Ah Warhammer Quest. I have sunk more hours into that board game than any other. Across multiple gaming groups, it never failed to create memorable moments and characters (Jesus Hotrod, Jr. 4EVAR!) For all its faults, it came with an ample supply of the most important thing for any game: fun.
Ever since it has gone out of print, I have been looking for a worthy successor to take its place. There have been asynchronous dungeon crawl that don't capture the pure coop feel of WQ. There have been dungeon crawl (such as the D&D Ravenloft/Ashardalon/Drizzt) games that lack the campaign / character development aspect. Nothing has been able to scratch the same itch.
Within the past couple of years, Kickstarter has lead to an amazing board game boom. We are seeing a great influx of new games across all genres. Among all the new games, there is one that appears to finally fill the void left by WQ. That game is Shadows of Brimstone.
What Is It?
Shadows of Brimstone (SoB) is a cooperative dungeon crawl featuring character progression and a Weird West theme and using miniatures. All players cooperate to beat missions. The primary gameplay of the missions involves exploring randomly generated dungeons, fighting monsters and getting loot, gold and experience points (XP) along the way. Missions typically culminate in some main objective (usually a difficult boss fight). All monsters are played by the game; that is, they are controlled by specific rules so no Game Master is required to play them. Once missions are completed, the players can travel to a town to resupply, buy/ forge new items, visit different locations in search of bonuses, and level up (actually, they can level up mid dungeon if desired). The Weird West theme is basically Wild West meets Cthuhlu - PCs are typcial WW archetypes, but the mosters are nightmare creatures from another world.
All but the final sentence of the last paragraph should sound pretty familiar to anyone who has played WQ. I'd go as far to say that you can have a pretty good idea if you would enjoy this game based on how much you like WQ. Other than theme, there is so much overlap to the feel of the game, down to things like rolling on an event table when travelling to town, experiencing random events in town, and getting all sorts of good and bad permanent changes to your characters. That is not to say they are identical. SoB has its own mechanics for how things like combat work, has streamlined some of the clunkier things that WQ had, brings a bunch of unique mechanics to both the dungeon crawl and the in-town aspects of the game. And, most importantly, SoB is an actively supported game, with many expansions planned (just the stuff from their Kickstarter alone will take a couple years to all reach retail).
My next post will go into a little more detail about how SoB plays. I also plan to point out the things that may bother some about the gameplay (pretty much the same things that may bother someone about WQ, primarily the randomness involved). I'll try to get that post up in the next day or two.