Well it's been anticipated for some time and here it is Fantasy Flight Games's remake ... sorry ... re-imagining of Games Workshop's classic dungeoneering board game DungeonQuest (which in turn is a remake of the Swedish board game Drakborgen) FFG have started posting previews on their website, so lets take a look at the new version and what it has to offer fan and owners of the original (well the GW version anyway)
As you might expect from FFG the game has all-new modern-style artwork, but they've also taken the unusual step of setting the remake in Terrinoth (which is where Runebound is set apparently) and the game now has a plot that revolves around a Dragonlord called Kalladra who after failing to conquer the realm of Terrinoth in open warfare decide to construct a perilous dungeon of winding corridors and devious traps, fill it with fearsome monsters and kingly treasures (and presumably lie asleep in the middle of it all like the Dragon in the original game) because ... um ... heroes are greedy?
So Dragonfire Castle is now Dragonfire Dungeon and no longer it's atop Wyrm's Crag, there is no mention of the Evil Wizard T'Siraman and our original Heroes Sir Rohan, Ulf Grimhand, El-Adoran and Volrik are no where to be seen either, but maybe we'll see them in an expansion, after all the original game got 2 expansions and this is FFG we are talking about here.
The new hero's all seem to have some grudge against the Dragon Lord Kalladra in the new version, it seems that in modern games the characters all need some personal stake in their quest, no one becomes an adventurer just for the sake of adventuring to become a hero these days, they are all out for revenge.
The reason (it seems) for the dramatic change in background is that the characters you do get with game (6 of them, including a Sorceress, a Dwarf, a Chick with a Bow and what I think is a Cleric) can be carried across into some of FFG's other popular board games like Descent and Runewars, which is a pretty cool thing.
^ Challara, a Sorceress with very similar rules to the Prophetess in 4th edition Talisman
The Strength, Agility, Armor (Armour), and Luck characteristics remain on the character cards, although they are now tested on 2D6 rather than D12 and the Life Points Track has been replaced with Descent style heart-shaped Wound tokens. Also the specially shaped Room, Door, Crypt and Corpse ect cards of the GW version are gone and replaced with a bunch of not so easily identified (and boring) regular shaped cards (one gripe I had about FFG's revised 4th edition Talisman was the lack of writing on the card-backs to distinguish the different decks)
According to FFG's website “DungeonQuest retains the all the most beloved elements of the original game while updating key mechanics.”. From what I've seen so far the meat of the game, the dungeon layout itself still works in the same way and the Day-light track still appears on the board (although one minor distinction between the old and new games is that in the new game the dungeon doors are magically timed to open and sunrise and seal shut at dusk, rather than night just being the time when the monsters are most deadly and kill you instantly). But one thing FFG haven't mentioned yet and I haven't spotted is whether the new DQ still has the Token-based combat system (there is no sign of the combat-chart/grid on the new board), I hope they have kept it in as combat in the original DQ had a nice strategic level to it you don't often seen in board games. As the old DQ rule book says “Since the monsters are 'controlled' by another player, you are fighting an intelligent opponent, not a couple of dice with no memory. Is it worth using the same tactic twice in a row? Will your opponent repeat a successful tactic or try something new?”
Hurrah - I thought! I've never owned this one and have droolled a little over the photos on Boardgamegeek Here's my chance to buy it, but no wait, $59? - I'm guessing that it'll end being pound for dollar for imported versions.
(I might have to get a copy for, ahem, art research ;) )
At least it looks a lot more accessible than some of FF's other "board" games (read as: CGC decks with a board). Carcassonne meets Gauntlet! Okay maybe not. It's a dungeon generator - wahey! No wait, why do other players have to control the monsters? Do the monsters move from tile to tile like the players do, or is it a "freeze frame" room / Talisman encounter when you enter a new space?
It's a shame cos d12s are cool and underused.
Maybe I should try and find an original copy on Ebay...
Nice sneak peak, Mortis. Curse my empty wallet!
I imagine the new DungeonQuest will be around the same sort of price as Talisman 4th or probably slightly cheaper. You can pick up Talisman 4th at www.arcaneminiatures.co.uk for £39.95 so I guess we'll be looking at some where between £35 and £40 which isn't too bad, if – or rather, when FFG start bringing out expansions they'll be around half that. Other online stores will have similar prices, but it might be worth shopping round.
Billiam Babble wrote
...CGC decks with a board...
Yea FFG are rather fond of their cards. Make no mistake, the original DQ was full of cards (interesting shaped ones too) and the FFG will most likely have more
^ the decks from the GW version
Billiam Babble wrote
Why do other players have to control the monsters? Do the monsters move from tile to tile like the players do, or is it a "freeze frame" room / Talisman encounter when you enter a new space?
Basically, Combat with monsters works like this (at least it does in the GW version): a player moves into a room, draws a Room Card and it turns out to be a monster, lets say for the purpose of this example it's a Troll...
Another player is then volunteered to be their opponent and control the monster. The encountering player then has 2 choices: Attack, Wait and see or Escape. A Monster Card is then drawn and the Monster Player looks up the Troll's reaction to being attacked on the card. Each card has a list of the monsters and their reactions - a monster might for example: Flee if attacked, attack (Combat) if the player waits and sees or Slash at the character if they try and escape...
In this example lets say our hero has decided to Attack, so the monster player looks at the card and in this instance it tell them the Troll enters Combat and has 4 LP (LP = Life Points, the DQ equivalent of Hit Points, Body Points, Wounds or what-have-you). Then encountering player picks up their Combat Tokens and the Monster Player picks up the Combat Tokens for the Troll and combat begins. Both players then decide whether to Slash at their opponent, make a Might Blow or Leap aside, once they've decided they place the tokens for their action on the table at the same time and the 2 actions are cross-referenced on the Combat Chart to see the out come of that round...
Lets say the Adventurer chose to Slash at the monster and the monster chose to Leap Aside: the players lookup 'Adventurer:Slash' and 'Monster:Leap Aside' and the result is the Monster looses 1 LP. Combat continues like this until one of the combatants run out of LPs and thus dies.
As combat happens entirely in the room the monster is encountered in, monsters do not move from tile to tile, but it might be interesting to have a house rule where the monsters pursue retreating players in to other sections!
To finish up this post here's some comparisons between the GW and FFG cards and artwork:
~The ravings of a single mad Goblin is bad enough, but such a power-hungry, malice-filled creature as Mortis can never hope to be understood~
I've been following the development of this game on both the BBG boards and FFG forums, and I must say that it looks rather intriguing. I'm considering waiting to read some reviews of the new version before considering a purchase though, as the older GW version seems to have that classic antique quality that just cannot be beat (meaning I may end up buying the older version on eBay perhaps).
“Like the wind crying endlessly through the universe, Time carries away the names and the deeds of conquerors and commoners alike. And all that we are, all that remains, is in the memories of those who cared we came this way for a brief moment.”