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Warhammer Quest: Cursed City

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12 Apr 2021 16:28 #321959 by themothman421
Yeah, going through the rules this morning and watching Joel's review has me setting my expectations pretty low. Ash from Guerilla Miniature Games also commented on how much of a grind this game looks to be.

I've enjoyed assembling/painting everything so far, even the weird zombies are growing on me. The actual lore bits surrounding this game are so well-done, too...it's a shame that the game itself isn't punching like it should. Perhaps they should have contracted out some design/editing services from one James Hewitt?

Here's hoping there's some decent Warcry rules in a future White Dwarf or something. Otherwise I'm perfectly happy using virtually everything in this box for Frostgrave 2e skirmishes.
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13 Apr 2021 21:36 #322030 by hotseatgames
I had my first game of Cursed City tonight. I followed the game's recommendation, embarking on a "Hunt" journey. You basically have to kill 10 champions.

Based on how enemies spawn, splitting the party is advantageous; at least it was for me. Even doing that, my heroes were so adept at smiting their foes that I often had at least one hero sitting around doing nothing. This is in part due to the way that enemy spawns function; once you clear out a "hostile group", which is itself represented by a spawn card that might say something like "3 Corpse Rats", the card is replaced with a new spawn card, but the card goes face down. The next time that card would activate, it flips over and you spawn the enemies. A couple of times I then missed the rule that they immediately get a double move and an attack when they spawn. This greatly increases their danger level.

The thing is, initiative is handled by a card row, and while you can manipulate it to a degree, if your heroes activate before enemies manage to spawn, they might be sitting around with nothing to kill. This happened to me a lot. My heroes were never in fear of dying. One did get messed up a bit, but he was a good healer.

That said, it was the first mission. There are 3 other mission types, and the big mission types are essentially double missions on their own. I think the difficulty will ramp up considerably, especially as my characters raise their level. You can gain a level roughly every 3 missions, it seems.

I had fun with this first mission. The character powers are cool, and I liked the feeling of being powerful compared to these chump zombies and skeletons. I'm looking forward to more missions. I also want to see what is in that final envelope. You don't get to open it until you finish the campaign.

So far I'm not regretting my purchase. I will add the context that I never played any of the recent Warhammer Quest games, nor did I play Blackstone Fortress. Perhaps I'd be less jazzed by it if I had.
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14 Apr 2021 02:20 #322040 by themothman421
Cool, thanks for giving your first impression.

Painted a bunch of bats today. Need to push through these objective markers quickly so I can get to the really fun hobbytimes with the proper heroes and villains.

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14 Apr 2021 03:21 #322042 by Matt Thrower

Michael Barnes wrote: I watched Joel and I have to agree with him...this is a tedious, sloggy design. ... . The missions I’ve played are boring...too easy and the heroes just cut through everything without breaking a sweat.


One game and I'd broadly agree. I thought at first I was playing it wrong, as it seemed so easy. It's possible the later missions become more difficult.

But the central problem seems to be that it's just too long. The basic mission type that I played - a "hunt" - requires you to destroy ten undead champions. Why ten? Not every mob even has a champion. It took me a couple of hours. I've heard someone report three hours. That's stretching things very thin for a game of this style.

The headhunter missions where you take on an actual boss are actually double-headed: you play one of the standard mission types before the constructed map. That's potentially going to take ages. Maybe that's where the difficulty is? Can't imagine having the time to play the whole campaign.

Was also disappointed to find that the adventure paragraphs don't seem to have any of the cool minigames or other surprises that made Silver Tower such a pleasure.
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14 Apr 2021 08:44 #322050 by hotseatgames
If I deem it to be outstaying its welcome, I'll probably just creatively adjust the rules. One that immediately comes to mind would be 10 hostile group cards, regardless of whether or not they contained a champion.
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14 Apr 2021 15:25 #322100 by Matt Thrower

hotseatgames wrote: If I deem it to be outstaying its welcome, I'll probably just creatively adjust the rules. One that immediately comes to mind would be 10 hostile group cards, regardless of whether or not they contained a champion.


See, that seems like a simple, workable idea to help with the length problem. For all the great titles Games Workshop have put out over the years, I have long suspected they don't playtest them properly at all. It's all about the figures: the game mechanics are a second thought, often cribbed from previous releases with little apparent thought as to how they'll fit the new setup. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

Take Crypt Hunters. It's based on Lost Patrol, which was well known as being totally imbalanced against the marine player. So in Crypt Hunters the Sigmarites got beefed up stats, a deck of card-based bonuses and ... they halved the number of models. So it's still totally imbalanced against the "heroic" player. A wasted opportunity to make something better based on many years of fan feedback.
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14 Apr 2021 18:11 #322108 by Michael Barnes
I absolutely think the problem here is that they built this on BSF, which is heavy on shooting, LoS, cover, area attacks, and so forth. And this is...not. Like Matt said, I don’t know if they really playtested this with an eye toward making it more melee, one on one combat focused and it shows.

The problem is that it’s just tedious- there are no emergent tactical situations of interest. It’s not like Gloomhaven where you have these intense fights where you work out pathways to success and high drama when you are facing a surprise late activation. Enemies wade toward you, you cut them down. Repeat.

There are really smart touches, I love the zombies busting up out our tombstones markers. The core mechanics are still solid. But they just don’t work for a zombie hack and slash game. Especially not one that lasts for more than 45 minutes.
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14 Apr 2021 18:26 #322109 by hotseatgames
I just finished my second game, a "Scavenge" mission. I think it took me longer to set it up than it did to play it. I had one character dart around the map completing search actions. I think they swung their sword once.

Two of the four heroes did smoke a lot of fools. The other two were on search duty. If this had been a game with actual other players, I would have thrown the game in the trash.

I believe I'm going to do some, shall we say, power-leveling, and try out the first "Decapitation" mission, which is the real meat of the game. I expect it to be more difficult. It would have to be...

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14 Apr 2021 22:44 #322113 by Shellhead
My stripped set arrived early today. I was pleasantly surprised to receive the game box in the deal. Usually a stripped copy means no minis and no game box. I also got the special reward envelope, to be opened at the end of the campaign. My stripped Blackstone Fortress seller kept the envelope and sold it to someone else.

Even without the minis, the box is heavy. The cardboard inside is high quality, though not as amazing as the debossed cardboard tiles from Space Hulk. The overall aesthetic is heavy on the black, with highlights and splashes in crimson. Half the tiles are in a variety of faded colors, while the other half are a ghastly blue-green. So about a 50/50 blend of typical dungeon and gothic horror, which is about 100% better than the old Ravenloft board game. Ravenloft should have been wall to wall gothic horror map tiles, but instead looked like a wall factory.

Flipping through the components, this definitely looks like a re-themed Blackstone Fortress, though also with a Silver Tower-like deck of locations. There seems to be a bit more variety in the opponents, though maybe that is partly due to the several different bosses.

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15 Apr 2021 15:41 #322167 by charlest
This thing is all kinds of weird. After previously stating it was going to be an evergreen product always available, Warhammer Community has now stated on Twitter Cursed City was a limited release (a one-off). I imagine this means no expansions and the game is already dead.

They've also scrubbed any comments they previously made on social media stating it would be kept in print.
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15 Apr 2021 16:40 #322172 by Michael Barnes
You know what else is weird...aside from the plastics being “off”...after really looking these minis over they had to have either used new sculptors or new CAD software. They really are not like other GW minis. There is a strange generic-ness to the models...which is not bad! They feel kind of old fashioned...despitre the skeletons having a proprietary name, they are really just plain old skeletons. Not Ossiarch Bonereapers or Vaguely Archaic Term Two Nouns Whatever’s. The scale is really unusual- they are scaled right at the size of Wizkids D&D minis...which means they look small compared to Stormcasrtor whatever. The bats and rats are like this too. Maybe it’s just because they don’t usually do more generic models, but it’s strange how NOT Warhammer 2020 some of these pieces are.

But yeah, this is looking like the Shadow War Armageddon situation from a few years back. Kind of weird that they did review copies on it too...lots of questions about this one.
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15 Apr 2021 16:52 #322173 by hotseatgames
The rule book mentions future expansions NUMEROUS times. It says this is the FIRST quest in the Cursed City. But GW is going to GW.

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15 Apr 2021 17:05 #322174 by Jackwraith

hotseatgames wrote: The rule book mentions future expansions NUMEROUS times. It says this is the FIRST quest in the Cursed City. But GW is going to GW.


It's kind of amazing how, after 40+ years, their business practices still kind of resemble Jervis and some of the boys running the whole operation out of one of their basements.
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15 Apr 2021 17:05 #322175 by charlest
I wonder if implications of Brexit or manufacturing issues are causing a smaller profit than they were expecting so someone up the chain made a decision to pull the plug.

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15 Apr 2021 17:30 #322177 by Shellhead

charlest wrote: I wonder if implications of Brexit or manufacturing issues are causing a smaller profit than they were expecting so someone up the chain made a decision to pull the plug.


I suppose that's possible, but the retail price is 33% higher than Blackstone Fortress 3 years ago, for roughly the same quantity of contents. Except for one critical difference... 60 minis in CC and only 44 in BSF. And minis are the primary selling point for most people, and possibly a significant part of the cost. So, yeah, maybe profitability doesn't look great for Cursed City, especially in the face of negative initial reviews. I'm not deeply (or at all) vested in the success of Cursed City, but I am going to need to play it some before reaching my own conclusions about the quality. There seems to be a somewhat different approach to leveling the characters, and maybe the night stats for the monsters offer enough of a bump in challenge level. That said, the healing process is easier in this game, with even grievous wounds able to be healed right in the middle of a fight.

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