Warhammer Quest: Blackstone Fortress is only a week away from pre-order, offering you the chance to explore the darkest corners of the 41st Millennium as you’ve never seen them before. This week, we’ll be previewing the set in detail, starting today with an in-depth look at just what you’ll find in the box.
This article was originally published on the Warhammer-community site.
Warhammer Quest: Blackstone Fortress is packed with models. Seriously, you could take out the rules, dice and boards and still be getting a pretty cracking deal on the miniatures alone. Every single model in a completely new sculpt, and push fit, meaning you’ll be able to assemble them without glue!
In your adventures, you’ll choose from one of the eight explorers included – those daring, foolish or insane enough to brave the depths of the Blackstone Fortress. Each explorer is a distinct character with their own backstory, motivations, and models. These are the kinds of characters you’ve read about for years in the background but are rarely seen on the tabletop – like Imperial Navigator Espern Locarno, or mighty robot UR-025.
Of course, these champions won’t be unopposed – Blackstone Fortress features a host of brand-new hostiles for you to battle.
First and foremost amongst these are a trio of magnificent Chaos Space Marines sculpted in the baroque and terrifying splendour such characters have always deserved:
As well as reinventing some classics, the set features a host of Chaos worshippers never-before realised in plastic (if at all), including Traitor Guardsmen, Rogue Psykers, Chaos Beastmen and the Negavolt Cultists.
There’s also a pack of Ur-Ghuls – vile dark-dwelling creatures who’ll already be familiar to Drukhari players. Updated from Finecast resin, these new Ur-Ghuls look truly horrifying:
Perhaps most intriguing among the residents of the Blackstone Fortress are the Spindle Drones – previously unseen xenos constructs that seem to be native to the fortress. Quite what these defenders want, or who created them, is a mystery but they feature a radically different aesthetic from anything we’ve ever seen in Warhammer 40,000 before:
To make referencing your various rules super easy, Blackstone Fortress is split across 5 booklets, each dealing with a different aspect of the set.
In the Rules booklet, you’ll learn how to set up and play Blackstone Fortress, with introductory guides and an outline of your aims on the Blackstone Fortress, as well as a quick-reference guide for getting key information at a glance.
In the Combat booklet, you’ll learn how to battle your foes, with a look at combat, encounters and the other events that’ll dog your explorers as they battle through the Blackstone Fortress.
In the Precipice booklet, you’ll plan out your future expeditions and prepare for your next journey into the Blackstone Fortress. Each session of Blackstone Fortress takes about 2-3 hours and can be linked with other sessions to form a longer campaign where your characters trade archeotech and their adventure changes. Additionally, this booklet contains a guide to each Stronghold – special encounters that must be cleared to win the game.
In the Background booklet, you’ll get to follow the story of the Blackstone Fortress, with background on just where it comes from and the various forces fighting to conquer it, setting the stage for your own adventures.
Finally, the Datasheets booklet contains new datasheets for every model in the set that’ll let you add your favourites to your Warhammer 40,000 army, complete with matched play points. We’ll have an in-depth preview of just how the various units in the box work in Warhammer 40,000 later in the week.
In your games, you’ll be able to bring the Blackstone Fortress to life with a series of boards made up of hexagonal tiles. You’ll be able to combine these to create all manner of twisting labyrinths for your explorers to venture into.
The set also includes the Precipice boards and six double-sided spacecraft that your explorers will be able to trade with throughout the game.
Finally, you’ll get a combat track – used to determine the order in which each explorer and group of hostiles fights during combat – and a line-of-sight ruler for keeping track of your battles:
Cards are crucial to Blackstone Fortress – that’s why there are 234 of them in the set! Blackstone Fortress is designed to run itself – in fact, you could even play it solo if you wanted to. The Discovery, Encounter and Hostile decks are designed to generate a range of scenarios for your explorers to tackle, with millions of possible combinations:
Explorer and Hostile cards, meanwhile, provide characteristics for your models, while the latter have behaviour tables that determine how they act in the game.
Cards can be used to create persisting effects between your games, from the Legacy cards, which offer unique challenges in each campaign playthrough, to a range of upgrades, weapons and other useful equipment.
To help you keep track of your games, you’ll find 70 counters and markers, representing everything from wounds to booby traps and force barriers.
Of course, what would a Warhammer game be without dice? Blackstone Fortress features no fewer than 28 of them, including D8s, D12s and a D20 – we’re going full tabletop-RPG with this one!
As we’ve said, Blackstone Fortress is designed to be played over several sessions, with your characters and the fortress itself evolving as your adventure progresses. Between games, you’ll be able to keep your characters and cards safe in the stasis chambers and databank:
Blackstone Fortress is, at its heart, a game about mystery and discovery – and so, inside every set, you’ll find a hidden vault envelope:
This is your reward for completing the game – you’ll have to play it yourself to find out what lies inside…
You’ll be able to pre-order your own copy of Blackstone Fortress and crack it open yourself very soon. In the meantime, keep an eye on Warhammer Community this week for more previews…
And remember, Frontline Gaming sells gaming products at a discount, every day in their webcart!