Heroquest as well. Got it one Christmas and was blown away. Shortly after that I found the rule books in our local Walden Books. AD&D 2e, still have them. They survived many moves, several girl friends and now sit comfortably on my book shelf.
My (at the time) step brother lived in the US and when I saw him during the summers, he talked to me about D&D, but we never played together. When I was 11 or so I got into text adventures (or interactive fictions as they are more commonly called nowadays). At 12 I dived into Tolkien and that year the D&D "Red Box" was translated in Italian. Since I was already "primed", I immediately asked it for Christmas and I dove into it involving a lot of my friends. Since the person who had talked to me about the game played AD&D, I was a bit disappointed that Basic did not include paladins, druids, illusionists and gnomes (!), so - after a few months - I jumped head-first into AD&D.
I discovered the Fighting Fantasy game books at my local library. One day in that section I found Elmore’s dragon staring at me from the Mentzer red box and I was sold before I knew what I was looking at.
I was in the hospital with a broken ankle and a friend of mine gave me a Playboy magazine.
Since I had nothing better to do.... I READ THE ARTICLES!!!
One was about an American game called Dungeons and Dragons which seemed interesting.
So when I got out, I went to the gaming store, where they fortunately had the German variant (Das Schwarze Auge), translated into Dutch (I still think that if they had nothing, it probably would have died then and there).
We played that for 6 months until a friend of mine came back from the UK with a Players Handbook and DMG.
First we mixed the systems, but ultimately made the switch to D&D.
My friend and I were 13 and a lad from the year above in school had the White Box set. It was late in 1976.
The older lad, Dave, asked Phil and I to play a game after school and we were hooked. Phil played a magic user called Amroth, I played a fighter called Aelric. We both got the box set from our respective parents that year and established a D&D club at the school.