Last Updated on April 23, 2021 by FauxHammer
After months of teasing, it’s finally here. The latest installment in the lauded Warhammer Quest series has been released, and in our latest collaborative review, Ben and Rob brave the ghoulish perils that await inside the new box. So, strap on your sword and girdle yourself against fear as we descend into Ulfenkarn to face the horrors that await within.
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Warhammer Quest: Cursed City Review – Summary
Whilst Ulfenkarn may be a forbidding place, there’s nothing uninviting about the Warhammer Quest: Cursed City box. Although it’s priced towards the top end of Games Workshop’s boxed releases, Cursed City is packed full with endless hours of hobby and board-game related fun. An absolute triumph.
Warhammer Quest: Cursed City Review – Introduction
After months of teasing, Warhammer Quest: Cursed City is finally upon us. Following the pattern of recent Warhammer Quest releases, Cursed City offers you and up to three friends the chance to co-operatively brave the perils that lie in the city of Ulfenkarn.
Set in the Age of Sigmar universe after the Necroquake, the Cursed City box offers players the opportunity to grapple with narrative-driven quests to try and save the fantastical city. Assuming the role of one of several heroes, you and your pals can take on the malevolent Radukar the Wolf and his pet hosts of vampires, zombies, skeletons and other undead monstrosities that await you.
Now, I don’t know about you, but here at FauxHammer HQ, we’ve been super excited to get our hands on this release – and what a release it is! The box is so jam-packed full of content that it requires the attention of not one but two writers to give it its due.
And who better to review such a release than FauxHammer’s veteran wargamer, commission painter supreme, and all-round Duardin maestro Oberael, and Age of Sigmar-lover, sword and sorcery enthusiast and lightning-fingered product review wizard VoltorRWH (or Ben and Rob, in the tongues of Men).
Warhammer Quest: Cursed City Review – Unboxing
Well, this is a huge set, so don’t say we don’t take the time and put the effort in that it deserves. Accompanying this review we have a full unboxing on our YouTube Channel – check it out. Do the linking, commenting, and subscribing thing too.
Let me know what you think of the content on YouTube, we do have much morre to come.
Warhammer Quest: Cursed City Review – Contents
The amount of stuff in this box is, in a word, staggering.
The box is overflowing with an unbelievable amount goodies: gorgeous figures, enough dice to warrant the purchase of a new dice bag, and enough playing tiles, cards, tokens, and other paraphernalia to drown your tabletop.
I mean, have a look:
Whilst you gasp in awe, your pile of shame and board game shelves groan in despair.
So, without further ado, here’s a breakdown of what you can find in the box.
The box contains no less than 60 push-fit Citadel miniatures:
There are 8 Hero models:
- Emelda Braskov
- Jelsen Darrock
- Dagnai Holdenstock
- Qulathis the Exile
- Glaurio ven Alten III
- Octren Glimscry
- Cleona Zeitengale
- Brutogg Corpse-Eater
To oppose our 8 heroes are 42 Hostile models:
- Radukar the Wolf
- Torgillius the Chamberlain
- Watch Captain Halgrim
- Gorslav the Gravekeeper
- 3 x Vyrkos Blood-born
- 2 x Kosargi Nightguard
- 10 x Deadwalker Zombies
- 10 x Ulfenwatch
- 6 x Corpse Rats
- 6 x Bat Swarms
There are also10 “Mysterious Objects”:
- 2 x Gnawbone Strays
- 2 x Diregoyles
- 2 x Gravestones
- 2 x Crows
- 2 x Gibbets
As is to be expected, there’s a fair heap of paperwork in this box as well:
- The 40-page Rulebook
- A 56-page Quest book
- A 16-page Warhammer Age of Sigmar Warscrolls booklet
Alongside your new mounds of plastic and library of Warhammer Quest-related literature, the box also comes with everything you need to dive straight into a game of Cursed City:
- 138 x cards
- 1 x Ulfenkarn in Peril secret envelope
- 180 x tokens, counters, and markers
- 20 x Game Board Tiles
- 1 x Drop Zone Tile
- 1 x Extraction Zone Tile
- 1 x Skyvessel Board
- 28 dice
There is so much stuff in here, it makes even Indomitus look a little bit underfed. And that’s saying something.
Warhammer Quest: Cursed City Review – Unboxing
It’s a heavy one, this box.
Nice art – Radukar looks particularly menacing, looming over the red-lit heroes.
Cracking the box open, you’re greeted with your sprues.
Surprisingly, there’s not all that much of the plastic stuff.
Given how many figures you’ll get in the box – 60 to remind you – there are only six sprues: two for the heroes and four for the villains, two of which are identical. This will come as a relief to some people who aren’t so passionate about building, but as an irritation to others who are keen to get kitbashing and converting.
Below, you’ve got a relatively plain separator keeping the pointy bits of sprue away from the books and other paperwork beneath. And beneath that, you have everything else in the box.
Everything is wrapped in gross filmy plastic, so lets get that off to see what we’ve got in here.
So that’s the quest book, rulebook, warscroll book, build guide (plus a single sheet for the dwarf character, presumable missed out of the proper book), mysterious sealed envelope (which we’ll return to shortly), and all the cards, boards, and dice you need.
Good grief, that’s a lot of stuff.
So much, I couldn’t actually fit it all in my lightbox. Because it’s not all that clear from the image, your tokens, your boards, and all your other cardboardy bits are spread across five boards, ready for you to punch out.
Finally, beneath all of this, you’ve got a selection of plastic baggies to keep all your wargear safe and secure.
A nice touch that’ll help keep your bits and pieces net, tidy, and alive for longer.
Warhammer Quest: Cursed City Review – The Books
Crucially, the Rulebook has instructions to “READ THIS FIRST” printed upon the front, and with very good reason.
Whilst the Rulebook obvioulsy contains all the rules -and explanations thereof – for playing Warhammer Quest: Cursed City, it provides complete novices with a comprehensive introduction to everything in the box; from breaking down building all of those models, to walking you through the basics of combat.
Page 3 gives players an introduction to the setting, explainging what the party objective in the Cursed City is and giving a rough idea as to how players should work towards attaining it. There’s also a pretty brutal bit of lore at the bottom the really sets the tone. Pages 4-11 give a complete inventory of everything in the box so it’s probably a good idea to give the contents of your box a quick check against this. In my experience Games Workshop Customer Service has been excellent so be sure to get in touch with them if anything is missing or damaged.
“Combat Tutorials” make up pages 12-15 and make for worthy reading for beginner and Warahmmer Quest veteran alike. The first tutorial covers the principals of movement in the game, instructing the reader to build Glaurio, a Mysterious Object and retrieve his character card and a terrain tile depicted in order to complete the tutorial.
This is a method of teaching the game first introduced in Warhammer Underworlds that has since been rolled out to most (if not all) of Games Workshop’s games. It not only serves well to explain the rules, but serves the dual purpose of introducing multiple concepts of the overall hobby by degrees. A reluctant parent playing through a set gifted to a child, for instance, with no prior experience of the hobby, has only to worry about building a single character and understanding how he moves. No need to worry about building 60 models right away.
The tutorial proceeds like this, adding in new concepts gradually, until a complete picture of how combat works is built in the mind of the player. And by the end of it hobby neophytes will have also built their fist handful of miniatures. Excellent.
The rest of the rulebook contains the core rules for playing, beginning with a numbered sequence for setting up the table to play in “Getting Ready to Play” (pages 16-21), and ending with how to resolve the end of a session with “Journeys End” (pages 34-36). Everything is laid out in the sequence it would first be encountered in the game. Specific page references for specific rules are laid out in the “Contents” (page 2), and a “Quick Reference” is available on the back of the book (page 40).
Upon first glance it’s really about as comprehensive as you would need or expect a rulebook for a game such as this to be, but the proof of that really will be in the playing.
When I was divvying up the contents of this box between myself and Ben, I gave him the Rule Book to look through and myself the Quest Book thinking that he’d have drawn the short straw. Of course, when I was doing this neither of us had actually seen the cursed City box.
Imagine my shock when the Quest Book turned out to be the larger of the two – not that either is a tome (the Quest Book is 56 pages, the Rule Book is a little shorter, weighing in at only 40).
Whilst the Rule Book provides all the numerical nonsense you ned to ensure your figures are pinging around the board and taking swipes at each other correctly, the Quest Book contains all the narrative fluff to make sure your descent into Ulfenkarn is as immersive as it could be.
The first 17 pages are dedicated to building the story surrounding the Cursed City game. All the background on the events that have led up to the heroes descending into Ulfenkarn’s horrific streets is detailed in clear prose and even interspersed with a little fiction. There are a good few pages given over to introducing the baddies and the hostile residents of the city before moving into the actual quests that players can go on.
There are four kinds of “Journeys” that players can undertake during a session. The first are Hunt Journeys. These are, in a few words, specific missions targeting the Wolf King Radukar’s minions. After that, there are Scavenge Journeys, where the players must delve into the city to try and find valuable loot to beef themselves up. The third are Deliverance Journeys, where the intrepid heroes try and rescue Ulfenkarn’s citizens.
Finally are all-important Decapitation Journeys. These are showdowns between the players and Radukar’s diabolical minions which require a degree of preparation from players, namely a special combination of Deliverance and Hunt Journeys to reinforce the narrative element of the game.
Whilst Hunt missions may end with a confrontation between the heroes and Radukar and his underlings in which one of the named hostiles is defeated, in order for that evildoer to be permanently wiped from the game they must be defeated at the end of a Decapitation Journey. Of course, this comes with a caveat: should heroes fail in their quest to permanently defeat one of the Wolf King’s minions, that enemy will become all the more powerful.
Pages 28-43 list the various Crises players can come up against in a game. These are narrative events to add some unpredictability to the game. I have to say, I love these. They can be things as banal as “lose an inspiration point”, to “quick, stack up six dice in a single tower or take two points of damage!”
The rest of the book is given over to detailed encounters with the named villains. I won’t go into any detail about these so as not to spoil them – but they look smashing!
The Warscrolls book is pretty rudimentary compared to the other booklets included in the Cursed City box. It’s also mercifully slender, so you won’t find yourself having to rifle through pages upon pages of information to find the stat blocks you’re after mid-game.
As we all know, nothing derails that thrilling section of your TTRPG or other wargame than having to frantically leaf through a 300 page book to find two lines of text pertaining to one character on the field.
On that note, here’s the wonderfully slim Warscrolls booklet:
To anyone familiar with any of the recent Games Workshop boxed game releases – be they Kill Team or one of the other Battleboxes – you could probably take a pretty accurate guess at what the Warscrolls booklet will look like inside.
Warscrolls are laid out as one or two per page with all the info you could need to have these figures knocking lumps out of each other – or those of your competition – in a game of Age of Sigmar.
Yes, in a game of Age of Sigmar, as you can use these minis in your standard Pitched Battle armies. It is worth noting, however, that you have to pay for Radukar and all his flunkies as a single package in a game of Age of Sigmar, rather than as individuals as per the heroes.
The Mysterious Envelope
Let’s get this out of the way – I am refusing to open the Mysterious Envelope at this time because I want to enjoy the surprise for myself at the appopriate moment in the game.
This ain’t my first rodeo – I’ve seen this kind of thing before!
Legacy games (games that are designed to be played through only once, complete with components designed to be ammended and destroyed) exploded onto the tabletop gaming market in a big way a few years ago and their influence is still felt throughout. The Mysterious Envelope’s inclusion in the game (whilst Cursed City itself doesn’t really meet the criteria of legacy games) undoubtedly stems from this
But it has all of the allure of the liquor cabinet your mum and dad keep locked and told you that you must not open whilst they’re away for a long weekend in Barcelona for the anniversary. It has a high-quality feel to it; it has a two headed wolf on it.
Above all, you’re not allowed to open it.
If the incredible minis, beautiful components and intricate backstory are not enough to entice you into Ulfenkarn, the Mysterious Envelope will certainly give you that last push.
Warhammer Quest: Cursed City Review – Building the Models
It’s my site, i wanna say something too please. Adding very little use to this article, but something which I think is rather functional for the community in general. I’ve taken some snapps and pulled out my Crayola to give a more visyual breakdown of there the parts are on these sprues.
The kit comes loaded with 5/6 Sprues A – D, with 2 copies of D in the box. It’s worth noting that I said 5/6 because Sprue A comes split in the box. So technically it’s 5
Cursed City Sprue A1
Sprue A parts 1 and 2 include your heroes. I’ve matched the parts on all of these so you can easily see where the models are split up quite evenly across the board and it’s rather straightforward to find everything as this is a smaller sprue
My word these are some detailed parts. Games Workshop is knocking it out of the park when it comes to the detail on plastic miniatures, but some of these details, like the arrows and swords, are so fine, I;m genuinely surprised we have no damage.
Cursed City Sprue A2
the second part of sprue a is super simple with Dagni Holdenstock on the bottom and Brutogg Corpse-Eater on top
The box I received contains an erratum sheet (update sheet due to an error in printing) as the instructions for Dagnai in the booklet misses out the location for part A29
Cursed City Sprue B
Sprue B is all about Radukar – hopefully, this means we’ll see him as a character model on his own at some point. Though the includes Warscrolls booklet indicates that we won’t
If someone can please do a 40k Space Wolves conversion of this chap, that would be awesome! The wolf pelts look separate enough for a simple kitbash.
Cursed City Sprue C
Sprue C is your first batch of unique baddies, it’s nicely separated out with the vast majority of model parts in close proximity for each model.
The two Kosargi Nightguard I’ve coloured in different red’s so you can see them together but still see the separate components. Similarly, with the 3 Vyrkos Blood-Born models, they are in the purple-blue hues above.
Cursed City Sprue D
Sprue d (of which you get 2) is somewhat more chaotic, as is normally the case with the highvolume sprues.
I’ve tried to be clever here in the colouring but it is somewhat crazy-clever how these go together. for a lot of the models, they come in two parts. But many have interchangeable components. For example, zombie bodies with part numbers 2, 4 & 6. are interchangeable with parts 1, 3 & 5. allowing you to make slightly variable models across the two copies of the sprue. The same with the Skeletons. e.g. Parts 12 & 14 can be used with parts 11 or 13.
When colouring the above I’ve tried to take this into account by showing all of the parts that work together in the same colour, but darkening the hue so that you can see what optionally goes with what. the 4 red parts in the upper left quadrant can also be used with the 2 dark red parts in the upper right quadrant.
If anything, the above should help when cutting out the models into individual pieces, and the book will help you understand what goes where.
Warhammer Quest: Cursed City Review – Models
Whilst quite different from many of the box sets we review on Fauxhammer in that Warhammer Quest: Cursed City is a standalone game, the miniatures absolutely remain the stars of the show.
The various Warhammer camps have been abuzz with excitement for the arrival of Cursed City. From Age of Sigmar-skeptic Old Worlders and die-hard Mordheimers, to the most ardent evangelists of the Mortal Realms. And the excitement is absolutely justified.
Combining the high fantasy of the Age of Sigmar with the grim darkness of the Old World, Cursed City heralds in a Warhammer gothic renaissance.
Moustaches and capotains are back.
Whilst the sudden return of the gothic fantasy aesthetic of Warhammer Fantasy Battles’ Old World may seem a bit left of field to some, the Old World has seen tremendous success and popularity in recent years via a few licensed Games Workshop games. Total War: Warhammer and Vermintide were both popular enough to warrant sequels, and Warhammer Fantasy RPG has received a widely popular new edition.
Of course, it makes complete sense to capitalise on this resurgence in popularity – GW have even announced that the Old World will be returning in the future in the form of a new miniatures wargame – but to inject some of that gothic horror into the Age Of Sigmar is just inspired.
After all, with multiple realms almost infinite in span, there is no reason that high fantasy eel-riding aelves cannot exist alongside somewhere like Ulfenkarn. Nowhere – thus far – is this harmony between quite different flavours more apparent than in our lineup of heroes.
Most notable when you first come to build the heroes is that their are comprised of a much lighter grey (almost ivory) plastic so that they can easily be discerned from adversaries on the tabletop at a glance. This is something we’ve seen in many of the starter sets GW have produced in recent years and is most widely used in Warhammer Underworlds where each warband is a different colour of plastic from the others. It’s simply to allow you to play with your models as soon as you’ve built them.
The difference in the plastic is largely visual. The lighter coloured plastic was ever so slightly softer than the darker, but not so much as to be problematic in any way. If anything it makes it a bit easier to cut and clean up.
It’s immediately obvious what Jelsen Darrock is from his silhouette alone.
Though he is described specifically as a vampire hunter, the return of witch hunters to the Mortal Realms is welcome indeed. I was a bit sad to see that they had been reomved from Cities of Sigmar when the battletome released.
That we have such a character embracing the mad-cap steampunk technology of the Age of Sigmar with his underslung stake-launching rifle attachment is just gravy. His posture and the fact his sneering down his nose both suggest the self-righteous superiority that we want in a witch hunter.
Whilst most of the models fit together quite intuitively, I did have to consult the instructions when building Jelsen as the way he fits together is a bit unusual. I had a bit of mould line removal and general cleanup to do, and there is a join in his cloak I will need to fill and file. However, he has been well engineered and makes for a striking presence on the tabletop.
Qulathis the Exile
Just what we needed, eh? Another aelf model for Age of Sigmar.
I jest, of course – Qulathis is a stunning model. The mid-air leap as she draws her bow back to loose an arrow into an unseen enemy; the fur-trimmed armour; the long, elegant plaits providing futher suggestion of movement… Qulathis is probably my favourite aelf model since the Idoneth Deepkin first launched.
Those of you who read our Warcry Catacombs review will recall that I had a bit of a grumble about how fragile the aelves in that box were. Surprisingly enough, Qulathis was probably the quickest and easiest of the Cursed City heroes to build, needed the least cleanup and will only need a tiny bit of filling.
Qulathis the Exile is a very impressive model and I’m really excited about painting her.
Whilst I am personally not particularly excited by the Emelda Braskov model, it’s great to see that GW have (finally) brought the Freeguild into the Age of Sigmar in true fashion.
Every adventuring party needs a frontline fighter, and Emelda looks every bit the noble protector. The best aspect of this model is surely the griffon (?) pelt draped across her shoulders. It’s a small exotic touch that keeps the model away from being too vanilla, and also signals that she is a capable fighter.
Very straight forward to put together and clean up, Emelda is also notably one of the very few models whose head can easily be separated should you wish to paint it apart from the rest of the model.
Surprising absolutely no one, Dagnai Holdenstock is my favourite of the heroes of Cursed City.
Yes, he’s a dwarf/duardin, but he is absolutely brimming with character. He’s a Kharadron Overlord, but not as we’ve seen them before. Those gothic notes of the Old World are present with the billowing trenchcoat and double-breasted jacket and mesh beautifully with the Victoriana steampunk of the Kharadron. They are design elements that fit so perfectly that you wonder why we havent seen more skyfaring duardin like this.
The half mask is another stroke of genius. We’ve seen this before many times with Space Marines and if you really think about it a lot of the equipment that Marines and Kharadron Overlords use is quite similar. A very simple and effective way to imbue unit leaders and characters with more personality.
Overall, the whaler/pirate style of Dagnai is fantastic. More of this, please.
Glaurio ven Alten III
I think I might one to rescind my previous statement about Dagnai Holdenstock. He is one of my favourite heroes.
Glaurio ven Alten III is sublime.
This guy embodies everything we love about the Old World with a shiny new coat for the Mortal Realms; the moustache; the swagger; the ornate pistol. Look at the way his coat swishes slighty as he walks. This guy is the self-assuredness of the aristocracy except unlike our rubbish modern offshore bank account aristocrats he is just so cool that you are rooting for him.
Glaurio has an a amazing backstory. He is probably the last survivor of the noble houses of Ulfenkarn, making him the rightful ruler of the city. So, instead of whining about it and lobbying a government to do something about it for him, he’s taken up his pistol and cavalry sabre to deal with Radukar and his ilk himself.
How badass is that!?
More of this, please.
Whilst Cleona Zeitengale is the hero I’m probably least excited about, I appreciate that this is more due to personal taste then anything necessarily wrong with her design.
My wife, on the other hand, gushed about how much she loves the character when I lined all the heroes up for her to look at. She said that the reason she likes the character so much is beacuse she reminds her of a miko (a supplementary priestess in the shinto religion).
Naturally, Zeitengale is the priestess/healer of the group so it’s a testament to her design that my wife immediately picked her out as such at a momentary glance. There’s a lot of the relgious ostentatiousness that many people will associate with Warhammer there, too, of course. The model wouldn’t look entirely out of place in the 41st millenium with a bit of conversion work, either.
Speaking of ostentatiousness – it may be worth considering leaving the back part of the model’s outfit (the piece with the long pieces of cloth) off if you really want to paint her up nicely. Getting to the lower portion of her robes could prove tricky without doing this. Otherwise, she goes together quite easily.
Every raiding/adventuring party needs a wizard of some descrption. For the plucky band venturing into Ulfenkarn that man is Octren Glimscry.
Just look at his posture – you can feel how cantankerous this old boy is just by looking at him.
Octren is another character with a very interesting backstory. Torgillius the Chamberlain (now Radukar’s lieutenant) and Octren once worked on some magical research together, which Torgillius stole to use for his own nefarious means. Now Octren has come to find and (as all academic secretly wish they could do with their rivals) dispatch his former associate. This old wizard is ready to go full Gran Torino on Ulfenkarn.
Glimscry is a great model that typefies the hermetic researches that most all of us envision when we think of a wizard. Tattered robes, more books than he could possibly need, a ridiculous long, thin beard and – of course – a gnarled staff all serve to immediately mark this guy out as the spellcaster of the group. He is also sporting a mask that is incredibly reminiscent of some artwork of everybody’s favourite gold mage…
One of my favourite things about Warhammer is eeing how the art inspires the miniatures (and vice versa). Octren Gilmscry is a great example of this. He is also one of the models in this set that I felt might have been better served were he not push fit as there are a few quite prominent seams on the back of his robes. Nothing that a small amount of filling won’t fix, mind.
Brutogg is the big man in the group. He’s an ogor and a close combat specialist – exactly the type of guy you want to venture into a city filled with undead horrors if you happened to have any agency at all over such a situation.
Quite a bit more svelte thatn the ogors we’ve become accustomed to seeing in Warhammer in recent years, Brutogg is reminiscent of the older style Games Workshop ogres produced for Mordheim or the Regiments of Renown collection. Whilst not as rotund as the Mawtribe ogors, Brutogg is every bit as burly, brutish and hungry.
Something Games Workshop has done really well in recent years is evolving existing concepts instead of replacing them outright. We saw it with the Fyreslayers as the spiritual successors to the Slayers of the Old World, and more recently with the new Mega-Gargants. Brutogg Corpse-Eater is this for ogres/ogors.
Clad in all manner of exotic trinkets and weapons, this guy is every bit the wandering mercenary. It’s also great to finally have an ogor model that isn’t static. I actually think Brutogg is probably the best ogor model we’ve seen so far. What’s more is he goes together so easily – almost seamlessly. A model of such size and detail has no busniess being like that.
The Named Villains
There wouldn’t be much adventure at all to be had without adversaries for our heroes to clash with. In Cursed City you will be facing Radukar the Wolf and a host of nasty undead creatures.
What’s really quite clever about the adversaries in the box is that each “boss” character has a set of minions that shares a lot of their design elements; for Gorslav the Gravekeeper there are the Deadwalker Zombies; Watch Captain Halgrim has the Ulfenwatch; Torgillius the Chamberlain shares many visual elements with the Corpse Rats and Dire Bats.
Whilst it remains to be seen (when both Rob and myself finally get to playing through the game) whether or not this factors into gameplay, it nevertheless lends an overall sense of stylistic harmony to the adversary forces and creates a very strong sense of what Ulfenkarn itself looks and feeels like.
Gorslav the Gravekeeper
For my money this guy has to be amongst the most nightmarish models Games Workshop have ever produced. Somewhere out there Guillermo del Toro is laughing maniacally as he applies Nuln Oil to his own Gorslav model.
Whilst the heroes of Cursed City are very much nostalgia-laden with a slick new coat of paint, Gorslav the Gravekeeper is a far cry from the Warhammer undead of yesteryear. No Hammer Horror-inspired goofball is he – this guy wandered straight out of your nightmares and into Ulfenkarn. You know what he is? He’s Cronenberg meets Guillermo del Toro meets grimdark. Whoever designed this guy is an absolute horror aficionado.
I didn’t have too much hassle putting Gorslav together. There was a bit of cleanup involved but nothing strenuous. Take care when pushing him togetheer, however, as those wrought iron spikes emerging from his back are a bit fragile.
Watch Captain Halgrim
Where Gorslav the Gravekeeper is a thoroughly depraved character, Watch Captain Halgrim makes for quite a tragic villain.
Standing roughly the same height as the human heroes, his head sits perpetually lopped to one side. With his long hair and his huge halberd, there are suggestions that he must have cut quite an imposing figure in life. It really is quite sad when you consider that; that he’s now reduced to a lank, desiccated puppet in eternal servitude to the vampiric tyrant presiding over the city he once protected.
Halgrim is a shining example of a miniature that tells a story. He might not be as shcoking to look upon as Gorslav, nor as impressive as Glaurio or Qulathis, but his story is fully told within his visage which is no mean feat. Kudos to Halgrim’s designer.
Again, nothing at all particularly complex about putting this model together. In fact, he is comprised of a mere 3 pieces which is quite impressive. Take care when pushing him together as some of the bones are a bit fragile. I would acutally suggest using a tiny dab of Tamiya Extra Thin Plastic Glue here if you have it since that will strengthen the joins whilst simultaneously lubricating the pins to make pushing him together a bit easier.
Torgillius the Chamberlain
If Octren Glimscry is a hermetic weirdo, Torgillius is the guy all the other hermetic weirdos think is weird.
If Torgillius’ inclusion strikes you as perhaps a bit strange, think of the five named villains as an undead All-Star Team. We’ve got the all-powerful vampire, the man-beast, the lich, and the wight. All we need to cplete that lineup is some poor mortal fool dabbling with necromancy. Enter Torgillius.
As if the fact that we know he stole Octren Glimscry’s research wasn’t enough to tell us what sort of chap Radukar’s chamberlain is, the miniature just screams “sneaky sycophant.” Not so much imposing as just creepy, every big bad needs a dogsbody they can kick around. The animals crawling about his person would suggest he interacts with the more bestial denizens of Ulfenkarn. Of all the villains I’m most interested to see how this guy behaves in the game.
Detailed as Torgillius is, he is surprisingly easy to build and clean. I still have some gaps and seams to fill but nothing egregious. I think of all the models that this guy is going to be the biggest challange to paint since there are a lot of different elements that could potentially clash and create a lot of visual noise on the miniautre. Watch this space to see how I fare with painting him.
Ever dungeon crawler has an adversary (besides the boss, of course) that has all the players quietly hopeful they won’t appear or that they can somehow avoid. In Ulfenkarn that creature is undoubtedly the Vargskyr.
Quite comfortably the largest miniature in the box, Brutogg comes up to this guy’s waist.
With the Vargskyr I have to address my only real criticism of the Cursed City. Some of these models are comprised of so many parts that go together in such strange ways that it seems pointless making them push fit. Becaue of this, the Vargskyr has a number of seams in some quite prominent areas.
It’s a small issue really since he is still an incredible model and most of these should be filled fairly easily. It would just have been nice if there weren’t quite so many to fill in areas where they could potentially be quite obvious.
Radukar the Wolf
Useless trivia time. The Romans often used the phrase “lupus in fabula” which translates to “the wolf in story.” It was used whenever somebody appeared as their name was used in the same way we say “speak of the devil” since wolves were often used to symbolise villains in Roman tales.
Rather appropriately, the villain of this story is Radukar the Wolf and both devil and wolf is he.
Standing roughly the same size as Brutogg, this guy is an absolute beast. He’s exactly what we didn’t know we wanted and needed from a boss villain. What’s more is that he’s a very different take upon a vampire from what most of us are accustomed to seeing.
A far cry from the wily, debonair vampires ubiquitous throughout popular fiction, he appears to be very strongly inspired by the cossacks. It’s always great to see GW try something new with a popular trope; it’s even better when they nail it has they have with Radukar’s design.
Radukar is a chunky lad and feels great in the hand. Though he has a very distinct visual style he has just the right balance of detail and empty space for painters to really put their own stamp on him should they want to. He fits together very easily with only a slight seam visible in his
tina turner hair fur hat.
If Radukar is anything to go by, the future is looking bright for vampire fans.
The Non-Named Villains
The vast majority of the figures in the Cursed City box are non-named villains – and there are a lot of them.
We’ve got 10 Deadwalker Zombies, 10 skeletal Ulfenwatch, 6 Bat Swarms, and 6 Corpse Rats. All of the models are actually extremely easy to put together, being made up of two or three components and a base.
So, let’s get on.
Of all the figures in the box, in my opinion these guys are the easiest to put together.
Each figure is made of two halves: a lower body and side, and a head and back. There are a combination of top halves and bottom halves, so no two figures will look the same. Like all the other figures in the box, they’re push-fit, so they’re super easy to put together.
And that’s about it. You may need a little glue to get them to sit in their slotta bases comfortably – I found mine were a bit loose.
They look awesome. They’re full of character and poise, and the inclusion of their coffins or bits of tombstone on their backs gives them that fresh-from-the-ground look.
Also push-fit figures (though with some spindly bits so watch where you’re putting pressure), these skeletons are magnificent to look at,
Easy to put together – bar, as I said, a few spindly bits to watch out for – they’re impressive figures covered in details.
Of the non hero/boss figures, these are the only figures I had some difficulty putting together.
You see the chap hanging off the pillar, right arm clutching a piece of masonry? Getting that right arm to fit in between two halves of a torso when relying only on push-fit to hold the model together is almost impossible. Every time I tried to push the two halves of the torso together and keep that arm in the right place, the arm fell off. Eventually, once securing it with some glue, it stayed together just fine.
This pair of indomitable half-giants actually came as a bit of a surprise to me. In all the marketing I’d seen for Cursed City, somehow I’d failed to notice that these two hulking undead monsters were included in the set.
Not only are they really easy to put together and required absolutely no clean up, they’re rather impressive figures. Because they’re so large and made of only a few components, you’re unlikely to damage anything whilst putting them together, either.
Like all the miniatures in this box, they’re rife with details, and will look awesome once all painted up on the tabletop.
There are six bat swarms in the box with three different looks. That’s two of each, as you can see in the image below.
Like everything else in the box, they’re extremely easy to put together, consisting of one or two components. As before, be careful when applying pressure to the figures to get them to slot together. Some of the places where the bats join either each other or other sculpted parts of the components are quite thin, so you may damage them.
Of all the non-named villain characters, these guys are slightly more difficult to put together. Each rat swarm is made up of three parts: a large rat swarm and then two smaller swarms that are pushed onto each side of the main swarm.
Because of how the rats are all sculpted, and because of where you have to push the components together, you run the risk of bending and breaking some of the parts of the components. When building these, make sure you are careful when pushing the parts together.
Whilst a simple set of tokens could well have sufficed for the various objective markers used in the game, it’s always nice to get something a bit fancier. The objective markers for Cursed City aren’t just a bit nicer than having a token – they’re all characterful models in their own right.
In the box we have:
- 2 Diregoyles
- 2 Gnawbone Strays
- 2 Gravestones
- 4 Mysterious Objects (2 Ravens, 2 Skeletons)
Used to denote objects your heroes can investigate and other strange encounters, the various objective markers also serve to further evoke the atmosphere of Ulfenkarn on the tabletop.
The Diregoyles are easily my favourite from amongst these models. They evoke quite similar feelings for me as the Nurglings do; there’s just something quite endearing about a mischeivous, wee git.
As much as I’ve waxed lyrical about how nice it is to have these in place of tokens, I am quite tempted to swap them for tokens so I can use them on some of my painting projects. My hope is that we don’t necessarily need to have 2 of each in the same way that we had duplicates of the familiars in Silver Tower because we were given 2 identical sprues for the adversaries in that set.
Great as he looks when assembled, the Diregoyle attaches to his sprue via the nap of his neck. You’ll have a chunk of plastic to remove right between his wings. Make sure when clipping him off the sprue you clip off a decent chunk with the miniature so as not to damage him by clipping it too close.
Warhammer Quest: Cursed City Review – Wargear
Compared to box sets we typically break down in these reviews there is an absolute ton of wargear in Cursed City. If it wasn’t already clear, this is simply because it is designed to be a self-contained, standalone game. Because of that, absolutely everything you need to play the game is in the box.
As a dungeon-crawling campaign-driven game that sees you play through a story, Cursed City is component heavy. The reason for this is that there is a lot to keep track of in the game and a wide variety of different outcomes for every situation.
More components does mean longer set-up times. Many other producers of board games have actually begun manufacturing and including specialised box inserts with their games to circumvent this problem somewhat. Games Workshop have at least done the courtesy of including a plentiful supply of small bags for containing all of these components, but there’s no getting around those long set-up and breakdown times.
However, the big plus is that no playthrough of Cursed City will ever be the same. Further, due to the story-driven nature of the game, you’re far more likely to actually play through it multiple times than many other games.
So what else exactly included within the box besides miniature to facilitate a playthrough of Cursed City?
As you’re probably expecting by this point, there are a lot of cards in this box – 138 to be precise.
Here’s a breakdown of what’s waiting inside (so you know how many elastic bands you’ll need to have in order to keep these all tied together!):
- 8 character cards
- 11 hostile reference cards
- 8 initiative cards (4 hero and 4 hostile)
- 19 exploration cards
- 35 discovery cards
- 16 encounter cards
- 8 trait cards
- 24 empowerment cards
- 8 mortis cards
Each different card is used at a specific point, or for a specific role, during play. The character cards, for example, are halfway basically warscrolls for each individual character. The hostile cards are much the same.
There’s no real point going into the detail of what every single card does here. A couple of things, to note, though: for ease of reference, a lot of the cards are slightly different size and shape, so it’ll be easier to tell them apart. Also, the art on the cards is lovely, so points there.
Counters and Tokens
An absoute abundance of tokens and counters are in the box for assisting in keeping track of a number of different things in the game. Supplied on punchboards made of a heavy card stock, the consist of the following:
- 32 Wound Counters
- 40 Level Tokens
- 8 Cursed/Trapped Tokens
- 8 Diseased Tokens
- 8 Double-Sided Inspiration Point Counters
- 16 Experience Counters
- 9 Fear Counters
- 9 Influence Counters
- 5 Decapitation Counters
- 4 Buried Tokens
- 4 Fatigued Tokens
- 4 Initiative Tokens
- 3 Oaken Arrow Counters
- 1 Black Rose Token
- 1 Nightfall Token
- 1 Quest Token
- 1 Red Blade Token
- 1 Tapestry of Ages Token
- 1 Suffocating Gravetide Token
- 1 Combat Track
All of the tokens have artwork on them that immediately denotes their purpose. The artwork is also consistent in style throughout, with lots of gothic imagery.Where possible, care has been taken to utilise different shapes to make differentiating them from one another even easier; level tokens are all triangular, whilst status tokens are all square, for example.
Though the card stock is glossy and durable, in my experience even the toughest card can fray and fade through sustained use. If you intend to play your copy of Cursed City quite a bit, I would suggest picking up some coin protectors.
Much like the tokens described above, all the tiles you’ll need for your game will need to be pushed out of some glossy perforated card. This is easy to do, though, and will be no stress on your fingers – even after assembling the horde of models included in this box!
In the rulebook, what we’re calling “tiles” for this review are in fact kept under two different headings: “Board Tiles, Gateways and Lychgates” and the wonderfully non-specific “Other”.
- 1 skyvessel board
- 1 leader token
- 20 board tiles (each is double-sided, designed to represent different areas throughout the board game world)
- 1 drop zone
- 1 extraction zone
- 18 gateways
- 6 lychgates
The boards are really nice. The print quality is excellent and the boards themselves feel surprisingly hard-wearing. Here are a couple more examples to get a feel of what’s going on.
There’s an enormous amount of detail across each board, which will help keep you thoroughly immersed in your quests through Ulfenkarn.
Unusually for a Games Workshop game, a number of polyhedral dice are included in the box in addition to the usual D6s. Included are:
- 6 Action Dice (2 D6s, 2 D8s and 2 D12s – all custom)
- 16 Activation Dice (White D6s)
- 5 Destiny Dice (Black D6s)
- 1 Quest Dice (1 D12)
The Activation and Destiny are all of the much less satisfying 12mm variety, whilst the rest of the dice and nice and chunky with a decent heft to them. It’s a bit of a shame that the dice aren’t themed around Ulfenkarn and the heroes in some way. I’ll probably sub out the smaller dice in my own set with something more satisfying to use. Everybody knows that chunky dice perform better anyway.
Warhammer Quest: Cursed City Review – Price and Availability
Following some of the recent releases, the Warhammer Quest: Cursed City price is surprisingly low. Clocking in at £125 on Games Workshop’s webstore, it’s perhaps no wonder that this particular product’s pre-orders sold out online in just over an hour (after crashing GW’s site altogether).
Games Workshop also offered people a host of pre-order bonuses to try and encourage consumers to buy directly from them. Whether or not these will continue to be offered now the full release has taken place only time will tell.
But Cursed City appears to be sold out online at present. Given how incredibly popular the release has been, I think it’s safe to say there will be another release and then, much like Blackstone Fortress, the game will likely be available for permanent order online at some point in the future.
As usual, though, we always recommend shopping around to see if you can grab a better deal anywhere else – and, in this case, to see if anyone else actually has a copy to sell. A lot of independent retailers will offer up to 20% off a lot of Games Workshop products, so always check your local hobby store first. Not only will it save you some cash, you’ll also be helping out a small business – and given how things have gone over the last twelve months, our local hobby stores need us now more than ever.
Warhammer Quest: Cursed City Review – Where to Next?
Cursed City is a clever release. Whilst everything in the box is its own self-contained board game, you can also use your new host of figures in other Age of Sigmar-related games. As such, if you’ve found yourself hungry for more Age of Sigmar, you may want to have a look at the Grand Alliance Order (or more specifically the Cities of Sigmar) and Grand Alliance Death ranges available on Games Workshop’s webstore.
If you’re loving Warhammer Quest but feel like a leap through time and space to the grim darkness of the far future, you could always pick up a copy of Blackstone Fortress.
Worried about making sure your figures look the part, or confused about how to navigate Ulfenkarn’s winding streets on the tabletop? You’re in luck! We’re currently planning a comprehensive series of follow-up guides for the Cursed City board game, as well as painting guides for some of the figures, so stay tuned for more.
Warhammer Quest: Cursed City Review – Final Thoughts
|A veritable horde of awesome figures
Figures very easy to put together
More wargear than you thought possible
Well thought out, interesting board game encounters
A Warhammer gothic renaissance
|Everything is push fit (which might annoy converters, kitbashers and those who favour painting in sub-assemblies)
A few tricky components to place here and there
There are no two ways about it: Cursed City is awesome.
The figures look great and are beautifully detailed. The game is both dark and enrapturing, and yet quirky and amusing. The reintroduction of the old world gothic Warhammer vibe will have fans who remember the pre-Age of Sigmar days clamouring for a copy, and that Old World feel will have veterans misty-eyed with nostalgia.
The only gripe that both Ben and I really had was that some of the character builds are comprised of so many parts that making them push fit is pointless. Ben found the Vargskyr and the robed characters particularly bad for this, as if they weren’t push fit, they wouldn’t have a bunch of hatched lines to fill in. I had a couple of issues with one or two components, but nothing that wasn’t fixed with a little tenacity (and glue).
But we both agree this can be overlooked in favour for what the box does do right. Cursed City promises untold hours of hobby and tabletop fun. It is, in my opinion at least, the best release since Indomitus, and will have a wider appeal than Ninth Edition’s flagship release given that it is a self-contained TTRPG that also has applications in the wider Age of Sigmar gaming universe.
It’s a truly spectacular box, and we can’t wait to properly get our teeth into it even further.
We’ll see you in Ulfenkarn!
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