Crusaders Games

Dungeon Alternatives

These fantasy dungeon games are alternatives to the larger dungeon crawl or exploration games which vary may the traditional gameplay, come in a more compact box, and are not reliant on miniatures . These can be competitive or co-operative and provide a dungeon adventure experience, but perhaps with less expense, a quicker play time, or a more static map area :

1. Thunderstone Advance  / Quest – Alderac (2012 / 2018)

A competitive deckbuilding game, where players each turn will work from a hand of six drawn cards to build a short strategy for the round. They will gradually improve their decks by obtaining or upgrading heroes, and buying new weapons and equipment from the village in order to enter the dungeon and defeat monsters. This game has great theme and artwork, and has many choices for game set up using different monsters or equipment. This game is easy to learn and play, but working out some killer move combinations does take more strategic thought. Setting up themed dungeons to play is immensely enjoyable, and I have adapted the Advance solo rules to my own version to make it more enjoyable and tactical > Thunderstone Solo. The game was relaunched as Quest in 2018 with new fresh looking artwork and adding in new village options, dungeon room tiles, wounds and making the overall gameplay more interesting and engaging, as there are more choices to make each turn, and the dungeon certainly feels a little more real. It is not a compact box game, and whilst miniatures are included, they are generic player tokens rather than specific characters. This is a really great dungeon card game > Quest v Advance

2. Warhammer Quest Adventure Card Game / Heroes of Terrinoth – Fantasy Flights (2015 / 2018)

This small box co-operative card and dice game has the Warhammer Quest dungeon crawling theme and brand at its heart, and sets up a neat character and player interaction, as your heroes interact and support each other to complete quests. In line with the original miniatures game, monsters will come thick and fast from the shadows, and your characters each have a set of 4 actions to use to combat the dungeon, and combining them with each other is critical. There is a light but specific storyline being told by each of the quest cards, and the mechanic of using your card actions and dice rolling works beautifully. This game works really well for solo play, controlling two heroes and offering up tactical choices, story development, and skill upgrades. It is a relatively quick dungeon experience, but needed more content to keep it fresh, which sadly ended due to licencing issues. However a new version of the game Heroes of Terrinoth has been release in 2018 which replicates the game in the Descent 2nd edition and Runebound fantasy setting, and you can expect expansions for this one. I have also written four custom scenarios which have become popular with game fans > Warhammer Quest Adventures

 

3. Ravage : Dungeons of Plunder – Beardy Brothers (2018)

A smaller box dungeon crawl and a quicker game, offering solo, co-operative and competitive options, and featuring Orc characters as the main heroes. This is standee based and uses standard size cards as dungeon tiles, making it a more compact, cheaper game. The usual dungeon exploring aspects are all here, varied locations, enemies, some boss monsters with more intelligence, a goblin to sell you new equipment, and skills levelling. What stands out is the excellent artwork and illustrations and some neat ideas such as hatching spider eggs and varied boss attacks. This is lovely game providing a dungeon crawl experience on a slightly smaller scale, and offers enough depth within the hero player boards, with varied skills and four heroes that play quite differently. It may eventually need some new enemies and locations to add extra variety, but fortunately this is something being worked on for the future. This is dungeon crawling without high expense, modelling and painting, and also requires less time to complete, and works for solo play too.

4. Dungeonquest – Fantasy Flights (2014)

This dungeon adventure game has been around since 1985, originally produced by games workshop it is updated with improved artwork and components by fantasy flights. This is a push your luck style adventure where you gradually lay small tiles on a board as you progress towards the central treasure chamber where a dragon in sleeping. If you manage to get there, you must try to steal treasure before he awakens. This game is largely about unfortunate events and survival, and once you know this, it becomes a fun game, as you laugh at terrible things that happen to your heroes. The combat mechanic has always been a weaker point, and largely remains so, but it is quicker now in the newer version and isn’t quite such a dominant game feature. There is a new deeper catacombs level idea which works pretty well providing underground short cuts but with greater risk attached, and a new torchlight rule too. With a time track counting down before the dungeon traps you all in, the play time is consistent and not overly long. This game is extremely luck based, but is a fun and dangerous adventure where the chances of survival are very low indeed.

5. Elder Sign – Fantasy Flights (2011)

A cooperative dice game based in the Arkham Horror world, where players take the roles of investigators fighting against time to prevent the return of the Ancient One. You will use weapons, spells and allies to help you solve clues around the dark Arkham museum which does have a dungeon feel, largely by rolling and re-rolling dice in yahtzee style, in order to match symbols on the location cards. There is a strong theme, and some story elements, and you will travel to different locations randomly drawn each game. This is a relatively simple game structure and is also playable solo, and there are a number of extra expansion missions available including the freezing Arctic and Ocean based storylines. A less complex experience with nice artwork.

Previously Owned Alternative Fantasy & Dungeon Games…

Due to space and funding restrictions i regularly trade out games to fund and try newer ones, producing an ever changing favourites list, but one of these sold games may be right for you.

Tannhauser / Space Hulk 3rd / Claustrophobia / Hybrid – two player competitive battles in varying themes, replaced by co-operative games generally when my interest in competitive battles dropped

Xenoshyft Dreadmire / Dragonfire / Aeon’s End – co-operative survival deck builders, replaced by Thunderstone Quest & Lord of the Rings LCG

Dungeon Alliance – co-operative strategy puzzle style game replaced by Spirit Island

One Deck Dungeon – dice rolling game replaced by Elder Sign