When preparing to hit the road to GenCon, there was one game I was looking forward to checking out more than any other: Riot Quest, from Privateer Press. An alternate future Iron Kingdoms arena combat game with characters both new and familiar that are usable both in Riot Quest -and- in Warmachine & Hordes? Of course it was on my radar. With this box of niftiness hitting stores, let’s do a little unboxing.
Riot Quest is a MOBA style arena combat game, with fighters teleporting onto the battlefield through gates and competing to snag all the loot and, of course, kick each other in the teeth in the process. You’ll bring up to 10 models with you to form your team, but only four will be on the field at a time, with up to four players scrabbling to collect the most booty before the game ends. It’s fast, it’s a little frantic, and it’s a heck of a lot of fun.
Once you crack open the box you’ll find Rulebook, Map, Counter sheet, Sealed cards, Baggie and all five Riot Quest starter minis in a single blister.
Loot, chest, wound markers, objective tokens, and The Cooler, where the wounded recuperate before rejoining the fight. One particularly neat conceit, each of the hexagonal chest markers is a different colour, corresponding to a player type that will have an advantage interacting with it. For example, Rogues will have an easier time with the green chest, Guards with the blue, etc
Riot Quest utilizes the same custom d6 as Monsterpocalypse. White have three blank sides, two strikes, and a single double strike (super strike). Your boost dice – blue – have two blank sides, three singles strikes and one super. Red dice are your power dice, with a single blank side and the rest all unleashing heck on your opponents.
The map is Thunderhead Fortress, the first of many arenas in which your models can throw down. The rulebook is 40 pages, including several pages dedicated to fluff and background for each of the starter questers. For the Neoprene lovers, a neoprene version of Thunderhead Fortress is due out later this year, and there’s a bunch more maps on the way (listen to the interview posted on Friday to get more info on that)
The cards separate into model stats, reference cards, and your three main decks -Treasure, Riot Gear and Bounty. While you can beat up your opponents and try to win that way, your best shot is to push for Bounties and to collect Treasure, which can also spend on Riot Gear.
And then there’s our fighters. Each from a different class (there’s six in the game), and a happy mix of Iron Kingdoms archetypes.
Balthazar Bamfist is a Specialist, set to punch the snot out of things with his Mecha-Fist while his Sniffer – that little ball thing – acts like a bloodhound, seeking out worthy loot.
Thanks to their being squads of painted models on GenCon’s demo tables…
Eiryss, Fortune Hunter of Ios, is armed with a pair of magnabows. A Scout, her Iosan speed and agility helps her navigate the perils of the arena.
Each demo table had four squads of all five starter models; here’s a Green quad Eiryss, while Sir Dreyfus lurks.
As a Rogue, Gubbin is is all about stealth… or at least, he’s supposed to be. Turns out high explosives are too much fun.
Possibly my favourite part of the model is the zippo style lighter in his left hand. After Bamfist, Gubbin is probably the model I’m most looking forward to painting.
Dez is a gunner, specializing in ranged combat. You know, in case you didn’t figure that out from the bazooka.
The fact that I have a friend named Desz means I need to get Dez painted up in case she ever wants to try Riot Quest.
And then there’s the Guard, Sir Dreyfus, he of the purloined Storm armour and skinny legs.
Seriously, consider how think the armour and padding must bee, look at those legs, and then imagine how thin the wearer must be. Boy needs some waffles.
Privateer had the starters and the other five models of wave one on display – Widget, Boomhowler, Harlowe, JAIMS and Gorman.
And of course, I played in a demo. The game was fast and interactive – no sitting around forever waiting for your turn – and even though each model only has a couple of rules, there’s excellent strategic and tactical depth as you decide which characters to teleport into the arena and which bounties and objectives to move them toward.
Riot Quest is rolling out to stores and is shaping up to be an excellent multiplayer arena experience. Check out your FLGS or preferred online retailer. Oh, and check the stats for all the models in War Room for Warmachine & Hordes.