The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update

Rick's Rec Room

August 1, 2011

Review: Quarriors may be best tabletop game this year

ANDERSON, Ind. — Quarriors is a must-buy tabletop game for 2011 and may very well be the best game released this calendar year.

Quarriors, published by WizKids, creates its own subdivision of the deck building game genre by doing it with dice as the major mechanic and using cards to randomize the board and as a reference tool.

Mike Elliott, who designed the game with Eric Lange, explained, “The deck building mechanic came first. We basically started with the idea of ‘Where could we go with the deck building mechanic?’ and hit on the idea of dice as an interesting extension.”

Interesting hardly does it justice. Players try to summon creatures to the board in one turn and keep them alive until the beginning of the next to score glory points, which are the means to winning the game. There are three types of basic dice and then the rest of the 130 dice in the game comes in the form of spells and creatures.

Those dice come from an area called The Wilds, a common locale in the center of the table from which all plays may capture the Quarry (dice). The dice are paid for with Quiddity. Quarriors, Quarry, Quiddity? The names carry a distinctive feel.

How much thought went into the deal? “Quite a bit actually — while we thought about a ‘serious’ name, when the game kept coming in under 30 minutes and the playtesters kept saying this game is all about fun and how unusual it felt playing it, we wanted to embrace that rather than trying to be another non-descript fantasy designator,” said Bryan Kinsella, vice president and producer of the game. “Quiddity (the resource that is used in the game to purchase and power quarry) is an existing word that means the essence of the thing — and since you use dice to capture dice — well we had our name and it could also be shortened to ‘quid’ by the players.  Also — the ‘Q’ words are not really used that often — and most creatures have names like deathdealer, ooze and ghost, so it’s not in your face during game play.”

Quarriors can be played by two to four players and another of its many strengths is the way the game scales to those numbers.

“About the same — the game scales requiring more victory points with two players, so it ends up being about 30 minutes even with fewer players,” said Elliott about the length of the games.

The designers wanted the game to have a moderately short game time and that proved to be one of the challenges in making the finished product.

“The game length was probably the hardest thing to get where we wanted it,” said Elliott. “We wanted the game to play in about 20 to 40 minutes and we kept having to adjust a number of things including the point totals and the creature defenses to hit the right length. Because it is a light play game, you want the game to be relatively short, but still long enough that players feel like they developed their strategy. Getting the balance right took a lot of work.”

The gamer is the beneficiary of all of that work. Quarriors will make a big splash in early August at GenCon in nearby Indianapolis. “We will be demoing it extensively, however units for sale will be limited in quantity and number per purchase,” said Kinsella.

Bringing the game to market offered its own challenges as well. “Getting 130 dice, four dice bags, 53 cards and all the associated components that would retail for around $50 dollars was the hardest part,” said Kinsella. The dice, though just slightly smaller than is typical for gaming products, are still of very high quality, as are the cards.

Players have already been taken by the innovation and concepts in this game and are looking toward the future plans for the game. “We hope to have the first expansion out this calendar year,” said Kinsella.

Quarriors perhaps isn’t for everyone. Some games place strategy and layers of complexity as a top priority and then make the game as much fun as they can. Quarriors seems to have created a fun gaming experience and then added strategy and tactics as heavy as possible without taking away the fun. Kudos to the game designers and to WizKids.

Contact Rick Teverbaugh, at rick.teverbaugh@heraldbulletin.com

1
Text Only
Rick's Rec Room
  • doomtown.jpg AEG leads buzz into Indy for GenCon

    When GenCon was stationed in Milwaukee, there was no doubt about the company who reigned over the event, TSR.

    August 3, 2014 3 Photos

  • quarriors lvd.jpg Expansions take center stage

    As more and more time passes and I am involved I this great hobby, my anticipation and tastes are changing.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • soccer blast cover Soccer Blast a real kick to play Most every great tabletop game has, at its core, great ideas about how to make the game engrossing, playable in a reasonable amount of time and a way to capture the fun.

    June 2, 2014 2 Photos

  • game box front.jpg Blood Bowl among the best card games ever

    Well over two years ago now, Fantasy Flight Games released Blood Bowl Team Manager The Card Game.

    April 8, 2014 5 Photos

  • Steam Park - Box NON FINAL.jpg Steam Park not just hot air

    Just getting into my collection under the wire before the end of 2013, Steam Park by iello could be the very best game to hit my tabletop last year. It will hit it again and again in 2014 without a doubt.

    January 2, 2014 4 Photos

  • lords cover.jpg Lords of Waterdeep released for ios

    There’s two paths that can chosen when converting a board game into an
    iPad product and both can be fraught with as many dangers as the streets
    and back alleys of Waterdeep.

    November 22, 2013 7 Photos

  • RISE_OF_AUGUSTUS_US_BOX3D2_reflet_170513.png Rising to power under Augustus

    Sometimes a game doesn't have to be 100 percent full of new ideas to be brilliant in design and execution. Rise of Augustus from Hurrican Games is just such a creation.

    August 12, 2013 4 Photos

  • dr image.png Dungeon Roll delves into fantasy staple

    I have rarely had this much anticipation for the release of any tabletop game and certainly never for one that I paid just $15 to own. But that was certainly true for dungeon Roll from Tasty Minstrel Games.

    August 11, 2013 5 Photos

  • box.jpg Building a better suburb

    Since discovering Carcassonne many years ago, I have kept my eye out for new tile-laying tabletop experiences to investigate. To go with that, I have long enjoyed the idea of city-building as a theme for gaming.

    July 25, 2013 5 Photos

  • RAC-box-3D-base.png One plague not to avoid - Rattus Cartus

    Let me start right at the beginning by saying I have not played Rattus, the very popular board game about the The Black Death that darkened Europe in the 1300s.

    July 24, 2013 3 Photos

More Resources from The Herald Bulletin
AP Video
Obama: World Is Appalled by Murder of Journalist Israel, Militants Trade Fire After Talks Fail Pres. George W. Bush Takes Ice Bucket Challenge Pierce Brosnan's Call to Join the Expendables Changes Coming to No-Fly List Raw: IDF Footage Said to Show Airstrikes Police: Ferguson More Peaceful Raw: Aftermath of Airstrike in Gaza Raw: Thousands March on Pakistani Parliament Raw: World's Oldest Man Lives in Japan Fire Crews Tame Yosemite Fire Raw: Police Weapon Drawn Near Protesters, Media Raw: Explosions in Gaza As Airstrikes Resume Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape Texas Gov. Perry: Indictment 'a Political Act' US Officials: Video Shows American's Beheading Video Shows Ferguson Cop Months Before Shooting Water Bottles Recalled for Safety Researcher Testing On-Field Concussion Scanners
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Helium debate
Helium
Poll

Have you been to Mounds Mall to see the “Imagine Mounds Lake” display?

Yes, and it solidified my support
Yes, but I'm still opposed
No
     View Results