Warhammer Quest Cursed City Nightwars Expansion Unboxing and Review
Last year a brand new Warhammer Quest game called Cursed City was released to much fanfare. Acting almost as a precursor to the Soulblight Gravelords Battletome release for Warhammer Age of Sigmar, Cursed City sent a team of heroes into the city of Ulfenkarn to deal with the vampiric threat that had taken over the Cursed City. The game was awesome, had tones of really cool models and turned a lot of heads.
But it seems the curse of Radukar passed the boundaries of the game world and Cursed City quickly disappeared off the shelves for reasons unknown. I don’t think we’ll ever know the true ins and outs, and ultimately it’s probably something very boring about the production of card components being more expensive in the current climate, but for whatever reason the game disappeared and the hopes of the promised expansions vanished with it.
Until today. Cursed City is once again available in stores and today Nightwars the first expansion for the game is up for pre order.
In today’s post we will be looking through the Nightwars box, seeing what is included, what isn’t included and what extra stuff the expansion brings to the game.
Massive thanks to Games Workshop for sending us a free review copy to check out a little ahead of time. If you would like to support the site them why not order your copy of Cursed City or Nightwars through our affiliate Element Games and save yourself 20% off RRP
I have also filmed a full unboxing video where I go through what is included in the box and have a look at all the components – you can check this out just below or over on YouTube
So grab your Vampire hunting gear, it’s time to return to the Cursed City!
Cursed City Nightwars Review
So the first thing we have to ask is what exactly is Nightwars? Well this is an entire new campaign for Cursed City of a similar scope to the original campaign in the core box. Designed for Level 5 heroes who have completed the events of the core game, Nightwars sends our heroes back into Ulfenkarn to deal with a trio of vampires who are at war with each other for control of the city. Meanwhile rumours of Radukar’s demise may have not been entirely correct, and he now stalks our valiant adventurers in a more savage and bestial form…
Included in the box are all the card components you require in order to start this new campaign arc in order to deal with this new threat – included are new tiles, tokens, cards and profiles along with a new Quest Book that details the Nightwars between the rival vampires.
Let’s just point out a big point first that is important if you are looking to pick up the game – non of the new enemies introduced in the expansion are actually included in the £30 box – you will need to pick these up separately in order to get the full Nightwars experience.
I want to touch on this briefly, as feel this might be a deciding factor in my recommendation for this game. Games Workshop had a couple of options here –
1) Publish the expansion as it has been, containing all the card components but no miniatures under the assumption that a lot of people who purchased Cursed City had also picked up a Soulblight Gravelords army and so will more than likely already have these miniatures in their collection. The obvious pro for this is that people who already have the miniatures only need to spend £30 in order to get a brand new expansion for Cursed City and continue to play through the campaign. The downside for this is of course the fact that if you do not have all the miniatures then in order to get the full experience then you will need to pick up £126 of figures (more than the cost of the original game) in addition to the expansion price. Especially in the current climate I do get this is an expensive requirement for someone looking to just expand their core Cursed City set.
2) Publish the expansion as a big box containing all the card components and the models but at a higher price point (£80 perhaps based on savings made in Combat patrol boxes) – Again we have the pro here that players without miniatures get to pick up the entire collection at a saving in a nice big box. But this may not have worked for everyone as Gravelords players may have felt they had to buy a box full of miniatures they already have.
While a third option of perhaps bundling all the required miniatures together in a “start collecting” style box to supplement this release may have been a nice midground, I do see the pros and cons of both sides of the argument and there was no way to please everyone.
This is a big chunky expansion similar in scope to the core box campaign, so think it would have worked as a big ticket box including the models, however it seems that GW have decided to go for making this something players can pick up at a lower initial cost, and add the models over time – after all, there’s nothing to stop people proxying the adversaries, though the aesthetics of the models are a big part of the game!
What is good is that you don’t need to pick up all of these miniatures to start playing – the main requirements really are the Fell Bats, Radukar and one of the vampires – the other 2 vampires can then be purchased as you work your way through the campaign and get to their quest line.
What’s interesting is that this seems to have been the original plan for release. All the books are dated 2021 and I highly suspect this was originally meant to drop shortly after the full Soulblight Gravelords release last year. Due to this I suspect any future expansions will follow the same model, perhaps introducing Belladamma and Lauka Vai as future adversaries…
So what’s new?
As the players enter this campaign at level 5, the supplement adds a new way for the heroes to advance further through the introduction of Elite Classes – think skill trees in a Roleplaying game. Each class has two elite classes that the player can choose to specialise into once they gain experience – once you have selected this you cannot switch to the other tree and can gain up to 3 ranks through advancing levels (Though the hero is still considered level 5 for the purposes of rules) – This essentially increases the level cap to sort of level 8 while still making all existing rules still interact as intended. As we have a total of 8 Elite Classes across the 4 base Classes it also means that each member of the party can follow a different specialisation if you wish, making the heroes diverge from each other even in similar roles. I really like this way of doing things and suspect it will be pretty easy to expand this further
The main campaign arc has 3 waring vampires that have brought about an eternal darkness in the city of Ulfenkarn – this is very much Cursed City in hard mode as due to the ever present darkness all adversaries enter play in their empowered form (Though standard forms are also included on the reverse of the card should you wish to introduce these creatures into the base game)
At the start of each campaign the part selects which vampire is being hunted – this is important as the hunted vampire unlocks a new special rule. The level 1 examples can be seen above – the twist is that once a vampire has been dealt with, the other 2 vampires will get stronger. Level 2 and Level 3 abilities are stored in sealed envelopes to ensure that these stay a surprise until you have made your choice. I really like this as on an initial play it makes it so that you can’t theory hammer which combination of vampires makes for the easiest quest, and you may well stumble upon a really nasty combination due to the order you approach them.
The town of Haven is also introduced which adds an additional step after each game – characters can choose to visit various shops and locations within this town in order to gain different benefits or bonuses, with the town growing in size with additional locations as the players work their way through the campaign. In essence this feels like the docked ships from Blackstone Fortress, but feels more alive as the settlement grows based on the success of the party.
With new discovery and (expensive) gear cards also introduced, the players now have the ability to sell old gear for realmstone in order to fund some of the cool goodies that can be found in the new expansion.
3 new Journey types are introduced – Purge Journeys (4 new maps for these) where you have to destroy 10 hostile groups with the twist that some groups are “lurking” – these have to be actively hunted down by the party by entering a room with a lurk token – you have no idea of what you are facing until you open the door making these a little scarier than a usual hunt!
Sabotage journeys (another 4 new maps) revolve around you trying to capture Gnawbone Strays and Diregargoyles that are constantly running towards lychgates – the party will essentially have to chase these, fighting through waves of enemies trying to stop you from intercepting the messages that the critters are carrying to their vampiric masters. Another twist in these games is that over the course of the journey the fog is getting worse and worse until visibility is so bad it makes it difficult to fight resulting in all criticals become standard successes, because of this players will have to try and capture their quarries against the clock while also trying to herd the critters towards other members of the party in order to maximise their objectives.
Finally there are Pillage Journeys that at their core are set up like deliverance missions from the core game, however have the added twist of having to having to raze 10 mysterious objects while an unending tide of rats consumes everything in the dungeon much like the gravetide in the core game.
We also get 3 2-part decapitation missions to take out each of the new vampires along with the “End boss” final mission once you have managed to rid Ulfenkarn of the vampire threat. These are suitably cinematic with some cool rules such as the part starting diseased in one while they have to try and destroy the tainted wells that are corrupting the population, or facing off against a vampire while a growing tide of rats starts to overtake the city.
To add more flavour themed to the ongoing story line the Quest book contains 36 new crises and 12 new extraction events that all add more variety from those in the core game.
I was pleasantly surprised at the scope of the new campaign and it will take many months of gaming in order to complete this compared to the handful of encounters that I expected the box to contain!
So what do I think of Nightwars? Don’t let the £30 price tag of the box fool you into thinking this is a handful of scenarios or a small spin off quest, this is a large campaign in line with the one in the core box with multiple advisories to slay and 3 new levels for your heroes to advance through.
While I would have liked there to have been a bundle or option to pick up the required models at a discounted rate, this is an absolute steal for Cursed City fans who already have the new adversaries in their Age of Sigmar miniatures collection adding many hours of enjoyment to the game along with some much harder missions that will test even the best players
If you have not got the miniatures I would still recommend this, though I do understand that getting everything required in one go is a little on the expensive side – though with the length of time it would take to play through the campaign I do think this is something you can do gradually, picking up the miniatures as you need them and painting them up as you progress through the campaign as a way of spreading the cost. I still hope that we get some kind of bundle box making this cost a little easier to swallow with a discount over the individual components.
Warhammer Quest is an awesome system, and I am very much looking forward to starting a fresh session and working my way across both the core campaign and the new one introduced in this box – and without giving anything away, I suspect we may well get a further expansion to continue the story once the Nightwar is finished…
Warhammer Quest Cursed City Nightwars is up for pre order today and is released Saturday 8th October
Games Workshop provided Sprues and Brews with a free copy for review purposes.