The lads chipped-in to buy the utterly GLORIOUS boxed set that is Warhammer Quest Silver Tower. The models are absolutely beautiful and we spent an evening together feverishly building them all. We were all big fans of the quality of the card tiles and accessories, and after a few practice games, we were hooked. It’s such a great value set. The game play is fast and simple, but with enough depth to keep it varied, fun and interesting, with plenty of tactical decisions to make. An interesting dynamic is the cooperative nature of the game and the interoperability of the characters with one another. A well-formed crew really is an example of “the whole being greater than the sum of its parts.” Victory will only come if they work together.

The duty to paint it all fell to me. Luckily, they were a joy to work on. I painted nearly all the models from a white undercoat and made good use of washes to get the job done fast. The sculpts are super crisp and the usual top-quality we’ve all come to know and love from Games Workshop.

We’re all creating bespoke characters for a big campaign weekend at the end of March. We plan to smash through the entire campaign, beginning to end, developing and advancing our characters, and earning them fame and glory (or bloody death and ruin…). In either case, it promises to be loads of fun! Another attraction of the game is how casual and “beer-proof” it is – no matter how drunk we get, we’ll still be able to play (although some of us will put that to the test!). The gang has already started planning, building and painting their characters, and are now starting to discuss their bespoke rules.

We bought a bespoke foam tray to store and protect the painted models. This tray fits neatly into the existing Silver Tower box with enough room underneath for all the card tiles, markers and rules.

Here are some step-by-step guides showing how I used basic block painting, washes and drybrushing to get most of the work done.

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UPDATE: For just a few pounds I got a sheet of fake, soft black leather to act as a sort of table cloth and provide a backdrop. I’ve started to rebase and paint a set of the classic HeroQuest models to use as ‘exotic adversaries,’ and I picked up a set of the new Chaos Adversary cards so I have their rules.

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And the players are starting to build and paint their models. So far we have:

  • The Devoted in Death – a Witch Hunter’s essence ressurected into a Stone Gargoyle
  • Badagot – Beastman adventurer and the party’s torch bearer
  • Astro-Nova – the party’s wizard, able to power-up and change forms
  • Purifier of the Lost – a knightly paladin with a fiery sword
  • Cruella Daemonbane – an axe-wielding daemon huntress
  • Brawlerguts – an Ogre Boxer modeled on its Ogre-shaped creator

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Not one to do things by half, Steve made an entire warband to accompany his character and use in skirmish games. Steve explains the background of these unusual and zany models in this Games Workshop seminar-style video (to stave off cabin fever, a snowed-in Steve had his own ‘Snowpen day’ as Games Workshop’s actual open day was snowed off).

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The rules:

Starting with a blank card, we tinkered with creating our own rules.

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Character - AstroCharacter - Nova

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UPDATE: Playing the game

What an epic weekend! We gamed (and drank) for 18 hours straight. From 10am Saturday morning until 4am Sunday morning, our heroes battled through the Silver Tower, completing four successive quests! We had originally aimed to complete all eight but underestimated how long each would take – and how much booze we’d get through! (a very respectable four litres of spirits alone)

Highlights included:

  • Facing off against a variety of exotic adversaries, each guest bringing their own surprise models
  • Astro Nova’s healing potions (shots of Aftershock in glass bottles)
  • A quest ending in a ‘Royal Rumble’ style event where the heroes faced off – The Purifier came out on top
  • Brawlerguts the Ogre boxer beating The Deathrunner’s face in, only to find out it was a shadow (literally, shadow boxing)
  • Badagot the Beastman lassoing a horde of Chaos Warriors, pinning them in place
  • An isolated Cruella using her ‘Sweeping Blow’ to disembowel all the enemies around her, saving her skin
  • The stone Witch Hunter soaking up damage and being our reliable ‘tank,’ especially when buffed by The Purifier
  • Splitting the party – several times – and surviving. “Never split the party” we agreed, right from the start. But after a few drinks, the bravado kicked in and we went our separate ways, eager to earn glory!

Learning for next time:

  • All our bespoke characters were probably a bit over powered. We shared our ideas during design but I don’t think we realised how powerful they’d be when used together. Perhaps we could have limited the multiple damage attacks amongst the group. Or assign ‘character classes’ e.g. “you make a tank, you make a healer, you make a wizard…”
  • It was amazing fun! The rules are simple to pick up and really slick (we had a player who’d never tried it before). The four-dice action mechanic was very popular and helps keep each player turn to a similar length
  • To increase the danger and peril next time, we should probably tone our characters down, or have more/harder exotic adversaries
  • We had six heroes instead of four or five. This also made a big difference to the quest so more bad guys were needed
  • With a lot of bad guys comes a lot of ‘book keeping’ – who is wounded, who is stunned, which adversary group does what action. A slicker way to work out wounded bad guys might speed it up e.g. allocate wounds to a ‘group’ instead of each individual model, but would sacrifice a lot of realism
  • Equally, some characters hit/affected multiple enemies – often an entire tile which slowed the game down. Rolling to affect whole adversary groups together, or avoiding these abilities altogether would speed things up
  • The system to reveal the map using cards is genius, as is the system to reveal the bad guys – we didn’t come across any problems and the ‘artificial intelligence’ of the adversaries never let us down
  • Abilities that granted or generated additional action dice also slowed things down. It’s worth considering limiting these when designing your own characters
  • Booze! Rules that required drinking were really good fun. One character had healing potions (that in reality did the opposite!) and another forced a shot of Fireball when his character set the enemy on fire (by rolling a six… which happened frequently). But why stop there? Bonuses to your character for real-world actions should be a thing. Made a round of drinks? Have a re-roll. Opened a new bag of snacks? Get plus one move.

With four pieces of shard in their chest, the adventurers take rest. For now.

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