“Ersatz Armies” is a cheap-and-cheerful custom conversion project born out of necessity. I have created these Army Cards for people exactly like me who were lucky enough to pick up a boxed Master Set of Hasbro’s tabletop miniatures wargame “Heroscape” (discontinued in 2010) – but who cannot afford the very high prices of (now very collectible) second-hand additional official Heroscape units.
“Arena of the Planeswalkers” was an attempt by Hasbro And Wizards of the Coast to create a crossover game that utilised the established Heroscape scenery, unit and movement rules, but layered on top the lore and extra mechanics from the Magic The Gathering card came. It was (arguably) not a great success, and now a new boxed set of AotPW can be had for £19.99 on Amazon UK.
Using my Erstaz Armies army cards, the plastic figurines from AotPW can be used in Heroscape with minimal fuss – because these army cards have Abilities, Stats, and Points Values copied from official Heroscape units, and are therefore balanced and playable. You can of course paint your figurines if you wish to – I did.
The Ersatz Army Cards as a printable PDF:
The Figurines in a Heroscape Setting:
I know that other Heroscapers have taken very different approaches on how to use the Wizards of the Coast sets. Perhaps most notably the AotV project:
which is a massive undertaking, creating and play-testing brand new custom units. It is evidently making progress.
Another notable conversion is SIEGE’s AotP Converted Customs:
SIEGE’s conversion adapts the AotPW cards, assigning Factions by converting MTG lore towards Classic Heroscape lore, and creating new abilities. This is a another great piece of work, but for me has two drawbacks; I have no idea how balanced the units are, and whether the points values are reasonable. Also, I literally cannot manage Squads with more than one life. I am in my mid 60’s, and whilst I can still (just about) hold and use a paintbrush on figurines, I just can’t balance tiny plastic wound marker cubes on the figurine itself whilst moving it on the battlefield – no good.
So as an alternative, I just created Unit cards by this method:
- Use the Faction/General allegiances and card templates created by SIEGE. (I used to play MTG, and I feel he did a great job on this – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it – thanks!)
- Copy the Stats, Abilities and Point Values from an existing official Heroscape Unit that reasonably “fits” with the appearance of the figurine, its original AotPW Stats, and the MTG lore.
- Rename any abilities / attacks that are mechanically workable but don’t sound right in the new unit context.
- Only if absolutely necessary, fiddle the points. (For example if the official unit had 4 figurines, but the ersatz one only has 3, just pro-rata the points.)
- Paint the figurine using the AotPW unit card art as a guide, and photograph them to create Heroscape-style card art.