Warhammer Quest the Adventure Card Game takes Games Workshop’s famous miniatures board game of the same name and turns it in to a portable card game with some roleplaying elements.
Players take one of the four roles available, Warrior Priest, Bright Wizard, Dwarf Ironbreaker and Elf Waywatcher (Cleric, Wizard, Warrior and Archer for those not attuned to Games Workshop’s systems) and then set up the quest by creating different decks for enemies, locations and loot/gear based on the Quest Card’s rules. Usually a boss enemy is selected and pre-positioned just out of reach of the heroes, to attack and hinder them from a distance as they approach his lair.
There is no Games Master/Dungeon Master, instead players control everything in the game themselves. Enemies follow a pattern for attacking with rules printed on their cards, either attacking the player who activated the enemy or withdrawing and attacking the player with the lowest health. Players follow a step by step action list according to the card, so each enemy operates in a unique and suitable way. Because of this, Warhammer Quest – tACG can be played solo, with a single player controlling two heroes.
After the quest is set up, players draw a location card from the top of the location deck (created following the instructions for the Quest) and place (spawn) enemies according to that location card. Enemies spawn in a central location, some face-up and some face-down and are engaged by or engage the heroes. Players have several options available each turn, from attacking, resting to recover wounds, exploring to work towards moving to the next location and aiding another hero increasing their chances of one of their options on their next turn.
To complete actions, such as attacking and exploring, players roll special Warhammer Quest tACG dice. The player’s action card dictates how many dice to roll and if the player is engaged with any enemies, dice are roll to hinder the players, allowing enemies or even the boss baddie to attack the players. After the hero’s actions, players then take it in turns to activate the available enemies which act, according to the step by step stages on their cards. All enemies act as you would imagine they would. Orcs charge forward, looking for a challenge. Spider hide in the shadows, entrapping heroes and Goblin archers retreat from combat and fire arrows from a safe distance.
After the enemies have acted, the location and peril phase are completed before the round starts again. The location phase action is dictated by the location card for that area and are unique to that location, actions such as spawning more enemies or letting the players look for treasure. During the peril phase, the peril marker moves one square forward and at certain points, game events happen according to the Quest card. Bosses might leap from their lair to attack the heroes, repeatedly throughout the quest until the final showdown.
To learn the game, there is a quick tutorial that you should play through before attempting your first quest. The rulebook tells you where you need to read to before attempting each step (Tutorial – starting a quest – finishing a quest) and there is a rules reference book for reference during gameplay.
In the first quest, we had to refer back and forward between the two rulebooks and several mistakes were made as sometimes, events and actions are not clear. For this reason, I would suggest playing a few practice quest games until your games are running without pause before heading in to the quests proper.
Once you’re in the quests, options for upgrading the heroes and acquiring gear open up and while currently limited in options (three unique gear items, one of each action upgrade and two ‘levels’ of character upgrade) the scope for including more heroes upgrade, as well as heroes, quests and enemies is huge and those included are enough to take you through the included quests and additional delve quests many times.
Warhammer Quest the Adventure Card Game is an incredible game. It’s not a collectable (or living) card game in that there is no deck building element (other than the random enemies and locations) and there are no miniatures (cards are the physical representation for the characters) and it is not as open as a roleplaying game. But it fits extremely well in-between all of these. The game (once learnt properly) flows very well, even as a single player game and is challenging and random enough to keep players going for a long time. The options for adding quests and more heroes is infinite and I am looking forward to seeing what Fantasy Flight Games do with this (looking at what they’ve done with the Games Workshop, Game of Thrones and Star Wars licences’ I expect great things).
This game will have something for everyone, whether you’re a card, board or roleplaying gamer. It’s compact and single games are quick enough to be a great addition to any group (or solo player) and encourages team play through-out. A roleplaying Borderlands (video game) meets living card game if you will.
On a side note, this review was supposed to be posted online a while ago, but I’ve been busy playing it. That should say it all.