Fantasy Flight Games’ Warhammer Quest: The Adventure Card Game is a brand new version of the ageless classic Warhammer Quest. Both games are set in the Old World and feature a group of heroes going into a dungeon to fight a bunch of monsters with quite high odds of them all dying. The original game had miniatures and cardboard rooms but this brand new version only has what FFG is famous of doing: cards, more cards, custom dice and counters. And naturally one of the most disordered rulebook there is.
When this new version of the Warhammer Quest was announced I could not help but to feel a kind of déjà vu. Fantasy Flight Games taking an old classic and turning it into a whole different beast with a boatload of counters on top? Yes – they did that with the Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay.
Since I have always liked the approach WFRP 3rd edition had (even though I know a lot of players really disliked it) I was immediately sold on this new approach too. I have nothing against painting miniatures and playing with them (far from it) but if someone is doing a reboot they should at least consider about making it a bit different than the last time (I’m looking at you Film Industry). Otherwise why would I even by the remake?
But since a very few people are interested in the story about “how I bought this new game” I’ll get straight into the juice stuff. Trying out Warhammer Quest: the Adventure Card Game!
The game comes with two rulebooks. One that has the rules (in a way) and one that includes the glossary of the game. The first one has the rules for a tutorial game, advanced game, and campaign game but does not include all the rules since glossary covers them. Great idea, right?
No. Not really.
Since we were on a schedule we decided to try the tutorial first. Just the get a glimpse of the game. I rarely do this since most of our gaming group consider themselves hc-gamers and want to dive into the deep end from the beginning. This time it was actually a good choice, since you need to learn the rules of the game via the examples in the tutorial session…
So, we had a group with a human bright wizard, elven waywatcher, and a dwarven ironbreaker. During the first round I was chosen to be the party leader (after first round the torch is passed both in literal and figurative sense to the next player). Wanting to try out my awesome fire magic I hurled a fireball at all three enemies engaged with our characters. I rolled the dice and… suffered huge amount of damage since all monsters I was engaged with attacked me. Short story short, after that the two other players took one action each after which the goblin archers retreated into the shadows and shot my character dead. End of story. And the tutorial!
We were having so much fun at this point that we didn’t even realise we had already lost the game. The tutorial has an ending point “Defeated” but no “Victory” headline. It seemed a bit odd at first but after considering it we all liked it. It’s much more likely that the tutorial fails at the first time and thus sets the tone for the coming missions. They even say that the replay value of the game is higher since it is so difficult to beat.
Usually I’m not that into with a co-operative games since they tend to end in a slow and “oh, did we just win?”-way that leaves at least me wanting something more. After giving another run with the games “delve quest” it seems more than likely that the game is going to have a stronger grip on the end game. For while randomising the decks the rules tell you how to shuffle the locations and creatures with different tiers so that the bigger beasts will be at the bottom.
What I liked the most with this game (apart from it taking place in the Real Warhammer World rather than the Age of Sigmar BS Games Workshop is trying to push through) was that it actually had a really strong feeling.
From the start we noticed that we needed to play together as a team and not just try to do things in solitary way that is more common from various co-op games. There was a lot of discussion between us and the circulation of the leadership assured that no-one had the higher vote for a long time. We even roleplayed a bit during the game. Describing the environment and the actions of our characters. It is isn’t necessary but always a fun addition.
The difficulty seemed to be (as promised) set high. At the second try out we were quite confident on our game plan but when the first tier monsters dealt enough damage to halve Ville’s HP we knew we had to plan more. And even though we did not try to campaign game yet I have a strong feeling that it going to be good. Book the whole evening, a couple of beers and it will be a blast.
Just remember to try out the rules first.
I have grown accustomed to the way Fantasy Flight Games publishes the rules. They suck. In this case they suck even more. A FAQ is sorely needed since a lot of rules seem to be buried deep. That with the (also) traditional oversized package are the only flaws of the game I noticed during this first session.
To sum up I’d say that FFG has made another hit. This game feels like something I would like to play more often than I have the time. I cannot guarantee the replay value but since it’s FFG I have no doubt they will keep publishing more content to this game. A great addition to the Santa’s list.