Our journey into the Blackstone Fortress continues, as we push deeper and deeper into the monolith.
Wondrous archeotech and tech-treasures have been ours for the taking, already what has been recovered, more valuable then the levy-output of some Imperial worlds.
The rumors of even greater archeotech in the vaults…
Even now, what little do we really know of the fortress?
What we do know is that we are not alone.
Agents of chaos, traitors to the Imperial creed and the Emperor also seek to lost-tech in the vaults, and with two already unlocked, it is a race to unlock the others…
In many ways, this is the Warhammer 40K that I’ve always wanted to play. Rich in narrative, fast combat, meaningful decision, and no rules bloat.
Add on some light RPG aspects, decisions, and a campaign and one has a slice of the Warhammer 40K universe in a box.
It feels like I’m reading a Black library novel as the game unfolds.
True, to all Games Workshop games, it is a dice fest with some wild-swings in shooting, close combat, and events in the fortress, but this makes it dangerous and unpredictable.
Counter would be, being a skirmish style game, tactics can negate the swings, and using purchased items and treasure consumables controls the random.
It certainly is a very unique dungeon crawler experience.
Two questions that I’ve received regard play time and content.
The game is set up around a campaign system- the players run through a series of encounters ranging from challenge tests, explorations, and combat in search of clues for the location of a stronghold.
Defeat four of these strongholds and you have a chance to attempt to challenge the vault for the final in-game encounter and archeotech artifact.
I’m about half way through the campaign, solo play, at about 14 hours in.
There is also the chance to make a run on one of the stronghold vaults for one-off group or non campaign play, or to just wander around the randomness of the fortress.
Campaign is where the game shines, naturally, but one-off games are just as flavorful.
And as of this post we have the first expansion for the game, introducing a new campaign against the Ambull.
What about the encounters themselves on the way to the stronghold and vaults- are they repetitive?
One of the challenges of miniature based dungeon crawlers vs. card based is the limit of miniatures in the box- after a while they have the potential to get repetitive.
What about in Blackstone Fortress?
The “monsters” in the core set have been very well thought out.
Half of them are native to the Blackstone Fortress itself, and the other half are part of the faction working against you in the race for the vault.
Given the different configurations of the models and the in-game AI that controls them, they still feel fresh.
They also totally make sense for the theme of what is happening inside the fortress- there is a reason why traitor Imperial Guard are roaming the fortress.
I hate dungeon crawler games that just throw in random miniatures that don’t build the theme of the dungeon, thankfully BF doesn’t do this.
What can we expect in the future, for those binging through the game?
As of this post 3/1 we have another campaign with the Ambull expansion and an extra White Dwarf stronghold adventure out.
Games Workshop has also teased a new pack of explorers to be released soon.
More minions wandering the fortress would be nice, along with another campaign or two to finish off the line?