Advanced Heroquest Reborn – Heinrich Löwen

The first of the Advanced Heroquest Reborn heroes is the Human fighter, Heinrich Löwen. His inclusion marked a compositional change in the group from that of the previous Heroquest game, in that he replaced the Barbarian character (although the Barbarian would return in Games Workshop’s later release, Warhammer Quest).

The source material depicts Heinrich as a young Imperial. While well equipped, better than an Imperial militiaman, he does not have the trappings of a knight or nobleman. He appears as a veteran adventurer, battle hardened for his relative young age, often in the thick of the action as any fighter should be.

Heinrich Löwen
Source : Games Workshop (1991)

The original model for Heinrich closely replicates the source images and shows him in an aggressive fighting stance. The reborn Heinrich would also be in a fighting stance but in order to give him more character he required a head that showed him shouting or grimacing. This was necessary show him as a man who’s combat ready, something that was lacking in the original model and seemed at odds with its pose.

Heinrich Löwen - Reborn
Heinrich Löwen – Reborn

The current Games Workshop Freeguild sets have a wide range of heads belonging to desperate and battle hardened men of various ages. However the eventual head chosen was from the preceding (and now out of production) 5th/6th edition Empire State Troop set. This head looked right for his age and helped the figure’s dynamic look when added to the body. As before he was well armoured, however the cumbersome shoulder pads were toned down and replaced with more practical shoulder and arm protection.

As mentioned in the outline for the reborn heroes, the second objective would be to update them so they appeared as travelling adventurers who were on the road for a long period of time. The body for this figure, from the Freeguild State Troops, already came with accoutrements, a dagger, egg timer, and bags. So all that was needed were a few extra items – a small treasure chest, an additional pouch, a bottle and some rope. These would all be added after painting.

Parts used:

  • Body – Empire State Troops
  • Arms – Empire Militia
  • Sword – Original militia cutlass removed, replaced with an alternative militia sword
  • Head – Empire State Troops (preceding 5/6th edition plastic box set, now out of production)
  • Feather – As above
  • Pouch (dagger removed, side re-sculpted) , bottle, treasure chest – Bretonnian men at arms
  • Rope – Mordheim accessories
  • Shield – 1990’s blank circle shield, parts from dwarf shield sprue (unknown)

Advanced Heroquest Reborn – The Heroes

Seeking Fame and Fortune in Dungeons of Old

Looking at the box of Games Workshop’s Advanced Heroquest you’d be forgiven for thinking the game was a direct continuation of Milton Bradley’s Heroquest. The box art featured the four heroes  from the original game along with a full complement of monsters, the familiar zombie, scimitar wielding Orc and the shifty looking Goblin to name but a few.

However, apart from a set of character sheets (to allow player to use the Heroquest characters) there was no further mention of them within the rule book. Instead players were introduced a new group of Warhammer heroes who featured throughout, in the artwork and fiction of the rulebook.

Advanced Heroquest - Box Art
The Box art featuring the original adventurers. Source : Games Workshop (1989)

While they followed the common fantasy adventurer grouping of a human, dwarf, elf and wizard one noticeable change was the omission of the human barbarian for an armoured human soldier. They were named Heinrich Löwen (the fighter), Sven Hammerhelm (the Dwarf), Torallion Leafstar (the Elf) and Magnus the Bright (the wizard).

Advanced Heroquest - Heroes
The heroes in action. Source : Advanced Heroquest (1989)

The miniatures themselves were Games Workshop plastics, at a time when both Citadel and Marauder miniatures were predominantly metal. The quality was comparable to the plastic miniatures commonly found in table top games of today. While the detail was fairly soft there was enough to clearly reflect the characters in the game book artwork, despite the somewhat mixed poses.

The fighter and mage came in fairly dynamic poses, one leaning into battle the other in a spell-casting stance. The Elf had the highly impractical bow and sword pose, typical of many archer miniatures (unless he was genuinely planning on using his bow to launch his sword at an opponent after running out of arrows). The dwarf was by far the weakest of the sculpts with a plain awkward, off balance, pose making him look more likely to receive a killing blow to the stomach than take part in any meaningful combat.

Advanced Heroquest - The Heroes
The original miniatures; painted by Phil Lewis. Source: Stuff of Legends

Updating the poses would be the first objective of the Advanced Heroquest Reborn project, however it was still important to retain the look and feel of the characters. This would require them to be equipped with armour, clothing and weapons similar to that of the original models and of the artwork within the rulebook. As for painting, colour schemes would be completely open to interpretation as all of the source images were black and white.

The second objective would be an update that would be applied to all the models. They require some conversion so as to be equipped with additional bags and equipment to make them look more like a group of travelling adventurers who were on the road for a long period of time, rather than a group of dungeon exploring day-trippers.

The update to the characters was based, in part, on the excerpts of background fiction throughout the Advanced Heroquest rulebook (and that of its add-on, Terror in the Dark). This led to a desire to think more about the narrative behind the reborn characters and to elevate them above being more than mere gaming tokens.

Who are they? How would they adventure within the Old World? What is their story?

Advanced Heroquest Reborn

An Ongoing Miniatures Project

With the release of Warhammer: the Age of Sigmar in 2015 the Games Workshop decided to end more than three decades of accumulated lore by destroying the Old World in which until that point, Warhammer had been set in.

Despite this I find I have a strong nostalgic fondness for the older era and lore of Warhammer. This of course ties in to memories of collecting miniatures, starting with Heroquest in the late 1980s before moving onto Advanced Heroquest, Warhammer 4th Edition and then Warhammer Quest. Along with the accompanying fiction of the era such as David Ferring’s Konrad trilogy Jack Yeovil’s Beasts in Velvet a clearly defined world was formed in my mind which has remained ever since.

Gone, but not forgotten. Source: Advanced Heroquest (1989)

Many purists say you can only play the older games with old models, but this seems to be the predominant force behind the elitism of certain circles of vintage gaming, not to mention the scalper sales that can be found on well-known auction sites week after week. While a fondness of some of the older models is understandable, some are, in the cold light of day, not so good and it would be unfair to deny that some of the newer models over the years, including plastics, (and the latest range of Age of Sigmar models) are a vast improvement on the old ones.

So why not use old and new models, to recreate something from the time of a rich and vibrant world? The Old World meets new.

This is the essence of Advanced Heroquest Reborn. A re-imagining of a classic game using modern models.

The “old” Old World in all its savage glory. Source: Advanced Heroquest (1989)

The project will try and stay as true to the source material from the original game as possible. A quick look through the rulebook and one can see there is a wealth of background imagery to draw on, images that show a world with a rawness and brutality about it. Something that was lost in favour of a more polished world later on as the Games Workshop became a more corporate entity and the Warhammer brand was aligned to appeal to a broader and younger audience.

Advanced Heroquest contained 36 figures. 20 of them were Skaven, 12 were henchmen to accompany the heroes on their adventures (for a fee of course), and the final four figures were the eponymous questing heroes. It is with those heroes that the project will begin.