Review: Warhammer Quest Cursed City

In this post, I’m sharing my unboxing video and written review of Warhammer Quest Cursed City. I’ll be looking in detail at the contents of the box including the books, the models as well as the gameplay and if it’s value for money.

Disclaimer. Games Workshop has kindly sent me a copy of Warhammer Quest Cursed City. My views are my own.

Features

Warhammer Quest Cursed City is a self contained co-operative game in a box. Containing everything you and up to 3 friends need to explore the City of Ulfenkarn and attempt to take down Radukar and his minions. No paints, clippers or glue is included. The models are push fit and don’t require glue, but id recommend using glue. Let’s take a look at the contents:

  • 8 Heroic Fighters (Jolson Darrock, Qulathis the Exile, Emelda Braskov, Dasani Holdenstock, Glaurio Ben Allen III, Corona Zeitengale, Octren Glimscry and Briton Corpse–Eater
  • 5 Overlords of Ulfenkarn (Gorslav the Gravekeeper, Watch Captain Halgrim, Torgillius the Chamberlain, Vyrkos Blood–born and Radukar the Wolf
  • 10 Deadwalker Zombies
  • 10 Ulfenwatch Skeletons
  • 2 Korsargi Nightguard
  • 3 Vyrkos Blood-born
  • 1 Vargskyr
  • 6 Corpse Rats
  • 6 Bat Swarms
  • 10 Objective marker model pieces
  • Rule book
  • Quest book
  • Age of Sigmar Warscrolls book
  • Numerous counters and tokens
  • 28 Dice
  • Board tiles
  • Profile cards
  • A secret envelope (rumour has it, it’s an invoice to pay more money to GW, so don’t open it).

There are 3 large, 1 medium and 2 small sized plastic sprues. The heroes are on bone coloured sprues and the enemy models are on grey. This is odd as I would have thought the enemy undead models would make more sense on bone coloured plastic, it doesn’t matter as they’re getting painted anyway.

“My back is killing me”. “Sigh, what have I told you about your jokes Colin”.

The models are all easy to build push-fit with very few parts. Not including the base (25mm) the Zombie and the skeletons are only 2 pieces to glue together. Halgrim the Watch Captain (pictured above on the right) is 3 pieces. The simple assembly doesn’t affect the sculpts. They’re still dynamic beautiful models with dangling tree roots and flowing tattered fabrics. A note on assembly. The instructions have an error for Dagnai Holdenstock, he’s missing a peg for his back. Games Workshop has included an errata in the box though.

Is that a two headed wolf killing a Gryph Hound? Awesome!

The Rulebook is 40 pages and is full colour. The first few pages show the contents of the box and the beautifully painted models. Before you get to the rules there are a couple of pages of tutorials to play through to ease you into the gameplay mechanics. Then there is a 13 step Getting ready to play guide before you get to the games rules which is only 18 pages. It’s really nice and easy to follow. Nothing too complicated.

The Ulfenkarn in Peril Quest book is as a little bigger at 56 pages and includes all the background information for the heroes and villains as well as the City of Ulfenkarn. Not surprisingly the Quest book also includes the quests. This is a campaign in which you play and level up your heroes. Starting with the Ulfenkarn in Peril Quest you progress through different Journeys, once 4 or more heroes reach level 1 you can play the Fell Guardian Decapitation Journey (boss level). There are 6 Decapitation Journeys and ‘The Final Assault’ requires your heroes to be level 4.

Bonus feature is you get to play Tetris putting it all back in the box.

There are 22 double-sided board pieces and they’re all interesting, irregular shapes. This gives you an incredible amount of variety to explore the city of Ulfenkarn. They’re made from a thick, sturdy card and gloss varnished on both sides. They’re really nice and feel premium. The “doorways” are pieces of card. The pieces just push next to each other. No tabs or clips to hold things together.

You’re here just for the profiles and points aren’t you… they’re in the video above.

Games Workshop has also included a 16 page Warscrolls book allowing you to use your Cursed City models in games of Age of Sigmar. Make sure to check out the video for a closer look at the Warhammer Age of Sigmar Warscrolls book (and the other books).

Fun Factor

Set in the City of Ulfenkarn at the centre of the Realm of Shyish, your brave warriors have to explore these streets and try to lift the curse on the city. You start by choosing a leader and giving them the leader token. The leader has additional responsibilities such as moving the enemy models. There are three journeys to choose, Hunt, Deliverence and Scavenge. Then you need to pick your fighters. Along with your fighters you need to give them 4 activation dice (white D6). Destiny dice (black d6) are shared by all the players and are useful if you need to make an extra action. 

The Quest book will have pre-determined maps that you have to set up with the board sections before you play.  Red dots on the map are for Mysterious Object Markers. These might be useful treasures or they could be enemy models.  The number of objectives on the board determines the number of Encounter Cards you have to draw. 

The turn sequence has 5 phases. Journey, Destiny, Initiative, Activation and Event. The Journey phase has two steps, the nightfall step which is a way of tracking when nightfall happens (bad news in a city of vampires) and the quest step which is only used for certain missions. The destiny phase is used to generate the number of destiny dice by rolling all the dice and discarding any duplicates. The activation phase sees the players roll their white activation dice to see what numbers they get. For each wound they’ve suffered they roll one less dice, a wound counter is placed on the activation square on the profile card. During the Initiative step the Leader makes an initiative deck and deals the cards. This will give you the order for the fighters and enemies to perform their actions. You can change your order by spending an activation dice (called a gambit). During the activation phase the models can move, fight and use any abilities they might have in any order you wish. Slaying more enemies may inspire your fighters, turning over their profile card will give them better stats. Once every one has done their activations it’s time for the event phase. This phase decides if you continue playing or not. If you still have fighters standing but haven’t reached an extraction point you keep playing and the Leader makes a roll on the event table. After which you start another turn and keep playing until your Journey’s mission is complete and you’ve been picked up by the airship Adamant!

All these games are linked by a clever mechanic. The city itself plays a part in your games and its fate rests on fear and influence. These accumulate over time and too much fear will see the City of Ulfenkarn fall and if Radukar gains too much influence he will destroy your airship ending your campaign. Choosing a Hunt, Deliverance or Scavenge journey game will affect the Fear and Influence totals. Hunt’s will alleviate the influence. Scavenge will see you look for treasure which will help you buy better equipment. My favourite though is the Deliverance journey, this will lower the fear level in the City but the reason I like it so much is it doesn’t use pre determined board layouts from the Quest book, instead it’s randomly determined with a deck of cards, just like the original 1996 Warhammer Quest game.

Value

Warhammer Quest Cursed City retails in Games Workshop stores and their website for £125 / €160 / $210. Blackstone Fortress was released in 2018 and is still available and retails for £95 / €140 / $170. I’m pretty sure this is Games Workshop putting their prices up for the usual reasons of inflation, increased material costs, Brexit and all the other reasons why products go up in price every year. But is it good value? I think it is. You get 44 models in Blackstone Fortress but you get 60 miniatures in Cursed City.

You also get a book with all the rules to use your Cursed City models in Age of Sigmar, that’s huge added value. You can easily create a Warcry Death Warband too or use the models in the Warcry Death Challenge missions. The Heroes would make great leaders for your Cities of Sigmar warbands too. 

As I write this, Warhammer Community has just released a free download to allow you play a Warcry Campaign in the Streets of Ulfenkarn. You can check that out here.

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