TRASH, CULTURE & VIOLENCE - Warhammer Quest: The Adventure Card Game

TRASH, CULTURE & VIOLENCE - Warhammer Quest: The Adventure Card Game Hot

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Brad Harmer-Barnes revisits the land of HeroQuest and Warhammer Quest with this new card game from FFG.

I’ll be honest, on first impressions I was incredibly sceptical about this one.  A dungeon crawl should be minis, monsters, maps, terrain…and yet this is a card game?  I wasn’t sure that this was the best medium with which to capture the tone of an eighties-style dungeon crawl.

Then it dawned on me that FFG have a track record for successfully transposing GW board games to card games.  Space Hulk: Death Angel, and Blood Bowl: Team Manager are both favourites of mine (hell, they don’t get the play time they deserve…maybe next gaming night…).  So, how does this one work.

Do I need to talk components when it comes to Fantasy Flight?  We all know what to expect by now; they’ve been using the same cardstock for a decade or more.  It’s great.  It’s durable.  It’s Fantasy Flight. 

What was nice was the lack of dials.  I hate the scoring dials in LOTR: LCG, Relic, Blood Bowl: Team Manager, Relic, Star Wars: LCG…so please let this be the end of them.  

As for the main game, each hero has four actions, and chooses one to resolve each turn.  Attack (attack a monster in the dungeon), Aid (hopefully bank some successes for another player to use later), Rest (heal damage) and Explore (gather some treasure, and hopefully progress through the dungeon).  This bit kind of felt similar to Space Hulk: Death Angel, and I guess that’s not all that surprising, considering that Warhammer Quest/Advanced Heroquest and Space Hulk are distant cousins. 

The resolution of actions is pretty cool.  Each character gets assigned a number of white dice depending on their character and the action they’re attempting, and then also gets a number of black die “penalty” dice, depending on how many monsters are currently pinning them down, making their quest that much harder.  The dice are resolved, and successes are added up and applied, then the monsters get to attack and may cause damage.  If you’ve got two giant wolves eating your face, it’s considerably more difficult to open up that treasure chest or bandage up your mate’s bleeding abdomen.

Once you progress through all the locations of a quest, you get to fight the Big Bad Evil Guy, and then progress onto the next level of the campaign. 

As fun as Warhammer Quest: The Adventure Card Game is, and as successful as it is at replicating the feel of a dungeon crawl in a card game form…it doesn’t quite manage to stand-out or do anything different.  To compare the two closest comparisons I drew earlier; Blood Bowl: Team Manager is a card game of Blood Bowl, but it doesn’t tackle the game in the same way.  Rather than playing a match, you played a whole season.  The scope of the game changed to make the game different to Blood Bowl.  Space Hulk: Death Angel changed the scope of play so it wasn’t a tense-one-on-one survival-horror, it was a co-op blast fest. 

By contrast, Warhammer Quest: The Adventure Card Game hasn’t actually changed all that much.  It is a dungeon crawl, but through a different medium.  It’s possible to own and enjoy both Blood Bowl and Blood Bowl: Team Manager for different reasons.  If you already own Warhammer Quest, then I can’t see that you’d ever play this instead of the full game. Hell, if you own Descent or Castle Ravenloft I don’t know you’d ever play this instead. 

 

It’s a shame, as Warhammer Quest: The Adventure Card Game is a lot of fun, in and of itself.  However, between the boardgame/RPG dungeon crawls you already own, and The Lord of the Rings: LCG, I don’t know that this would actually get a lot of table time.  Pick it up if you like the sound of a fun, light, dungeon crawl (and it is a lot of fun for the price), but think twice if you already have a dungeon crawl boardgame you play.  

TRASH, CULTURE & VIOLENCE - Warhammer Quest: The Adventure Card Game There Will Be Games
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Posted: 24 Feb 2016 07:20 by Mr. White #223143
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Yeah, as an owner and fan of Space Hulk: Death Angel, I still haven't felt a huge desire to get this one...even with good reviews.

I agree to your point about BB to BB:TM and SH to SH:DA. Thing is I no longer own WHQ or the superior AHQ, so this should seem to be worth having. I dunno though. Still feel like there's a lot of life in SH:DA...and I still haven't even played with any of its expansions.

Maybe, maybe, if a troll slayer, war dancer, and a Bret Knight made their way into the game...
Posted: 24 Feb 2016 07:26 by Columbob #223145
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I hate the scoring dials in LOTR: LCG, Relic, Blood Bowl: Team Manager, Relic, Star Wars: LCG…so please let this be the end of them.

I see Brad, you must really hate those Relic dials.
Posted: 24 Feb 2016 08:16 by Mr. White #223149
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And, Brad, thanks for putting together these reviews. They're much needed and I like the type of games you're looking at here.

Cheers!
Posted: 24 Feb 2016 08:45 by Jackwraith #223150
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I've found it effective as a way to lure in non- and semi-gamers to more AT-style stuff. My friends Kate and Nathan are gamers, but Nathan is a hardcore minis/AT/videogaming guy who was in GW games with me up to his neck and loves BB: TM and CitOW and pretty much everything else the FFG/GW morph has released. Kate, OTOH, will play games, but she objects to DOAM-type stuff and has never been overly thrilled with a lot of the Ameritrashy stuff that we've put in front of her (didn't like Chaos, didn't really like Wiz-War, etc.) But once she got a handle on the mechanics of this game, she really enjoyed it and asked about playing it again. She did the same thing for BB: TM, so maybe there's something to the reduction of components to cards that makes it a better Life cereal moment for some.
Posted: 24 Feb 2016 20:11 by Sevej #223223
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I haven't found co-op dungeon crawlers that does enemy activation as efficient and flavorful as WHQTACG. And Descent is in my top 3.

The presence of map usually kill any chance for the sweet spot: You either end up with bland, simplistic AI, or trudging through multiple IFs.

WHQTACG makes the heroes part challenging and it's where you spend most of your time. Even when fully engaged, resolving enemy action is a breeze. And we're talking upward 5+ enemies here... Due to the way heroes & enemies interact, even when "managing enemies" it feels as if you're making tactical decision as the character instead of gaming the mechanics.

I had compared this to SH:DA before I bought it, and decided to pick WHQTACG for more variations and less brutal difficulty. Co-op games that are only fun when being very brutal is one of my pet peeves.
Posted: 25 Feb 2016 08:32 by Columbob #223263
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Sevej wrote:
I haven't found co-op dungeon crawlers that does enemy activation as efficient and flavorful as WHQTACG. And Descent is in my top 3.

The presence of map usually kill any chance for the sweet spot: You either end up with bland, simplistic AI, or trudging through multiple IFs.

You should take a look at Space Cadets: Away Missions. Sure it's a "spaceship crawler", but that comes down to the same thing.
Posted: 25 Feb 2016 09:42 by metalface13 #223280
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Sevej wrote:
I haven't found co-op dungeon crawlers that does enemy activation as efficient and flavorful as WHQTACG. And Descent is in my top 3.

The presence of map usually kill any chance for the sweet spot: You either end up with bland, simplistic AI, or trudging through multiple IFs.

WHQTACG makes the heroes part challenging and it's where you spend most of your time. Even when fully engaged, resolving enemy action is a breeze. And we're talking upward 5+ enemies here... Due to the way heroes & enemies interact, even when "managing enemies" it feels as if you're making tactical decision as the character instead of gaming the mechanics.

I had compared this to SH:DA before I bought it, and decided to pick WHQTACG for more variations and less brutal difficulty. Co-op games that are only fun when being very brutal is one of my pet peeves.

This.
Posted: 25 Feb 2016 19:47 by Sevej #223329
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Columbob wrote:
Sevej wrote:
I haven't found co-op dungeon crawlers that does enemy activation as efficient and flavorful as WHQTACG. And Descent is in my top 3.

The presence of map usually kill any chance for the sweet spot: You either end up with bland, simplistic AI, or trudging through multiple IFs.

You should take a look at Space Cadets: Away Missions. Sure it's a "spaceship crawler", but that comes down to the same thing.

I haven't tried it, and while I believe it is a good game, it really doesn't give the kind of challenge I want from a dungeon crawler. If I had the budget, it'd have been in my collection. But it won't be for the dungeon crawler category. WHQTACG *really* feels like WoW (which just about the first game to nail some semblance of interesting tactics in dungeon crawler) with agro, crowd control and stuff. With SCAM it's more about overkill utilization and combo.