The world of Warhammer is absolutely massive. Games Workshop has created a series of wargames of varying settings and styles, from the massive sci-fi Warhammer 40,000 to the fantasy wargame Warhammer: Age of Sigmar, to skirmish games like Warhammer 40,000: Kill Team and Warhammer: Age of Sigmar Warcry. There's even The Horus Heresy set 10,000 years before the events of Warhammer 40,000, the football-inspired Bloodbowl, and the highly-tactical and thematic Necromunda, and the Lord of the Rings-themed Middle-earth Strategy Battle Game. It's a lot to take in, and offers endless hours of enjoyment, but it can be hard to know where to start. Thankfully, Games Workshop releases "board game" adaptations of their properties to help introduce newcomers to the hobby, and we've been sent a few to check out! So follow along as we preview these Warhammer Board Games.
Warhammer Board Game - Blitz Bowl
Blitz Bowl is a new mass-market (available at Barnes and Noble in the U.S.) board game inspired by and following the basic rules of the American Football-themed Bloodbowl. In it, players take on the role of coaches of a football team attempting to outscore and out-smash their opponents.
Included in the Blitz Bowl box are twelve total plastic player miniatures: six Human players on one team, and six rat-men known as the Skaven on the other. The box also includes the rules, a double-sided "pitch" or game board, two dugouts, six plastic balls, a ruler for throwing the ball, dice, and an assortment of necessary game cards.
Put very simply, the aim of the game is to score more points than your opponent by scoring touchdowns. There are also global challenge cards that will task each side with completing an extra objective to score additional points. If at the end of your turn in the game you have ten points more than your opponent, you win!
Blitz Bowl is a fast-paced, down and dirty slugfest of a sports game, and it really revels in the hard-hitting, wacky fun of its setting. You can foul a downed player (you roll a die to see if you've been caught doing so!) and you can attempt to injure enemies players by blocking them (injured players are moved to the team's dugout).
The simplicity of these rules is what makes this game so special, and while the miniatures are unpainted and unassembled, they are all push-fit, meaning they don't need plastic glue to be assembled. To learn more about Blitz Bowl and download the rules for free, head over to the official Blitz Bowl website!
Warhammer Board Game - Combat Arena: Clash of Champions
Next up we're taking a look at a new board game set in the far future of Warhammer 40,000 with Combat Arena: Clash of Champions. This arena-style game pits up to four opponents against each other as they battle to survive in the arcane vault of the Necron tyrant Lord Trazyn the Infinite.
The aim of the game is to be the last fighter standing, and you'll need to use your special attacks, weapons, and abilities to outwit and crush your opponents. Players can choose one of four combatants, there's the rotting Plague Champion Refulgus Grue, the Blood Angels Terminator Brother Rafelo, the Necron Royal Warden Teknoth the Dread, and the Ultramarines Lieutenant Castus. Each of these heroes has their own unique suite of weapons and special attacks, and comes unassembled and unpainted (but again, like in Blitz Bowl, they're snap-to-fit, meaning they don't need glue).
This is a very simple and streamlined game where players are really out to survive and be the last hero standing, and as such the combat has been incredibly simplified. You move when your initiative comes up, you choose from a suite of attacks, and your abilities shift as you're injured.
If you're looking for a great, super-simple introduction to Warhammer 40,000 this is absolutely to route to take. To learn more about Combat Arena: Clash of Champions and download the rules for free, head over to the official Combat Arena website!
Warhammer Board Game - Warhammer Quest: Lost Relics
Finally, let's take a look at the incredible Warhammer Quest: Lost Relics. This game is set in world of Warhammer: Age of Sigmar, and is a cooperative game for 1 to 4 players. I really love the story behind this game: A powerful Chaos mage has created a shifting labyrinth underneath the city, where he captures souls and stores them in a special kind of crystal. An earthquake shattered some of these crystals, releasing warriors all throughout his labyrinth, so the mad mage decides to free four powerful Stormcast Eternals (they're the poster-children for Age of Sigmar, powerful armor-clad warriors blessed by the god king Sigmar himself) to clear out his dungeon before he finishes them off himself. You play as those four freed heroes!
Each hero has their own abilities, stats, weapons, and more, and this cooperative game is comprised of a series of 12 different adventures. While these adventures can be played as standalone experiences, they're meant to be chained together in order to tell the story of our heroes and their journey in this horrible Labyrinth. Each Adventure has a quest you have to achieve, a modular map of dungeon tiles to explore, and treasure that can be found and looted. You carry over treasure from one adventure to the next, helping your heroes as your challenges grow.
While this is slightly more complicated than Blitz Bowl and Combat Arena, Warhammer Quest is still very much an approachable game. As before, miniatures are unassembled and unpainted but snap-to-fit, and once you understand the core mechanics of the game, and how a round works, you'll be flying through your adventures, facing off against skeletons, orks, Skaven, and more. This cooperative adventure is, to put it plainly, what we wished the 2021 Reprint of Hero Quest (for which it shares a common history) would have been - an absolutely engrossing cooperative dungeon crawl with a strong story and tactical (but not overwhelming) gameplay. To learn more about Warhammer Quest: Lost Relics and to download the rules in full, check out the official Warhammer Quest page!
The Warhammer Board Game products used in the creation of this review were provided by Games Workshop.