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Warhammer Quest: The Adventure Card Game» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Warhammer Quest: The Adventure Card Game – A Solo Player Review rss

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Wilson St.James
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Strictly speaking I do not have the credibility of other, seasoned and trusted, reviewers here on BGG. But the game is new and opinions are being sought so I offer my take after 7-8 solo plays.

I have played Ironbreaker and Waywatcher every time. My only other experience with Warhammer is Space Hulk: DeathAngel (SH) but I enjoy the fantasy theme much more. I like the Warhammer characters, both heroes and enemies, and can see myself enjoying this new universe.

Production

The packaging is nice. It’s a solid box with a fitting insert. However they have not left room for expansion cards that will presumably follow. I also appreciate it when the inserts take card sleeves into consideration, but in this case they did not.

The cards themselves have nice art and are of good stock. There is a variety of cardbacks, and two different sized cards, so if you did indeed want to sleeve them you’d need several different colours of sleeves. In fact, I would recommend clear sleeves because the cardbacks are pretty nice and it would be a shame to cover them up.

Rules

Learning the game was difficult. If it were not for the BGG forums I would still have many, many questions. I don’t have as much of an issue with the rules as written per se as I do with the lack of play examples in the two enclosed playbooks. Yes, there is at least one example of play (combat), and there may be another (I can’t recall) but there should be more. I think the designers of the rulebook(s) are taking too much for granted and operating (perhaps unconsciously) with the assumption that gamers will find some actions to be intuitive or self-evident. I would have rather preferred they had taken us by the hand a little more.

I’ve seen a lot of questions about “engaging” so this is an obvious shortfall in terms of understanding. I had problems with it too. Specifically, who can I engage and when – that could have been a little more clear when there are potentially a minimum of three to four enemy sources.

The rules index is very helpful. Kudos for that. However, the definitions could be a little more descriptive.

It’s far from the best ruleset I’ve used, but also far from the worst. It’s certainly not the kind of game that allows you to play “out of the box.”

Gameplay

After about four plays I was starting to get it, and once you get to that point I think you will also find that the game moves along quite well. Bear in mind that playing solo I have only used the two heroes and I can’t comment on the balance for more than that.

But the interaction between my two heroes was a lot of fun. Decisions felt meaningful and timing was critical. Some have expressed theme issues when forced to “rest” while engaged with enemies but I don’t share that problem. I simply envision my hero literally retreating to catch a breath but still facing off their opponent, who does get an opportunity to strike whether I want to rest or not. It all fits and works well as far as I am concerned.

I really like the “shadows.” It’s thematically simple to allow that in a damp, dark and smelly mine/dungeon there are baddies intentionally lurking just out of sight. They are using the shadows to their tactical advantage and that makes sense to me. The game designers already gave a bit of a hint about how the shadows could be used in future expansions. I believe something was mentioned about an ally possibly in the shadows, having been captured. I think this is a fun idea and if its already a part of the base game I have not encountered it yet. The concept is that you can target and attack enemies in the shadows but you often cannot see who you are attacking. So, if there were an ally in there … well, you’d better think twice before your Waywatcher launches arrows into the darkness!

I’m a fan of dice so I was really excited about the mix this game offers. That being said, I didn’t want to use dice for every phase and decision, and for my tastes WH finds a really nice balance of that. I’ve often thought about picking up the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game(s) but at this point I am glad that I have not. It appears as though there’s too much dice dependence in them for my tastes, but otherwise I have always been attracted to the dice & card mechanic. Again, WH does this well.

Each hero gets four choices for their action and once an action has been used it must be reset before it can be accessed again. This really makes you think, plus, I would assume this would make for a really fun cooperative game with others. Each heroes decisions can really impact the other party members. It’s obviously drawn from the SH concept but I like it here in WH better than in SH. Hard to say why, maybe it just goes back to my preferred theme.

At first the game appeared as though it was going to be easy to win. Once I got a better handle on gameplay and the rules I realized that this was not the case. While certainly not as difficult as, say, the Lord of the Rings: Living Card Game (LOTR), I see that as a huge plus. In fact in anticipation of WH being “that good” I have started to sell off my LOTR collection. LOTR has just become too much of a beating for me. I really got tired of setting up, either losing outright or knowing that I was doomed within a single turn and having to reset and reshuffle all the time. I’m probably just a lousy deckbuilder too, but I tried to get good at it but it hasn’t seemed to help my attitude toward that game. I was also increasingly discouraged with the mechanical adjustments that came with all the LOTR Adventure Packs (expansions). Of course these add wonderful variety, but remembering all the “new” little rules exceptions meant too much bookkeeping for me. I have decided that I love Sentinels of the Multiverse and I’ve never seen more bookkeeping in a game than that but I find it easier to accept in Sentinels because it is not combined with the potential for an almost immediate loss (and subsequent game reset) the way that LOTR is. I can certainly accept losing (in fact I was toying with the idea of titling my Youtube channel “Watch me lose.”) because that makes a game replayable and challenging but I want to invest at least 20 minutes of gameplay before I reach that end.

At this point I have not seen enough of the various decks to be jonesin’ for more. Of course, I do want more anyhow and I am sure its coming! By that I mean, I have not yet grown tired of seeing the same enemies recycled through the dungeon. I expect there will be new heroes, themes, quests, monsters and who knows yet – there is a lot of potential here.

One final comparison. I’ll refer to Darkest Night, a favorite of mine (if you don’t have this, get it). These two games have little in common except theme but Darkest Night wasn’t really complete (even as a base game) until the first expansion (you’ll want to get that too!). I’m not saying outright that WH is not a complete game, but I do feel that an expansion will really draw together whatever threads this community identifies and exponentially enhance it.

If you play solo dungeoncrawlers you should get this game. Don’t let the dice mechanic scare you off. The designers have achieved good balance and given us something really fun, and I think, refreshing.
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Val Doonican
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theclergy wrote:
If you play solo dungeoncrawlers you should get this game.


Could not agree more - I think it is excellent as a solo dungeon crawl, and plays so fluently once you get the rules down.

Great review - I enjoyed reading it.
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Jason Ober
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Good review. I just picked it up this weekend, and we played 2 3-player games. It was really entertaining, once you figured it out.

To that point, this is a really frustrating rule set. I hate how they have it set up as a tutorial, then the rest of the rules, but not really, check the Rules Reference for all the rules. But not in chronological, make sense order, but in alphabetical order. I'm still not totally clear on the Campaign pool. Do you reshuffle decks? Who knows? Oh, wait, it's covered in the rules reference under "DISCARD." Really frustrating and hard to find at a glance.

However, as you stated, the game was fun, and I'm looking forward to playing through the campaign. It seems like with a couple of expansions there will be tons of variety, and there's already pretty significant variety right out of the box.
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The Hound
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theclergy wrote:
Strictly speaking I do not have the credibility of other, seasoned and trusted, reviewers here on BGG. But the game is new and opinions are being sought so I offer my take after 7-8 solo plays.



Qualifying yourself at the beginning of a review is like apologizing at the beginning of a speech - at best it's an unnecessary distraction.

Excellent, timely review, keep up the good work!

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Charles A. Smith
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Quote:
I’ll refer to Darkest Night, a favorite of mine


Darkest Night is a fantastic game. Warhammer Quest should arrive in a few hours. Looking forward to playing it with my granddaughters.

Quote:
Strictly speaking I do not have the credibility of other, seasoned and trusted, reviewers here on BGG.


Your review was excellent. I am retired now, but I was a frequent national public speaker as part of my career. One thing I learned about speaking is to be prepared and to be daring. That means never undermining what you are about to say by apologizing for inexperience. I think the same thing is true for writing.

I really appreciate your contrast with the LOTR card game, which I traded. I just sent you some GeekGold and made you a Geek Buddy of mine. I am looking forward to more of your reviews in the future.

Chuck
http://www.raisingcourageouskids.com
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Andy Allardyce
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Has anyone tried playing solo with all 4 characters?

Or would that be too much?
 
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David Hubbard
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Hemlockaaa wrote:
Has anyone tried playing solo with all 4 characters?

Or would that be too much?


I'm not certain if playing four heroes, with one action each per round would be better then playing two heroes, two actions per round. But something about two actions per round feels a little clunky to me, so it might be worth checking out.

As has been noted elsewhere, with more heroes you have less issues with the engagement limit, which can really hurt in a two-hero game if enemies start piling up.
 
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Ukko Kaarto
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Excellent review. Thanks.
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Wilson St.James
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theclergy wrote:
Strictly speaking I do not have the credibility of other, seasoned and trusted, reviewers here on BGG. But the game is new and opinions are being sought so I offer my take after 7-8 solo plays.


I did give this some consideration before writing it. Your feedback is appreciated and accepted in the good spirit which it is intended. I suppose it's a way of "protecting" myself from criticism. But then, of course, I get "criticized" for it

But seriously, I appreciate your feedback and your too! Very generous of you.

I've acquired three new games within three days but it's this that I can't put down
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Willy Adam
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Hemlockaaa wrote:
Has anyone tried playing solo with all 4 characters?

Or would that be too much?


After failing Quest 1 several times using 2 heroes, I tried this morning with all 4 characters and I succeeded for the first time (with 1 hero down at the end).

So, I'm happy to report that it is manageable solo, I had no problem and really enjoyed looking after the whole bunch. Much to think about but very gratifying...
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Wes
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theclergy wrote:

If you play solo dungeoncrawlers you should get this game. Don’t let the dice mechanic scare you off.


I think the dice mechanic is managed so well by the ability to bank successes on your characters' actions. That simple fact makes the management of luck and dice into a strategy choice. At the same time, the dice have an "exploding" mechanic. So there is a dose of careful planning and a dose of fortuitous heroics.

This, to me, is the perfect middle ground between the Euro- and Ameri- camps of gaming and is an ingredient in excellent game experiences.
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Scott Cantor
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oberjt wrote:

To that point, this is a really frustrating rule set. I hate how they have it set up as a tutorial, then the rest of the rules, but not really, check the Rules Reference for all the rules. But not in chronological, make sense order, but in alphabetical order.


All of FF's games these days seem to be organized that way, dating to Eldritch Horror or so. The new Runebound is the same. I detest that approach to rules, but then I find Arkham's rulebook quite simple, so I guess I'm the odd one.
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ennui
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This is a great review. Thank you!
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Mike Clarke
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More Mellotron wrote:
oberjt wrote:

To that point, this is a really frustrating rule set. I hate how they have it set up as a tutorial, then the rest of the rules, but not really, check the Rules Reference for all the rules. But not in chronological, make sense order, but in alphabetical order.


All of FF's games these days seem to be organized that way, dating to Eldritch Horror or so. The new Runebound is the same. I detest that approach to rules, but then I find Arkham's rulebook quite simple, so I guess I'm the odd one.


The major omission in the rules for me was not spelling out more clearly that you can engage any enemy on the table and that means bringing it to your Engagement zone. It's vague at best in the tutorial and spread out so thinly in the rulebook you have to have computer-like memory to put it together on your own.
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Lex Major
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Great review.

I'm curious. How is setup/teardown time? I find it's a major factor deciding if a solo game will see table time or not...

Legendary, for instance, takes _forever_ to setup/tear down...
 
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Chris Marlow
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javascrybe wrote:
Great review.

I'm curious. How is setup/teardown time? I find it's a major factor deciding if a solo game will see table time or not...

Legendary, for instance, takes _forever_ to setup/tear down...

I've just set up the Lost in the Dark delve quest for 3 heroes in 10 minutes if that helps
Would have been even quicker with one of those swanky box insert jobbies
 
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Lex Major
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marlowc wrote:
javascrybe wrote:
Great review.

I'm curious. How is setup/teardown time? I find it's a major factor deciding if a solo game will see table time or not...

Legendary, for instance, takes _forever_ to setup/tear down...

I've just set up the Lost in the Dark delve quest for 3 heroes in 10 minutes if that helps
Would have been even quicker with one of those swanky box insert jobbies

It does, thanks
 
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Colin Houghton
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Is the game outcome simply "you win" or "you lose" or are there shades of both... I mean can you score both your wins and defeats to see if you're improving!

I got really fed up with LOTR card game and it gathers dust in my loft space...

Thanks!
 
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Mike HIldreth
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There's plenty of space under the cardboard insert for additional or sleeved cards.
 
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Ian Bassett
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mikecl wrote:

The major omission in the rules for me was not spelling out more clearly that you can engage any enemy on the table and that means bringing it to your Engagement zone. It's vague at best in the tutorial and spread out so thinly in the rulebook you have to have computer-like memory to put it together on your own.


Thank you so much for that clarification. I was trying to be the rules guy and explain how to play to two friends who were running through the tutorial, but the whole engagement/shadows who can you actually fight part of the game was pretty damn obfuscated.
 
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Tony C
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mikecl wrote:


The major omission in the rules for me was not spelling out more clearly that you can engage any enemy on the table and that means bringing it to your Engagement zone. It's vague at best in the tutorial and spread out so thinly in the rulebook you have to have computer-like memory to put it together on your own.


Thanks for confirming this : ) I just played a second Tutorial mission, with the other two characters, and house-ruled that I could do that. It makes sense - Taunting and similar activities are not new in fantasy/gaming - but I'm glad it's actually allowed. "Taking one for the team" is definitely a viable tactic.

As a gamer who solo-delves often, I appreciate the review, OP!
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My wife and I just started playing this -- we've finished 4 games of the campaign, with the Waywatcher and the Warrior Priest. The first game was more challenging -- I actually died just before we won (overwhelmed by opponents hitting multiple times because I was max engaged). Every other game, though, has been pretty easy with us getting to the end with only minimal damage. Do you know any rules people commonly might get wrong that would make the game too easy?

Good review, by the way!
 
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Wilson St.James
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Thank you.
I can't think of anything typical which you may be overlooking but if you happen to be rolling well, avoiding "nemesis," the game is certainly easier.
I suppose you may also want to ensure that you are doing the nemesis attack properly. Toward the end, when the nemesis is activating on every turn it can be brutal. Sometimes folks overlook one of the activations. However, if you are quick enough and the time track has not progressed too far this too can be avoided.
 
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Snooze Fest
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theclergy wrote:
Thank you.
I can't think of anything typical which you may be overlooking but if you happen to be rolling well, avoiding "nemesis," the game is certainly easier.
I suppose you may also want to ensure that you are doing the nemesis attack properly. Toward the end, when the nemesis is activating on every turn it can be brutal. Sometimes folks overlook one of the activations. However, if you are quick enough and the time track has not progressed too far this too can be avoided.

I did figure out one error, although I'm not certain how big an effect it will have: we were playing 2er and having each character activate twice consecutively instead of alternating. Not sure what's else, though...
 
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Tom S
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snoozefest wrote:
My wife and I just started playing this -- we've finished 4 games of the campaign, with the Waywatcher and the Warrior Priest. The first game was more challenging -- I actually died just before we won (overwhelmed by opponents hitting multiple times because I was max engaged). Every other game, though, has been pretty easy with us getting to the end with only minimal damage. Do you know any rules people commonly might get wrong that would make the game too easy?

Good review, by the way!


So my wife and I have played through the first quest and a couple of things we missed are:

You must activate all enemies in the enemy phase, unless already exhausted through some effect during player phase.

At the end of the enemy phase all enemies are readied.

You roll one black die for each readied enemy you're engaged with and for each scratch you take damage equal to the attack value of the enemy with the highest attack being first.

Even with those missed rules we barely scraped by, I'm not sure what you could possibly be doing to make the game so easy, it is a brutal game.
 
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