Sunday, 29 May 2016

Boxed Game Review: Warhammer Quest: Silver Tower

This one is going to strictly be a 'out of the box' review as I have already done the gameplay overview HERE so check that out if you haven't already.

I was going to pick this up in GW. I saw the pre-order bonuses that they announced and thought it was a pretty good way to encourage people to buy in store, (and something I will be interested to see if they continue for future big releases). Still i've always been a sucker for shiny things and my local GW had just got a new manager that had shown me the game the week before so I thought, what the hell. I'd order it in store rather than online.

Nice little pre-order bonus but in no way worth £260.00
However, once i was in store it transpired that in order to land the pre-order bonus you had to also buy the extra characters in the book (which have just been re-released at a HEFTY discount anyway) AND the new case. Total cost of pre-order to land the shiny character cards? £260.00.
Now i was all ready to buy the game from GW, do a new manager a solid and grab some shiny pre-order cards into the bargain, but that killed that there and then. I'm not a rich man so if I could save twenty quid on it I would.

Thankfully my friendly local discounter Wayland Games was also getting it in so what can I say, they got my business and my money instead. Quick, easy, no hassles. Brief pang of guilt as I picked it up but twenty quid saved is no small change to me. And in all honesty it turned out to be a good move. Still, on with the review.

We are back to the slim box after the behemoth that was Imperial Knights Renegade. In all honesty i'm starting to welcome this due to the Sheer amount of boxed games GW are knocking out, they've all got to be stored somewhere after all!

My GW expenditure of late has been a lot higher than usual.. Well played new CEO... 
Upon opening the box I was astonished, new box smell! GW have been reading my reviews! Probably not to be honest, maybe i imagined the whole thing. What I did NOT imagine however is the relatively few plastic sprues that greet you in the box. After the veritable feasts that we have been spoiled with previously I cant say it wasn't something of a disappointment, still we've all seen the pictures, we know how good the models are, and whilst i'll cover them in more detail in a minute let's look at the other bits in the box.

Much less plastic than we have been used to in all honesty.
Not that there is all that much to talk about. 13 double sided tiles, varying sizes, varying designs but overall more cohesive than the original. They are nice but not as nice as the ones from Space Hulk, which still represents the gold standard in board tiles. Oversized character cards times six, Not very thick considering what they are to be used for, like the Renegade cards they would benefit from a laminating. There are only three decks of cards, and no furniture. It's pretty bare bones.

There are two books, The adventure book and the guidebook. I have lamented at length the absence of the Roleplaying book from the original and to me it is a nearly fatal blow to the Silver Tower ensemble but going on about it isn't going to change anything.  What is there is fair enough, As I said in my overview the rules are pretty basic, no charts and no blocks of text. The Guidebook literally does the rules, a little fluff on the heroes and then the stats for the various monsters. A handy but by no means comprehensive reference sheet is on the back

It is a nice set, if somewhat compact

The Adventure book contains all the passages that you need to read for various rooms and unexpected encounters, with 90 passages in all. After that it gives the rules for a few extra champions and monsters that are not in the box to expand your games. The champions are those released separately the week after the game and the Monsters are all existing models, Screamers, Flamers and a herald of Tzeentch. I'll probably pick up some Screamers at some point and maybe some Flamers, I think they would add some nice variety to the game.

So, on to the models. We all know they are nice, we've seen the pictures and these are up to GWs usual high standards. I do think that some of these present a fascinating look as to the way that the aesthetics of some of the future releases will go and i'm sure we will see some of these models released separately a bit later on. I was also quite struck by the fact that these models look like they could have fit into the Old World. Sigmarite aside that is.

It's not a massive amount of models, nice as they are
The Heroes are all pretty complicated actually, with around 8 or 9 parts apiece. Though they are of the usual GW CAD sensibility and go together fine and are well engineered there are a few small pieces that seem at odds to a board game release. The Fire Slayers horn and hammer token, the Shard's breastplate, Mistweaver's buckle, all small pieces of detail and quite fiddly. Not to mention that the Darkoath Chieftain comes with an optional piece so you can have the axe hand or one gripping a decapitated head! Most impressive. The Sigmarine is the easiest to assemble as you might imagine and i think I found the Dark Elf the most difficult, even the face is separate! They are all really nice pieces though and the equal of the character clampacks currently out.

The monsters are a mixed bag. The Grot scuttlers, an intriguing mix of Goblin and Spider, are the most basic, being just two halves. Sadly they are also by far the least interesting or detailed. I would have much rather had actual spiders, Never mind, nothing to stop me replacing them should I wish.

For the most part the miniatures themselves cannot be faulted.

The Skaven model I didn't like much in the photos but changed my mind once I put two together, it's still lovely and simple, separate arm and head but that is it, so it goes together a charm. It looks like a really mean rat-man and I know Lee is going to double up his as Assassins in his Skaven Warhammer army.

The Horrors are also two part models, the Blue Horrors are again two parts, going together in overlapping halves, in fact a lot of the models in Silver Tower go together in overlapping layers, it's clever design and engineering. The Pink Horrors are just as simple and the Brimstone Horrors require no assembly at all. A word of caution, be careful when removing the Brimstones from the sprue, all the little flames on them are quite delicate and you can damage them quite easy.

Deceptively fragile...

The Kairac cultists were also easily assembled being three or four parts in most cases no real problems encountered here. Another top tip is to use plastic glue when assembling this lot as the melting plastic will help disguise join lines, of which there are plenty. Some are disguised already but the cultist with shield has a particularly noticeable one.

A quick mention for the Familiars, no assembly required but each one harks back to a classic Citadel miniature from days of yore. A really nice touch and they are a welcome addition, each has different effects in the game too.


The Tzangors are great, with most of the models in the box being pretty diminutive these are reassuringly large, once again they go together in layers and one was actually a bit of a challenge, going together like a jigsaw puzzle. There were a few models I put together as sub assemblies so I could get to bits of the model easier, like the cultists shield and the Exclesior Priest's cloak, this is not an option with the Tzangors, still there aren't many bits that will be difficult to get to.

All of the afore mentioned monsters come on two identical sprues so you will have duplicate models, Due to the way the models are put together it is difficult, though not impossible, to convert them and have them unique and should  you do so be careful not to change their loadouts as they have different effects in the game. That leaves the Gaunt Summoner and the Tzeentchian Minotaur

Well, the Gaunt Summoner is a piece that all seems to come together quite nicely, I particularly liked the way the hole in the mouth allows the tongue on the neck to poke through, quite clever, the robe was a bit awkward to clean up and I did have to refer to the manual as i got in a muddle with the torso but other than that it seemed to go together no problem.

Complicated for a boardgame but you shouldn't have too many problems. 
The Big critter looked really daunting at first, it is made up of over ten parts and none of them looked very big given the final size of the model. In the end though it wasn't too bad, again I would suggest plastic glue to hide joins. the legs and tail were the only really problematic element, and it looks great once fully assembled

And that's all the models, it doesn't actually look all that much in all honesty especially when you consider that many of the figures are rather small. Nonetheless they do look very nice and it is a fine collection of miniatures with many highlights and an overall high standard. No complaints with the miniatures.

Game in progress: It's all very neat and tidy
As I said i'm not really going to get stuck into rules too much as I covered that in the other article. I will say that I really like the destiny and hero dice mechanic, making you choose your actions carefully. Unexpected events seem to crop up just the right amount and the game is challenging enough witout being frustrating. Some of the heroes are much better than others though and there is a seeming lack of balance overall. It's longevity is also a factor, once you have played through and got the amulet pieces will you be bothered to play again? Different characters will only go so far. Of course you can get the extra monsters and that will mix things up again but other than that unless GW do an expansion or White Dwarf missions from time to time it will be up to fans to provide the content.

The original and still superior. 
The AoS system seems to be a good fit for this game, indeed it's a better fit than for a tabletop game and I suspect if this had been our introduction to the AoS rules it would have been less of a shock. The game flows well, although it is a bit more straightforward and basic. It's fun to play and strategically involved enough to keep your attention.

So what about value? That's the big question. GW have unleashed a fair few of these boxed games on us now so there is a basis for comparison. As I have already mentioned, Silver Tower seems a bit light on models even though number wise it is more than Overkill and and Betrayal at Calth. As mentioned though many of the models are very small and although they are as intricate as they come you do get the feeling a few more could have been thrown in. Countering this though is the six characters that you get, Two more than in the original box and they are very detailed so you could equate each of those as the twenty quid clam packs. In reality though I think those are hideously overpriced anyway as it is so I don't take that into consideration,

Short lived but fun while it lasts, hopefully there will be expansions
At the end of the day you do have a wonderful selection of miniatures here, easily the equivalent of those available on the shelves and the characters in particular are very nice. However, well over a third of them are VERY small, the rest of the elements to the boxed game are also not that impressive. Perfectly adequate but nothing special, its no Space Hulk as I have said. This given the potential lack of gameplay and variety to the game cause me to question its value. Silver Tower is going up against games like Descent and other dungeon crawlers and longevity wise i'm just not sure that it measures up. Of course the models are much better than its rivals but if GW keeps knocking out these boxed games they are only going to be able to fall back on that for so long.

One must also consider that Descent, et al are a good deal cheaper than the RRP of £95.00 and offer a lot more for your buck. I consider the price I got it for from Wayland to be much more reasonable. HAD it had the content of the original (more quests - more models and the roleplaying section ) then it may have been worth the asking price but if we are rating this as a game rather than a collection of accomplished miniatures then I fear it seems overpriced.

  • Lovely models - not overly AoS in aesthetic
  • Good fit for the AoS ruleset
  • Good game mechanics
  • Rules for extra models included in book
  • Narrative bit tight and single minded
  • Lack of balance between heroes 
  • Thin on content and longevity
  • Pricey for what you get
Summary: What is there is very nice but you get no feeling that this is an adequate replacement for it's old world predecessor. It has none of the depth or the soul of the original and comes off as a poor imitation. It is a decent game in its own right though, even if it is light on content for the price. Like i said in my other article, you'll have fun with it but it won't fill that WHQ shaped hole in your heart.


Friday, 27 May 2016

Mobile Game Review: Snotling Fling

Just like a sneaky goblin this game completely slipped under my radar. I was actually looking for the Horus Heresy Talisman game (review of that in the works) and just happened upon this inoccuous looking title. At a paltry 68 pence, it seemed worth the punt and so I gave it a download. I've been playing it most of this week and have had my ups and downs and now I feel i'm in a position to write a review. So here we go.

Snotling Fling is a game that pretty much does what the title suggests.Flinging Snotlings from a Doomdiver catapult in an effort to kill Empire troops occupying buildings of varying stability . Think of it as a 3D angry birds and you wont go too far wrong. Your view is from behind the catapult and this can make it a little difficult to judge the distance at first but you'll soon get the hang of it. In fact it's fairly intuitive and after a brief tutorial for the first few levels the game is happy to just let you get on with it.

So  there is no no extensive hand holding which is nice and unlike Freeblade it's not constantly throwing adverts at you and trying to hawk you resources. In fact aside from briefly introducing you to the idea of using the games currency (Teef of course) to power up your shots it will leave you alone and although the shopping cart is always there I have encountered no paywalls as of yet though a couple of levels have proved most challenging.

Another thing I must mention is the attention to character that has been paid. Everything is spot on, Very Orky, from the character models to the little bit of text that precedes each mission, some of which certainly bought a grin to my face. When you pull the Snotling towards you it will pull faces and stick its tongue at out at you. Should you leave any Empire Troops standing they will taunt you, and waggle their arses at you.  Its all quite a lot of fun and made me very nostalgic for the Old World as this tongue in cheek approach is something I just couldn't imagine in Age Of Sigmar's ultra serious sci-fantasy universe.

So you pull back the Snotling and let fly aiming for the Empire buildings to try to bring them down. The stacks of building are fairly unimaginative, certainly nothing approaching the strategy and variety of the Angry Birds game, this means that the game is pretty straightforward. A simple knowledge of physics will have you toppling the Imperial cottages in short order. Of course things do not stay that simple.

As the game progresses throughout its levels the Imperials will learn to build better structures and your standard Snotlings will just not cut it (though they do continue to feature) and you will need something with a touch more punch. Enter the Fanatics, Tap a Fanatic mid flight and he will cast free his balls (oo-er) for added destruction. During my brief time with the game i have also encountered Fat Snotlings that smash through blocks a fair bit easier than the standard ones, Exploding Squigs (tap screen to explode them like a bomb) and of course the inimitable Doomdiver which launches over the battlefield till you tap the screen sending it diving down to explode, it can be a bit hard to judge but you wont mind restarting a few times. It loads fairly quickly too, which is essential if the game is to provoke the 'one more go' feeling.

Further adding strategy and challenge to the game are the golden skulls, one hidden on each level, hitting this and completing the level will grant you additional Teef if you are running a bit low (not that i ever did) As an aside the result of the game is an Ork glyph, ranging in completion and Colour (a simple bronze, silver, and gold). Trust me it will take some time to get Gold on all levels. There is plenty of gameplay here There are also explosive barrels dotted about and wizards on Hippogriffs that will destroy entire buildings if you hit them.

I had played just under sixty levels when the game decided to delete all my data. This was probably partly my own fault as i neglected to connect to my Google Account but it was still frustrating. Still it is testament to the game that i didn't really mind playing the levels again and I am already up to level forty after a short amount of time. I believe there are around eighty levels all in and from what i have seen the developers (Wicked Witch) are going to be adding more. Even if they don't there is a fair bit of replayability to be had.

So that is Snotling Fling. Worth every penny of its tiny cost and a cracking way to kill ten minutes It's fairly short lived, albeit with a decent amount of replay value and more importantly although it does support in game purchases I have found it quite possible to play through the game without spending any additional money at all. Its characterful, fun, and very accessible with a decent amount of challenge and a dash of that 'one more go' element. Although it is by no means as accomplished as Angry Birds and graphically rather basic. Worth your time even if it is only in short bursts.


Flying high:
Cheap, with no hidden costs
Bags of character
Easy to play
Doesn't keep selling you things
Great for short bursts

Crash and Burn: 
Graphically Basic
Not as strategically deep or sophisticated as Angry Birds
Pretty short

In summary: Short blast of cheap fun,It will take ages to get all the gold skulls and glyphs and i forsee a fair bit of play out of it yet. Recommended.


Thursday, 26 May 2016

We're Not Done Here

Nope, not necessarily...

Alas poor Fantasy, we knew it well. Not the game, never actually played the game much but the world, the characters, the history, we knew them. We read the army books, the novels, played the video games even collected the miniatures but as players who were weaned on 40K we could never get the hang of Fantasy. 

Fiddliest goddamn models ever

It wasn't for lack of trying. Every edition I would buy the new starter set, consequently I have starter forces for Dwarves, Goblins, Elves and Skaven to hand. I must have played at least one game each edition just to try it out; usually with my Undead army which I have had since 4th edition, the edition when it went 'mainstream' with the first starter of Goblins versus High Elves. Yep, always aspired to be a fantasy player but never got deep enough into it to be truly committed.

Now it is gone though, there is a deep need to finally have armies of deeply ranked infantry marching alongside huge monsters as sorcerers and wizards unleash magical fury against each other. Maybe I'm an unconsciously channelling a need to be an outsider by only playing versions of games that people consider dead.  

Plus bonus Dark Eldar conversion bits

Whatever the reason I've been building up some fantasy armies on the sly. Easiest to get to gaming standard are my Undead, which I have had forever and my Orcs and (predominantly) Goblins force. Along with these I have the beginnings of Dwarf, Skaven and High Elf armies which are now more than just the starter set forces plus I have gathered together enough Dark Elves to play a small game. 

Once that is all sorted I have to decide which edition I want to play. Having lots of cards laying around is a draw for playing the earlier editions but for a more diverse selection of units then the later editions would be the way to go. As we always say at the Conclave, because an edition was superseded doesn’t mean its unplayable and if it needs tweaking or new rules writing we can do it.

Tempted to draw that magical orb like a chibi octopus

Of late whilst I crack on with unpacking I have been getting my hobby fix by cleaning up and prepping my Horus Heresy resins and building Fantasy miniatures. Here you can see some of my efforts. This Loremaster of Hoeth will be added to my Island of Blood Swordmaster unit to give them a bit of magical punch. That unit needs bumping up by another 10 models so next on the list for High Elves is the models needed to complete this unit.


Whilst out in town with Allen this week we found a Warhammer stand in the local art store which had a box of recalled High Elf Warriors so I snapped that up. These guys will form one of the core units for the High Elf army. As I write I have won an auction for 25 Archers which combined with the Archer command I am in negotiations with on Facebook gives me two additional core units.

Weep oh yee new age Sigmarite purists!

If any more proof were needed of my regimented ambitions gaze upon my works and tremble as I place the Silver Tower's new Age of Sigmar miniatures on square bases! Okay I am not putting all the miniatures on square bases, only the ones that I think would fit into my existing armies which at the moment is the Skaven and Scutters. 

So I got Gotrek, Felix, Nagash, Thanquol, Grom the Paunch and a whole host of other characters to play with and that's without including Christopher's Lizardmen. Just need to start slapping some paint on.


Wednesday, 18 May 2016

The Itty Bitty Tank Commitee

A few months back I went all Epic mad and ended up buying quite a lot of the stuff. It's not easy. Epic has officially been dead for a while and getting hold of miniatures is expensive, particularly the infantry. I lament selling my Epic armies; Eldar and Emperor's Children but apparently food is essential to life so whatever.

Out in the world there is a thing called Forumware. This is where fans of Epic who have way more talent than you or I have sculpted their own models that they cast up for personal use. This stuff is amazing. I have seen entire Horus Heresy Legions sculpted to resemble Forge World's current fare and painted to a standard worthy of full sized Golden Daemon standard. Unfortunately you cannot get hold of that stuff so I have been scrabbling around ebay and anywhere else I can think of to build up my collection.

Out of the blue I received a solicitation email from one of the small independent companies I have used for unique and interesting miniatures in the past. I can't tell you who they are as they went to great lengths not to publicise their awesome but obviously plagiarised designs. Still, if Games Workshop won't sell me the things I want, I'll get them elsewhere.

The kit is a metal resin hybrid. The resin parts are the main hull and track sections cast on a single sheet of resin. The resin is very good quality and a crisp cast with no air bubbles and plenty of detail. The plain sides of the resin parts were very smooth so I took a few minutes to rough up the texture to help the glue bond the parts together better. The metal parts are the hatches. These drop in parts could easily be replaced with turret and sponson alternative parts to create Razorbacks, Whirlwinds and Predators. Vindicators would need a different hull and probably could get away with no metal parts at all. There is a final piece which I will discuss further down but it is a solid piece of metal that is not meant to be part of the model.

Clean your resin in warm soapy water. Doesn't matter who the manufacturer is or the type of resin, give it a good soak and dry by wrapping it in and then dabbing it with kitchen roll. It is soft and absorbent and will get rid of that moisture. Moist. Why do people have a problem with that word?

The big solid bit of metal is actually a tool to help you construct your rhinos. There are no guide marks to allow your track sections to be applied correctly so that both sides fit in exactly the same space on either side of the main hull. Using this tool you can position all the parts so that when the glue is dry you have a perfect Rhino and not a lopsided mess.

Once you have completed your mini-me Rhinos you have an attractive and highly detailed miniature for your efforts. These Rhinos are slightly larger than the standard plastic Epic Rhinos but are a better fit scale wise for the Epic infantry.

I really like these models and wouldn't mind having a whole army of models in this design. Forge World announced that Adeptus Titanicus will herald the beginning of a new Epic system that will see tanks and infantry added after the Titan range has been fleshed out. The scale is different so whilst we will see more recent versions of standard template vehicles they will not be compatible with existing Epic collections so this is the only way to boost your forces with new shiny marks of tanks.

There has been sighted an Ultramarine specific version of these Rhinos on the horizon for those of us you can't sculpt for crap. Not a Ultra player myself so fingers crossed for something Dark Angels alongside these.

PS... they do Necrons too.


Tuesday, 17 May 2016

New Worlds

I've been harping on about it for a while now but the move to a larger home has now happened! Masterfullymalevolent Towers is currently home to many half unpacked boxes which are taken and added to a pile with no consideration to order or any kind of overarching plan. 

While this is going on I have no painting area. As we have bought all new furniture I am not allowed to risk getting paint on any of it so will need to purchase a painting table and chair that can go in my temporary hobby room. In the meantime I am cleaning and building any models within reach. As an example:

10 Graveguard built
10 Black Guard built
Domitar Automata cleaned
Scimitar Jetbikes cleaned
5 Ashen circle cleaned
5 Recon Legionaries cleaned
Nurgle Daemon Prince cleaned
Eldar Warp Hunter cleaned
Various resin upgrade bits

In between doing that I am putting some work into our Warhammer 40,000 Second Edition revival project. I was halfway through painting the first three units of my 2E Ulthwe force so they will be the first things on the painting table once that is set up.

Allen is busy putting together a Necron force he recently acquired so I am looking forward to getting to grips with them using my Eldar. This also adds another army to our play test pool for 2E which will boost the models I already gathered for it myself. Plenty to be getting on with.


Saturday, 14 May 2016

Warhammer Quest: Silver Tower - Contents and Rules overview.

Out of all the games that GW have produced over the years few are revered such as Warhammer Quest, the archetypical dungeon crawler set in the Old Warhammer World. I myself have spent many an hour battling spiders and giant rats in the depths of the dankest dungeon, surviving ambushes and random encounters. When GW re-released Space Hulk, authentic and complete I always wondered why they didn't do the same with WHQ, a template that seemed ripe for an update. But it never happened.

The original. Love this game...

Of course GW ended up killing off the Old World and unleashing the Age of Sigmar upon us, which love it or hate it seems to be here to stay. Personally I thought this killed off any chance of us getting the remake that so many wanted. Then all of a sudden the much rumoured Silver Tower game was revealed. And lo and behold, The Warhammer Quest name was attached to it, quite unexpected and ramped my interest in the game right up. 

As more and more pictures got released the hype grew. The new miniatures looked amazing and even the AoS setting wasn't really putting me off. Of course the rules were the one thing we weren't hearing about and this would be the real test of whether the game was worthy of the Warhammer Quest name. 

Well,, now i have played it and i can safely say.... sort of. 

The heroes themselves have AoS rules. The to hit rolls all depend on the weapon (or spell) you are using and there are no stats lines to speak of. However, there are a number of intriguing game mechanics that make for a lot of fun and we'll be covering those in a sec.

One of the first things you do after choosing your scenaario is tailor your deck. Each trial (of which there are 9 in total) refers to a different wind of magic, you then choose these matching cards from the dungeon deck. Some will be removed from the deck even after this dependent on which trial you are doing (we were only doing the first so a couple of the harder rooms were removed) the rest are set up in a series of mini decks stacked and shuffled so that the rooms will end up more or less where they need to be, but are a little randomized so you do not know exactly what is coming, There were only seven cards in this first dungeon.

There were only two of us playing, Kieron, manager of GW Southend took the Fireslayer whilst i opted for the Mistweaver, eager to see how magic worked in this version of quest. Silver Tower is a fully co-operative game, there is no need for a dungeon master. This is the first large departure from the Warhammer quest of old but is not entirely unwelcome, it just means that the AI has to be up to scratch. 

So the way the game works is there is an initiative token that passes round the players and the player with the token goes first that turn. Kieron took the first turn to illustrate how the game worked. We started on an 'ingress point' (replacing he stairwell from the classic) and the game began. 

The first thing that you do is roll your 'destiny dice' these are five dice that represent a pool of dice that the warriors can use to supplement their own action dice. Only unique dice rolls are used (so doubles triples etc are removed and cant be used) and Kieron showed me that in later games the dice rolls could trigger familiars who would have additional effects on the trial in question. 

We only got one double so that was removed and the remaining dice put on the card piece with our renown counters. The results of the dice are very important and must be preserved for reasons we'll get to in a sec. The renown counters are on a wheel and once they have completed a circuit we would level and collect a skill. 

With the destiny dice sorted, Kieron as the Rune Marked (holder of the initiative token) rolled his action dice. Four dice per character, you roll them and the results will dictate what actions you can take. For example, moving uses a dice roll of one but some powerful attacks can need a dice of five or six so you can be very limited in what you can do, especially if your rolls are as bad as mine!

Not the ideal start....
So the first action that Kieron chose was explore (1+) and he turned over the first card revealing the Whirligig Passage. After placing the card and reading the appropriate passage in the book for any special rules or anything we rolled for the monsters. A couple of Cultists and Horrors filled the passageway, ready to be cut down like chaff, after all that's how it always worked in the old version.... 

The Fireslayer used another low value dice to move up to the cultist, another dice was used for the first attack doing D3 damage but not quite felling his opponent. He then used a Destiny Dice to follow up with another normal attack. hewing the cultist where it stood. One thing to note is that when you use one of the Destiny Dice you lock the next highest number, this stops one player from using all the dice before the other players as the Destiny Dice have to last the whole round. The dice unlock on the next players turn,

Using it's last dice which missed, the Fyreslayers turn ended. Most of his powers were short ranged so he had had to close with the enemy, I intended to engage from further away, like you would expect a mage to do. Sadly my dice rolls were all rather low so I had to close in to hit with my knife. Of course even at point blank range I couldn't hit to save my life despite needing only a 4+. I regained a bit of pride using the remaining Destiny Dice to blast my foe with magic missiles (Illusory Assault - 3+ to hit, D3 damage but needing a minimum action dice of 3+ too) clearing a few of the foe but merely splitting the Blue Horrors into a pair of Brimstone Horrors! Hang on that's new!

One thing to note is that there are no rolls to wound. You roll to hit, you roll for damage (if required) that's it, This is AoS after all. Some might not like this, but personally it sped things up a little and I don't mind it too much. Might be a bit weird when you are hitting mighty foes on the same number, that's what I never liked about Age of Sigmar. Another thing is that monster models have no save at all, they generally have multiple wounds to compensate for this though. 

So it was the adversary turn and we rolled for the monster actions. A predetermined table dictates the way the monsters respond as you work though all the monsters on the tile. Groups of the same monster type act as one. By the end of the adversary turn we had each taken a wound or two. Wounds are interesting. As they are placed on the spaces where your action dice are normally placed each wound effectively denies you an action. you can heal but each time you do so throughout the game the dice value that is required to be used rises by one.  Of course then there was a random event (I cant remember how it was triggered) and a pink horror appeared which in combination with the self immolating suicidal Brimstones caused a further three wounds on my mistweaver. NO action points for her next turn  and one more hoot and she was down. Kieron was doing a bit better and cut down a few more foes. With no action dice i had to use a destiny dice to heal and then another to blast the Pink Horror which promptly split into two Blues. I had a special rule where if I rolled a six to hit with my Illusory Blast then I picked up renown on top of that for killing my foe and my counter was rapidly advancing round the wheel.

With only a 6+ armour save my character was taking a battering....
We each took a couple more hits before we cleared the tile and rather than using the respite to heal my extra wounds I took I searched for treasure, picking  up a card that would allow me to examine the adventure deck later to see what perils awaited us. I'm sure this would come in handy. 

The next room was much easier, only a couple of cultists and blue horrors stood in our way and I was getting to grips with the rules. (Ie I hid behind the dwarf)  I did however manage to throw a couple of quadruples with the destiny dice leaving us with only one so it was fortunate there were not more enemy models to fight.

As this was a T junction i used my treasure card to look at one of the split decks to see in which direction our goal lay as my time sadly was not unlimited. After checking the deck we chose to go the other way. Of course we could have gone that way anyway to pick up extra treasure and renown. The next room was a feature room and an especially hard Pink Horror challenged us. It took a while but we took him down and the two Blue Horrors he turned into and then the Brimstone too. We were in pretty good shape and I leveled up at this point picking up a handy skill card that was especially useful to my character. If I got a six to hit then i would ad an action dice to my card, For any other adventure it would be a value of one but as a mage I could roll it and take the result. Nice.

Hiding behind the Dwarf again like any self respecting Elf....

We then progressed into the last room where our destiny awaited....

The room contained two statutes and two rotating light beams. we could rotate the beams 90 degrees using an action dice of 4+ and it was plain that the aim was to shine the light on the statues. The room was full of  the enemy and the light rays were deadly so we used our action points to rotate the light beams and thin the herd. The Mistweaver went second so ended up reaping most of the kills and my renown counter was well over half the way round the wheel again and nearly lapped the Fyreslayers. If i'm honest this little bit was too easy and I would have preferred more of a fight but as I say I didn't have all day.

Our foe were many...

But the light beams soon sorted them out!

Once we had shone the lights back on the statue our final task was revealed....

We finished off the last few enemies and rotated the lights to the statues. Where upon a shade of the Gaunt Summoner appeared. After taunting us he tried to kill us, stealing all our destiny dice at one point and with a rather nasty rule where if you wounded him with an action dice you lost the next highest dice, but in all honesty we polished him off without too many problems. The Fyreslayer got the killing blow as i was still proving useless with my knife. As I was Rune Marked at the time I took the section of amulet and our first trial was complete. 

The heroes do battle with the Gaunt Summoners shade...
Now, the skills and treasure we had collected, would we get to keep them? After all character progression was key to the original Warhammer quest. Well the treasure was a simple matter or a dice roll for each piece and mine was lost. The way the skills work is interesting. Basically you only get to hang on to an amount of skills related to the amount of amulet fragments you have. One fragment is one skill. Two or three is two skills four plus is three skills and all eight fragments means you can have four. An intriguing system that prevents you from grinding and gaining super powered heroes and making the game too easy. 

Now, The killer. There is NO after game phase. You fight, you level and then you choose your next mission. I'm not going to lie, this is a bit of a bummer. I really enjoyed this element of Warhammer Quest. It made everything seem more real and cemented you in the world, it also made the character YOURS. Did you have a gambling problem? what kind of weapon would you buy? The randomness was a massive part of the game and that is sadly gone. In fact it may well be a deal breaker for some people. It makes sense given AoS setting but that makes me bemoan its loss no less.

you will be missed, oh you will be missed.....

I'm going to look at the contents quickly with a further comparison to the original so feel free to skip tot the end if you want my final thoughts about the game play....

First up the models. Yes there are far less in this version but it is impossible to argue that they are all of far superior quality. In fact these models are superb. The cultists in particular are something that people have been crying out for and I am happy to say that the OTT AoS aesthetic of which I really am not a fan seems to be at a minimum here. The heroes are all sublime and I really like the look of the Aelf models, the Dark elf assasin is just that but the mist weaver is an intriguing blend of styles and I look forward to seeing what the rest of the range looks like, The Chaos chieftain is also a highlight and each of the models is a delight in their own right, with the Excelsior Priest being another favourite and not just because GW have finally produced an obviously non caucasian model.

The monsters are also very nice with the aforementioned tzeentchian cultists being my favourite, Its all as nice as the stuff in overkill and I cant wait to get my set. So yes you might get less models but when you consider that most of the model count in WHQ was spiders and rats and bats it doesn't seem so bad, certainly 51 models for 95 quid strikes me as reasonable.

You got a lot more tiles in WHQ but Silver Towers are double sided so the actual amount of rooms is similar. It is worth noting however that at least in the game i played there is less of a sprawling dungeon feel with a distinct lack of corridors and corners and the like. Rather it really does feel like sections of a boardgame rather than elements of a dungeon. The art on them is stunning however, very bright and colourful as befitting the Chaos God featured.

There are also substantially fewer cards in the box, with things like alternate weapons cards no longer being required and the spells being on the character cards. Its not a massive thing but I did miss the myriad of decks with the only non room cards being present the small skills and treasure cards on the centre destiny card ready to be claimed.

There are also no doors with all inter tile movement being done by means of magic portals. The rules are more or less non existent. The AoS sensibility reigns supreme here and there are no passages of rules to learn at all. Another departure and one that this crusty old gronkard misses greatly. The book with all the read aloud passages is fine and the monster rules are covered on war scrolls and often summarized on the back of the books. No roleplaying book. It doesn't exist. 

So comparatively there is certainly less to this game contents wise. I'm not sure it has the replayability of the original with its singular tight narrative as you test yourself against the summoners trials. It seems like a lean stripped down version of the classic dungeon crawling game although the quality of the components is vastly superior. 

So, how did I feel about the way it played? Well I really enjoyed my game as it was. I felt it had some excellent mechanics, I really like the destiny dice idea and the way actions work. It does feel a little simple in places as it uses the AoS rules but there is still some strategy required in order to negotiate the dungeons. At one stage it didn't look like we were going to get out of the first tile! 

The game scales with the amount of players you have and although it was a bit of a shame not to have a DM the game works fine without for the most part. It's nice to be able to play the game with a mate and not need a group. It's pretty fast and furious and I liked some of the special rules that cropped up within the different rules. Kieron showed me one from a later mission where you had to do dice challenges against the clock which was pretty cool, though hopefully the dancing round the table nonsense has been left where it belongs.

The lack of inbetween games roleplaying is a crippling blow to those looking to pick this up expecting it to be a faithful remake of WHQ, I can understand how the new setting doesn't lend itself to the idea but it was easily one of the very best bits about the original and gave you a chance to develop and get to know your character. As it is it feels like you are playing with something that is never really your own and its not the same. You can't even die, not properly. With no stats to speak of im not sure how you would feel you are advancing either, though some skills will boost rolls. 

So in summary, it is another well put together board game from GW, It's a bit light on depth and gameplay and the loss of the roleplaying aspect is a big blow. But the components are lovely and the game itself is a lot of fun with some intriguing mechanics. The AoS system seems to be a good fit here and certainly it works better than I think it does for a large tabletop game. I'll be picking it up, and I think it is a rather well designed game, But don't expect it to fill that WHQ shaped hole in your heart because it wont.