned to the store after one use.

A Fire Brand can be used to melt down or burn down a physical barrier, such as a wall or a hedge.  The only kind of barrier impervious to the magical flames of the Fire Brand is a "Magic Door".  And this probably includes the Serpent Sphynx, since it is also magical.  This weapon can be used only once before it must be returned to the store.

The Magic Wand has already been described, and it might be wrong to call it a weapon, since we didn't include it in our "Store" inventory.  We placed the Magic Wand on the gameboard, assuming players would have to reach it to use it.  Once acquired, it can be used to move a Magic Space Pad to any location on the gameboard.  Only Magic Space Pads can be moved.  After a single use, the wand must return to the board, the box, or the store, depending on any agreement made by the players at the start of the game.

We rediscovered close to a dozen LEGO minifigure accessories in my big ol' LEGO bin.  The deeper we dug, more and more interesting pieces turned up!  But as much as we were enjoying coming up with creative ways to name them and use them, we did reach a point when it was just too much for us to remember.  So we never used this cream pie or these tridents, for example, or any of the other minifigure guns, briefcases, books, coffee mugs, lollipops, shields, handcuffs, or nunchucks we briefly considered introducing to our game.  And I suppose it's just as well, because we found it was difficult to remember to activate the few special abilities we had already invented...

The standard Heroica rules describe six weapons, each conferring on the Hero a special ability.  (Two of the seven weapons pictured in this image are actually the same weapon; they're just daggers facing in opposite directions.)  The "Bow" allows a player to defeat a monster up to five spaces away in a straight line, but not diagonally or around a corner.  The "Staff" (which looks like a hooked sickle at one end, or maybe like a crescent moon), will restore two points of the player's health.  The "Wand" (which has a round end, sorta like a club or a mace) allows a player to defeat a monster up to three spaces away, even around corners.  The "Axe" allows a player to defeat all adjacent monsters at once.  The "Sword" allows a player to move one space AND defeat an adjacent monster.  Lastly, the "Dagger" allows a player to defeat a monster AND take one "Gold" piece directly from the "store".

All of them are available in the "Store" for players to purchase at a value of three "Gold" pieces, and they can be sold back at two "Gold" pieces.  According to the standard Heroica game rules, you may use the special ability each weapon signifies only when you roll the dice to the "Shield" tile.  And for us, this was a rather confusing rule!  Because we couldn't remember to consistently enforce it.  Sometimes a player would roll the dice to the "Shield" tile and we'd collectively remember this was an opportunity to use a special skill.  And... sometimes a player would just get excited about having the weapon, then declare his or her intent to use it during their turn, and no one would remember to insist on a roll of the dice.

If we had given it more thought, we may have officially changed the rule, allowing players to activate any special ability signified by a weapon at any time during their turn.  But only one per turn, of course, even if the player has more than one weapon in his or her "Pack".

 

I think I'll stop telling you about all the things we invented for our LEGO boardgames, now.  But before I do, I just want to mention how to build one of these gameboards, and how to count the number of spaces each player can move.  You shouldn't need to go out and buy an official boardgame box set to be able to play; as my family and I happily discovered, you can improvise a gameboard out of almost any LEGO (or LEGO-clone) bricks you've got in the house!  Here are just a few suggestions to inspire you and yours...

This is a modular gameboard, very much like Heroica.  This design is great, because you can rearrange the segments almost infinitely!  But it also relies on having the right kind of brick pieces to make each "space" consistent all the way around the board.  And I don't have very many of those particular bricks...

A labyrinth gameboard, very much like Minotaurus, starts with a large open-ended baseplate.  There are so many more spaces!  So many potential paths to take!  And I don't need to mark each space with individual bricks...

How to move your Hero figure on a Heroica inspired gameboard.

How to move your Hero figure on a Minotaurus inspired gameboard.

Don't get too hung up on the details.  Remember to make your game unique to your family, your materials, and your imagination!  Create rules that make sense to you and your family.  And have plenty of fun!

This is an improvised gameboard, inspired by both Heroica and Minotaurus!  I added some of the game elements described in this log, ones invented by my family during our recent visit.  Can you find the Serpent Sphynx?  A Rolling Ruby?  How about a Mystery Potion?  Don't stare at this too long; go break out your own bricks and start building!