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Quarriors

Review: Quarriors - In search of Glory!

Background:
If someone was going to review my games and the games I choose to play, then card games would certainly be mentioned a lot! But, recently I've been purchasing more dice games. I really enjoy Kingsburg and Alien Frontiers, but then Zombie dice and Martian dice have hit the mark as fun fillers.

The other really important aspect to note is that I seem destined (like a moth to a light) to swarm around every new deck building title. Also seems that Mike Elliot likes a good deck builder too, as Quarriors his second game on the same genre.

So, with the knowledge that I've now got a new obsession of dice games, along with card games, and deck building, I can now present my (clearly unbiased) review of Quarriors.

Components:
Well there are dice! LOTS of dice ... but let's start at the best component of the game, the box ... or in this case the tin! The tin is excellent, it's a large dice of the strongest character. The tin is a little irregular for a gaming shelf, plus (and more importantly) doesn't have any room for inevitable expansions, in fact Rise of the Demons is due any week.

The dice are quite small and a couple in my set haven't been printed properly, but I feel I'm picking at tiny flaws in some quality components.

The cards are really good and the artwork is exceptional.

But the colours on the wooden cubes and bags are very hard to distinguish, especially in low light... the black, blue, and green are all similar.

But, to the game ...

Gameplay:
Firstly, I can't recommend highly enough player mats that have been put on the geek, I personally like this one ... Player Mat.

Then setup! Setting up Quarriors is actually a lot of fun, you choose ten unique cards to add to the wilds, 7 monsters and then 3 spells. The three basic cards are used in every game. Once the cards are selected, add all the corresponding dice to each card pool.

Then take the 12 starting dice (the same for each character) and add them to your bag.

There are 6 phases to each players turn.

1) Score Creatures
2) Draw and roll dice
3) Ready spells and summon Creatures (optional)
4) Attack your rivals
5) Capture one quarry die from the wilds (optional)
6) Move dice to your discard pile

The first phase is to score creatures, any creature in your active area is moved to your discard area and you score glory points for each creature (plus any special abilities they have on the card face). Then, and a really important feature for designing your own deck/dice pool, you may cull a dice. This enables you to release a die from your pool back to the wilds (the central game area where you can buy new dice).

Second phase is to draw 6 dice from the bag and roll them. If any dice show any re-rolls or chose additional dice, then do that as well. also, at this point it is probably worth mentioning that when your dice bag runs out of dice then you take all your dice from the discard pile, add them back into the bag and then carry on picking.

Third phase is to select any creatures and spells. If you roll a creature dice with the creature face showing, you can pay its level costs in Quiddity (as long as you have enough quiddity dice) and move them to the active area. Any dice showing quiddity that you used to pay for it is moved to the discard area. Spell dice have no costs, so if you role a spell you can move it to the active area straight away! Hopefully with lots of 'areas' explained, it'll show the importance of player mats!

Then, the fourth phase is to attack, you calculate the complete attack strength (plus any special effects) and then attack ALL players in turn. Each player, IF they have any creatures in their ready area, must try and block the attack. You choose the defense of 1 dice, see if it is great than the attack strength to find out if it survives or is killed (moving it to the discard pile). If it is killed then the next creature does the same (though the attack strength is reduced because the previous creature did absorb some of it's attack when defending (basically remove the first creatures defense from the attack strength to give the new attack strength). It's actually very simple and gives a lot of challenges to the defending players ... who shall I defend against first and who shall I keep to try and score as much glory as I can.

The fifth phase allows you to spend any left over quiddity on ONE dice. This can be quite challenging, but on your first few games, the best option is usually just to buy the most expensive dice you can with the money you have available!

Finally the sixth turn is to clean up your active pool area and move anything you haven't used to your discard pile.

The game ends once four card piles are empty of dice, or someone has reached a set number of glory points!

Thoughts:
I really enjoy playing Quarrior dice. It's a fantastic game that is easy to teach (though trying to explain the first phase is to score before anything else is tricky at times).

The game does come with the flaws, well let's think of them as imperfections

The game takes a while to 'get going', to rid yourself with the initial creatures/dice and then get new creatures that are powerful (but defensive) enough to last a complete round takes a little while. If someone else gets there much quicker than the rest, then the game is then suddenly then over with X amount of people still wondering how the game worked! Though in truth, the time I witnessed this (and unfortunately it wasn't me), I felt that he deserved victory!

Having the cards centrally can be difficult if you need to know creature abilities, etc. There was lots of passing of cards in each game to remind yourself of that characters benefit.

Strangely to me, but I found that most people find the terminology difficult to pick up and I've even watched one person write Quiddity = money, glory = victory points!

But, this game is such fun to play. The PvP element of this game isn't 'attack the leader', or pick on one player. The game mechanics allows for everyone to experience the same attacks and then hope they can defend them. All the characters that I've used to date feel quite different from each other and favourite characters have already begun to show. I'm certainly a dragon or Deathdealer fan, then others are ooze fans (I really can't stand their high costs, unpredictable powers and low glory - for the most part), etc. One other great thing about the cards and game is that there are more than one creature per card, so in one game a deathdealer could have certain powers, but in another he'd have a different set. Each game the attack and defense would remain constant though!

I'd love to get frustrated by Quarriors and pick fault with it, but I really can't. It's a great game, and it's fun. I know it'll work well with heavy gamers and with family who just enjoy a lighter style game. This has been a great addition to my collection and I'd urge anyone to splash out and get it (I realise the price tag is a little higher, but there are a stupid amount of dice ) ... I honestly believe that this has great replay value and comfortably playing in an hour and scales well between the 2 to 4 players (though expect different games) ... I certainly feel like a dice and card fanatic now!!
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