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Thursday, December 31, 2015

Review: Warhammer Quest: Adventure Card Game

Let's take a look at Fantasy Flight's newest dungeon crawler card game - Warhammer Quest: the Adventure Card Game.

The game-play is similar to FFG's LotR card game, except there's no deck-building mechanic, and everything comes in one box (although I'm sure expansions are planned!) 

It's a full cooperative fantasy dungeon crawler, with the "bad guys" controlled by AI rules. The game comes with two "rulebooks", similar to many of FFG's recent offerings. 

One book contains a simple walk through of game play, and the second book is basically a dictionary of every term in the game.

The game comes with several pre-designed quests cards for you to complete, and also includes one free-form quest for endless replayability. One side of the quest cards will tell you how to set up the missions, which monsters to use, and which locations you'll explore, with a few random monsters and locations added for variety. In addition, it explains the victory conditions and what you get for succeeding if playing in a campaign setting.

The second side is the "game" side, where you track the duration of the quest. After each round you move the "Peril Track" one further down, and the longer you take, the more harsh the penalties you face. If you reach the end and still don't complete the quest, you face the harshest penalty each and every round, which may make it impossible to win!

Each player takes control of a hero - there is a Warrior Priest, an Elven Waywatcher, a Human Bright Wizard, and a Dwarf Ironbreaker. The game is designed around a party of 4 heroes, so if you have less, each hero is stronger. For example, if just two heroes are playing, each hero activates twice per turn (so you still get the four activations)

Each hero has four abilities, which fall into one of four categories - Aid, Attack, Rest, and Explore. Each hero has one ability of each type, and the abilities work in a slightly different way to give each hero their own individual feel. One of the abilities (different type for each hero) is a "reset action". You can use each ability once, but then it is exhausted until you perform the reset action, which resets them all. For example, the rest action on the warrior priest is "rest". You could, in theory, Rest every turn, but once you Attack, Explore, or Aid, you won't be able to preform that action again until you Rest to reset them.

Attack - pretty self explanatory...let's you bash bad guys
Explore - let's you progress quests, which is required for victory
Aid - lets you buff up other heroes abilities
Rest - lets your character heal and get away from bad guys

All abilities have a basic level and an advanced level. The advanced level is a different card that is just better, but must be obtained through advancing in a campaign setting. If you are playing the free-form quest, you can unlock advanced skills through achievements in that quest.

There are various different types of loot you can acquire during gameplay, and each hero also has three pieces of epic loot they can collect that are unique to that hero.

Over the course of the game, bad guys will spawn, and they all have varying things they do. In the pictures below, the Rat Swarm will first "Advance", meaning it moves in to engage you, and then "Inflict", meaning it deals it's damage to you. The Night Goblin Archer however, will "Retreat" first, meaning it runs away into the shadows, and then "Inflicts" twice, dealing its damage to you twice.

Anytime you want to use a skill, you roll the dice. You roll a number of white dice as indicated on the skill you are using, and each axe symbol is a success for that skill. If using an "Attack" skill, that will inflict one point of "damage", if using an "Explore" skill, each success will advance a quest by one, etc. The sun symbols are "crits" counting as a success and giving an additional die roll. The shield icons block one incoming damage from the black die.

Whenever you roll the white dice, you also roll the black dice -- one die for each enemy engaged with you. Each claw mark inflicts a damage to you, and each skill symbol triggers an elite enemies special powers, which is usually bad for your party of heroes.

Finally we look at a simple quest card, one of several you will have to complete your mission. The card has a location value of six, which means you need at least six success tokens on it (from "Explore" actions) before it can be completed and you move on to the next one. In addition, this quest spawns two enemies engaged with you, and two more hiding in the shadows.

Warhammer Quest - the Adventure Card Game is a fun, quick little cooperative game that offers a ton of replayability for a cheap $35 box set. With no deckbuilding required, you can break it out with no prep work and get to adventuring in no time at all.

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