Completely change Advanced HeroQuest by changing the Dungeon and Monster Matrices

Advanced HeroQuest is often described as being very hard on the heroes, so an adjustable level of difficulty might help. Easy mode would simply be using a D10 instead of a D12 on the Lairs/Quest/Wandering Monsters matrices. With a D12, you could reroll anything over 10 to make it easier, or reroll anything under 2 for a harder game.
This works because higher numbers give you more monsters.

In the AHQ Map Generator program, you edit skaven.tab in Notepad.

You can edit this:
Lairs-Matrix
(   1D12
    1-1     "4 Skaven Warriors (40 Gold Crowns)"
    2-2     "2 Skaven Warriors, 1 Champion (40 Gold Crowns)"
    3-3     "5 Skaven Warriors (50 Gold Crowns)"
    4-4     "3 Skaven Warriors, 1 Sentry (50 Gold Crowns)"
    5-5     "6 Skaven Warriors (60 Gold Crowns)"
    6-6     "4 Skaven Warriors, 1 Skaven Champion (60 Gold Crowns)"
    7-7     "2 Skaven Warriors, 2 Skaven Champions (60 Gold Crowns)"
    8-8     "1 Skaven Warlord (60 Gold Crowns)"
    9-9     "6 Skaven Warriors, 1 Skaven Champion (80 Gold Crowns)" & Specialist-Skaven()
    10-10   "6 Skaven Warriors, 1 Skaven Champion (80 Gold Crowns)" & Specialist-Skaven()
    11-11   "2 Skaven Warriors, 1 Skaven Warlord (80 Gold Crowns)" & Specialist-Skaven()
    12-12   "4 Skaven Warriors, 1 Skaven Sentry, 2 Skaven Champions (100 Gold Crowns)" & Specialist-Skaven()
)

To this, to make it easier:
Lairs-Matrix
(   1D12
    1-1     "4 Skaven Warriors (40 Gold Crowns)"
    2-2     "2 Skaven Warriors, 1 Champion (40 Gold Crowns)"
    3-3     "5 Skaven Warriors (50 Gold Crowns)"
    4-4     "3 Skaven Warriors, 1 Sentry (50 Gold Crowns)"
    5-5     "6 Skaven Warriors (60 Gold Crowns)"
    6-6     "4 Skaven Warriors, 1 Skaven Champion (60 Gold Crowns)"
    7-7     "2 Skaven Warriors, 2 Skaven Champions (60 Gold Crowns)"
    8-8     "1 Skaven Warlord (60 Gold Crowns)"
    9-9     "6 Skaven Warriors, 1 Skaven Champion (80 Gold Crowns)" & Specialist-Skaven()
    10-10   "6 Skaven Warriors, 1 Skaven Champion (80 Gold Crowns)" & Specialist-Skaven()
    11-11   "4 Skaven Warriors (40 Gold Crowns)"
    12-12   "2 Skaven Warriors, 1 Champion (40 Gold Crowns)"

You can also change the proportion of empty corridors by editing the "Passage-Feature" matrix in room.tab. You can increase the chance of a Quest Room in the "Room-Type" in the room. You can have more secret doors, more stairs out, and so on.
Dungeon Seed 2016, 2 versions of room.tab

Advanced Heroquest map generator software

You can generate 5 random Advanced HeroQuest multi-level dungeons and save them to your phone in 10 minutes. This makes AHQ a super-viable 21st century boardgame.

You can exit the text files used to change the dungeon and its contents, you could even have a scifi dungeon.

There is an old Advanced Heroquest Map Generator for Windows program on BGG which is good. It has low quality graphics, which is bad. The graphics actually work well if you save them to your phone, which is good. The graphic is small, but it prints to full page.
You can take a photo of where your heroes were on the real board, pack up and resume play next weekend. This fixes one complaint about AHQ, the fact that you have to do a lot of table lookup to generate a dungeon, and have to draw a map if you want to go back.
This is a .jpeg, CTRL-S in the program, and copy to the phone.

There are 2 kinds of door, the door with the dot is a Secret Door. Traps Look a bit like PacMan. A chest is a square with a black like across.
Stais out are outside rooms, Stairs down are inside rooms.
You can change the tiny images to something clearer but it is a lot of work.
With a program like Resource Tuner, I have been able to save the images to monochrome bitmaps with Gimp, (Image>Mode>Indexed and tick the "Use black and white 1-bit palette". Then export as BMP.) and replace them into a new copy of the program. I haven't been able to build the program from the source code, I tried Borland C++ 4.52.
Moths exist in the program and in dark.tab, I replaced "Mould" with "Moths" in hazard.tab and changed the moth graphics, see room#5:
You can change the graphics



There is a text file for the monsters and treasure, with numbers that refer to the map.
The Quest for the Shattered Amulett ----------------------------------- #1 4 Skaven Warriors (40 Gold Crowns) #2 Fireplace 1 Skaven Sentry (20 Gold Crowns) #3 Stairs Down 8 Skaven Warriors, 2 Skaven Champions (120 Gold Crowns) Treasure Chest: Screech Bug and 50 Gold Crowns #4 Cupboard: Haeling Potion

If you have graphics software that does "layers" you can add an opaque top layer, and erase as you go for solo play. Probably desktop software.

You can edit the .tab files, "amulett\skaven.tab" has the Monster Matrices from p61 of the manual for example.

Wandering-Monsters
(   1D12
    1-2     "2 Skaven Warriors (20 Gold Crowns)"
    3-4     "1 Skaven Sentry (20 Gold Crowns)"
    5-6     "3 Skaven Warriors (30 Gold Crowns)"
    7-8     "1 Skaven Warrior, 1 Skaven Champion (30 Gold Crowns)"
    9-9     "4 Skaven Warriors (40 Gold Crowns)"
    10-10   "2 Skaven Warriors, 1 Skaven Champion (40 Gold Crowns)"
    11-11   "3 Skaven Warriors, 1 Skaven Sentry (50 Gold Crowns)"
    12-12   "4 Skaven Warriors, 1 Skaven Champion (60 Gold Crowns)"
)

"amulett\room.tab" has the Passage features Matrix from p13:
Passage-Feature
(   2D12
    2-4     Wandering-Monsters
    5-15    Nothing
   16-19    Door1
   20-21    Door2
   22-24    Wandering-Monsters
)

There are many .tab files, including Terror in the Dark (with a "Stop the Ritual" variant), White Dwarf Quests such The Changing Faces of Tzeentch, The Dungeon of the Priests of Pleasure, The Quest for Sonneklinge, The Eyes of Chaos and The Trollsayer's Oath. So you have Chaos, Greenskins, Undead, Beastmen, and whatever extra races, room types, traps, furniture, magic and items you add yourself.
For example, you coulkd make a copy of amulett.tab and the amulett folder, then put in deadlier monster matrices. This give you a "Hurt me plenty" Shattered Amulet dungeon for heavily upgraded Heroes. You can edit the "Passage-Feature"matrix  in room.tab to have more rooms per corridor, for a busier dungeon.
Gott im Himmel!!! Das Programm ist nicht in Englisch!

To use the program Ctrl-T, and load a .tab file from the tables directory. Different .tab files load different dungeon styles. Alt-E sets the path to Notepad (%windir%\system32\notepad.exe). Ctrl-K draws the map. Ctrl-N draws the next level or says "No stairs upwards!" in German.
"Immer eine treppe abwarts erzeugen" - Always produce an upwards stair.
"Nur eine treppe erzeugen" - Produce only one staircase on the map if checked (This only affects the map, the Monster Liste may have more than one.).
"Nur karten treppe abwärts anzeigen" - Show only staircase down maps.
Ctrl-K "Startwert für Zufallsgenerator" means seed value for the random numbers, so you get a different dungeon for a different number. The number must be 0-32767 or you will get an error (MSc Computer Science, I know a 16-bit maxint when I see it).
The default dungeon is (Ctrl-K) 50x50. 30x30 will obviously give you a quicker game.
If it is too small you may get an error.


Dark Beneath The World (White Dwarf 125) has a Square of Mersha, a 15x15 room, which is supported by the program, as well as Giant Moths. If you fight the moths without fire, you suffer 1-6 wounds, the program rolls the dice for you.




Advanced HeroQuest Simplifications for Beginners

Overview

Advanced HeroQuest is fairly complicated, so it good to have a simplified version of the rules for the first couple of Quests. The Cheat Sheet ruleset and table-free combat give a game only a little more complicated than HeroQuest, but you can add the full rulebook as desired.

Simpler Rules

Use only the rules mentioned in the Cheat Sheet. You may have to read the main rulebook for clarification a few times.

Combat with fewer tables

A simple system for Advanced HeroQuest combat without looking up reference tables. Almost as easy for beginners as the original HeroQuest.

Here is a simplified Advanced HeroQuest combat table:
Instead of looking up Target WS -> Hit roll, simply use the Target WS as the hit roll. Add 1 if the Attacker has a higher WS than the target, subtract 1 if the Attacker has a lower WS than the target. This is much the same as the table.
AHQ Reforged says if D12 + Attacker_WS - 7 >= Defender_WS, then you have a hit. This is much better.
Range is the Hit roll at Range 1-3 for ranged combat. Range 4-12 is 1 more than this.
A "*" means special rules, look up the manual.
The Columns are in left to right order: Roll for WS, Roll Damage Dice, check against Toughness, adjust wounds.

This is all you need most of the time. You can put a sticker on the miniature base with the numbers on it, no need to look anything up:
Standups with numbers:




Between Expeditions

1. Discard unused dungeon counters (except character monster
counters).
2.  Recover Fate Points and Wounds.
3- Gain Fate Points for recovered Quest Treasures.
4.  Divide up other treasure.
5. Pay Henchmen and cost of living expenses.
6.  Roll for random events.
7. Spend gold on training, equipment, spells and spell
components.
8.  Attract or hire new Henchmen
9.  Embark on next expedition.

No Sergeants.

First Expeditions

You probably have to clear the first room, leave the dungeon to buy spell components, and go back into the dungeon. For first time players, you might want to start with 8 spell components and 12 arrows.







Advanced HeroQuest Doorway Exploit - "High Risk Entry"

In Advanced HeroQuest, the Heroes usually don't enter the room until all the monsters enter the doorway, and get killed in that doorway one at a time, like a Kung Fu movie. Entering the room gets you surrounded by monsters, and you die. This house rule gives the Heroes a way of storming the room like modern special forces, relying on shock and awe to press an early advantage. Of course, things can go wrong, but Who Dares Wins.

Simple Rule:

If the Heroes win the Surprise roll, the Hero who opens the door may choose to move into the room after opening the door, before the monsters are revealed. If so, each Hero inside the room may reroll one failed hit roll during the first Hero Phase of the Combat turn.

Older Rule:

Before opening a door, the leader may announce "Storm the Room". The Hero who opens the door may continue to move into the room after opening the door. Other Heroes and Henchmen may now complete their remaining moves. Then roll for surprise, adding an additional +1 to the Hero's roll.
If the Heroes win the surprise roll, the Leader places the Monsters anywhere in the room, monster Death Zones may not overlap. If the GM wins, the GM places the monsters anywhere in the room. Combat begins.

If "Open Window" placed monsters in the room before "Storm the Room", remove the monsters just before the door is opened, and replace them as above. The +3 DRM replaces the +1 above.

Comment: No overlapping Death Zones means you can't put 4 monsters in a square to fireball them, but you can place 2, assuming a 2x2 fireball. In a Lair, 4 Heroes should be able to kill a Champion and a Warrior in the first turn. A Quest room will be more dangerous, you might kill the Warlord, and get attacked by the remaining Champion and Warrior. If the Heroes lose the Surprise roll, they are likely to lose the Wizard if he isn't well protected.


Another option is to replace Champions in Lairs with a Jezzailachis team 50% of the time. The GM can shoot thru the doorway from across the room, forcing the Heroes to charge in, run away, or use the archer to shoot it out.

Advanced Heroquest Paper Standup Miniatures


The sad thing about the game Advanced Heroquest is that to play the quest in the rule book, you have to buy about 30 miniatures which Games Workshop chose not to include.
Print these onto card and fold. You can glue a US penny inside the base.
I chose plausible images from the Internet, they may not be 100% accurate.

You can put a penny in the base for stability.


"Mead and Pretzels" - A 1 hour game of Advanced HeroQuest Dungeon Crawling


How to play a game of Advanced HeroQuest in about an hour. If you have a cheat sheet, the 4 tables below, the Wizard's Spellbook and the dice, you shouldn't need to consult the AHQ rulebook.
If you don't have Advanced Heroquest, you can use a suitable tile set, and whatever miniatures and combat rules you are used to. Some paper AHQ hero standups here.

Update: You can generate a dungeon using a Windows program, it is much easier.
For a quick "Mead and Pretzels" dungeon crawl using AHQ, generate a corridor using the dice (print and stick onto dice or wooden cubes from the dollar store craft section):
If you don't like the dice, use the tables at the bottom of the post.
  1. If there are 2 doors in "Passage Features", there are 2 rooms, so roll "Room Type" for each room.
  2. Add Doors somewhere along the passage, each door has a room beyond it. On the "1/2" side flip a coin to see if you get a wandering monster.
  3. Roll for passage end, including stairs up or out
  4. Roll for each room, place any doors on random wall
  5. Populate room according to Lair/Quest/Hazard matrix:

(I could have dice for the Matrices above, but it would be hard to know which die was which. And you might have different Matrices for other enemy races)

Your band of Heroes enter at the start of the corridor. If they reach the end of the corridor, a new section is created. If the new section is a dead end, optionally replace it with a T-junction if the Heroes have nowhere else to go.
The Warrior/Champion/Warlord in the Wandering Monsters Matrix would suggest Orcs, but other races can be substituted.
The game ends when a Quest room is cleared.
If you reach the third corridor, you are allowed a reroll on the Room Type, to end the game sooner.
Optionally, the 3rd corridor always has a Quest room in addition to existing rooms, for a short game.
Optionally, replace the Hazard with a wandering monster, so you don't have to read 4 pages of Hazard rules.
Optionally, cleared Quest and Lair rooms contain 20 * 2D6 Gold Crowns, instead of using the AHQ Treasure Chests Table rules.
The Heroes retain gold and treasure and wounds from the last game.
If the game is interrupted, record gold and treasure and wounds, and start with a fresh dungeon next time.

Tables instead of dice







Minden Games Retro Essential Houserules

AFV


Note: these rules are mostly about "soft" factors, humans rather than hardware. Being house rules they are highly opinionated, and not entirely essential.

Armor combat vs Ordnance and Infantry:

Instead of using the Armor Combat Table for Gun fire vs non-vehicle targets, use the Retro Infantry Fire Table. The caliber of the gun in mm in red (round down) in the top row (as in Squad Leader and ASL) determines the column to use. So a 75mm gun uses the "12/70" column. Pencil in the above number on your Retro IFT.
Apply TEM as leftward column shifts. So 75mm gun vs infantry in woods is the "8" column. Tank Leader DRM applies.
Trucks use the Armor Combat Table, Armor value = 0.

Comment: A Retro Stewart 37mm gun kills an entire squad on a 9 or less with 2 D6, 0-6 hexes, no modifiers. This is very unlike Squad leader. Now it fires on the IFT "2" column. Which is still deadlier than Squad Leader, since there is no "To Hit" roll. Same as JOSÉ LUIS VALLÉS

Group Vehicle Hesitation:

If a Tank Leader passes his Hesitation check, so do all adjacent friendly AFVs. If a Tank Leader fails his Hesitation check, so do all adjacent friendly AFVs. AFVs adjacent to a Tank Leader do not have separate Hesitation checks.
Comment: This avoid the Kung Fu movie effect where you have 6 tanks, but only one gets to attack each turn. Now a troop moves as a troop.
We also assume that an AFV causes hesitation only in its covered arc.

Group Vehicle Radio:

If a Tank Leader passes his "AFV without Radio" check, or has a radio, all adjacent friendly AFVs enjoy a -2 modifier on their individual "AFV without Radio" check. If a Tank Leader with no radio fails his "AFV without Radio" check, so do all adjacent friendly AFVs.
Comment: 'Do whatever the boss is doing' was a standing order for Soviet tanks.

2-Man Turrets

An AFV that has a turret, with a turret crew of less than 3 suffers a 2 column right shift on its first shot at any target. This does not apply to subsequent shots unless either party moves, or LOS is broken. This applies to (more or less) all light tanks, Brit heavies before Churchill, Brit Medium before Crusader, Soviet heavies before KV-1, Soviet Medium before T34/85. All Japanese and Italian tanks. German medium/heavies have 3-man turrets.
Comment: In a 2-man turret, the commander sits looking thru the gunsight and has a limited field of view. Or has his head out and is not at the gun station.

Combine MG and Gun:

If the target is within 10 hexes, add 4 to the Gun FP for one dice roll, never fire the AFV MGs separately. 10-20 hexes, add 2. Just to speed things up.

Partial Kill:

If the Armor Combat Table die roll is equal to or just 1 higher than needed for a Kill, roll a D6: 1-3= kill, 4-5 the vehicle must Flee in its next movement phase according to the Fleeing DRM rules but without the +3 DRM. 6=Immobilized.
Comment: The Fleeing vehicle has been damaged or stunned, so the crew fall back, risking Hesitation and a second hit.


Crew Exposed (CE)

CE counters may be placed or removed anytime during the owner’s Movement Phase only.
The CE counter adds an additional 2 column left shift advantage on the AFT, allows road movement rate, and use of any AA MG fitted. If an pivoting AFV is not CE, add an additional 2 column right shift disadvantage on the AFT.
The exposed crew may be fired at on the IFT with a +2 TEM (no other TEM factors apply). A Morale check fail removes the CE counter for the rest of the scenario. An IFT KIA result does not eliminate the vehicle, but the AFV may no longer fire. Passengers in an armored halftrack may not fire unless in a CE position.
Optional Rule: Soviet AFVs are never CE.

Infantry

A natural 6 always causes SMC/MMC Hesitation.
All Debris/Rubble is open for hesitation purposes only, not for fire (Norman Smith).

Smoke

OBA may be used to place smoke instead of the standard High Explosive fire. Merely place a smoke counter in all 7 hexes of the Blast Area. Smoke lasts 1 turn (remove at start of firing player's next fire phase).

A Gun/Mortar firing directly may fire smoke instead of other types of ammunition in its Fire Phase, smoke exponent = 5. A Gun/Mortar may only attempt to fire smoke once per scenario. Direct fire smoke automatically lands in the target hex, if within range and LOS.
AFV's firing smoke cannot fire their MGs first.
50-70mm Gun/Mortar: smoke lasts 1 complete turn (remove at start of firing player's next fire phase), 71-100mm 2 turns, >100mm 3 turns.

All smoke placement must be done at the very beginning of the fire phase before other units fire. All smoke counters, throw a D6, a 6 means no smoke in that hex (smoke exponent = 5).

See back of counter: s8 (2-7 = you got smoke, 8 = you got it but it was the last one, 9-11 = no more smoke try again with another ammo, 12 = malfunction).

"Canadian tankers quickly discovered that a squadron smoke shoot permitted the Sherman to attack: a line of smoke placed along the front of an enemy position allowed them to close quickly into effective kill range. "

"Tank Tactics, From Normandy to Lorraine," by Roman Jarymowycz, Chapter 13 "Who Killed Tiger": The Great Tank Scandal, page 265-266:



Retro essential but missing Rules

Retro "is a tactical, squad-level World War II combat variant rules set."
It is a simplified ruleset for Squad Leader / Advanced Squad Leader.
Much of the ruleset is missing rules are missing, and you apply rules from Squad Leader or Advanced Squad Leader.

Retro is not a complete ruleset, you fill in the gaps with Squad Leader or ASL.

So I would take this line from the Retro Introduction to be a rule:
 "If you are familiar with how Squad Leader is played, you will have no difficulty using this variant"

I would suggest:

  1. If Retro mentions it, fill in vital gaps with the minimum amount of rules from SL or ASL.
  2. If Retro doesn't mention it, use SL/ASL rules as an optional expansion to Retro.
  3. If there is doubt about interpretation of a Retro rule, use whatever is closest to the way SL or ASL does it.


  • "Line Of Sight" is mentioned, but Retro has no LOS rules at all. So use SL/ASL rules or a subset thereof.
  • "Minefields" are not mentioned, so minefield rules from SL/ASL can be used, but I would consider this an "expansion" to the ruleset, not part of the basic game.
  • Broken units and Close Combat are mentioned, but there is no Retro rule for broken units in Close Combat. Squad Leader eliminates them instantly, so we do that.




Here are some of the missing pieces:

(Retro Tanks cannot rotate their turret, so we adapt Squad Leader facing and pivoting)

AFVs:


  1. Units with a covered arc (including Ordnance, Bunkers and AFVs) can cause Hesitation in their covered arc only.
  2. Vehicle Hesitation uses front or side armor values, depending on facing.
  3. Pivoting is not moving. You may pivot AFVs or Ordnance at no movement cost, during the movement phase only.
  4. Turreted AFV Firing during Fire Phase after pivoting within hex during Movement Phase +1 Column shifts right on Armor Combat Table.
  5. Non-Turreted AFV or Ordnance Firing during Fire Phase after pivoting within hex during Movement Phase +3 Column shifts right on Armor Combat Table.
  6. There are no Multiple Hesitation Rolls for vehicles.
  7. HEAT Gun Factor is caliber in cm round down. So 10 for 105mm. HEAT depletion is "H" on counter rear. H7 means your last HEAT round, >7 no HEAT available.
  8. HE vs Vehicle: as per HEAT, but a if you score a "Kill" on the ACT, roll a D6: 1= kill, 2-4 the vehicle must Flee in its next movement phase according to the Fleeing DRM rules but without the +3 DRM. 5= immobilized. 6 = no effect. 
Comment: HE vs AFV, The Fleeing vehicle has been damaged or stunned, so the crew fall back, risking Hesitation and a second hit. This gives the SU-122 some chance against a PzKpfw IIIJ (50L) with just HE.

Squad Leader Radios:

ASL counters have a number, such as "8" on the front of the counter. Squad Leader counters, see table below. I would guess British Commonwealth and Japanese to be 7. Other nations as per Russian.



Infantry:

Rate of fire of machine guns: LMG=1, MMG=2, HMG=3.

Broken units in Close Combat are eliminated (SL 20.9)

Retro routing is one move only, until rallied or eliminated (clarification).

Broken units already in a building or woods hex may either stay in the target hex or make a once only rout to other cover (SL 13.46).

Allow Defensive fire groups (SL 16.5)



Heroes: If a non-wounded hero (1-4-9, 6MF) fails a MC it is wounded. If a wounded hero (1-3-8, 3MF) fails a MC it is eliminated.


Line Of Sight:


  1. Use a ruler, center to center, only the drawing of the cover blocks LOS.
  2. Multi-story Buildings, the firer decides which level the firing and target units are on.
  3. Walls and hedges block visibility if neither party is adjacent to the wall, and neither has a height advantage in SL. Fire is allowed along a wall/hedge hexspine with TEM benefits.
Generally, you can use dice as 3D line of sight tools, 1 for a wooden building or wood, 2 for a multi-story building, and eyeball the line of sight, rather than complex rules.

Rally Phase:

"Only the player whose turn it is may conduct activity in this phase." 3rd Ed, missing from 4th.

Fate table for Board Games

The Fate Table below is a substitute for complicated board game rules.
It is useful if you have a fair idea of what is likely to happen, based on your knowledge of that game universe.

Estimate the probability from "Hard to Believe" thru to "Sure Thing". Roll that number or less to succeed.
But, a "2" is always a disaster, and a "12" is a very lucky outcome.

For example, can a infantry flamethrower fire thru intervening smoke to set a wooden farmhouse on fire this turn? I'd say unlikely, so you have to roll a 5 or less with 2 six-sided dice.
A "2" might mean that the flamethrower people get lost in the smoke and perish, a "12" means they also burn down the farmhouse next door, assuming they want to. You just make up something plausible.

2D6 Required Probability
2 Disastrously Bad
3 Hard to Believe
4 Very Unlikely
5 Unlikely
6 50-50
7 50-50
8 50-50
9 Likely
10 Very Likely
11 Sure Thing
12 Amazingly Good

If the question is, "Can a rubber boat travel through a swamp at half speed?", it might be a 50-50, 6 or more, with a "2" being the boat gets stuck, 12 being "Yes, but full speed is OK".


This does require agreement from all players, so it is extra good for solitaire.