When Warhammer Quest saw a resurgence with Silver Tower back in 2016, it seemed to be met with universal applause. Not just due to one of the beloved Games Workshop series seeing a revival but for the sheer value crammed into the box. Packaged within were a flurry of hero characters, a plethora of monsters to battle, all resulting in hours upon hours of cooperative fun. Silver Tower is possibly my most-played boxed game from Games Workshop. However, we now see a departure from the fantasy setting of Age of Sigmar as we are plunged into the Blackstone Fortress.
The first 40K outing for Warhammer Quest set my imagination into overdrive as I span out scenarios in my head for my friends and I. What characters will come within the box? What enemies will be included? Will there be any new sculpts?! These and more questions swam within my mind. I’m going to pose some of these questions to you now, in the hopes to build excitement but also intrigue for the seemingly imminent release.
Who Could Be the Heroes?
One of the core elements of Silver Tower (and Shadows over Hammerhal, the sequel) that I truly enjoyed was the flexibility of heroes to be deployed. You could have a Stormcast Eternal trekking the halls alongside a Lord of Plagues and a Grey Seer. This means that I could likely play a hero from any of my armies with my friends, regardless of our allegiances.
This feels like it’d be a bit more of a tricky thing to accomplish within a 40K setting. Strictly speaking, you’d never see a Primaris Lieutenant fighting alongside a Chaos Space Marine. The above video sets the premise for the game alongside one of the heroes, who you can see below. It seems as though at least one of the characters venturing to the Blackstone Fortress is a Rogue Trader. This allows for some stretchiness in what can or can’t be permitted in the party for players. This means seeing an Imperium-aligned character skulking with some Eldar accomplices could be feasible. Not just that but some Eldar characters and even a Kroot can be seen.
However, I’m keen to see more of what can be cast as a hero or player character within the Blackstone Fortress. Are Chaos characters completely out of the question? Could we even see some Orks rampaging alongside some human characters? This week may well answer this question but for now this leaves me scratching my head.
Who Could Be The Villains?
Something that has been floating around the internet for a while are the whispers of new Chaos Space Marines coming out for Blackstone Fortress. This would cause quite a stir as the models for these guys have needed an update for quite a long time. Especially after the release of the Chosen from Dark Vegneance, the Death Guard and the Thousand Sons. These newer models put the current undivided Heretic Astartes to shame.
This could also prove truth as, according to the lore, Chaos are indeed supposed to be in possession of at least a couple of these devastating space craft. One was even harnessed by Abaddon the Despoiler for the destruction of Cadia itself. Banking on Chaos being the antagonists of this box certainly wouldn’t be impossible. It’d be safe, even almost predictable. However, should this usher in new models for Chaos Space Marines then this would leave me exceptionally pleased and even further excited.
Will the Game Require A Game Master?
When Shadows over Hammerhal was released I was stupendously keen to dive back into Warhammer Quest. Boasting new gameplay and enemies, I caved-in and bought it almost immediately. However, my biggest gripe with Hammerhal was one of its biggest gameplay shifts from Silver Tower. Silver Tower has you and a handful of friends all battling enemies through a labyrinth of Tzeentch. Shadows over Hammerhal had a similar objective, more or less. However, it required one player to act as a game master.
This was something that truly hampered the experience for me. It meant that myself or one of my friends would have the job of managing the party and enemy NPCs. Sure, plenty of people would likely enjoy that a great deal I’d suspect. For me I thoroughly enjoyed being on a level playing field with my fellow players in Silver Tower. We all shared the same experience and worked together to defeat monsters using our characters skills and abilities. This level of accessibility and shared contributions is something that made Silver Tower so easy to jump into.
I’m personally hopeful that Blackstone Fortress will follow Silver Tower, with a similar token system dancing between players to determine enemy actions as the game goes on. This keeps everyone involved and consistent in their aims, objectives and accomplishments. Hammerhal for me felt like the game master wasn’t strictly playing alongside the players, leaving them somewhat separated and isolated in their actions and contributions.
How Will the Combat Work?
This is more of a curiosity to me. Having played Warhammer Quest previously there was a heavy focus on melee character charging into combat. Swords, axes, claws, all manner of close combat weapons were the most common forms of attack. There would be the odd ranged attack here and there with spells and such, but for the most part swords would clash with shields and armour.
With 40K sitting firmly in the science fiction realm where man-sized rocket launches exist alongside plasma-spewing cannons of death, I ponder if the ratio of melee to ranged combat could tilt this time round. Will we even see psyker abilities be doled out within the Blackstone Fortress? They could well be as simple to cast in this setting as they are in the two previous Age of Sigmar Warhammer Quest outings. Part of me hopes they mix it up a little with this being an entirely new realm in which to tread dungeons with allies. Although, you know what they say. If it ain’t broke…
When Is It Out?
This is easily my biggest question. There’s a shed-load of information I’m keen to get my hands on. Alas, I fear I must wait until the release of the game or until more news comes from Games Workshop. Hopefully, the wait will seemingly be brief. This week Games Workshop have released the above introductory trailer alongside the teased the Rogue Trader model. There’s the slightest chance we could see a pre-order announcement this coming Saturday. Of course, I may be overly hopeful at this moment.
The game is being shown at the Vigilus Open Day at Warhammer World on November 24th. We’ll be there and will provide you with all the coverage we can muster.
Are you excited for the new Warhammer Quest? How did you find Silver Tower or Shadows over Hammerhal? Let us know. Of course, be sure to stick with us on Facebook for all the latest and greatest news in all things tabletop.