When I talked to someone from WizKids about Quarriors at GenCon 2011, they said that it would be the game of the year. I thought that was a pretty bold claim, but I was impressed by the reaction I got from everyone I played it with. It was a fun, relatively quick game that had some strategy involved with it, but was unpredictable due to the dice rolls. When the Rise of the Demons expansion was released, I was happy with it, but it was meant for people who don’t mind a longer game and screwing your friends over. Now the next expansion, Quarmageddon, has been released, and while it is more of the same, it’s a great addition to the collection.
If you need to find out how to play Quarriors, or my thoughts on the original game, check out my original review here.
The first feature you’ll notice about Quarmageddon is the box. The original game fit in a tin shaped like a dice cube. While Quarmageddon looks like a standard box, what is really special is the insert inside. The insert has two rectangular areas at the top. One is made to hold the Quarrior cards, and the other area is meant to hold the basic dice that are used in all Quarriors games. The rest of the insert has slanted shelves the same width of five dice. These are perfect for putting your dice in, making it much easier to grab sets instead of in the original tin box with tiny ziploc bags. Even if you aren’t interested in the extra dice, the insert itself is worth the price of admission.
Quarmageddon comes with six new creatures and two new spells, giving you 40 new dice in the box (five dice for each Creature and Spell). While the Spell dice in the original set were hit and miss, the two included Spells are really good. For example, one spell lets you cull the highest cost die in all of the opponents’ Used Pile or scores you double Glory on all Creatures that cost three or less. Another Spell lets you capture another Spell die for free when you capture a creature die or lets you rotate all of your Creature dice to a level 1 face and summon them all for free. I’m happy to see these useful abilities added with the expansion.
While the Spell cards have useful abilities, that doesn’t mean that the Creatures have been given short shrift. The abilities given include culling additional dice, gaining additional Quiddity, gaining additional attack and defense, and limiting the amount of Glory scored during a turn. Some powers do sound cool, but don’t work that well in practice. For instance, the Voodoo Doll has the ability to let you reroll all Voodoo Doll dice in your Spent and Used areas, but if you are efficient, you won’t have much of a chance to use this ability.
I also highly suggest mixing these up with the original set. While you can play these specific dice with an additional Creature and Spell, almost all of these Creatures have a cost of five or higher. The Quake Dragon from the original game still costs the most at nine quiddity, but several of the included dice in Quarmageddon cost seven or eight. I found that without some lower cost dice, the game can actually take longer to finish, even with veteran players.
The rule book is completely rewritten, which is surprising for an expansion. The language used makes the rules clearer, not that they needed much clarification. A new help sheet that shows the active pool, ready area, spent pile, and used pile on the back of the rulebook can be photocopied to help new players. Having it printed out as a separate sheet would have been a nice addition though. A summary of each turn is also included on each sheet.
Two optional rules have been added. The first rule lets you capture two dice from the Wilds instead of one. It’s a nice addition that can add a bit more strategy and speed up the game if you are playing with experienced players. Having lower-cost creatures in the Wilds will make this rule more useful. The second rule changes the rules for culling a die. The current rules state that when you score your Glory, you scored for every die you could, and you could cull any die in your used pile. The new rule only lets you score on one die, and to score that die you have to cull it. It will slow down the game, but does add more strategy to the game.
The quality of the dice is similar to the Rise of the Demons expansion. The graphics and numbers have more definition to them, making them easier to read. It’s a small difference, but it is noteworthy. I almost wish that WizKids would make a way to purchase the original dice with these updated graphics and numbers.
If you have played Quarriors with gamers who enjoy it, but feel that there isn’t as much strategy in the game as they would like, then Quarmageddon should be an automatic purchase. The added abilities are very cool, and while six new Creatures and two new Spells don’t seem like much, enough changes are included to keep the game interesting. The new box for storage makes this an even better purchase.