The most well-known area control board game has to be Risk. While other games like Axis and Allies and Samurai Swords had more depth, pushing the Roman numerals around the map while the jerk turtled in Australia was commonplace on weekends. Other area control games have come out since including Attack, Age of Empires III, and Conquest of the Empire. All those were designed by Glenn Drover. Since designing those games he seems to have taken a break, but he’s come back in a big way with WarQuest.
WarQuest takes place in the land of Myrathia. War has ravaged the land for over 200 years before stopping. However, the strong have gotten restless and want to control the land. You play as a Warlord creating a force to be reckoned with, conquering areas, taxing cities for money, recruiting troops, and completing quests.
Each turn an event card is flipped over. The card can effect the entire board or a specific city, with both positive and negative results. Once the event card deck is done, each player takes their last turn and the game is over. Before the game starts you agree on the number of turns to play for the game and set up the event card deck with that number of cards.
The object of WarQuest is to have the most points at the end of the game. One way to do that is to complete quests. These quests require a leader (Warlord or Lieutenant) and can include a companion unit. Each side rolls the combat dice equal to their attack strength. If both sides are not defeated and you want to continue, another combat die is added to each roll. Three levels of these quests comprise the deck, and each one gets more difficult.
Myrathia is inhabited by several races you would find in most other fantasy games. In most games you’d expect each race to be fighting for their own kind. However, in WarQuest all of the races are free agents, able to be bought by Warlords and Lieutenants visiting their homelands. Each has their own strengths and weaknesses, and choosing which races to use in the armies can determine if you win or lose.
When a battle occurs, the armies go onto a separate battle board. The battle boards are comprised of the front rank for up to five melee units, the rear rank for up to five ranged units, a reserves area for units waiting to get into battle, and the retreat area for fleed units. Each unit has a number of bumps in the front to represent their attack strength, and bumps in the back to represent their defense rating. Combat rounds has the rear rank going first, followed by the front rank. The ranks have the defending units rolling before the attacking party, but each rank resolves at the same time. The number of combat dice rolled is equal to the attack strength of the rank, and it is possible that a unit will be wounded but not defeated. The combat dice have one side with a skull to represent a hit, a side with a tattered flag to represent a fleeing unit, and blanks on the other four faces. While it may make battles slow, it feels like a war of attrition. It is possible for two armies from different regions to go into a region with one army, so two battle boards can be used in this case for the different armies.
Designed by: Glenn Drover
Published by: L4 Studios/Mr. B Games
Players: Two to four
Ages: 14 and up
Time: 120 Minutes
Mechanics: Area control
WarQuest has a lot of flexibility in the number of turns you want to play and strategy in the races you can use to build your army. While war is part of the name, questing is a large part as well since they are another way to gain victory points. The different quests and events make ever game play differently. If you have the time and want an area control game with a ton of replayability, then give WarQuest a look.