If you thought trick-taking games were gone, here comes Gorus Maximus

Gorus Maximus Feature

I never thought I could talk about gladiators and bridge in the same context, but there you go

Trick-taking games have been around for a long time.  A really long time.  Generally speaking, players have a hand of cards and try to play the highest or lowest value card to win the round or ‘trick’.

There are plenty of variants to these games, and a lot of us have played most of them at some point.  Grandparents may have been involved.  Games like Clubs, Euchre and Spades are all old favourites.  Another trick-taking game Hearts was played by generations of Windows users as it was included in every Windows from Windows 3.11 to Windows 7.

One thing almost all of the classic games are missing though is a cohesive theme.  Yes, you have a few games these days with pictures on them (like Pairs) or seasonal themes (like 12 Days of Christmas), but they don’t quite tell a story.  You just do what the rules say to win a hand.

So Conor McGoey and Inside Up Games decided to fix that.  Do you really need the highest number?  What for?  It’s just a number!  But do you have the highest ranked Gladiator, the warrior that is sure to defeat all opponents?  That’s how you win a round!

But how do you win the game?  By the crowd telling you that you win of course!  So while your Gladiators may win a ‘trick’, you want to only collect positive crowd favour points to win the game.

And that is the basic premise of Gorus Maximus, a bloody trick-taking game currently on Kickstarter.

Gorus Maximus Feature
Gorus Maximus - like Bridge, but with Gladiators!

Now, this will not be a game for everyone.  Gladiatorial combat is probably not a theme you want to bring out in front of small children, and the cartoon violence and gore will both cement this feeling and put off others.  The cover alone will give you a good idea of what to expect.

For people that know trick-taking games, there is probably only one other key selling point you need to know – Gorus Maximus has a working two player mode.  That’s right – an actual fun way to play a trick-taking game with only two people.  Head over to the rules and the Kickstarter page and see for yourself.

So how do you play Gorus Maximus?  Well, first you have to set up the game.

You build a deck of Gladiators by adding a number of Schools (basically card suits) and shuffling the deck.  This allows the game to scale and is partially what makes the player count of 2-8 players viable.  Each school has one gladiator of each rank, and a stronger gladiator beats a weaker gladiator of the same school.

In each round of the game, there will be a Preferred School (the Trump Suit) that will win against all other gladiators.  This becomes important information as you play, as you want to keep as many trumps as possible.

Gorus Maximus Card Schools
The different Schools or Suits in Gorus Maximus

Each player is then dealt 10 cards from the deck, and the player to the dealers left begins play.  This player at the start of the Round chooses the Gladiator they wish to play, and this sets the Initiating and Preferred schools.

From here, in order, every player then plays a card from the Initiating School if they have one.  If they do not have a Gladiator from the Initiating School, they can play any card.  If that card is not from the Preferred School they will not win the Bout (the Trick).  The exception to this is the Challenge, but I will go into that after describing the ‘standard’ round.

After every player has played a card, the Bout is over.  The player with the highest ranked Gladiator from the Initiating School then takes the cards and puts them face down in front of them, and plays the next card from their hand.  This card now sets the Initiating School, but the Preferred School remains the same until the end of the Round (or a Challenge).  This continues until all players have played all cards in their hand.

Once the Round is over, players will then add their Crowd Favour (the little number in yellow below the School information).  The player with the highest Crowd Favour wins the Round, and a Token.  Ultimately, it’s the first player to win three rounds wins the game.

Gorus Maximus Card Setup
An 8 player Bout with the Preferred School Marker shown in the middle

Challenges are a fun way to change the Preferred School during play.  During play, if you play a card from a different School but the same Rank during the bout, the Preferred School immediately becomes the School you played.

So for example, the Preferred School this round are axes.  A player leads with 11 Arrows – a very strong initiating card.  The next player can’t beat it, so they play their five Arrows, hoping their higher Ranks will hold up later.  The third player then plays their five Fists, immediately changing the Preferred School and becoming the current winner of the bout.

Challenges are the only time a player can choose to play a card not from the Initiating School during the bout, but it’s not an instant win.  Nothing is stopping the next player from challenging from your Gladiator.   The Challenge rule fires from the last Gladiator played, so timing is everything!

Gorus Maximus looks like a fun, easy game that can scale well for a wide range of players (and even teams).  I can’t see myself playing this all night, but as an opener or closer for a games night or just a way to pass a bit of time waiting for something else to start, it looks like a lot of fun.

Check out the Kickstarter here, and also Board Game Geek for more information.

Until next time,

JohnHQLD

Whoosh: Bounty Hunters – you know it’s a fast game, it goes Whoosh!

Whoosh Bounty Hunters Feature

Sometimes you want a simple game that can challenge you

One thing that I always enjoy about gaming is all of the different types of gaming around.  Want to play Card Games, Board Games, Video Games, Role Playing Games?  No problem.  But what type?  Do you want a quick one-off light romp or a multi-session campaign where every choice matters?

There are a number of speed matching type games already around.  Jungle Speed is one that instantly comes to mind.  Snap is another.  Overall wildly different games, but they share one key mechanic – the first person to quickly recognise a matching pattern is rewarded.

So why am I talking about such a basic game?  Because at it’s heart, that’s exactly what Whoosh: Bounty Hunters is!

But it also isn’t.  For a simple and very quick pattern recognition game, Whoosh: Bounty Hunters adds a couple of unique twists.

The game’s narrative is simple.  All over the kingdom, creatures have begun to appear.  They look so cute and harmless, that people just naturally come over to give them a pet.

It’s at this point, the creatures reveal their true monstrous intentions, and the good meaning folk suddenly become the monsters meal.

To help put a stop to this, bounty hunters (the players) are engaged to capture these monsters and keep the people safe.

So the designers won’t get awards for originality, but to me, you really don’t want a lot of story for a game designed to play in ten or so minutes.

Whoosh Bounty Hunters Monster Cards
Whoosh Bounty Hunters Monster Cards 2

And the game is very simple.  You divide up the monster cards into three equal piles, and reveal the topmost of each pile.

Players then take it in turns revealing cards from their equipment stacks.  These cards will reveal either a weapon symbol or a magic symbol.  Once the card is revealed, players compare ALL players visible symbols to see if the cards in play match a monsters symbols.  If not, the next player reveals their card and play continues.

If there are matching symbols, the ‘snap’ mechanism kicks in and the first player to put their hand on the monster with the matching symbol puts the card in their play area face up.  A new monster is drawn, and all player cards are returned face down to the bottom of their player decks.

If a player claims a card when the right combination isn’t present, they still take the card but they put it face down in front of them.  This placement is very important.

Whoosh Bounty Hunters Weapon Cards
Whoosh Bounty Hunters Spell Cards

Once one of the monster piles has been emptied, the game ends.  Players add the score in the top left corner of the face-up monster cards and subtract a point for each face-down monster card.  Once the scores are tallied, the player with the highest score wins!

The only real twists in the game is there is a small number of combo cards and failed attack cards.  Combo cards show more than one symbol but act normally otherwise, failed attack cards show a symbol but it’s broken into pieces.  These don’t count to the monsters pattern and is a good way to trick others into prematurely claiming a card.

For me, Whoosh: Bounty Hunters is a cute, fun, easy to teach filler game that’s easy to take with you as it’s essentially just a pack of cards.  For gamers that play with small children, it’s a great alternative to a lot of other games like this I have played.  The three monster piles mean you have to concentrate on more than one combination at a time, but is still simple enough that younger players can play without assistance.

This may be a pass for a lot of players, but it’s a game I would love to try out especially with some younger players.

Until next time,

JohnHQLD

Spy Club takes me back to the Famous Five stories

Spy Club Feature

The only thing missing are Scooby Snacks

Remember when as kids we would wander around town solving mysteries?  No?  Welcome to the digital age I guess.  Well, remember shows like Scooby Doo and the Famous Five?  Or even Stranger Things?

In Spy Club, you and a group of friends get to wander around town and find out what ‘mysterious thing’ is happening and get to the bottom of it.  All without the Upside Down!

There are five aspects of each mystery to solve, and if you can solve all five you win!

Spy Club is a 2-4 player cooperative game where you are essentially trying to match five sets of five different colours – hence the Pandemic comparisons.

Also like Pandemic, there are various conditions that you can ‘lose’ the scenario.  This by itself makes any game challenging.  However, in Spy Club each time you solve an aspect of the crime you unlock a new information.  This new information changes how you continue to play.  It can be new ways of gathering clues, or changing the solution conditions of play – it’s fairly random, so adaptability is key.  This kind of on the fly narrative change has me thinking of TIME Stories as a comparison.

Spy Club Components
Much simpler than a lot of mystery game setups, even when you are showing off your diplay skills 🙂

And I think this is where Spy Club is starting to win me over mechanically.  It’s familiar enough that teaching it is fairly simple, yet surprisingly deep for a light to middleweight game.

Only outlining the basics of the game, if you have played either Pandemic or TIME Stories you already have a fair idea of how it all plays out.

Playing the game is very simple.  On your turn, you have 3 actions to perform that will help the team solve part of the mystery.

The possible actions are Flipping Cards in your ‘hand’ (play area in front of you), Changing Focus, Trading Cards and Confirming Cards.

Each of the cards in Spy Club is double-sided, so on your turn Flipping Cards may allow you to manipulate the cards into a position that allows you to commit the right clues to the investigation at the right time.  This does bring in a memory aspect to the game though – flipping the wrong card is never good!

To actually solve the crime, you need to match five of the same coloured cards to the center play area.  Playing one of your cards to the center group is called Confirming Cards – it’s just a way of saying playing to the common investigation.  Do this five times and win!

All players have a magnifying glass token that allows them to focus on a certain aspect or colour of the investigation. This is the part of the Mystery they are working on currently (the color).  If you are confirming cards of your Focus, you don’t have to spend extra tokens to Confirm your cards, so it becomes a hand management game.

Trading cards comes into effect if you and another player are both focused on the same aspect of a mystery.  This will allow you can trade cards with each other for free, usually allowing a player to commit 2 cards and finish up a colour on their turn.  This brings in aspects of cooperative hand management.

As mentioned, when you solve an aspect of a case you get new rules that can change these basic actions, but this really is the core of the game – very set actions, clearly marked.

Spy Club Three Player Game
A game in progress
Spy Club Cards
Example of Spy Club Cards
Spy Club Cards 2
Example of Spy Club Cards

There are of course also the ‘lose’ mechanics.  These can include running out of idea tokens or clue cards, fairly Pandemic type conditions.

The main fly in the ointment will be the Suspect.  After every player turn, the Suspect gets a chance to cover their tracks.  This is done by moving around the table, each space being the players’ clue cards.  Whatever colour the Suspect lands on decides what happens.  These options include helping the Suspect escape outright, giving up player idea tokens, flipping your cards, or losing clues outright.

So no matter how much you plan, you will always need to try and plan a safety net.

Spy Club looks like a light-hearted yet engaging style of game, aimed probably at younger players but still pulling at my Nostalgia strings.

I can’t wait to get my hands on it when it comes out and give it a proper spin.

Until next time,

JohnHQLD

The Tower of Madness is everything you expect, but totally different

Tower of Madness Feature

You know those days where you just want to lose your marbles?

Making the Honorable Mentions section of my Most Anticipated Games of 2018 list, Tower of Madness is close to actually being released!

It was apparently hopefully being released for Origins, but alas it was not to be.  But it is back on show at Origins, and it’s still looking great.

Looking at Tower of Madness, a lot of people can be forgiven for thinking of it as a Cthulhu themed Kerplunk.  While not unreasonable, looks can be deceiving.

At its core, Tower of Madness is closer to Elder Sign than Kerplunk.  Each player rolls 5 dice and must lock in a Gate, Heart and Mind symbol on their investigator boards.  Each turn, you must lock in at least one die, and if you can’t the investigation is failed and you pull out a tentacle from the Tower!

Tower of Madness Locations
The Location cards. These are where the bulk of the game actually happens.

But while the tower is ‘punishment’ for failing an investigation, it’s not necessarily a bad thing.  You may cause a blue ‘Discovery’ to drop from the tower, giving victory points similar to succeeding in an investigation.  To help you in future investigations, you may also receive a white ‘Forbidden Knowledge’ marble.  This knowledge will help you in the form of spells or special abilities as you proceed.

But there are bad effects as well.  The red ‘Insane’ marbles are waiting to steal your mind.  When you collect four marbles, you become Insane and want nothing more than to bring Cthulu to Earth.  This means you don’t even worry about dice on your turn – you simply pull tentacles trying to get all three green Cthulu marbles to fall.  If you are the insane player that causes the third marble to drop – you win the game for ending the world!

Tower of Madness The Tower
The prototype Tower of Madness

While this is all the base mechanics of the game, each location has unique conditions that play with the investigation mechanics so there is always something slightly changing the game state.

This all sounds like a novel way to spend half an hour, and from the sounds of it, Tower of Madness will hopefully be another game available come August!  Keep an eye on the Board Game Geek page for more information.

Until next time,

JohnHQLD

The Mansky Caper – An Offer You Can’t Defuse

The Mansky Caper Feature

Cooperative or Competitive games tonight?  Why not both?

There are times you are sitting there, happily catching up with some games news, and one comes along that makes you perk up.  And then wonder how you missed it a year ago on Kickstarter?

One such game for me from Origins is The Mansky Caper from Ken Franklin and Calliope Games.  Everything about this game just calls out fun

The premise of the game is simple – your family of criminal associates is trying their best, but they are just getting muscled out of the really big jobs.

Al Mansky on the other hand, the richest mob boss in the country, is living the high life.  So what better way to get on top than to take from those already there?  That will make everyone take your family seriously.  Of course, it also wouldn’t hurt if you were able to take a bit extra for yourself on the side…

Not only is Al Mansky the richest mob boss, he is also the most eccentric.  This works in your favour because he doesn’t trust banks or cops.  All of his wealth is sitting locked in his house!  There is a slight hitch though.  While there are no alarms, his treasure isn’t unprotected.  Each safe is booby-trapped with bundles of TNT, so if you make a mistake – BOOM!

Players explore Al’s house and break into the various safes in order to steal the loot.  But you have to be careful what you pull from a safe!  It could be a Danger-Danger token, where you roll and see if you blow up your loot or not.  Get enough of these tokens, and the room is destroyed no matter what you do.

The Mansky Caper Components
The Mansky Caper in all its glory

You can pull a ‘Gasp!’ token, which are little surprises that can be good or bad for you.  Or you can pull coins, gems, and even keys you can use to open other rooms in the house.

You keep grabbing loot and sharing with the people in the room with you, but to be safe you should stash loot in the getaway car.  But don’t play it too safe, because while you are stashing your loot, everyone else is busy grabbing more.

If you get blown up by Al’s little ‘presents’, you get blown Wile E. Coyote style back to the getaway car.  You can pick yourself up, dust off and dash back in the house, but unfortunately any loot you picked up didn’t make it with you, so you have to start from scratch.

The family is made up of eight associates, each with their own unique abilities.  The twist in the game though is you can’t use your ability to help yourself, meaning you really do have to work together!

During play, if you are in the same room as another player, you can offer your ‘Favour’ token to another player to let them use your ability.  You have to use it at the right time though – you only one favour to give.

You can watch a small video on each of the characters on Calliopes YouTube Channel here.

The Mansky Caper Characters
Your 'Family' in The Mansky Caper. Each cahracter has different powers, but with a twist.

So why help anyone else?  Well, you may be helping another player get more loot than you.  But if you follow them to the getaway car and call in your favour token, you both empty your loot and split it evenly before stashing it safely in the car.

Time this right, and you can get a lot of cash for very little effort!

During the Kickstarter Campaign, there were some ‘deluxe’ add-ons available.  One being wooden safes from The Broken Token, and the other acrylic coins from The Game Crafter!  Now, neither are what I would call a required upgrade, but I am hoping that because they are third-party products they will be available for sale when the game hits retail.  Even though Calliope has a reputation for quality components, I can see these safes especially taking a beating from my big hands, so something sturdier will be great.

The Mansky Caper Wooden Safes from Broken Token
The Broken Token designed wooden safes for the Kickstarter as an add on. Hopefully, they will be released with the game as well!

Hopefully, the Mansky Caper will be available for retail around Gen Con (August).  I for one cannot wait to grab a copy!

To see a full playthrough of the games, Calliope Games has a video on their site as well:

Until next time,

JohnHQLD

Watching the Blood on the Clocktower

Blood on the Clocktower Box Art

**QUICK UPDATE: Blood on the Clocktower’s Kickstarter is now live – go check it out!

I’m just a villager.  Wait wrong game!

Social Deduction and Hidden Role games are great to play with a wide range of different people.  Get a dozen or so people together, and watch the shenanigans commence!

The most common examples are Ultimate Werewolf (or the Werewolves of Millers Hollow!) and Mafia, and while they are great to play they share some fundamental problems.

So common problems with these types of games:

  1. Player Elimination – these games can go for over an hour, so if you are the first one out you are going to be really bored for a while.
  2. Little initial information – the first round is normally along the lines of “Hey, you’re wearing a red shirt.  We vote to eliminate you!”.  It takes a few rounds to start getting some real information, so the first few people eliminated are out for no real reason.  This can put people off playing.
  3. It’s a commitment to play – These types of games tend to not allow people to join later or leave if required as it can harm ‘the balance’.  Even if you do just throw someone in, they tend to be the next victim just because they can be which isn’t fun.

So all this in mind, why play these games?  Because once you are in the game, they really are a lot of fun.  But you have to be into the game.  If you are in a group that knows the negatives, having people prepared to sit or play filler games like Love Letter means no one is really put out.  Also, if you do play as an end of the night game, eliminated players can leave without guilt if they so choose.

Newer games like WitchHunt and Two Rooms and a Boom have come a long way in trying to address such issues.  But today I am interested in Blood on the Clocktower, a game by Steven Medway and his Sydney Australian Based team currently being demoed at Origins!

So what makes me so excited about Blood on the Clocktower?

  1. No player elimination – even when you ‘die’, you are still in the game.  And the dead break ties!
  2. Drop in mechanics cooked in – someone gets stuck in traffic, or a random sees you playing and asks what you are doing?  No problem!  Each new player is a Traveller with fixed powers, but if they are ‘good’ or ‘bad’ is to be determined.
  3. No role reveal – experience werewolf players, for example, have an idea of how many werewolves are in a game based on player numbers.  When someone is eliminated and confirms their role, the card counter players get more and more of an advantage while playing.  Not anymore!
  4. Almost all players can bluff that they are someone else – everyone has a ‘cheat sheet’ of all roles, so you can refer to the rules at any time instead of having to try and memorise a bunch of roles immediately.
  5. Drunk and Poison mechanics – I already play this way a little bit when moderating Werewolf, but it’s great to see it actually in the ruleset.  Basically, if you are drunk or poisoned, the moderator can lie to you.  This allows the group to have fun poisoning their teammates (or giving them drinks to get them drunk), and the moderator then has the power to lie to those players.  Personally, I know a few players I will be buying drinks for, just to add to the realism of course 😀
Blood on the Clocktower Contents
The game definitely does a great job of setting the mood. And simple components!
Blood on the Clocktower Townsfolk
Some of the 'good' townsfolk
Blood on the Clocktower Demons
Some Demons from Blood on the Clocktower, or the 'evil' team

So if you have played Werewolf or Mafia type games, you basically already know the basics of how to play the first game Trouble Brewing.  But here is a video of the game being played and their reactions, which really sells the game more than my words ever could.

Wait you said first game?  What are you talking about John?

There will be multiple editions or essentially expansions for the game, with Trouble Brewing as seen in the video being the first or three planned editions.  The expansion titles are ‘Sex and Violence’ and ‘Bad Moon Rising’, so they have my pun vote at the very least!

Altogether, the three titles will give players around 90 characters to play, so changing up games will not be an issue.  And all three editions will be available when the game is released on Kickstarter!  The downside is the Kickstarter looks like it won’t be running until December, so patience will be required.

Or will it?

If you check out the Blood on the Clocktower website, there are regular game sessions in Sydney that you can play now!  These sessions are in Surrey Hills and run on the first and third Thursday of the month.  Check out their Facebook page for more information if you would like to attend.

I may see a Thursday night flight down to Sydney one long weekend in the near future…

Be sure that I will be posting more about Blood on the Clocktower over the next few months, including when the Kickstarter is available.

Until next time,

JohnHQLD

What is this? It tastes… That’s Not Lemonade!

That's Not Lemonade Box

Small and simple doesn’t exclude a bunch of fun

I have been enjoying the efforts of Tuesday Knight Games for some time now.  Two Rooms and a Boom and its expansion Necroboomicon are great games for new groups of people.  World Championship Russian Roulette is a game I have already reviewed.

And today I can’t wait to tell you about the next Tuesday Knight Game I will be playing – That’s Not Lemonade!

If the name sounds familiar, it may be because I bought it up briefly in the last Blatherings.  You may have heard about this game over the last couple of years as a convention test game under the previous title U Mad Bro? where people have had a ton of fun playing it – and now it’s finally on Kickstarter.

Mechanically That’s Not Lemonade! is very similar U Mad Bro mechanically from what I understand, it’s just been rethemed away from the normally dark Cthulhu theme to a more lighthearted one to match the tone.

So what is That’s Not Lemonade?  Well, there really isn’t much to tell.  Each play is trying to make a living selling lemonade, but it’s hard to stand out in a crowd like this.  So everyone has decided to settle marketing rights in the only sensible manner – by seeing who can drink the most lemonade!

But of course, it can’t just be that simple.  ‘Little Johnny’ has decided to get up to some hijinks and make his own lemonade, so be careful what’s put in front of you!

That's Not Lemonade Characters
For such a small amount of cards, the art style manages to be fun and unique. Just check out the video on the Kickstarter page to see for yourself!
That's Not Lemonade Lemons and Ice
Lemons! The one time you want to draw lemons 🙂 Double lemons are rare, but give you a score boost. Ice is used for ties.

Gameplay is ridiculously simple.  There is a deck of cards that show either lemons, double lemons, ice, or That’s Not Lemonade!  On your turn, you decide to drink (take a card) or pass.  If you drink, take a card – but if it’s not lemonade, you’re out of the round!

Play continues until all players have passed, there are no cards left or there is only one player left.  All players not eliminated then count the number of lemons on their cards, and the highest count wins!  In the event of a tie, count the Ice cards to break them.  If you win, you get to pick one of your cards and place it face down in front of you as a mark of winning a round.

The deck is then reshuffled, and the next round begins with all players back in the game.  The first player to win three rounds wins the game!

I can hear you asking “But you keep one of your cards in front of you.  Doesn’t that change the number of cards in the deck?”  And the simple answer to that is yes.  Yes, it does.  It’s one of the small touches that makes That’s Not Lemonade! so fun for me.

So you not only get a point for winning, but the card you keep becomes very important as you then get to mess with the count of the cards.  Every card that a player gets to score means the chances of drawing the That’s Not Lemonade! card.  But it also reduces the chances of drawing lemons, making it harder for everyone to score as highly as the game continues.

And that’s it!  Small and easy to transport, it’s just a deck of cards and some shot glass sized red plastic cups.  It’s also been designed to be a ‘drop in, drop out’ style game so people can come and go as they please during a game.

Plus it’s a super easy Kickstarter – pledge USD$10 for the game, done and dusted.

Word of warning though for non-US backers – shipping is more than the game.  To Australia and apparently the UK, it’s USD$15 to ship, which frankly hurts.  But if you order additional copies, it’s only USD$11 for the extra copy and shipping, so I suggest doubling or even tripling up with some friends to save on the shipping that way.

That’s Not Lemonade! is not a game meant to be taken seriously.  It’s a game that is supposed to be fun to play and teach and suck in those people around you into giving it a go.  As such, I think it will be a great filler and icebreaker game, and one I think should be in many gamers collections.

Check out That’s Not Lemonade on Kickstarter here.

Until next time,

JohnHQLD

So E3 isn’t over, but Origins is beginning. Back to the Board Games!

Origins Game Fair

From excitement about trailers to excitement about box art and rulebooks

So E3 is winding down.  My Video Game stuff isn’t stopping, but it is slowing to a trickle as I take in more of the stuff I am excited about.

But while the public spectacle side of E3 is winding down, over in Columbus Ohio the Origins Game Fair is just warming up!

The Game Manufacturers Association (GAMA) has been hosting Origins since 1975, and is five days of gaming.  And not just Board Gaming – if it involves a table, someone is at Origins to represent!  RPG’s, Miniatures games, Table Wargaming, even LARPers are there!

There is also the Origin Award to look forward to.  These are awarded annually for contributions to gaming over the previous year and will be announced Sunday (Australian Time).  While the Origins awards do not have the same buzz around the world as the Spiel Des Jahres, these nominees and winners are no less important for their contributions to gaming.

But that’s enough for today – tonight I will be eagerly combing through as much Origins news as I can, and I will start sharing my thoughts tomorrow.

Until tomorrow!

JohnHQLD

The pre-Origins drought might be over starting with Heroes of Terrinoth

Heroes of Terrinoth Box Art

Just goes to show you can’t keep a good system down

And here I was thinking only Video Game publishers don’t wait for their big event for reveals!

Here I was, patiently waiting for Origins to start late next week (conveniently just after E3 – hmm) for the new Board Game news.  The dry spell the last couple of weeks I was expecting with the Origins build up, and with E3 and work quiet announcements was to be expected.  But then Fantasy Flight decided to jump the gun, and I am happy they did!

I think it was late 2016 when I got a copy of Warhammer Quest: The Adventure Card Game.  I had been looking for something that really had the original Warhammer Quest feel, and I was hoping this would be it.

Short version – it wasn’t, but it was still a lot of fun.  For a card-based dungeon explorer campaign though, it was a lot of fun.  I was disappointed when the Games Workshop relationship ended with Fantasy Flight for a lot of reasons, one of which being Warhammer Quest: The Adventure Card Game would not be getting any new missions.

Now I have been talking a lot about dungeon exploring card games a lot.  On the site, Escape the Dark Castle has gotten a lot of coverage recently.  It is a great quick simple game, great for 15-20 minutes.  Behind the scenes, I have been playing the Arkham Horror: The Card Game more when I can find the time.  It’s not regular because I don’t enjoy Arkham Horror, it’s now and then because it is a long and complex game compared to the others.  If I am going to spend 10 minutes or so setting up a game, then another hour or more playing one story, I need to be in a certain mood with the time to spare.

Warhammer Quest Card Game Mid Game
An entire dungeon set out ready to explore

So Warhammer Quest filled a great halfway point – a more cohesive story with changing goals depending on missions, but without the ‘fun admin paperwork’ that comes with deckbuilding in Arkham Horror.

Enter the Heroes of Terrinoth

So what do you do when you know you have a mechanically sound game, but can no longer publish the theme?

Create a new world and a new game!

Heroes of Terrinoth Box Art
Warhammer Quest 2.0 incoming!
Heroes of Terrinoth Box Components
So much cardboard goodness! Just enough to get you immersed in an adventure, but not enough to overload you either

Apart from simply being a new slap of paint on mechanics though, it looks like Fantasy Flight has taken this opportunity to also streamline and expand upon the original Warhammer Quest mechanics.

While Heroes of Terrinoth keeps to the ‘standard’ classes similar to Warhammer Quest, you can also select from different archetypes, increasing the chances of finding a character that fits your playstyle even more.

Heroes of Terrinoth Box Heroes
Your four 'classic' classes, but this is where your choices begin

Because it is a reimplementation of Warhammer Quest, I already know it’s a game I enjoy and will be getting.

This may be prematurely judging, but the world only really needs to be a generic fantasy setting for me overall, so the narrative can almost be anything at this stage.  Games Workshop has done a lot, but great narrative games have never really been a thing with them.  Plenty of Lore, but not really a story.

Check out Heroes of Terrinoth on Board Game Geek here, and I will do a review on Warhammer Quest in the next couple of weeks for more information on the game systems.

Maybe, if I can talk Alpal into it, we can even do another game playthrough!

Until next time,

JohnHQLD