The re-launch of Warhammer Quest via Silver Tower came in May 2016 and it took until January 2017 for me to fully paint my game up, just in time for a new announcement of a 2nd Warhammer Quest game called ‘Shadows Over Hammerhal’, released in February 2017.
This new version is both complimentary and separate to Silver Tower in that it is a stand alone box set, but equally you can use components of both sets, heroes and enemies to cross over. Hammerhal has more of an underground dungeon look beneath a city, and features 4 new heroes and lots more chaos enemies including Nurgle and Khorne, along with a good number of Tzeentch acolytes again. The main change to this version is that it asks someone to play as the dungeon master, which potentially opens up a different style of game, but there are still automated monster tables so it still feels like co-operative play is possible, although one person is designated to read the campaign book and may get less surprises.
The new storyline and theme is really nice, in fact i prefer it to Silver Tower, it is more like the original 1995 game in many respects. The guidebook is amazing, complete with loads of storyline and background, and detailed painting guides for the models, this book is far superior to the one in Silver Tower. The adventure story book has changed into a dungeon master guide, but some of the principals are similar, there is storyline and theme, but Hammerhal is not designed to have random room generation. This may be off-putting for some, but i feel well written campaigns can offset this. The new box also is designed for 4 characters to play every time, just as it was with the 1995 edition, so the scaling found in Silver Tower has sadly gone too. However offsetting this is the returning ability to visit towns and have events, which is very welcome.
The dungeon tiles are detailed and varied and i really like them, although Silver Tower was equally excellent, i just like the darker style more in Hammerhal. Card content is pretty similar with treasures and skills, it is a bit thin on the dice provided so you may need to borrow from Silver Tower here. Models have a lower count at 30, and come with 4 heroes, but there are no smaller monsters, so these ones will all pack a decent punch. What i like about this modelling set is that you build from multiple sprue options to create your own version of the enemies. I am not used to this, only previously buying into Quest and not the wargames, but i enjoy the choice this brings, especially on the Putrid Blightkings which are amazing monsters. Even the acolytes which we have seen before come with some new variations.
Overall i am extremely delighted with the new set, i keep looking through the books as they are so nice. I am happy to run adventures, while also being a hero, so i do not worry too much about the new dungeon master role, and i believe the new format will enable new adventures to be much more readily created via the White Dwarf magazine.
The combined effect of having both games, with distinct themes and story, interchangeable content and even slightly different rules makes it one of the best game series i have. Newcomers can jump in with either version depending on their game style preference. You can add in other enemies too, for instance i have now painted my slaughterpriest that came with White Dwarf a few months back.
The release of the Chaos Adversary pack and New White Dwarf content in early 2018 is really helping to lift this series to a higher level, and one new side quest is already making me consider buying skaven to add to my dungeon crawling. If content continues to grow and maybe new themed campaign packs are released for orcs or undead, then i may well see this series ultimately beating most other dungeon crawl games in my favourite list.