What We Want For Xmas!

So in the Darker Days Radio cave where we huddle around a fire and pick around in the bones, we talked in hushed tones of what we want for Xmas.

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Mike:

I’m cheating with this wish because I just bought a cheap used copy of Warhammer Quest: Shadows Over Hammerhal! That this is the first time I’ve bought Games Workshop miniatures in seven years – the first time since the controversial Warhammer Fantasy Battles 8th Edition and Warhammer Age of Sigmar games have been released. But after years of slowly selling off my Wood Elves, Ogre Kingdoms, and Kislev miniatures (not to mention all my Vampire Counts models collecting dust), I am prepared to return once more to the Warhammer World.

The past two years of the Games Workshop hobby have been exciting – the company has made a total U-turn on customer relations and gone on a goodwill tour. They’re released cheaper, most accessible miniatures, vastly improved their range of paints, provided loads of support for social media, released jammin’ painting tutorials [Two thin coats – Chris], and, best of all, Games Workshop has begun republishing classic Specialist Games and board games.

Chief amongst my interest for the republished games is Warhammer Quest. The original 1995 game was a simple dungeon crawl board game for four players and a gamemaster using a modified version of the Warhammer Fantasy Battles combat system. What made Warhammer Quest so memorable, however, was the fun roleplaying opportunities in between quests. The game came with a thick book of random town encounters and other hi-jinks for players to interact with, giving a great crutch for budding roleplaying game masters to move from wargaming and board gaming into roleplaying games.

In 2016, Games Workshop released Warhammer Quest: Silver Tower, a cooperative dungeon crawl board game for up to 5 players. The game features adventurers exploring Tzeentchian horrors in the Realms of Chaos and uses an elegant modification of the Age of Sigmar rules. However, Silver Tower lacks any roleplaying support, which few significant changes to characters and no comical forays into town following the character’s adventures.

Which finally brings us to Warhammer Quest: Shadows Over Hammerhal, the modern reimagining of 1995’s Warhammer Quest. It uses the same elegant system as Silver Tower, but allows players to explore the grand city of Hammerhal in between their delves into the wretched sewers beneath. While I haven’t run it yet, the pre-written adventure included in Shadows Over Hammerhal has received awesome reviews, and I’m quite excited to use this game as an epic introduction into the new Age of Sigmar.

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Matt:

Unstable is Magic: The Gathering’s latest ‘comedy’ set, following far on the heels of Unhinged back in 2004 , though the comedy has not faded. Unlike Unhinged and Unglued [I had some of that set – Chris], however, Unstable is designed for drafting. Don’t let the weird mechanics and weirder artwork dissuade you. If you have a group of friends who are magic fans, or were magic fans at some point in the past, getting together and drafting Unstable is a good way to spend an afternoon. If you don’t have 6-8 other friends, don’t worry, there’s a two-player draft format called Winston Draft that works very well with Unstable.
scythe
Chris:
Unlike Mike, I won’t cheat (I will do an unboxing of Necromunda on Xmas day), so I’ve picked Scythe, a conquest/civilisation board game, with a very particular theme that is supported by the excellent artwork of Jakub Rozalski. Set in an alternate 1920s Europa, players take the role of one of five heroes who lead their nation to claim the lands of the once mighty state known as “The Factory”.
I pretty much hate Risk as a board game, simply for the bad mechanics that can lead to players being ousted quickly and the game becoming a drawn out fight between the last two players.

Like any good nation building game these days, there are multiple win conditions, and players must manage resources as them farm the lands, and mine the mountains of Eastern Europa, and take to the battle field with giant dieselpunk mecha.

The design of the game mechanics is such that it impossible to spam the game with cheap troops, or just buy playing safe and harvesting resources. It is a game about efficiency and with numerous event cars, the game oozes theme.

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