Saturday, September 3, 2011

Quarriors - A Review

I had heard good things about it, then I was asked, "How much would you be willing to pay for it". So I bought it. I figured if i didn't like it I could just sell it on Ebay. Honestly, the first thing that popped into my mind when I saw it on the Wizkids website was, " Oh great, we get to go through Dragon Dice again...".

My friends and I broke into the game immediately. It was honestly not what I expected, but in a good way. We got everything out and found quite a nicely put together product. It had 130 beutiful dice, 4 dice bags, a glory counter, a spiffy tin, and some cards.

Once we broke into the rules it took us about 10 -15 minutes to learn to play. This is pretty cool given that none of us had any idea as to how the game worked or even what genre it really was. The rules were pretty strait forward, though they were presented in a possibly inefficient way.

The Basics:
Quarriors is basically a deck building game - with dice. So its a dice bag filling game. You start with 8 white "Quiddity" dice. These are your basic units of currency in the game, they are equivalant to coppers or silvers in Dominion. You also start with 4 brown "assistant" dice. These also provided quiddity but double as a creature (a pawn) and a possibility for rerolls.

You start your turn by drawing 6 dice blindly from your bag and you roll them. Based on what face is up you can do stuff. If its just a teardrop quiddity icon, you get that much currency to summon and buy. If it shows a creature face, you can spend it's level in quiddity to summon it for one turn. If a dice shows a spell face you can put it in your "ready" area for use on your current or future turns. There is also a type of face that allows you to draw more dice from your bag.

Then, any monsters you summoned attack and you can cast spells if you have/want them. This is the cool part. You must attack and you must attack all opponents. You just add up all your creature's attack abilities and go to town. The defender picks a monster to defend with defends, if it dies, your tottal attack is reduced by it's defense and you keep on attacking that opponents monsters. Once you are done, you reset your attack and attack the next opponent. This in my opinion is a pretty cool mechanic.

Finally you can use any quiddity you didn't use to summon to purchase a die from the "wilds". The wilds contain 7 different types of monsters, 3 types of spells and 3 basics. All but the basics are randomized.

There are two ways to win this game. The first is to score the amount of glory to win at your player level ( for instance with 4 players you need 12 glory, and with 3 you need 15 glory). You score glory by having monsters alive at the beginning of your turn, before you draw and roll your dice. If there are creature dice alive in your ready area you look at their corresponding card in the wild and score the amount of glory they give you.

The second way to win the game is to have the most glory after 4 of the "wilds" monster types are empty of their dice. That is to say people have purchased/captured all the dice from 4 of the monster cards.

What I liked
This was a game that was great fun. I certainly did not expect it. I think the thing I most enjoyed about this game was that I get to roll lots of pretty dice. There is something very satisfying about picking dice randomly out of a big bag and rolling them to see if they do anything cool. This ain't your gramma's Dragon Dice either. The rules are solid. Having come into the well established and well enjoyed genre of deck building games, Quarriors kept it original.

I personally can't fit any more expansions of Thunderstone in my Thunderstone box. I do not believe this will be a problem with Quarriors. Since they use only 5 dice for a specific type of monsters, the expansions should be relatively inexpensive and compact. Sure they might throw in a new type of monster, introducing 5 new dice, but it won't be the massive undertaking that an expansion of Thunderstone will be.

The Art is also something to take note of. Wizkids did not skrimp on this one. In fact the first comment from my friend the proffesional game designer was "Wow, the art is really good" ( speaking of him, pocket kung fu is still in production grumble grumble). In general it is a very bright and aesthetically pleasing game. 

What I didn't like
I am scared of losing dice. I for-see horrible things happening if dice from this game are lost. And as any gamer knows, it's VERY easy to lose dice. I also wish they included a few cloth matts with an Active area and a Ready area on them just so you can keep track of things a little more elegantly.

Also it's expensive. My game store is selling it for 50 USD. I can't complain too much about this though. There are 130 dice in it, probably 53 cards, 4 dice bags, a tin, and a glory tracker. That's a lot of beautiful things and when you consider dice usually go for about $0.50 - $1 a pop the dice alone are probably worth about $65.00.  All in all though, between the product quality, mechanics of the game and general replayability of things there isn't much i don't like about this game. I do believe that this will be replacing Thunderstone at my gaming table quite frequently ( especially once my wife gets a few games of it in...).

What I think
Well i have to give this game  high marks. It is all i have wanted to do since I finished playing a few games. For it's genre I will refrain from a number and tentatively put it at the top of my empirical experience with deck building games ( though I have not had the pleasure of Resident Evil yet). Overall I will refrain from giving it general marks because I want to see how it develops and I feel the knee jerk reaction of "This new game is ROXOR!". All in all I would recommend it to anyone who likes deck-building and/or rolling dice. In fact a few copies of the game sold just because of people watching us play.

So i have been kind of down and out with regards to the painting scene. Thankfully I got a few Wyrd miniatures back from Gen-con orders. So without furthur adu the Malifaux avatar Kirai and the Spirit of Lost love.

Next up on the table is Chibified Soda Pop mascot Candy and Cola! ( Yes folks, SDE is almost here!)

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