Whatever Happened to ... Hell Dorado

Hell Dorado – Man, if there was ever a game I longed to get access to it was Hell Dorado. I remember back in the early 2000's when I was playing Chaos Marines for 3rd Edition Warhammer 40K and trying to figure out an excuse to buy some Hell Dorado minis for my force just so I could have them. The fact that it was a French company made it hard to get them at the time and the rules weren't available in English. The day I walked into my regular shop and saw them on the shelf I picked up two starters and the rules immediately.

I had my starters painted and assembled within a few days of picking them up and started working on a 3'x3' game board to run demos on. After a few weeks I had a pretty reliable group to play the game with.

The releases for this game were sparse. So after the starters there was a sizable wait to get some of the other models available in the core book. Which meant you started seeing the same thing happen game after game and lists began to get stale.

Cipher jumped on the Kickstartet band wagon to release an expansion book and speed up the release of the models from the core book that hadn't come out. The what is now to be expected kickstarter delays hurt this one and Cipher Studios became part of Ninja Division.

Unfortunately, the local scene dried up on this one completely and I never had a chance to try out anything from the second book. Which is unfortunate because the system was innovative and fun to play. The terrain set-up was really a game in itself that I think hurt playability for new players. Having to build 10 or more unique terrain pieces to be able to get the most out of the rules was daunting. I myself stuck with just building a fixed display board which while fun to play on left out a good portion of the games balancing mechanics.

I held onto my models for this as they are just amazing. Perhaps I'll be able to convince someone to play again in the future but at the moment this is another game that just didn't make it locally.

Do you still have a thriving community playing Hell Dorado? Why do you love the game, let me know in the comments.