Heroes and Might and Magic 3 is a titan of its era, and it’s long overdue for a board game adaptation of its own.
Ubisoft has granted an official license to Archon Studio, makers of the upcoming Wolfenstein: The Board Game. Archon’s speciality is in miniatures, and their plan for the cult turn-based classic will be to transform HOMM 3‘s dragons, angels, demons and other creatures into detailed figurines.
“In Poland, this game was one of the most iconic games we played. Basically every kid in the late 90’s played the Heroes’ games, and we are crazy happy to turn our childhood love into a miniatures-based board game,” Archon Studio CEO Jarsoslaw Ewertowski said.
Like almost all board games these days, it’ll launch first as a Kickstarter campaign in November 2022. It’ll fundamentally revolve around a tile-based exploration, with the player only being able to see the tiles immediately around their base.
In an email with Kotaku Australia, the designers said a prototype of the game has been worked on since November 2020, with Ubisoft agreeing to a licensing deal shortly thereafter.
I asked how the traditional Heroes of Might and Magic cycle — where you earn money each week and recruit new allies from your base — would fit into the context of a board game. The studio said they’re still testing elements of the design, but for now your population would determine how many units you could recruit.
HOMM is all about growing massive stacks of armies and having multiple heroes with different army types. Your hero’s movement speed was capped to whatever your slowest army unit was. Many of the abilities and artifacts have been replicated in card form, and they should have no difficulties making the jump to a physical board game.
There’s a long way out between now and its Kickstarter — I wouldn’t expect backers to get the game until at least mid-2023, if not later, given the campaign won’t go live until November 2022. But it looks like Archon is designing the HOMM game around longer play sessions of a few hours, given how the exploration, recruitment of higher level army tiers and hero development.
Only three towns will be included at this stage — the demon-summoning Inferno, the classic humans of the Castle and “a yet to be announced Town”. Given it’s a miniatures based game, this might be one of the rare instances where Conflux — a town that’s quite boring to play in HOMM 3 normally — actually shines. But the rest of the HOMM towns would make for excellent figurines. Fortress, with all its dragon flies, wyverns, hydras and basilisks, would be neat. (Wyverns and Medusas are already featured above, as are the Minotaurs and Troglodytes from the Dungeon town, so it’s possible that players might be able to recruit a mix of troops unrelated to their town.)
For more information on the official HOMM board game, you can sign up for updates via the official website.