Before we get to the Blackstone Fortress, I first have to apologize for the heresy I have committed.
Being a wargaming enthusiast and a gamer who focuses on narrative first, painted miniatures, painted terrain, thematic background music and snacks are a must.
BUT, with Blackstone fortress I just couldn’t wait…
I had to jump in for a quick game or two to try it out, and then I’d start on the miniatures.
I’m now dozens and dozens of plays in and closing in on the final vault.
I will claim it for the Imperium of Mankind.
No need to review the components as they are what one would expect from the current command of Games Workshop.
Flawless miniatures, hard card stock tiles and printed cards, amazing art and narrative. If you forced me to find something to criticize with regard to production value it would be the dice- they work fine, but are a bit small in size.
How does it play?
That is the real question.
Blackstone fortress is essentially a fast playing form of 40K skirmish or kill team with some role playing narrative mixed in.
You take command of your team with the familiar 40K powers and roles and fight against small bands of game AI controlled “monsters”- renegade guard, chaos space marines, beast man, and non-sanctioned psykers.
Beat them down, gain items, artifacts, and clues as you unlock the various vaults in the game leading to the final vault- which has a real time mystery of an artifact card sealed in an envelope for you to “unlock” once the final vault is cleared.
In many ways THIS is the game of 40K I always wanted to play- fast playing rules that are easy to learn and actually *work*, all the 40K combat action we expect, set in one of the Black Library narratives. PLUS it is co-op so we all either win or lose- everybody goes home happy.
There is mystery in exploring the fortress- the “rooms” are created through random cards, events are thrown in effecting gameplay and adding to the narrative, and its refreshing to play in-game characters who aren’t Space Marines or the usual Grimdark fare.
Ambull expansion is on the way.
Can’t wait to take that on.