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Warhammer Quest: Silver Tower – Hero Cards» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Change Is On the Cards... (A Review) rss

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Kevin Outlaw
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This review, complete with pictures, is available on my blog at AlwaysBoardNeverBoring.


Games Workshop is really trying.

I honestly, truly believe it's trying.

It's still making mistakes, and every step it takes is met by dogged resistance from the people who decided years ago that Games Workshop is the actual Devil.

But it keeps trying, just the same.

When Games Workshop released the Mighty Heroes "expansion" for Silver Tower, there was a lot of noise. The use of that word - "expansion" - was the main problem. For some people, four plastic miniatures, with no cards for actually using them in the game seemed like a bit too much of a stretch in terms of what an expansion should actually be. The counter-argument was, the rules for those four miniatures are already in the Silver Tower rules book, and are also in the app.

Ah yes, the app... The Silver Tower app contains rules for over 40 additional heroes for use in the game (at a small charge to unlock each one, or a slightly bigger charge to unlock them all). But there is no way I'm using that. It's ugly, and poorly laid out. And besides, I don't use apps when I'm playing board games.

While I was... content... to print out the hero cards from the rules book, and resigned to not using any extra characters from the app, I was one of the people crying out for physical cards. I contacted Games Workshop and told them real, physical cards would sell. Lots of other people did the same.

Fast forward just a few short months, and a pack of cards with rules for 43 heroes (almost all of the heroes from the app, plus the extra heroes from the Silver Tower rules book) has just landed on my door mat.

Maybe Games Workshop had always intended to make them. Maybe it was because we all asked for them.

Whatever the reason, this simple card pack is probably one of the best things Games Workshop has done in a very long time.

Now, I'm not going to do a proper review here. I'm not going to say which heroes are good or bad, or talk about strategies or synergies. Frankly, with this many heroes, it would take forever. And let's be honest... there is no way the designers tested all of these heroes fully. At a quick tally, there is something like 52 heroes in the game now. To run every combination of those characters to check for balance would be a mammoth operation too grand in scope to be worth the effort.

We all just have to understand that some of these heroes are likely to be better than others, and in many cases they probably just have rules that seemed to match the fluff or sounded like they'd be a bit of a laugh.

The pack retails for £15 (but is readily available for around £12 if you shop smart), and contains 45 cards in a cute little slipcase: 43 hero cards, one reference card for skeletons for the necromancer character, and one advertisement for the app.

The cards are the same size (within a tolerance of a millimetre or so) as the cards found in the Silver Tower box. They are decent quality, but they don't have a linen finish or anything like that.

The design varies slightly from the cards in the base game in that the image of each hero is a photograph of the relevant painted miniature, rather than a piece of hand-drawn art; and the backs of all of the cards are exactly the same, rather than showing a larger photograph of the character in a diorama.

The changes make sense, purely from a cost perspective; but it does irk me ever-so-slightly that the cards don't match across the full set.

Interestingly, Games Workshop has taken this chance to tweak some of the heroes. Certain characters, such as the Knight-Venator, have had tweaks to bring them in line with the recently published FAQ, and some of the wording has been tightened up. As a simple example, the wording for the Auric Runemaster's Forgefire ability was changed from "roll a dice for each miniature..." to "roll a dice for each hero or adversary..."

One of the most noticeable differences is the Slaughterpriest with Hackblade and Wrath-hammer (and by the way, whoever comes up with these names is having way too much fun). This character was free on the cover of September's White Dwarf magazine, with his rules printed inside. At the time of publication, I complained that he was virtually identical to the Slaughterpriest from the Mighty Heroes pack, only slightly weaker. However, this is no longer the case, as Mr Hammer has completely updated rules. He has lost the Blood Boil attack and the Slaughterer's Boon ability, and gained the ability Blood Bind. Both priests still have the Sacrificial Rite ability, but there are now minor differences, with Mr Hammer having the ability to boost its efficacy in certain situations. All told, the characters now feel more distinct.

That Games Workshop took the time to tighten up the wording and rules for this card pack speaks volumes about the company's commitment to this product line.

Actually, the mere existence of the cards speaks volumes about the company in general.

This company is the Devil, remember? This company stamps on its customers, overcharges for everything, tries to grind opposition into the dirt, forces online retailers to abide by draconian rules, and stamps out creativity among the fanbase in defence of its IP.

And yet...

And yet the company has released a pack of cards at a very good price, which allows anyone interested in Silver Tower to proxy any damned miniatures they want. Buy this pack of cards, and you don't have to buy a single Games Workshop miniature to play. You could go adventuring with buttons and pins, and that Captain America bobblehead you normally keep on the car dashboard.

Yet if you do want the official Games Workshop figures, you can just pick and choose the ones you want; or better yet, buy the discounted hero boxes (Mighty Heroes and Arcane Heroes).

Of course, if you already have a large collection of Age of Sigmar miniatures, you don't need to do any of that. You're already set to play.

I said it before, this is one of the best things Games Workshop has done.

So, what are the downsides?

There's always downsides, right?

Well... the card pack includes some of the "exclusive" content Game Workshop released (the Lord of Plagues and the Battlemage), but it doesn't include the White Dwarf from the September issue of the magazine. It's not a massive loss, but it's a loss, just the same.

Furthermore, the pack doesn't contain the branchwych hero. At the moment, the only way to get the hero card for that character is through the app.

Finally, all the cards in the hero pack fit snugly in the slipcase, so there is no room to slide in the six cards from the Silver Tower base game, or any other cards you may acquire in the future.

Dammit. So close, and yet so far...

But okay, that's it. Overall, the cards do exactly what they set out to do. By purchasing them, I've got over 50 heroes to play with; more combinations than I can ever hope to use.

I'm very happy.

Now, what else you got Games Workshop?
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Matthew Saloff
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Good review.

There's one mistake on a card I noticed most likely due to them changing some of the wordings around.

On the Wight King card, his 'Beheading Strike' ability name was changed to 'Decapitation'. However they forgot to change it up top on his weapon chart and down below in his renown ability. Slightly annoying.

I'm not really complaining. I'm with you, I'm pretty damn happy with this and I'm glad that Games Workshop is seemingly listening to what it's fans are asking for.
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Kevin Outlaw
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Mattr0polis wrote:
Good review.

There's one mistake on a card I noticed most likely due to them changing some of the wordings around.

On the Wight King card, his 'Beheading Strike' ability name was changed to 'Decapitation'. However they forgot to change it up top on his weapon chart and down below in his renown ability. Slightly annoying.

I'm not really complaining. I'm with you, I'm pretty damn happy with this and I'm glad that Games Workshop is seemingly listening to what it's fans are asking for.


Good spot. Wonder why they were going to change the name?

Thanks for reading.
 
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Kevin Outlaw
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A little addendum that I've mentioned elsewhere, but which people may find useful:

Games Workshop have rolled out an update for the app. It brings all of the app content inline with the physical cards (in terms of corrections, clarifications, and new wording).
 
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Dan Kochis
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So the slaughter priest with hack blade & wrath hammer no longer has the kool aid man for khorne area attack? Nor the buff to attack after a kill?

This bloodbind ability must be something special. I mean losing an attack & an ability only to gain another ability doesn't seem all that great on the surface.

Still it is nice to have more diversity.
 
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Kevin Outlaw
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Ardos wrote:
So the slaughter priest with hack blade & wrath hammer no longer has the kool aid man for khorne area attack? Nor the buff to attack after a kill?

This bloodbind ability must be something special. I mean losing an attack & an ability only to gain another ability doesn't seem all that great on the surface.

Still it is nice to have more diversity.


It's not a bad trade at all. I didn't go into the full details in my review, but basically...

Originally Mr Hammer was pretty much the same as Mr Axe, except he had two combat attacks, neither of which were as powerful or efficient as Mr Axe's single combat attack.

Now, Mr Hammer has lost his Blood Boil attack (area attack, hits on 6+, does D3 damage) and Slaughterer's Boon skill (add 1 to attack rolls if you killed something this turn), but gains the following benefits:


Hackblade attack now hits on a 2+ instead of 3+
Wrath-hammer attack now hits on 3+ instead of 4+ and does D3 damage instead of 2 fixed damage.
He gained Blood Bind - Activates on 5+, pick an adversary and move them D6 spaces. If you roll a 6, they also suffer D3 wounds.
His Sacrificial Rite ability gains the extra ability that if you slayed an adversary after using Blood Bind on it, you heal 3 wounds on an ally instead of the usual D3.

 
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Dan Kochis
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Ohhhhh, that does sound like a very good trade.
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Kevin Outlaw
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Ardos wrote:
Ohhhhh, that does sound like a very good trade.


Yeah. I think it's pretty good.

I don't mind if some heroes are better than others, as long as they all offer slightly different ways to play. The original slaughterpriests were just too similar, with one being obviously better than the other, which felt like a wasted opportunity.

Thanks for reading, by the way!
 
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A. B.
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Great review, I agree on the diagnosis of GW state of trying hard :-) I hope they are going back to being player friendly company of old. I am buying all they do in boardgames section - and they are getting better and better.
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Christopher
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What's the easiest way to get most of the minis to go with the new heroes, the Age of Sigmar box set?
 
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Kevin Outlaw
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SpoDaddy wrote:
What's the easiest way to get most of the minis to go with the new heroes, the Age of Sigmar box set?


Unfortunately not. The Age of Sigmar box set only has two or three of the heroes from these cards.

Besides the two "Expansion" boxed sets Games Workshop has released, most of these characters are only available in clampacks.

This is a UK site, but it has a handy-dandy "Silver Tower" section that shows all the products that are related to the game in some way (note this page includes products that have duplicate miniatures in them, such as the single character models that are already in the base game):

http://elementgames.co.uk/games-workshop/warhammer-quest
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Christopher
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I'd love to get a bunch of the models, but for $20+ each it's just not feasible. Do the clampacks ever go on sale for $10 or less?
 
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Kevin Outlaw
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SpoDaddy wrote:
I'd love to get a bunch of the models, but for $20+ each it's just not feasible. Do the clampacks ever go on sale for $10 or less?


The individual clampacks are pricey, and there's not really much of a way around that. It's a bit different in the UK, because we have online stores offering 20%-30% off as standard (like Element Games), but as I understand it things are a bit different in the US, and while you can get discounts you have to phone up stores or else rely on eBay.

Your best bet for expanding your roster of heroes at the moment is the two hero packs - Mighty Heroes and Arcane Heroes. Between the two boxes, you get nine heroes. In the US each box is $55, so you are getting closer to that $10 per piece mark you are after. If you can find an online retailer offering a discount, then you may be able to get the boxes for $90 or less. I know you can get both boxes on eBay for around $45 each.

Another option is the game Gorechosen. It comes with four Khorne heroes, who are all included in the Silver Tower hero pack. It's $60, but you get a whole 'nother game to play as well (and a pretty damned good one).

 
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Already have Gorechosen, love it! What's holding me back from the hero packs is that one of them comes with a duplicate mini from Gorechosen, and there are also minis in them that are similar enough to Silver Tower minis (Dwarves, Knights) that proxying is very easy. I just wish GW didn't have such silly pricing systems.
 
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Kevin Outlaw
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SpoDaddy wrote:
Already have Gorechosen, love it! What's holding me back from the hero packs is that one of them comes with a duplicate mini from Gorechosen, and there are also minis in them that are similar enough to Silver Tower minis (Dwarves, Knights) that proxying is very easy. I just wish GW didn't have such silly pricing systems.


Yeah, the duplicate figure is a bit of a pain, and the core set dwarf is quite similar to the Mighty Heroes dwarf.

Arcane Heroes does have another Stormcast, but the female sorceress, skink, and skaven make a nice change.

I believe the Age of Sigmar starter set has one Stormcast and two Khorne heroes that match up with cards for Silver Tower (and the two Khorne heroes do double duty in Gorechosen). There are also winged Stormcasts, which you can use as a proxy for the Knight-Venator if you wanted to. I don't think it would be good value to buy the AoS just for those models for Silver Tower, but if you were thinking of playing AoS, it might be worth it. Also, people on eBay often sell those characters off individually (in the UK, at least).

That being said, I still hope one day White Dwarf publishes monster stats for the bad guys in the AoS starter, because then I would buy it in a heartbeat.
 
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