Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Dark Heaven Apocalypse

Here's a real blast from the past, one of my old favourite games: Dark Heaven Apocalypse, by Reaper Miniatures. I played this game heavily until I got into Warhammer 6th edition.

Rulebook and box it came in. The box also had 8 metal miniatures, quick reference sheet,
and a short novel, as well as 2 ten sided dice.
DHA was designed to be generic, and using a simple points system you pick the stats for all your figures, using any figures you happen to own. Half the rulebook is also given over to detailing the world of Avalorr, an optional place for setting your games. It's very detailed with many nations and descriptions of characters with stats. I put up a webpage for this game, back when the web was fairly new and you had to know some HTML to make a webpage. No blogger back then! The online DHA community consisted of my page and two others. That was it.

I wanted to use the beastmen I've been painting lately, so I made stats for them, basing them off black orcs. They were also joined by some suitably powerful chaos knights, "Death Bringer" the mighty evil champion and Malagor the beastman wizard. 5 Chaos Knights, 24 Beastmen and the two characters makes 1683 pts.

They were opposed by the goodly elves, led by Cedric the wizard, joined by 16 archers and 10 Swordmasters. Archery is very deadly in this game, and archers cost many more points than regular infantry. The elves totaled 1646 pts, close enough.

The battle of Vlenden was fought amongst the village of the same name, deserted by the inhabitants when they heard that the horrible Death Bringer and his demented servants were on the way. Battle was swiftly joined.

The beasts had no missile troops, and suffered heavily while advancing into the elvish longbows. Malagor and Cedric cast spells with some effect. Between missile shots and spells, Death Bringer and his beasts were destroyed, only killing a few swordmasters in return. Malagor and his beasts fared a little better but in the end all were killed by spells or arrows by the end of the game. Elvish losses consisted of all 10 swordmasters (most killed by the Death Bringer) and a few archers lost to Malagors magic.

View from the elvish lines, mid game. Cedric leads his troops from atop
his hill, while Death Bringer and his two remaining beasts advance.
Malagor and his beasts are advancing around the house on the right.

A fun game, and quick! DHA games are played to a definite finish (i.e. all of one side wiped out) in a fraction of the time of other games. I've never done it but the designers claim that massive battles with hundreds of figures can be played in as few as 3 hours. I've always wanted to try this, but have never had that many figures. You can also play a 3, 4, or more way free for all, with all sides fighting each other. You don't have to change any rules, it was designed to be able to do this. I've always had a soft spot for DHA and wish it could have been a little more popular. But at least I can still play any time I like! Hope you liked reading about this obscure game.

3 comments:

  1. Hello. Thanks for posting this DHA game. I have never heard of it before. How do the mechanics work? Is D6 or D10 driven? Even though I am a diehard Warhammer and old Chainmail freak, I am always on the lookout for different Fantasy Battle games. I would love to see more about this game...Thanks again!

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  2. A little late, but DHA has long been out of print. It became Warlord, Reaper Miniatures' table wargame. It is still just as fast as when it was DHA.

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    1. I played the Warlord Beta years ago and it was fun, but I didn't like how it had official miniatures with stat cards. DHA was all about using any figures and coming up with your own stats for everything. Thanks for the comment!

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