December 17, 2012

RPG In A Box series: Warhammer Quest

Warhammer Quest was the first game I encountered that was a complete role playing game in a box.  Released by Games Workshop in 1995,  you took your adventuring party into randomized dungeons and complete a goal. Read on for more...

So the basic setup for the game went like this:  Build a room deck of approximately six to eight cards, one of which was an objective room.  Shuffle, and flip card one.  Adventurers enter the room and the Wizard would roll his power die each turn.  On a six, monsters would appear, drawn from a monster deck.  Players used their basic attacks and items, as well as items recovered from the rooms to kill monsters and eventually complete an action or defeat a monster in the objective room. 

Now that last paragraph is somewhat important because in some form or another, that's how a good chunk of these games play... but I digress.

This happened to be my first encounter with a complete board game set up this way.  Several of my friends really liked HeroQuest, but I missed that one by a couple of years.  I had also just discovered the anime series 'The Slayers', so I quite happily played the Wizard character, specializing in Fireball.  This game holds lots of memories of meeting up with a gaming group that would also watch the early Stargate SG-1 shows before we played.  Some fond memories.

The downside to this little 'review' is I don't actually remember enough about gameplay to give it a proper rating.  Level progression used a chart.  Level 1 was the character card, levels 2 - 10 were on the back (or another card, not sure).  The significant choices in the games revolved around who got loot, and which way to explore.  Also, (again working from memory) I really was annoyed after awhile at the lack of variance in stats.  Stats and die rolls amounted to 2d6 + a number from a chart (1-6).  Special abilities is what set each player apart.  I have a similar complaint about another Games Workshop game, Blood Bowl.

The game was very random.  We've already established that the dungeon layout was basically six or eight random cards, shuffled and then an objective room (chosen randomly from five) inserted near the bottom.  When a new room was put on the board, monsters are placed in it for the players to fight.  Add on top of that, the player who was the Wizard rolled their power die every turn.   On a six, you would randomly draw a card to see what new monsters appeared around the players. These were the only ways monsters appeared on the board.  It was entirely possible to go several rooms without encountering more than two or three monsters, but then get three packs of them all at once.

 It was not a very deep game by any stretch, but we really enjoyed it.  We got two hours a week out of it for several months and it filled the RPG niche very nicely.  Since my copy has largely been destroyed by my own poor stewardship, I would love to see Games Workshop reprint this again as a short run specialty game (like they did for Space Hulk).  Despite it's seemingly simple choices, it plays well and the game is fun and engaging for all the players.

Next Up: Descent: Journeys in the Dark (in a couple of days.  More recent game, so I can talk about it so much more in depth.)

Posted by: Tom Tjarks at 09:41 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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