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Blackstone Fortresss


gjnoronh
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I'm curious to see what others think of it. I played a quick game at my local GW and was impressed with the mechanics - I've never played any of the previous Warhammer Quest games, but I found the rules super easy to pick up and super fast to play, yet with enough depth to always have me thinking carefully about my next move. The different characters seem very flavourful, too - I played the Kroot, and he felt perfect to what a Kroot should be for my tastes. 

The thing that did strike me, however, is that it seemed very brutal. It felt like a few bad rolls or card draws could see your character dying very quickly, and some of the encounters felt really unfair - we ran into one, for example, that just dumped half of our party in a tiny pit full of monsters before we'd even had a chance to do anything, and they both just died within a couple of turns, without really any tactical options or avoiding it. We ended up having to pretend it didn't happen, for the sake of playing more of the game. How you'd make it through a proper 'permadeath' campaign I'm not sure, unless we were doing something wrong. 

Overall I was intrigued to play more, but wary enough to not end up buying it right away (though that's partially because a lot of the minis, while very lovely and detailed, aren't quite my thing - I think I liked Silver Tower's aesthetic a lot more). As I say, very curious to see some in-depth reviews/impressions 

 

EDIT: As a side note, it seems to me from the way GW is talking about this that 40k-themed Warhammer Quest is set to replace AOS-themed Warhammer Quest entirely, at least for the forseeable future. How do people feel about that? While it's cool seeing old school stuff like Rogue Traders and Navigators getting an outing, fantasy just goes with dungeon-crawling so much more neatly than sci-fi for me, so I think it'd be a real shame. But maybe I'm jumping to conclusions anyway? 

Edited by robinlvalentine
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Picked up my copy yesterday but haven't had a chance to open it up and get a game going. Just about to start the book to really jump into the setting.

Initially i was a bit sad to see the focus of Warhammer Quest move to 40k but i think it is such a different aesthetic. 40k's Grim-Dark demeanour compared to the AOS's heroic and dynamic look seems like the games can co-exist for people who really enjoy the Warhammer Quest mechanics and give them more variety in their games.

I'm really not a fan of the actual Warhammer games, love the worlds and the models but find the regular battles of AOS and 40k quite dull and competitive. I enjoy the narrative and cooperative game mechanics of Warhammer Quest and welcome any other re-imaginings of this game.     

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 Been really groovin on Blackstone Fortress,,The next AoS release for Warhammer Quest needs to take some of improvements they used in Blackstone for sure.The main one I think that seems the most functional is going away from the random  map layout buidling  per adventure session and going with the card draw format of preset combat maps and adventure challenges.This allows for a quick session thats easily saved instead of players needing to commit to what could be several hours working through a large map crawl.Plus its much more expansion friendly.

 

 

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@Thostos I’m not an entirely big fan of the pre-gemmed maps concept.

The challenge is that every combat scenario needs to have the map created anew and that takes time to build the map. It’s not just a “draw a card and takes your chances” or a “we kick open the door into the next room”.

The map creation/layout process has actually been the largest complaint I’ve seen (pretty much the only complaint).

Because the adversaries are “well programmed” there isn’t as much to do by an “adversary controller” as there is in SoH. (Or even ST.) 

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8 hours ago, Thostos said:

 Been really groovin on Blackstone Fortress,,The next AoS release for Warhammer Quest needs to take some of improvements they used in Blackstone for sure.The main one I think that seems the most functional is going away from the random  map layout buidling  per adventure session and going with the card draw format of preset combat maps and adventure challenges.This allows for a quick session thats easily saved instead of players needing to commit to what could be several hours working through a large map crawl.Plus its much more expansion friendly.

 

 

Blackstone is Warhammer Quest though. Sadly I fear that WQ is going to be exclusively focussed on 40K now for at least as long as it was AOS.

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I'm really enjoying it, only 1 game with another person, and then 2 solo so far, but about to dive back into it this afternoon.

Few rules issues that had me scratching my head, though at least 2 of them have already been resolved in the designer's commentary, and I've found it can get a little bogged down when you're dealing with a couple of large blobs of traitor guardsmen, but maybe that's just the first couple of gos and we'll speed up as we go on.

Overall though apart from that it's great. Made me much more interested in the 40k universe than the proper game has done for years, the idea of a wild frontier area where different species have to grind along together and not kill each other on site makes for a much more interesting space and it allows them to create a much more interesting universe.

I'm hoping they support it quite aggressively with new content. And whilst new scenarios and things like that would be great, even just bringing out something like a box of random weird alien creatures to encounter would be great. It's such a good opportunity to bring out models for weird stuff that just doesn't fit into armies, in the tie-in novel Janus deals with some other explorers and amongst their loot is the head of an Ambull, I'm really hoping the author was given a heads up by someone at GW and that's a nice bit of foreshadowing for what's to come.

There's lots of stuff that was in the original Rogue Trader book that they could return to for the first time in 30 years and bring to (plastic) life for the 1st time and just have some random members of species that will never get armies but make the galaxy seem a little less one dimensional.

Also I have to say I've been looking at the hostile models and what amounts to essentially a pretty decent 'Start Collecting' chaos army and thinking 'hmmmm, maybe if I just add a few more models here & there to this lot...', great they're bringing out Kill Team rules for them too.

 

 

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actually one thing I've been trying to work out, probably being totally dumb but...

to get the benefit of cover do you need to be adjacent to the covering hexside (whilst obviously not being adjacent to the person attacking you)?

So if two models are in LoS and say 8 hexes apart, and right in the middle of them is a covering hexside, do they both benefit from that cover, or neither of them?

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So played again last night, with someone else (who has nearly zero experience of these kind of games) and it went a lot smoother this time.

Only managed 2 challenges and 1 combat in 2 hours but lots of fun. The combat took a while as we managed to consistently ****** ourselves over with the reinforcements rolls. Initially we were up against 4 Ur-Ghuls and 13 Traitor Guardsmen and I think we ended up having to battle another 4 UGs and something like 15 more TGs over the course of the battle.

Made it out of there with a load of swag though Pious Vorne had been taken out of action and 2 other characters were down to 1 wound by the end with a couple of GWs each so it ended with a mad dash to the lift with a final 4 TGs appearing at the last moment in hot pursuit, so counted our blessings and headed back to Precipice to recover.

Even though the combat took a long time now we've got the hang of it, it never felt boring and as we both got more and more familiar with it even the large groups of TGs were relatively easy to control. We actually both really liked the way the hostiles reacted, thought it made it interesting and unpredictable without being too fiddly, probably a couple of rules we fudged but I think we pretty much played it all as intended.

Play it with the right people, right mood and music and it's actually really immersive. Had some super tense moments even just on the initiative card reveals where we had characters right in the open, down to almost zero wounds with a load of hostiles heading towards them. Those reinforcement rolls when you've cleared all the hostiles and doing a sweep of the board for swag can be incredibly nerve wracking, and the mad dash for the maglev chamber at the end can feel really cinematic too.

Other half obviously enjoyed it as asked if we could do another expedition tonight, and seems like it's got a lot of replay value too and getting through the whole thing will take ages so well happy with that.

Obviously stupidly early to be thinking about add ons but feels like a game they can support really easily. As well as fully fledged expansions with more boards and missions etc I'd love them to just bring out some extra encounter boxes,  with a few models plus the encounter and stat cards. Already dreaming of...

Random Monster Encounter Pack / some big ****** from the deep past of 40K to really terrify you (and maybe with an option for them to attack anything on the board not just the players), so things like Ambulls, Ymgarl Genestealers, Grox etc etc.

Drukhari Encounter Pack / would go well with the Ur-Ghuls, an Archon a few warriors and something like a Khymerae or Clawed Fiend to make things interesting.

Servants of the Abyss Bonus Pack / Basically this one just because I'm really thinking about using the SotA as the start of a 40K army and this would be a nice way for me to build that up whilst telling myself I'm not actually doing so. Maybe a couple more Chaos Marines, then somethings we havent seen much before, maybe a Chaos Ogryn, a Heretic Admech Priest to go with the Negavolt cultists, stuff like that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Actually the only thing so far that I feel they could have improved is the Secret Agenda bit for each character. Nice enough idea each character having something to focus on but I feel they could have maybe developed it to really give the feeling that the 4 characters on any mission really have been thrown together by circumstance and anywhere else in the galaxy would be trying to kill each other in the quickest, nastiest way.

Some way of just injecting a little bit of suspicion into the party and giving people objectives that might not necessarily always chime perfectly with what the group as a whole needs/wants. (and that can change from mission to mission). Don't want to turn it into a full on PvP battle but would some mechanic like that would really fit in with the game's background.

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Like maybe if there were another deck of cards for Secret Agendas so you could mix it up every time? And I agree, setting the party openly at odds with each other wouldn't be great but something that leads, say, Draik to make a run for a token instead of helping Dayakh would be very cinematic and thematic.

I've also been thinking about add-ons- possible new heroes (what are the odds we don't see a Mechanicum character at some point? Maybe another Eldar? A Tau?) and enemies are keeping me up at night. I am really excited about Blackstone Fortress!

Edited by Kirjava13
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yeah, another hero pack seems like an obvious one, especially as it's just such a great chance to do things we haven't seen much of.

Another Rogue Trader would be cool, just because we waited god knows how many years for a model and now GW have knocked it out the park with Janus and Elucia Vhane, we've had a couple of aristocratic types, how about more of a western gunslinger in space? Plus it's tricky to do many other Imperium characters as you need them to not just instantly kill anything non-human, which narrows down the options... Maybe something like an assassin or a Tech priest would work and could be cool.

Feels like a Demiurg/Squat character would be a no brainer. And instantly sell a shed load though GW would then also have to put up with the hassle of people screaming at them for a full army.

A Tau ethereal could be good to add another psychic option, maybe they could come with a drone too, which would be interesting.

Then I'd just love them to do something we haven't seen at all. There's a galaxy of different species out there, let's see something crazy and totally new.

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Definitely would be cool to have a deck of secret agenda cards, as you say there has to be ways of adding a little intrigue and friction without it descending into all-out war. We had a moment yesterday where I had Taddeus leg it to the lift leaving someone semi-stranded, I knew they'd (probably) be ok but it felt fun to add a little bit of role-play too it as I left the filthy Xenos to face the last wave of troops on their own.

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@Circus of Paint haha, us too! after our first expedition we drew the Chaos Lord Legacy card AND THEN drew him as an encounter (with 2 CSMs + 4UGs + 7TGs) in our first combat on our 2nd expedition. We actually took him out fairly quickly by just focusing everything we had on him but he still managed to get a couple of un-defendable thunder hammer strikes in. 🤷‍♂️

and agree too on the GWs, not that I think they're too bad or anything but we have had to leg it back to Precipice a couple of times now after just 1 combat when someone's taken a couple of big hits like that. you can go from feeling pretty good to feeling very squishy pretty quickly in this game.

Edited by JPjr
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This game does sound great. For people who have played Silver Tower to death maybe the new mechanics are really appreciated. From what I've read though is if I was to choose from all the new Warhammer Quests I think Silver Tower would be my favourite. I love the way the exploration deck works in Silver Tower. To me, that game is perfection. 

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On 12/11/2018 at 1:32 PM, JPjr said:

@Circus of Paint haha, us too! after our first expedition we drew the Chaos Lord Legacy card AND THEN drew him as an encounter (with 2 CSMs + 4UGs + 7TGs) in our first combat on our 2nd expedition. We actually took him out fairly quickly by just focusing everything we had on him but he still managed to get a couple of un-defendable thunder hammer strikes in. 🤷‍♂️

and agree too on the GWs, not that I think they're too bad or anything but we have had to leg it back to Precipice a couple of times now after just 1 combat when someone's taken a couple of big hits like that. you can go from feeling pretty good to feeling very squishy pretty quickly in this game.

We got slaughtered very quickly into the second expedition, so started completely afresh with the same explorers. Playing more carefully and having a better understanding of the rules has kept us going longer this time around so far.

I’m still unclear on how grevious wounds are healed, I think it’s in the Precipice rulebook.

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@Circus of Paint Grievous Wounds are the most annoying part of the game as there is no way of dealing with them unless a) you're the robot or b) you return to Precipice (which, infuriatingly, is not stated ANYWHERE in the books, but can be found in the FAQ on Warhammer Community). I am considering house-ruling some way to get rid of them but can't think of anything atm.

Speaking of returning to Precipice, is there anything stopping you doing that? You draw your Exploration deck of 4 Combats and 4 Challenges, but it's unclear to me if those 8 cards are one 'Expedition' and you can't return to Precipice until you've completed them, or if you could, say, finish a Challenge, go back to Precipice, finish a Combat, go back to Precipice, finish another Combat, go back to Precipice... Grievous Wounds encourage returning to Precipice at every opportunity, or you quickly become unable to do much in the face of enemies, but what is the point of of having an Exploration deck of 8 cards if you can just keep coming and going as you please?

Edited by Kirjava13
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Yeah the GW thing did my head in for ages, I kept going through all the rule books trying to find something before I thought to check the designers commentary.

there are a couple of resource cards I’ve picked up that you can use to cure wounds though none yet that explicitly reference GWs. I haven’t just looked through the deck though so there might be some that do.

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  • 3 months later...

I have been watching this very good speed painting series for Blackstone Fortress  I highly recommend watching as it's given me techniques to use in other projects.   The two of them go through every model in the box. Really efficient.  I wish there was a similar series for WH Q silver tower

 

 

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