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Cannes Festival: New Info Emerges on Against the Ogre Horde, and Revelation of Talisman

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Contents of Against the Ogre Horde (NOW AVAILABLE) were recently revealed at the Cannes Festival International des Jeux on Feb 23.

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It’s been a while since I’ve written an update chronicling the adventure we’ve all been on looking for news of the upcoming Against the Ogre Horde Quest Pack.

There have been ups, and downs, it’s been a roller coaster ride for sure.

There were two very big announcements at the Cannes Festival last week: Finally a release date for Against the Ogre Horde, and confirmation that Avalon Hill has picked up Talisman and will be releasing a 5th edition later in 2024!

Against the Ogre Horde is now available at some retailers! Get yours today at: Amazon US or Amazon Canada.

Back to the Beginning

Well, not exactly THE beginning, but at least as far back as my last update on Against the Ogre Horde. A lot has happened since the expansion was first announced.

Here are the highlights, I’m sure there was a lot more, but I haven’t been keeping track as well as I should be, so if I’ve missed anything, let me know down in the comments.

First off, I need to mention the Hasbro layoffs. I know, this is old news, but I hadn’t covered it when it happened. Sorry if I’m ripping open an old wound by bringing it up again, but I believe it’s the main driving factor behind the next major event. I just want to make a quick personal note to our friends over at Avalon Hill before we continue:

To our friends on the Avalon Hill team,

Know that you’re all doing a great job! We really appreciate the hard work that you put into these games. It’s evident that this is more than just a job for you guys, this is your passion, it shows in the quality of what you’re producing.

The community was devastated, as I’m sure you were, when we heard about the departure of your colleagues. We can’t know for sure the magnitude of how this has affected your team. Just know that the community is thinking of you all, and you have our support.

Keep up the great work,

There was a lot of speculation and rumour going around that Against the Ogre Horde, and perhaps HeroQuest as a whole, had been cancelled. This may still be the case for the next upcoming expansion; that was leaked a little while ago: The Jungles of Delthrak; but we have assurance that so far, Against the Ogre Horde and HeroQuest are safe:

These rumours, I believe, come from the fact that several of Avalon Hill’s key HeroQuest related staff members departed the company as a result of the layoffs that affected Hasbro in December.

Now on to some more fun leaks. It appears that someone managed to get ahold of a copy of Against the Ogre Horde extremely early. One copy popped up on eBay around the end of January, then quickly disappeared. This is important for a couple of reasons. For one thing: HOW DID SOMEONE GET A COPY OF THE GAME THIS EARLY!? And the other important reason, this finally gave us that image of the back of the box that everyone had been waiting for.

This finally gave us a peek at the contents, as well as the lore text on the back of the box. Just read this in your head:

Zargon’s sinister ministrations creep further into the lands beyond the realm

Restless whispers drift through the villages on the outskirts of the realm, speaking of violent and sudden incursions of the ogre people on communities previously untouched by them. Zargon’s latest plot has ensnared the Dirgrusht horde, a powerful but isolated clan of ogres to the north. Playing as one of HeroQuest’s brave heroes, you must enter the World’s End Arena to prove your mettle as warriors, locate the hidden lair of the ogre horde, and weed out the root of corruption at the heart of their clan.

If you didn’t imagine that being read to you in the voice of Stephen Baker, you’ve done it wrong! Scroll up and try it again!

So, in this one we’re saving ogres? That’s cool. To be honest, I didn’t learn about this expansion until after I had lost my original HeroQuest game, so it was off my radar until a few years ago. I don’t have a lot of experience with it, or knowledge about the story.

From what I can tell, there are some differences here. For one, the World’s End Tournament is new. This I believe is something completely new from Avalon Hill. Way to go guys! I’m very interested in mixing the old with the new, I think it will make for a very unique experience if you’ve already had the pleasure of playing through Against the Ogre Horde back in the 90’s,

Now, of course, there was some speculation about this reveal. Many in the community thought this to be a great hoax.

The Latest News from Cannes

Turns out the eBay listing wasn’t a hoax! The images were real! On Feb 23 we finally got official confirmation from Avalon Hill on what is in the box!

If you haven’t seen them already, Avalon Hill posted several promotional images on Twitter (I’m sorry, I’m not calling it X! I’m old, and don’t like change!).

There’s also an Avalon Hill HeroQuest Fan Page on Facebook that has been posting images from fans attending the festival. See them below:

Among the new information, we see a few things of interest:

Ranged Enemies

These appear to be remakes of the classic Game System enemies (Goblin, Orc, and Skeleton) with ranged attack options. I’m thinking these can’t have been put in here just for their homebrew value. Yes, I know most of us have likely come up with our own homebrew versions of these. These ranged enemies have got to have a role in the redesigned quests. Bomb and Boomerang Goblins are cool, but it would have been fun to imagine a Goblin Archer too.

I feel really good about this one. Now all we’re missing is: Giant Spiders, Giant Rats, Rat-men, Fimir, Tenticle-faced Cthulhu Things (I really like Mind-flayers, we just can’t call them that)…. the Kitchen Sink … You know, all the classic stuff.

Giant Arena Tile!

This tile is huge. It looks to be 9×8 squares. This will be the biggest tile we’ve ever gotten in an expansion. Unfortunately, this tile may be too big… In Prohecy of Telor, there is a quest that combines 4 rooms to create a giant arena. This tile is one row too big to use as the arena in Prophecy of Telor. Actually, I don’t think this arena tile is intended to be used with the main board at all. In atleast one of the pictures you can notice there is a boarder around the arena tile. This would prevent it from fitting within the grid on the board.

Ogre Mercenaries

This is an interesting one, and one we still don’t know much about. We can see the word “Mercenary” written in French on one of the ogre cards, with an ogre mini on top. What I find interesting about these, the mini is similar but not the same as the Ogre Warrior, so I would almost say that it could be used as a second sculpt of the Ogre Warrior. The only problem is that the Mercenary card doesn’t have a monster symbol. So is the implication of the rules would be that these ogres will never be enemies? In my opinion, one could use the same symbol as the Ogre Warrior.

Druid … Druids — Plural…

There are two druids. one appears to be male and the other female. They’re roughly similar in height to goblins, so they would be halflings then? These are very different sculpts than what we recieved in the Mythic Tier campaign pledge. This doesn’t follow suit with Prophecy of Telor and Spirit Queen’s Torment. Personally I would have liked to see the Warlock and Bard redesigned, especially the Bard!

Wolf Animal Companion

Yes! Finally! An official card for Animal Companions. No more having to rely on a print out from Into the Northlands! Our old friend, Snowdasher, got a makeover too! I’m anticipating the posibility of getting some additional rules for Animal Companions in the new quest book as well. Well, since it’s new artwork for the wolf, I guess I don’t need to worry about repainting Snowdasher.

Arena Mode

Still not much information on this. The most I’ve been able to find is a screenshot of a post someone made mentioning that several missions in the quest book will be in the configuration of the Arena tile in the middle with a smaller room on either side for heroes and monsters to enter from. This is somewhat backed up by my theory that the arena tile won’t be used on the main board as due to the boarder around the perimeter of the tile. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to find the actual source for that post.

Finally we can see some new “Mental Lock” cards that kind of resemble dread spells. I’m not sure how these will be used, possibly as a mechanic in the Arena Mode. I don’t believe these cards are from the original version of the expansion, but I could be wrong.

What I haven’t seen yet are any new Treasure, Artifact, or Equipment cards. These cards are staples in a HeroQuest expansion, I’m a bit surprised that there aren’t any included in this one.

Looking for more heroes to compete in the World’s End Tournament!? Pick up your Monk to fight in the Arena today!

A New Edition of Talisman

Avalon Hill also announced at Cannes that they are working on a 5th edition of the board game Talisman. This is exciting news for Talisman fans, the previous edition was released in 2008.

I have never played Talisman before, so I’m excited to give this game a try. This edition on Amazon, published by Pegasus Spiele, is the only version of Talisman that I’ve been able to find. I’ve been debating whether I should pick it up or not, but have some reservations. I am aware that Fantasy Flight Games published a 4th edition,so I’m not sure if this one is newer or older. I think I’ll end up just waiting for the Avalon Hill edition in July, but it would be nice to try out the game now, just to get my feet wet.

Talisman 5th Edition is slated to be released in or around July 2024. Hopfully we’ll get some information on the contents, pricing and retail locations soon.

I hope you found this informative, I would love to hear your thoughts on these new reveals.

I have some special and exciting things planned in the near future. Stay tuned for more.

Thanks for stopping by, hope to see you again soon!

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Nick Linindoll
Nick Linindoll
4 months ago

Hey! Great round up as always. Just so you’re aware, both the Fantasy Flight and Pegasus Spiel editions are essentially identical and are both “Fourth Edition Revised”. Only some of the card text was cleaned up and expansions between the FFG and Pegasus versions are interchangeable.

4 months ago
Reply to  Elvyler

In short, the main board between all copies to date are essentially the same. The end goal is to claim the crown of command.

The main difference between 1st and 2nd, is that 2nd edition is colored where 1st edition was mainly black, white and grey. The expansions were separate boards that you have to travel to and were creative.

3rd edition created the corner sections from two expansions (4 areas), and then a new center section, the Dragon Tower, which created a new final ending for the game.

4th edition expanded on this concept and added a lot more expansions, many added new heroes, they all added a lot more cards, and some made it more difficult to keep track of what was happening on the board and possible win conditions. Oh, and one expansion gave a different main board.

I’ve played all of the editions. I’m looking forward to 5th edition to see how it plays. My kids love playing 4th Edition (limiting some of the expansions that are used). My personal favorite is 3rd edition especially with the Dragon Tower. I was working making a 4th edition version of the Dragon Tower as I didn’t like the Dragon Expansion in 4th.

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