2 October 2015 | Warhammer Quest

Delve into the Darkness

Preview the Dungeon Adventures of Warhammer Quest: The Adventure Card Game

The perplexed and dying city of Schompf was on the verge of collapse until an unsuspecting rat-catcher named Jod began spreading tales of a peculiar odor— "more peculiar than usual"—emanating from the sewers. When he followed the odor, Jod stumbled across a secret entrance dug into the tunnels on the outskirts of town. Something, it seems, has recently been accessing the city’s water supply, no doubt for devious purposes. You must investigate.

Are you ready to join with some of the Old World's greatest heroes on a thrilling adventure into a series of dark and deadly caverns? If so, you will soon be able to set forth on fantastic, all-new adventures with Warhammer Quest: The Aventure Card Game, the cooperative card game of lethal dungeon delves for one to four players!

Your Quest Begins

Schompf's plight lies at the heart of the five-part campaign that forms the core of Warhammer Quest: The Adventure Card Game. What powers stand behind the city's desperation? What foes must you confront as you attempt to restore its people to health? Where will these mysteries lead you?

No matter which underground chambers you must explore, nor which monsters you must defeat, your adventure begins with a quest sheet that provides critical information about the quest's setup, victory and loss conditions, and unique rules. Additionally, each quest sheet features a peril track that helps shape your adventure.

As you push forward through the dungeon and the waves of Goblins, Undead, and other monsters that assail you, the peril track pushes back, triggering key events at specified intervals: a toxic smoke may flood the tunnels, enemies may leap out of the shadows, or enemies may slip back into the shadows. You may even find yourself suddenly thrust into combat with the quest's intimidating nemesis!

Finding Your Way

Once Jod leads you to the secret cavern entrance on the edge of town, and once you complete your setup, you're ready to undertake your first quest, "A Foul Stench." Can you find your way to the source of the poison afflicting Schompf and deal with those responsible? It depends upon your ability to navigate the tunnels and fight off the creatures within them.

To succeed at this first quest, as the quest sheet says, you need to fully explore the location Grump's Sump . To do that, though, you'll need to learn how to wield your weapons and magic, coordinate your attacks with your allies, dodge fangs, deflect arrows, and race through the dungeon, exploring room after room after room. The whole time, the peril track marches steadily forward, and your doom draws ever nearer…

Each round in Warhammer Quest: The Adventure Card Game is broken into four phases: Hero Phase, Enemy Phase, Location Phase, and Peril Phase.

1) Hero Phase

Each hero has a chance to act at least once in the Hero Phase. In total, you and your teammates can take a total of four actions. In a two-player game, you both get two actions; in a four-player game, you each get one action; and in a three-player game, one player acts twice as "party leader," a role that passes around from player to player throughout the game rounds.

Here, you see the three-player version of the Warrior Priest, as indicated by the three player icons on the top right of his card. His hit points change based on the number of players in the game, as do the number of actions he can take each round. In a three-player game, he acts once each round, except for the rounds when he is the party leader, during which he can act twice.

What can you do with your actions? We explored your options on the game's website in its description and in even greater detail in the game's announcement. In effect, though, you're always doing your best to deal with the enemies massing against you as you try to explore one room and move to the next. You're always pushing forward, and that means balancing your efforts between exploration, combat, and recovery.

Accordingly, your hero gets four action cards. One is for exploration, one is for attacking, and one is for resting. The fourth is the aid action, which enhances the game's cooperative nature by allowing you to support one of your fellow heroes, adding to the number of successes that party member can apply to a later action and allowing him to ready a critical action.

This is a particularly important facet of the aid action because your actions don't ready except through specific effects. If you're the Warrior Priest, for example, your actions remain exhausted until you use your action to rest. This means that even though you might want to attack the Orc Boy that has engaged you or rush to the aid of an injured ally, you're limited in your options until those actions are readied. Since each hero has different strengths, much of your survival will depend upon how quickly you learn how to work together, as well as learning how and when to use the aid action most effectively.

If all goes well, you'll purge the monsters from the location you're exploring, you'll finish your exploration, and you'll move on to the dungeon's next subterranean chamber. However, things rarely go so well…

2) Enemy Phase

After you and your teammates have taken your actions, your enemies drive forward, lashing out with fangs, claws, blades, and bolts. In the Enemy Phase, you and your friends take turns activating all the readied enemies in play, starting with the party leader and proceeding clockwise.

Enemies are activated one at a time and fight according to the tactics described on their effects bars, triggering them from left to right.

The range of keywords available to enemies in Warhammer Quest: The Adventure Card Game encourage a tremendous variety of enemy tactics. Nonetheless, many of the game’s enemies still share one or more of three basic keywords:

  • Advance: The enemy engages the hero activating it. If the enemy is already engaged with that hero, the effect is ignored.
  • Retreat: The enemy disengages the hero and retreats faceup to the shadows. If the enemy is already in the shadows, the effect is ignored.
  • Inflict: The hero engaged with the enemy suffers a number of wounds equal to the enemy’s attack value. Even if the enemy is in the shadows, the hero activating it must suffer these wounds.

Other keywords such as “Lacerate” or “Prey” drive different effects that are described on the enemy cards on which they appear.

When it’s your turn to activate an enemy, if there’s no readied enemy engaged with you, then you must choose and activate a readied enemy in the shadows. After you've activated an enemy, your teammates each activate one of the enemies with which they are engaged. You continue taking turns activating enemies until there are no readied enemies remaining.

Can you survive the onslaught? If you hope to survive your time delving into the Old World's darkest tunnels, you'll need to be ready for the Enemy Phase. After all, in Warhammer Quest: The Adventure Card Game, it's not a question of whether or not you'll suffer damage, but of how often and how much.

3) Location Phase

After the Enemy Phase, you enter the Location Phase. Here, you resolve any applicable effect on the location in play, and if the location has been fully explored—meaning that you've placed progress on it equal to its exploration value—you may travel to a new location.

You'll never know exactly what the next room holds in store until you open the door and turn its location card faceup.

When you travel to a new location, you discard the location you just explored, along with all progress tokens on it. Additionally, you discard all enemies lurking in the shadows. Then, the party leader draws a new location card from the location deck, places it faceup in the play area, and spawns the number of enemies it indicates. Typically, these enemies engage your heroes right away, so that the first enemy engages the party leader, the second engages the next player clockwise, and so forth until all of them have been spawned.

Some enemies, however, may spawn into the shadows. These enemies are indicated by the spawn value on the black background, and they spawn facedown. This way, you and your allies won't know the full threat they pose until you attack them, spy them out, or they activate in the Enemy Phase.

The players travel to a new location, Confounding Stairs, which spawns two enemies into shadows and two into play. Suddenly, the heroes find themselves thrust into battle with a Ghoul and a Giant Bat!

4) Peril Phase

Finally, at the end of each round, you enter the Peril Phase and increase your party's peril by advancing the peril token by one space along the peril track.

If you move the peril token into a colored space, then you must also trigger the effect described on the quest sheet below in the matching color. For example, in "A Foul Stench," the third space along the peril track is bordered in green and triggers the effect listed in the quest sheet's green text box:

These unique events can be either good or bad for you, although in Warhammer Quest: The Adventure Card Game, they're mostly bad. They also help give each quest its distinctive shape and flavor, and typically, they enhance the quest's difficulty as you draw near its conclusion, spawning hordes of vile monsters, damaging your heroes, or introducing dastardly nemeses. Some quests even place hard time limits upon your efforts, and if you don't win before you advance the peril token to the final space on the peril track, you fail in your efforts and suffer defeat.

However, there are also quests in which the peril track's final space does not automatically trigger a loss. If you're playing one of these quests, survive until you've advanced until the final space along the peril track and then survive another round, you no longer advance the peril token. Instead, you trigger the matching game effect each peril phase until you either fall beneath the repeated blows or somehow fight back and find your way to victory.

To Save a Dying City

The city of Schompf teeters on the verge of collapse. You and your fellow heroes are its only hope of survival. As you stare into the darkness of the Old World's tunnels, you might hear the faint cackling of a Goblin or the chittering of a giant spider. Yet there is no time to spare. You must stop the forces that have poisoned the city's waters!

Prepare for your journey by heading to your local retailer and pre-ordering your copy of Warhammer Quest: The Adventure Card Game. Then stay tuned for more previews, in which we'll look at the game's rules for combat, equipping gear, and advancing your heroes!

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