Friday, August 5, 2011

Going a Questing!

So as you may be able to guess this post will be about a game. Quite specifically Warhammer Quest! Possibly one of the greatest GW games ever produced in my humble opinion. Well, mine and just about everyone I know that plays Warhammer, and those that haven't played it would probably soon say that it is the best shortly after they play it for the first time. Yes, it is just that much fun!

For those that do not know Games Workshop worked with Milton Bradley in the late 80's (well 1989 to be specific) and produced a wonderful mass market fantasy board game called Hero Quest followed very shortly after in the same year by Advanced Hero Quest.

These were amazing games for what they were. They came with gobs of great looking components, fun fantasy gameplay that was borderline roleplaying like D&D and it was a nice simple introduction into the Warhammer world with some pretty simple mechanics. As a child I never received either game but from what I heard they were a blast to play and now fetch a fair price on eBay. However due to the fact that they were mass market games they enjoy nowhere near the prices that Warhammer Quest does.

See in 1995 Games Workshop took what they had learned working with Milton Bradley and said "We can do this better ourselves." and from that decision comes this amazing game. To say it was full of components seems pretty weak sauce, its a see it to believe it type thing.

See? Now you believe me. The game built off of everything that the other two games did but also jumped full force into the Warhammer hobby. The plastics were all gray and no longer colored so they really begged to be painted. The game introduced the stat line from Warhammer that we're all so familiar with now. The board was modular and so every game you played with vary and be different in some way or shape. There were more treasures, more monsters, more roleplay and more complex rules. This was a gamers game and nobody questioned it. The problem is that it had a very short lifespan. As I said earlier it was released in 1995 and succinctly went out of print (OOP) in 1998 so only had an active shelf life of 3 years. For a hobby game that isn't terribly long.

The game was built on a fairly basic premise that we all know. The dungeon crawl. You get a group of adventurers who go into a dungeon, stab the bad guys, sometimes save the innocents and always, ALWAYS grab the loot.

The mechanics were generally quite simple and straightforward. You moved, you explored, monsters appeared, you fight and either win and get treasure or die and the game is over. Thew wonder of the game is that you could easily play one off games like you could in Hero Quest that would take roughly 1-1/2 to 2 hours. Very simple and fairly quick. The glory was that you could add the roleplay rules and expand your character. Where in Hero Quest you could only take treasures from dungeon to dungeon this system allowed you to level up your character and watch them grow. They gained skills and fantastic treasures. They went to town and had more adventures on the way and once they were there.

I have never played this game with someone who afterward didn't love it. I'm sure my wife would make an exception to that rule which is exactly why I would never play it with her. With the short shelf life of the game and the ludicrous popularity and zealous actions of people like me to get it the game can now in a compete state fetch anywhere from $200-300 USD. My copy is incomplete and I managed to get lucky and only pay around $80 USD in 2003 or 2004, I can't remember when I actually got the copy. I had a copy years before that sadly was stolen out of my car one day. I cried. Literally... I would've been happier if they'd stolen the car and left the game on the sidewalk.

The game was supported pretty heavily by GW too which made it seem more shocking when they suddenly cut it off. There were 9 different character packs released in case you didn't' want to play with just the Barbarian, Dwarf, Elf and Wizard. There were also two more that were released as Mail Order Only packs. There over 30 articles adding rules, material, scenarios, campaigns and ideas between White Dwarf and Citadel Journal. It had its own mini publication Deathblow that ran for 3 issues near the end of the games life cycle. Lair of the Orc Lord and The Catacombs of Terror.

Anyway, I bring all of this up to make a point. I was rummaging around in my games area about a week ago and ran across mine. Its in a toolbox now, the original box (for which you can see the art at the top of this post) long ago having been destroyed. The roleplay book is in a 3 ring binder as we used it to the point that it literally fell apart. Also as the gameplay picture above shows a set that is all still unpainted mine is too. When I ran across it I realised its been almost 3 years since I played it. I was hit with a sudden need. I decided that I shall paint my set finally. No simple task as it has over 85+ models in it that require painting. I've also started scrounging forums so that I can obtain the few models that I am missing to make the set complete. I've already rounded up quite a bit. My goal is to paint my set for Halloween at which point I will invite a group of 4 friends over and we will play the games main campaign which is a 3 level dungeon. Its got me REALLY excited.

I also plan to bring it with my to Adepticon in 2012 and on Friday night and probably Saturday night run some games of it outside of the Fantasy hall for fun. I feel extremely confident in saying that it will not be hard to find players at all. So you can keep your eye on this blog to follow my progress. By the end of August I should have obtained all the models and throughout September I'll be working on it. Yes I know I should be working on my Skaven army but this thing has really gotten into my head. In the end if you've never played this game I can't recommend it highly enough. If you have played it but its been a while I highly recommend you drag it out as I'm doing. I own a TON of games and this is easily on the top of the list as being rates a full out 10! Warhammer Quest, go get some.

I've tossed a link to Board Game Geek's webpage for it. BGG is probably one of the most useful Boardgaming websites ever and I highly recommend its use. It can be somewhat confusing at first but the amount of information there is amazing. Check it out.

Link to Board Game Geek:
Warhammer Quest


chuck said...

I have the MB one!

Anonymous said...

Do you think this might be there big (I think Oct was a rumor) release, since they already re-released Space Hulk?

Joe Flesch said...

No, I don't. I wish they would re-print it but think of the many reasons they don't. First they are partnered directly with Fatnasy Flight Games and FFG has their own version of a Dungeon Crawl (Descent) and it would be direct competition; even if GW only did a limited run. Secondly the original came with over 85+ pieces of plastic. To imagine a price tag on such a thing would have to be big, to big. My thoughts...