One of God's own prototypes. A high-powered mutant of some kind never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die.” -Hunter S. Thompson

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Review: Warhammer Quest – The Silver Tower

I finally had a chance to play through the first scenario of the Silver Tower board game by Games Workshop. This is the first Warhammer Quest box set that reimagines the old Warhammer Quest game.

The Components
The box and and its components are amazing and of extremely high quality. The miniatures need to be assembled, so this is a strike against it in that it takes a lot of time to put together and actually start playing right away. On the plus side many of these miniatures are useable if you play Age of Sigmar table top battles. The cardboard dungeon rooms are of solid stock and look like they should survive warping and heavy play. The cards also seem to be thick enough to survive wear and tear of game play.

The Rules
The rules are relatively simple. Most of what characters can do are noted on their character’s card. One player is designated each round as the rune marked player who rolls the destiny dice and controls the monsters and reads from the adventure guide. Destiny dice act as community pool for players to take from. On each player’s turn they roll their own pool of dice and then take actions fighting, moving, exploring and so on. Actions are taken by spending a d6. For example, I first roll my 4 dice comprising my pool getting a 1,3,4 and 5. The Runic Waraxe of the Dwarf (Fireslayer) requires that I spend a die of 1 or higher to use it to attack an enemy. Then I use that same die to roll the attack, scoring a hit on a roll of 2 or greater and dealing 1 wound to the enemy. When characters are wounded they lose a number of dice equal to the number of wounds they take. As play progresses characters have a chance to heal, find treasure and gain renown which allows them to gain skill cards.

The Dungeon
The Silver Tower is lair of the Gaunt Summoner, a power minion of the Chaos Lord Tzeentch. The dungeon is explored in 8 quests. Each quest involves the creation of a randomized exploration deck that provides a lot of replay ability. Each chamber creates a set or random encounters. The monsters act based either the text from the adventure guide, which also provides flavour text describing the room, or are rolled on a behavior table for each monster. At the end of each quest the characters get a piece of an amulet that provides them more powers and once assembled the true name of the Gaunt Summoner and granting them whatever they desire.

My Thoughts
We played the game with three people, but I think you really need 4 for the best experience. I love how re-playable the game is. The number of hero options that come in the box and available for purchase is staggering. You can use heroes from the Shadows over Hammerhal game too. The random dungeon creation is awesome and the villains and the behavior table is fun. My only real gripe about the game is the organization of the rules. There is no index and the rules really force you to have to search through the book for them as you play. I wish they would have made monster cards with their behavior tables on them. Instead all that is in the book and requires a lot of page flipping during the game. I would be willing to forgive this, but the cost of this game was astronomical when compared to similar dungeon exploring games. I’ve noticed Games Workshop has a trend of making their recent board games with a dual purpose of providing miniatures that can be wither used as part of the game they come in or for their 40k or AoS lines. My LGS tells me some people just buy these box sets just for access to a lot of cheap minis when compared to buying units individually.

The Too Long, Didn’t Read Version
Warhammer Quest: Silver Tower is a fun dungeon crawling miniatures board game. I highly recommend it if you enjoy Games Workshop products and/or don’t mind spending the time to assemble the miniatures. The rules are simple yet provide a nice granularity. Each hero feels unique and fun to play. The organization of the rule book leaves a lot to be desired, but is still functional and lets you start playing relatively quickly out of the box. The game is expensive, but this could be used as the start of a Tzeentch army if you play Age of Sigmar, thus being a deal depending on your point of view. I really enjoyed the game and am looking forward to trying out Shadows over Hammerhal, which looks like it may have improved certain aspects of play, as well as providing more heroes and monsters to play with.

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