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Jordan Peacock

WIP: Warhammer Quest Silver Tower

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A friend of mine, Chris Stadler, is planning on running the new incarnation of Warhammer Quest, "The Silver Tower," at the Necronomicon convention this October (Tampa, Florida -- Oct 28-30 -- http://www.stonehill.org/necro.htm).  To help out, I have been painting up two sets of the monsters, plus the heroes, and the "Mighty Heroes" expansion.  (Why two sets of monsters?  Because the game is normally meant for 4 players, but it would be nice to accommodate up to 6.  That, and with things like Pink Horrors who split into two Blue Horrors when you squash them, it's nice to have a few extra minis around.)

 

2016-08-17-warhammer-quest-hero-base-lab

 

My figure paint jobs aren't going to win any awards, as I've got quite a few minis to paint, and not much free time as of late.  (Plus, I've got to finish preparing for my OWN games at Necronomicon.)

 

However, I just thought I'd share something that I think might be useful for games of Warhammer Quest: base labels.  I started painting up the minis, following the document that shows how to assemble the puzzle-pieces together (and they ARE very puzzle-like -- with snipping them from the sprues without breaking off any details being a nail-bitingly tense challenge), but what I didn't realize until our first play-test was that it's actually *important* to note which of the various minions/monsters are holding particular weapons, because they attack differently.  One minor trip-up we had was in identifying, for instance, which of the Kairic Acolytes was armed with a "Glaive," and which one was the "Adept."  At least identifying which one had "Two Blades" and which one had "Blade and Shield" proved to be pretty easy.

 

To speed things along, I figured I should put names on the bases ... but there's no way I'd have the time to try to do that by hand, when I'm struggling enough as it is just to get all these figures assembled, based, and painted passably.  So, I took samples of each of the bases (25mm, 32mm, and 40mm round bevel-edged bases) and used the sticky side of a Post-It note to adhere to the beveled edge, then traced the curvature onto the (sticky) paper for each.  From there, I scanned in the traces, and used that as a basis (narrowing things a bit to account for the fact that my tracing pencil has greater-than-infinitely-narrow thickness to it) for some templates in Photoshop.  Photoshop has some handy text effects, including the ability to "arc" the text to follow such curvature.  So, I started arranging "labels" on a sheet, then printed them off, and used dots of glue to affix them to the beveled edges of the bases.

 

If I feel bold enough (and have enough other things taken care of), I may go back and touch up the white frayed edges of the "labels" with some black acrylic paint.  I'm just a bit reluctant to mess with it because with every application of paint, there's the risk of it going somewhere I don't want it to.

 

P.S., the storage box is a Portable Warfare "APC" box (basically a layer of pluck-foam with a foam base, and a foam cover, inside a large cardboard keyboard box).  I printed off some Warhammer Quest "labels" to help easily identify the boxes.  One APC box is sufficient to hold all of the monsters (so with twice the monsters, that'll come out to TWO APC boxes), whereas another APC box is sufficient to hold all the heroes, plus the Mighty Heroes expansion, with some room for further expansion.

 

...

 

As for comments on the game and miniatures in general (although not a proper "review"):

 

* The level of details on the miniatures is extraordinary, and although the pieces are "puzzle-like," they are well-engineered to go together, as long as you are VERY careful when snipping them off the sprues (I recommend a little pair of hobby snips to clip the sprue ends, then going back with a hobby knife to shave the sprue-join spots).  There are many tiny details that can be very easily mistaken for flash or sprue-bits to trim off, and exceedingly fine points that worry off (fingers, keys, bows, spikes, grot arms) very easily.  Part of my work is going to be to dig through my "bitz" to replace a broken bow here or a missing arm there (Chris got the second set of monsters as part of a deal from someone who got another copy of the game just for extra tiles, and it looks like the arms were already missing when he got the sprues) for the grot scuttlings, who were the most fragile of the bunch.

 

* On the downside, a lot of the figures are ridiculously gaudy and I'm not so keen on the continued scale inflation of GW minis.  Also, even though PC types are dipping into the ranks of Chaos for more variety, I feel as if the selection isn't nearly as diverse as I would have expected from the broad canon of Warhammer Fantasy.

 

> The dwarf in the core game and the dwarf in the Mighty Heroes expansion look too much alike, IMHO.  Back in the days of Advanced HeroQuest or Warhammer Quest there was a distinct difference between a "Dwarf Warrior" and a "Dwarven Trollslayer."  I.e., only ONE of them was running around in a loincloth, with a bright fiery orange mohawk piled up so high as to tower over the heads of humans and elves alike.  But here, BOTH the Dwarf heroes seem to shop at the same store for their ornamentation, and both have a thing with using outrageously-tall hair or plumed helmets to make up for height issues.  And all that BLING tied into their beards.  They ... look .. RIDICULOUS.

 

> The Knight-Venator is an eye-catching model, but it's ludicrous to try to move it around the table -- especially when dealing with the problems of trying to make a 40mm base fit on a board with squares that barely accommodate 32mm bases.  Also, he looks a little too much like the Knight-Questor (not that anyone's going to confuse the two, what with the wings).  If we're going to have multiple knights, what happened to Empire vs. Bretonnian knight styles?  Or the different Orders?  There used to be a very distinct look, but I guess what with "Age of Sigmar," it's just NOTHING but "Stormcast Eternals" or whatnot.

 

> On the other hand, I adore the Gryph-Hound.  The Darkoath Chieftain is a magnificent figure, and I could see it being used for a lot of general fantasy as a great archetypical fantasy barbarian hero.  (It was an additional nice touch that the Darkoath Chieftain has two optional bits for his left hand -- either holding an axe, or holding a tzaangor head.  None of the others has any bits options, so it was an odd choice.)  I have no idea what's going on exactly with "Mistweaver Saih" (the only female model), but it's a wonderfully dynamic model.  The Pink and Blue and Brimstone Horrors are the best "Horror" models I've seen yet.  (I've got a bunch of old ones from my Advanced HeroQuest days.  If I run AHQ again, I'll use THESE instead of my old pewter models.)  Actually, I rather like the Tzaangor and the Kairic Acolytes, too, although they're a challenge to assemble.  And the Familiars!  Such fun.  Really, the monsters are great all around.  :)

 

* I actually prefer the game-play of the new Silver Tower game to the original Warhammer Quest (though the older Advanced HeroQuest will still hold a special place in my heart).  The narrative elements add a bit of showmanship to the game (the other players had me do the "dramatic readings" from the narrative bits), and the dice mechanics are novel without being too fiddly or overly "cute."

 

* I suppose my main "gripe" about the game would be that it doesn't *quite* scale right with number of players.  It WILL be noticeably more challenging if you have fewer than the maximum of 4 players.  My second one would be that I really could have done with some sort of "cheat sheet" or "reference card" listing the actions that EVERYONE is able to take each turn.  Your own special abilities that your chosen character can perform are clearly spelled out on your card, but the basic stuff that anyone can do (recuperate, move, etc.) is only covered in the main book.  After a bit of play, sure, you should be able to memorize this, but for introducing it to new players, it would be nice to smooth out a few of the aggravations of learning a new game -- and something like this would definitely help.

 

 

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