Personally, I find accessibility in games to be a very, very key thing. For me, I feel I should be able to pick up a game and be able to flow with it within the first few rounds, turns, whatever. That’s not to say I don’t appreciate difficult games, but the crucial point of a game is the first few runs. Labyrinth of the Necrons is the single most accessible game I’ve played from Games Workshop in some time. That said, it’s likely because it potentially isn’t an ideal purchase for a long-standing wargamer.
Little Timmy’s First Dungeon Crawler
I’ll say that Labyrinth of the Necrons is definitely a board game more so than a miniatures game. Whilst the game does come with miniatures (a handful of easy-build Space Marines) I’d not strictly refer to it as a miniatures game. The foes of the game, the soulless Necrons, are represented by cardboard counters. This does aid the game in that you can be up and playing in near no time at all and the Space Marine models are surprisingly high quality. With the minuscule number of models this means the game can be punched out and played quite literally in minutes.
The game itself is effectively a very simply dungeon crawler. The Space Marines play through the three levels in an attempt to get to and defeat the Necron Overlord. The gameplay for this is, predictably, very simple. Decks are made to determine who acts when and what entities in the game can do. Typically Necrons summon reinforcements or get tougher whereas Space Marines can move, attack or interact with a special card or control terminal. Despite the gameplay being very straight-forward, there’s still fun to be had.
At this point I will say that the game itself is seemingly over in a heartbeat. The first two levels have the Space Marines get to and interact with a control panel to reveal the level exit. Once they reach the exit that level is over. The game flow is very sincere and once you know what you’re doing each level can be finished in about 15 minutes. The exception being the final level where the difficulty spikes dramatically. It’s enjoyable, don’t get me wrong, it’s just very bare-bones. For this reason the minimal replayability will likely see you run the game once or twice at most, I feel. The only reason I’d see me trying to run this game much more would be to try the different Space Marines as they have different abilities. Though, I confess, I don’t feel particularly invested enough to do so.
A Mission For Neophytes
There is no astonishing level of tactical depth needed in this game, nor should there be. This game is clearly designed and aimed at a young audience who may yet only be mildly aware of the Warhammer 40,000 setting. For this purpose, I feel it’d do the job absolutely fine. It’s got good quality components with wonderful artwork. It’s got quick-to-learn gameplay appealing to the younger folks with shorter attention spans. I’d say this would be an almost ideal thing to participate in during a night-in with the kids. A once-in-a-blue-moon romp to fight some evil space robots to kill some time before dinner.
If you’re a fan of anything with a Space Marine in it, you’ll get five inside Labyrinth of the Necrons alongside a decent way to kill an afternoon. Nothing more and not a great deal less. More appropriately, if you’ve got a very young sibling or relative whom you want to introduce to the hobby, this might be the most accessible and affordable way to do so! If you’re looking for Warhammer 40,000 getting a taste of Warhammer Quest, it’s not quite there yet. But maybe that’s something we could see in the future? Emperor knows I’d certainly love to. With “Space Marine Adventures” seemingly being the name of the series, perhaps we’ll see more of Brother Grimm and co?
If you’re keen to read more of all things within the tabletop scene be sure to check back with us. Don’t forget to give us a “Like” on facebook, too!