Going Solo: Warhammer Quest the Adventure Card Game
Warhammer Quest the Adventure Card Game is a card and dice dungeon crawl from Fantasy Flight. I think of Space Hulk Death Angel as its more streamlined version. You take a number of heroes (2-4) into a dungeon where they have to fight their way through a number of locations in order to achieve their objective. You can choose from a cleric, dwarf, elf and wizard to take on goblins, orcs, giant bats, spiders, ghouls and all the usual suspects. There is a four part scenario and a random delve mode. As GW took back the licence from Fantasy Flight, this is all there will ever be, apart from fan made content.
This is a brutal slog of a game. Your heroes are relentlessly worn down by the monsters who hound your every move whenever you take an action, and then the peril track spawns a boss to make life even more difficult.
WQACG captures the grimness of the Warhammer Old World and offers a pretty tough challenge. Space Hulk Death Angel is also a tough game but as it’s an easier set-up, I’m more likely to play it.
The components in WQACG are the usual high Fantasy Flight standard, with custom dice and more cards than you can shake a goblin’s dismembered head at, so I’m sure it will provide plenty of replayability, especially with the delve mode.
I look on this one as a challenge game which I go into thinking “I probably won’t win.” But it offers a rich background and, as it is out of print and won’t receive any more support, it’s one to hang onto for a night of brutality in the grim darkness of the Warhammer Old World.
Going Solo: Arkham Horror The Card Game
Living card games are not for me. I got Arkham Horror The Card Game on impulse, hoping that it would provide some good value RPG-style adventure in the base set, but I was disappointed. The set-up is desperately tedious and there are only three adventures in the box. The first adventure is short and I didn’t find it involving.
I found the mechanism of the chaos bag didn’t work for me. It just seems silly. And if Helvetia Games can provide a proper bag with Shafausa, why not Fantasy Flight with this? The whole set is designed as a cheap come-on to get people hooked. But it’s not cheap, and that’s the problem. This base set does not provide enough value for money. If you’re into LCGs I guess the lesson is try before you buy, but for me this is way too expensive for what it provides.
Fantasy Flight produce some games I really enjoy but this one fell flat for me. Elder Sign is one of my favourite games and, with plenty of characters and enemies, it has loads of replay value. This set is the opposite of that.
Going Solo: Zombies!!!
In Zombies!!! you play a survivor who is trying to escape a city overrun by the living dead. The box contains 100 zombie miniatures and 30 map tiles which form the randomly created city streets, as well as 6 player models, 50 event cards and lots of tokens. The amount you get in this little box is great value. You begin at the Town Square armed with three bullets (each bullet can be used to add 1 to your combat roll) and three hearts. Hearts can be spent to re-roll your combat die, they also act as your lives so when you have no hearts left your character dies.
Each turn you draw and place a map tile, set out any zombies, hearts and bullets that tile may have, and then roll a die to move, adding the amount of hearts you have to the roll. When you encounter a zombie you roll a die to try to score a 4 or more. As mentioned, you can increase your score by using bullets and spend a heart to re-roll if you fail. After combat, another die is rolled indicating the amount of zombies that can move one space towards you in that turn. In Grimwold’s solo rules you then draw an event card, ignoring any advantageous ones and only applying the effect of negative cards.
The game is won by reaching the centre square of the helipad tile or by defeating 25 zombies. Grimwold’s rules suggest an easy option of getting one extra chance if your first character dies, so a new character starts at the Town Square with 3 bullets and 3 hearts, which seems to be a decent balance, although thematically it’s a bit odd.
In the third edition, which I have, there are several multi-player variants and scenarios, including Search and Rescue, Last Man Standing, Well-Armed Helicopter, co-op play and team play. There are no official solo rules I’m aware of, but several solo variants on Board Game Geek by people like Ricky Royal, Dr Alban and Grimwold to name three. I like the simplicity of Grimwold’s rules but I don’t find them entirely satisfying as a solo experience. Zombies!!! is not easily adaptable into a great solo game, but the box is such a nice little set that I still like to get it to the table regularly.