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Warhammer Quest Cursed City Nemesis – Unboxing and Review

Ulfenkarn is on the brink. Radukar has returned and with his rage he plans to drag the entire city into oblivion. Standing against him are the band of heroes who aim to do everything they can to stop him and save the lives of the people of Ulfenkarn before it is consumed by the Shyish Nadir.

Warhammer Quest Cursed City Nemesis, the final expansion to Cursed City, is up for pre order today – and with it you and your fellow adventurers can undertake the final quest in the story.

In this review we’ll be looking at the contents, unboxing the set, investigating what miniatures are required to play through the quest, and seeing if this is worth adding to your collection.

Massive thanks to Games Workshop for sending us a free review copy to check out on the site! If you would like to support the site then why not order your Cursed City goodies through our affiliate Element Games and save yourself some money too!

I have also filmed a full unboxing to go alongside this review, which you can check out just below or over on YouTube

So gather up your party, check you are equipped to fight vampires, and get ready to head into Ulfenkarn the Cursed City one final time…

Warhammer Quest Cursed City Nemesis Review

So as mentioned in the intro, Nemesis is the grand conclusion of the Cursed City storyline – in it our adventurers strike out against the returned Radukar the Wolf to try and save the doomed city of Ulfenkarn. As such, this expansion is designed for parties that have completed both the core game and the Nightwars expansion. Fights are a lot harder now, so parties will need to be well prepared, and there are some twists and turns along the way that may change plans for the party making this a fitting conclusion to the grand adventure!

Included in the box are all the card components needed to play through the campaign, these consist of a mission tracker, encounter cards for the new adversaries along with their corresponding double sided profile cards, a double sided sheet of tokens and 8 new paragon class cards.

Also included is the Cursed City Nemesis Quest Book – this tome contains all the lore and rules content to play through the campaign – more on this shortly!

As with Nightwars, this box does not contain any miniatures. Instead in order to play through the campaign you will need to pick up a box of Grave Guard, Crypt Flayers, Dire Wolves, a Necromancer and a Wight King – if you picked these all up from GW separately that would cost £117 (Around £10 less than the models needed for Nightwars) though you can get them cheaper by picking them up from a 3rd party site such as Element

Unlike Nightwars however, you really do need all of these miniatures to start playing the expansion, as any of these could be an adversary at any time during the campaign. In Nightwars, because you were fighting the various vampires one at a time, it meant you could pick them up individually as you started working through the story. Here you’re going to need them all day 1.

Now, as mentioned in our Nightwars review, a lot of Cursed City players probably have an existing Gravelords army they can use for in order to fulfill this – someone with no existing army is going to have to pick up a few kits. That said, you can always proxy – though personally the miniatures is part of the appeal of the game to me.

I do wonder if at some point we will see a “Cursed City Big Box” containing the contents and miniatures for both expansions – however this would be a rather big box, so does seem a little unlikely at this point.

So what is new from a rules point of view?

Continuing with the mechanic in from Nightwars, players get to gain another 2 Paragon levels in order to bring their effective level to 10 to make them tough enough to face off against the Beast himself. This works the same way with characters coming over from Nightwars at level 5 and paragon level 3 to pick a new paragon card and lock themselves into another specialty. Just like with Nightwars this opens up a few different ways to level your character much in the way you would pick a spec in an online roleplaying game – with two options per class and multiple heroes sharing classes this combined with the cards out of Nightwars gives you lots of different ways of building your characters over the course of the game – I’m a bit fan of this as I feel it really leans into the roleplaying aspect of what is essentially a boardgame.

So what about the story itself? Well things are looking bad for Ulfenkarn with the Shyish Nadir slowly consuming the city, slowly dragging it into oblivion. Even are heroes know the city is now doomed and there is nothing they can do to stop that. Haven stands alone as the final bastion against Radukar’s forces and it seems that ultimately that will be destroyed too! However it seems an unknown benefactor has revealed that somewhere in the city stands a hidden Realm Gate that could lead the party out of the doomed city and into a position where they can start making a move against their nemesis.

In order to find this Realm Gate they will need to interrogate the former nobility of the city who have been transformed into terrifying Blood Born in order to get fragments of a map that will reveal the location of the Realm Gate. But this is only the first step – without giving too much away once found the Realm Gate must be activated, and then once activated and traversed, the party must then follow a chain of quests leading to their ultimate encounter with Radukar.

From a gameplay perspective this means that the expansion includes a number of different mission and encounter threads that give a nice progression to the story and a feeling of a continuing narrative – We start with the heroes looking to interrogate the blood born, and here we get a set up similar to the initial stages of the core game.

We have a game ending counter called “Calamity” that either ticks up or down depending on the type of game played or the outcome – once this hits 10 the campaign ends. We also have 4 map pieces that require Blood Born to be interrogated in order to be obtained. Finally the party must gear up to get experience and equipment in order to face the horrors that lie ahead. The players will pick one of three journeys to play through, making sure to balance all these resources.

Scavenge Journeys are a great way of gearing up, getting experience and getting loot, however each time you play a mission the Calamity increases by 2. There are 8 maps available to play through for these

Secure journeys are an opportunity for the party to reduce Calamity by 1. We get 4 different maps for this

Finally Interrogation Journeys are all about interrogating the blood born in order to try and get a map fragment. Interrogate is a new action that requires (13+) to complete – because of this a player must use multiple dice in order to complete the action! You roll the Quest Dice and add the damage suffered by the Blood Born, if the total is 8 or more the vampire is removed and the quest tracker moves one space – to complete the quest you have to get it to position 6, meaning that you are going to have to do this on quite a few monsters and have someone with a lot of free dice each turn in order to complete the action!

In all these missions, a new mechanic is in play in the form of sink holes – these are the effects of the Shyish Nadir slowly pulling the city to it’s doom and are placed using new tokens off the included sheet – basically if you are standing next to one you suffer additional damage whenever you are hit, and adversaries have a chance of being outright killed – making them a very dangerous thing to fight over.

Once the map pieces have been located the players head back into the Bloodmanse to try and find the final clue they need to unlock the map – this is a one off mission with some cool unique mechanics such as using a 16+ action in order to bring a slain foe back to life so they can try and glean the secrets the party needs from them – this is a really fun and cinematic mission and a change of scenery from the previous missions. They then play another themed one off mission that ends with some of the core rules of the previous section journey section changing a little.

The party then needs to fight through another series of missions similar to the first segment where they are managing a resource that can end the campaign while trying to find information.

It’s once this section ends that things get really fun! The players then work their way through 7 bespoke and very narrative driven missions that tell the continuing mission back to back. While during the first half of the expansion we get more of the same of cycling between different journey types to balance getting loot, managing Calamity and completing objectives, in the second half of the campaign we go full story mode as we head through some awesome events leading towards the final showdown with Radukar himself!

I really like this, as again feels very RPG like, with the full cinematic conclusion being lots of fun and themed one off missions rather than the mission cycle that had been seen up to that point! There are also some cool twists and turns here that I really don’t want to spoil, but needless to say this expansion fully concludes the Cursed City adventure and sadly with the way it ends there is no more to come following this.

Summary

So after a delay following the core box disappearing off the shelves for a while, we have the final expansion to Cursed City hot on the heels of Nightwars. Based on all the materials in the box being dated 2021 I think it’s safe to say that the original plan for Cursed City was that all of this came out last year with the story concluded in 3-4 month intervals perhaps. Sadly, we all know that didn’t happen leading to this odd situation with the expansions coming out a year after the core box.

However, the final expansion for Cursed City does not disappoint and gives players some awesome games, and a great story to close out the events of Cursed City

Now, like with Nightwars I am on the fence about the lack of miniatures – for players with existing Gravelords armies then it gives you a relatively cheap way of continuing with the story and being able to use your existing collection. However, for people new to the hobby then this is quite a lot of stuff that is needed to play, and I think i’d have preferred a higher price point that instead includes the models at a discount. I do wonder how Games Workshop will take this on board for future Warhammer Quest games, and I certainly hope that the delayed release hasn’t put off any players as it really is a fun conclusion to the story.

I’m really looking forward to being able to gather a party together and play through the entire Cursed City story now and see if the heroes of Ulfenkarn can manage to defeat Radukar and end his campaign against the people of Haven.

Cursed City Nemesis is up for pre order today and is released Saturday 10th December

Games Workshop provided Sprues and Brews with a free copy for review purposes.

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