18 January 2013 | Relic

Prepare for Battle in the Antian Sector

Explore the Threats to the Imperium in this Preview of Relic


In a far-flung corner of the universe, a Warp rift has opened in the Antian Sector, and the Imperium wants to investigate whatever secrets it may contain. In Relic, the Talisman system is adapted and interpreted to better suit the grim and war-torn universe of Warhammer 40,000. Two to four players each assume the role of a powerful hero and bravely venture forth to shield the Antian Sector from certain doom. By completing missions and defeating enemies, characters compete to gain rewards and experience, furthering their chance of being the first to defeat whatever evil lies beyond the Warp rift.

Exploring the Antian Sector

Those who have played Talisman will find a number of noteworthy differences in Relic. First, rather than one deck of Adventure cards that determines the allies and obstacles to be found on each space, Relic has three distinct Threat decks, each of which focuses on a different foe in the Antian Sector.

This, along with a sophisticated and varied system for “leveling up,” corruption cards that bestow both benefits and disadvantages, and secret missions that reward players with powerful equipment (among much more!), ensures that Relic is its own unique game experience while still staying true to its familiar Talisman roots.

The board features three separate regions with stunning artwork showcasing the dangerous and beautiful Antian Sector. Players will explore this Sector as one of ten unique and powerful characters from the Imperium of Man, and each individual is represented by a highly-detailed plastic bust. Players battle Chaos spawn, heretics, and xenos in three distinct threat decks, and can use the trophies they collect from their fallen enemies to level up their characters and compete against their fellow players.

Wits, Discipline, and Brute Strength

Survival for the heroes of the Imperium in the Antian Sector is a difficult task, requiring wits, discipline, and brute strength. As a reflection of a hero’s training and dedication to the Imperium, each one starts the game with a set amount of Strength, Willpower, Cunning, and Life.

Each hero's character sheet is fitted into a board to track their attributes and level

In the above image, you can see the character board that is used to keep track of your hero’s development as he strives to gain control of the Antian Sector. Each player will place this board at the top of his hero’s character sheet in order to keep track of his attributes and level. The red dial represents your character’s strength attribute, the blue is his willpower attribute, and the yellow dial is his cunning attribute. Each hero, despite formidable abilities and training, can only take so much punishment before falling in battle. A hero’s Life value is recorded by the green dial.

As in Talisman, players roll a die to move their heroes around the board and then, on most spaces, they draw cards to determine the perils they encounter in that space. In the Antian Sector, the Imperial forces have a wide array of enemies from different factions to contend with. The myriad dangers of the region surrounding the Warp rift are made manifest in the three Threat decks. Each space on the Relic board may contain one or multiple red, yellow, or blue threat icons. These icons indicate which deck the player should draw from.

Threats to the Imperium of Man

Each Threat deck features a myriad of agents of Chaos cults and their Daemonic overlords, but certain other denizens of deep space appear in just one type of Threat deck. Pick your battles wisely, as any hero may be quickly overwhelmed by a battle he is not equipped for.

The Ork hordes have made their way out to the Devastated Reaches of the Antian Sector, and facing them in brutal and bloody combat is inevitable. The red Threat deck contains challenges that focus on the threat of the Ork invaders as they try to gain a foothold in the area. A hero’s strength value will serve him well as he fends off the green-skinned barbarians.

For reasons unknown to the Imperium, an Eldar Craftworld has moved into the Twilight Fringe, and is jealously guarding the space surrounding the Warp rift. The ancient, mysterious race is sure to come into conflict with the forces of Mankind as the two groups struggle for control of the rift. The yellow Threat deck features clashes with the Eldar. These enigmatic beings are equipped with advanced technology and ancient knowledge, and will chiefly challenge the cunning value of a given hero.

In the Lost Front, a Tyranid Hive Fleet has expanded a few chitinous tentacles into the Antian Sector, and the ravenous Tyranids are scouring the area for any organic life they can devour and repurpose. The heroes of the Imperium will be facing off against the Tyranids in the blue Threat deck. One of the greatest strengths of the Tyranid forces is their overwhelming numbers. Heroes facing off against these insect-like abominations will need to use their willpower value to endure such a vast and unified onslaught.

Each of these Threat decks contains a wide array of challenges to lay before each hero. Though the Orks, Eldar, and Tyranids make up a portion of each of these decks, Heretics, traitorous Chaos Space Marines, and Daemons will also emerge from any of the three Threat decks to assault the envoys of Mankind.

Each Threat deck also contains a variety of Places, Events, Allies, and Wargear that can help the heroes face the onslaught. Event cards may give players special challenges or tasks to complete. Encounters could bring your hero face to face with a Stranger or uncover a Place of great power or peril. Fortunately, not all the forces in the universe have aligned against the Imperium, and Allies bring bonuses and special abilities to Mankind’s aid.

In our next Relic preview, we’ll explore the nature of Power cards and the variety of Wargear that the heroes of the Imperium make use of in their mission to secure the Warp rift!


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