Time for another game day blog, and today is the turn for a new addition to my library – Warhammer Quest!
I’ve not yet played this game half as much as I’d like, so this is very much a first-look type of thing. First announced around GenCon, I got fairly excited at the idea of a dungeon-delving adventure. It also has that Warhammer feel from Fantasy Flight, with the familiar artwork from both Warhammer Invasion and the RPG.
The game is a co-operative dungeon-crawl adventure, where players take on classic Warhammer roles such as the Waywatcher, the Bright Wizard and the Warrior Priest, to explore locations and defeat enemies as part of a quest storyline.
Each hero has a series of actions he can perform each round, before the villains then attack back. The four actions each hero has are the same, though they execute in distinct ways, so they feel quite different when they play. The quest involves some exploration of locations, and some combat with enemies. You can also rest, to heal, and aid others, to help bolster their actions later in the round. Whatever you do, your action card will determine how many dice you roll to do this. Lets take a look at an attack:
The action card shows you have two dice (white for heroes), so you roll these along with one black die for each enemy engaged with you. Each crossed-axe symbol counts as a success, while each shield cancels any attack rolled on the black die. The enemy has a number of hit points shown in the red circle on the right – in the above example, 1 – that obviously need to be beaten to defeat the enemy. Each enemy also has a number of keywords that allow them to play a little differently to each other, to further the theme.
You explore the dungeon by taking your Explore action, which allows you to place progress on the Location card in play while also drawing a Dungeon card, which can be anything from lost gear and supplies to events that have a negative impact on your party. Exploration uses the same mechanic as attacking, rolling white dice as shown on your action card, any successes allowing you to place progress markers on the Location.
The first quest involves defeating a kind of boss goblin, who will keep spawning until you have explored every location in play. However, each game round involves a “peril” step, whereby the peril track is advanced one space and, as specific points, something bad will happen.
I think there are cards that allow you to push back the peril track, though I didn’t get to see any in my play-through. This track effectively creates a timer, as you need to make sure you explore fast to stop the boss monster from doing that much damage. Once you’ve explored the locations and defeated the boss, you claim a victory, and move on to the next quest in the campaign!
I really liked this game, in the brief experience I’ve had with it. There’s a lot going on, and a lot to strategise about, which I feel makes for a really interesting game experience. I’ve only played it solo so far, but I imagine it would be great with more people, as you try to determine your best course of action each round. Having the same dice mechanic for each action, just having success mean something different each time, is a nice implementation here, as it allows for you to learn it quite easily. I should mention here that there is a tutorial in the base game that takes you through the basic actions as you play against some basic enemies with just one location, and while it can be great to get into the game, you definitely shouldn’t judge the game experience from that tutorial. In all honesty, I nearly did, and felt a bit underwhelmed until I tried the campaign play. There’s so much more to the game that it increases the richness tenfold. Don’t give up if you’ve only tried the tutorial!
Of course, it’s a base game, so the options are fairly…standard. I would almost say rudimentary, but that does it a disservice, I think. There’s a lot to think about, and a lot to enjoy, in this box. My one gripe here would be that there is only the campaign mode in which to play the quests. The box does include one standalone quest (called a Delve quest) that says it can be played more than once, but I think I’d like to see a few more shorter scenarios rather than the all-or-nothing approach that seems to have been adopted here. Maybe something for the future.
Indeed, there are a lot of ways in which the game can be expanded, and I’m really interested to see in which ways the game is taken. I expect we won’t be getting any expansions for a while, as this isn’t in the LCG model, but more heroes, more (shorter) quests, and definitely more dungeon cards and enemy cards would all be very welcome, as I feel like this will otherwise get really old really quickly.
But for now, I’m going to keep going with the campaign…