Friday, November 4, 2011

Warhammer Quest: What if?

What if Warhammer Quest turned out to be the next game GW publishes in its line of "one time release board games"?

The first edition of Space Hulk came out in 1989, and the new release came out in 2009.  Man O'War came out in 1993, and the new release (Dreadfleet) came out in 2011.  See a pattern?  Neither do I...sort of.  Warhammer Quest was released in 1995, but if the Man O'War update was 18 years later, perhaps so will the Warhammer Quest update--fall of 2013.

Box Contents
What would be in a new release of Warhammer Quest?  If this is to be a "complete" game like Space Hulk and Dreadfleet, they have to put some thought as to what goes in it.  I imagine there will be the standard dungeon board pieces, perhaps similar to the ones provided in Space Hulk in that they will be debossed and interlocking, made out of thick card.

The miniatures would be of high quality, but I doubt that it would contain the 90+ miniatures of the original game.  I'm thinking something like 6 characters, 30 monsters, and a few "terrain" pieces like treasure chests for flavor.  The monsters might consist of something like this:
  • ~15-20 basic dungeon denizens:  skaven clanrats, orcs, skeletons, chaos cultists
  • ~7-10 elites:  stormvermin/assassins, black orcs, chaos warriors, tomb guard
  • ~2-3 lieutenants:  necromancer, sorcerer, shaman
  •  1-2 monsters:  ogre, demon, ushabti, dragon
  • The Boss:  A vampire count, tomb king, warboss, demon prince

The original game contained the following characters:  Dwarf, (Wood) Elf, Barbarian, and Wizard.  Subsequent releases introduced the Pit Fighter, Warrior Priest, Imperial Noble, Elf Ranger, Dwarf Trollslayer, Chaos Warrior, Wardancer, Witch Hunter, Bretonnian Knight, and eventually even more through the Deathblow journal.

But if this is to be a one-off release, I can predict they'd include perhaps two more characters in addition to the original four.  They might be designed to go along with the specific theme (e.g., Warrior Priest if the enemy is Chaos), or they might be more generic.  I think Imperial Noble and Bretonnian Knight would provide the most variety in a party based on the original supplements.  But perhaps new characters would be invented to fit the new release.  In a nod to modern sensibilities, probably at least one of the characters would be female (Wood Elf, Wizard, Imperial Noble?  Maybe even Barbarian?)

The Quest
Both Space Hulk and Dreadfleet were provided with 12 Scenario campaigns, so I can imagine that Warhammer Quest would be something similar.  The quest as defined by the original game is the acquisition of loot, so that narrows our field a bit.  The original Warhammer Quest did not have a specific enemy--it was basically a dungeon crawl with a variety of dungeon denizens for the party to encounter.  But to follow the pattern set by the previous re-releases, I think it's likely that Warhammer Quest would have a specific race of enemy to face.  So what are the options of races and/or quests?

  • Orcs are a classic enemy, but in recent times they have been more associated with village raiding than as dungeon denizens.  Rooting out a dungeon filled with Orcs would certainly earn you fame and perhaps treasure, but this theme runs the risk of feeling stale.
  • Skaven are perfect adversaries for a dungeon quest, after all, it's where they live...  But they are featured in Island of Blood, so another skaven release might seem premature...but perhaps not in 2013.  Clearly the objective in this case would be to grab some warpstone from the warlord.
  • Undead would also be a good choice, but they've been done in Dreadfleet (although that fleet was an equal-opportunity undead force, welcoming undead of many races).  In this case I actually see two possibilities:
    • Vampire Counts undead would make sense if the theme was raiding a Sylvanian Castle, which seems like an awesome idea to me.  Raid the castle to kill the vampire, and steal his treasure to boot. 
    • Tombs Kings undead also have their appeal, in that it is a quest to seize the treasure in a tomb in the Land of the Dead, and the party inadvertently awakens the restless dead...  I can imagine lots of skeletons, tomb swarms, booby traps, with a finale of getting locked in the tomb to face off against a very angry tomb king and his pair of ushabti guards...
  • Chaos are always popular, so they have to be included as a possibility.  The theme in this case would most likely revolve around the elimination of a threat than the acquisition of treasure.
I see many potential ideas for a great game here.  I'll be keeping my eye out to see if a "secret new release" is coming for the fall of 2013!

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