Heroes of Terrinoth is an adventure card game by Fantasy Flight Games. HoT is essentially a reskin of their Warhammer Quest The Adventure Card Game that was lost when the Games Workshop / FFG license partnership ended. Warhammer Quest the Adventure Game only managed to release two character expansion packs before it was cancelled and those packs, now out of print, fetch a weighty amount on the second hand market. The original game was a fantastic blend of different tabletop genre elements that created a portable co-operative game that was also great solo. It was and still is one of my favourite solo tabletop games as reported on in our feature. Since hearing of the announcement that the WQtACG was coming back under FFG’s Terrinoth setting, I was interested to see if it was the mechanics or the IP that made it so enjoyable for me.
For those of you not familiar with the Terrinoth setting, it is FFG’s fantasy setting that includes their miniatures wargame, Runewars, and board games BattleLore and Descent. Terrinoth has everything you can expect from a colorful fantasy setting including elves, undead, magic, golems and goblins.
To play a game of Heroes of Terrinoth, players select a quest to attempt. HoT includes 8 quests across 3 difficulty levels. The first quest is The Goblin Problem and acts as a tutorial mission. Each quest details a small narrative to set the scene, then gives direction on how to create the 3 decks that are used throughout the mission. HoT uses 3 different decks to vary play.
- Location Deck – Location cards represent the different areas the heroes move through on their quest and each has a unique in-game effect and shows how many enemies spawn and how many exploration tokens are needed to leave the location.
- Enemy Deck – Enemy cards give the stats for the forces the heroes will face on their travels.
- Exploration Deck – Treasure and event cards that the heroes may come across during the quest.
In Heroes of Terrinoth, players each take on the roles of one of each of the character types, Healer, Warrior, Mage and Scout. Each character type has three options for the character and each gives slightly different ability options.
At the start of the game each character type has access to 4 basic action cards, they are titled differently for each character and have mildly varying effects, but they can be classified as, Attack, Explore, Rest and Aid. As an example, the Healer basic Aid card is called Field Medicine and allows the healer to roll 2 dice, lets the hero being aided to ready one card and then recover 2 health. Whereas the Scout basic Aid card is called Draw Attention, which allow the scout to roll 2 dice, lets the hero being aided to ready one card and then the scout claims a success token (which can be used to improve rolls later in the game).
Heroes can upgrade to advanced action cards as they progress through the game, and each character type has a choice between two class streams to take. The Warrior for example can take either the Knight or the Berserker path and would initially upgrade one of their basic action cards to the advanced card of their class, upgrading others along that path later on.
The game takes place over 4 phases, the hero phase, where the players take an action each with their characters, the enemy phase, where each enemy on the table attacks the characters following the actions detailed on their card. The peril phase where a counter is moved along the peril track, which indicates any in game effects that occur at set points and the final phase, the travel phase, which the players to move to the next location if they have explored enough in their current location.
During the player’s turn, each character can use one of their action cards. Action cards are exhausted after use and can’t be used again until it is readied, which can be done either through the rest action, or through other in-game card effects.
When a player uses an action, they get the effects listed on the action card and also roll as many hero dice (white dice) as listed on the card and also an enemy dice (black dice) for each enemy engaged with them. The hero dice can give additional success effects and the enemy dice allows engaged enemies to attack the hero and also activate possible peril effects that could be present.
During the enemy phase, each enemy activates following the instructions on their card. Enemies can be in one of two positions, either engaged with the hero, or in the Shadows. Enemies engaged can be attacked as normal, but enemies in the Shadows can only be targeted by ranged attacks or special effects. Enemies in the Shadows can be face up or face down, making target priorities interesting as you don’t know what you are hitting.
During the player turn, players need to work together to defeat enemies, whilst also removing wounds, readying action cards and taking the explore action, which lets the party travel to the next location in the deck.
As an example of enemy activation, during its turn the Bandit will advance, backstab and then inflict. This means that it will move to engage the active hero and if you are engaged with another enemy, it will deal 1 wound to your character and then inflict it’s normal 1 attack value damage. Goblin Archers will fire an aimed shot, retreat and then inflict, meaning that if they are in the Shadows, they will deal 2 wounds to the hero with the fewest engaged enemies, then move back to the Shadows if they aren’t already there, and then inflict their normal attack value of 1 on the active hero. For the Goblin Archers, it means that heroes can somewhat control its action by attempting to engage it before the enemy phase, so that it won’t deal the aimed shot damage.
Quests also include enemies with the Nemesis trait. These enemies are more powerful than most of the random encounters and also have special rules that can impact the Quest an make games challenging for the heroes.
When the victory conditions have been met or the heroes are defeated, the game ends. For the first quest, this means that all locations need to be fully explored and the Nemesis enemy, Splig must be defeated to win. Locations are explored by the heroes taking the explore action and adding tokens to the sheet based on their dice roll. Each location has an explore value to meet in order to be able to travel to the next location.
Heroes of Terrinoth has the same great mechanics as Warhammer Quest the Adventure Card Game. It feels like a unique blend of roleplaying and board gaming in an very convenient travel-sized format. It does have limitations, and it can feel like a resource management style game at points rather than a swashbuckling adventure, but the varied decks help to keep the quests interesting, even through repeat plays. The mechanics allow the enemies to feel unique and certain combinations of them can be a real challenge.
Heroes of Terrinoth works well solo or cooperatively. Cooperatively really feels like puzzle-solving in an RPG, making actions with your characters to best suit the party and solo play offers some real challenge and variety that can often be missed with solo rules and mechanics.
The two paths for upgrading your heroes makes the character development interesting, but it could do with some real depth to that process. As it is, it does keep the game light and easy to play. Items picked up throughout the game have a slight impact and it would be interesting to see if they expand on exploration items in future packs. We really do hope that FFG expand HoT and that it gets the support and product development that WQtACG before it deserved.
The Bottom Line:
Heroes of Terrinoth takes what was started with Warhammer Quest the Adventure Game and tweaks it slightly to refine it. It’s a tight cooperative puzzle solver with some depth and narrative, but not a huge amount of character development. The choice of characters within the classes and the two upgrade paths provides some variation, but the real replayability comes from the variety of quests and decks produced by them. HoT works great solo or cooperatively and enemies feel thematic with a great AI mechanic. Challenging, but never overly so and fast paced with components that make the game extremely portable.
Get this game if:
You enjoyed Warhammer Quest the Adventure Card Game.
You want a great solo adventure game.
You enjoy RPG puzzle solving.
You want a very portable cooperative game.
Avoid this game if:
You’re a high-level RPG player who wants some real depth and crunch to character development.
You don’t like card games.
This copy of Heroes of Terrinoth was provided by Fantasy Flight Games.
Have you played Heroes of Terrinoth or Warhammer Quest the Adventure Card Game, or both? What did you think? What do you think of the blending of different genre elements in games? let us know in the comments below.
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