Entering the Cursed City

During the latest Warhammer preview event, we got to see so many great reveals for both the Age of Sigmar and Warhammer 40,000 IP’s. But with all the new Aelfs, worshippers of the Dark Gods and mech piloting Sisters, there was one announcement that got the hobby community all a buzz with giddy excitement. That was of course the reveal of the next iteration of the fan favourite dungeon crawler, Warhammer Quest: Cursed City.

Taking us back to the mortal realms after visiting the far future, Cursed City sees a group of intrepid adventurers seeking to rid the city of Ulfenkarn of an Undead menace. Dripping with a gothic horror aesthetic, what little we have seen of the game so far has got a lot of the player base very excited, myself included.

So far, we have only seen a total of five miniatures, an animated trailer and a bit of lore on the Warhammer Community website, but that has not deterred enthusiastic hobbyists from speculating on what else we can expect to see from Games Workshops latest boxed game. So today, I thought I would put on my thinking cap and make a few of my own predictions on what the Cursed City has instore for us. Some of these will be educated guesses, while some will be more wishful thinking on my part. Will I be right in my predictions? Only time will tell.

All Named Characters

Back when Warhammer Quest: Silver Tower and Shadows over Hammerhal hit the shelves, players were able to take a bunch of different heroes/villains into the dark corners of the Mortal Realms in the pursuit of gold and glory. Whether they were in the main game or part of an expansion, the characters were nameless adventurers that you could in-part your own backstory and lore upon. However, when Warhammer Quest headed to the grim dark setting that is Warhammer 40,000, the idea of generic characters was abandoned in favour of named individuals such as Janus Draik and UR-025.

This was done for two reasons. Firstly, it gives an added level of immersion thanks to the different characters having their own backstory and objectives within the game. The second and most interesting in my opinion, is that it allows Games Workshop to show off interesting and often overlooked factions without having to develop fully customised army entries or rulebooks. Doing it this with named characters somewhat mitigated the “when are we getting a codex?” response of the community that always seems to rear its head whenever we get an interesting new miniature such as Rogue Trader.

What other heroes could we hope to see? 

Well, it appears this is the new norm for Warhammer Quest, as Cursed City seems to be going down this same route. Already we have seen the former Witch Hunter Jelsen Darrock, and from the animated trailer it also appears we will be getting a Aelf Wanderer and some form of Duardin engineer. What other characters could we see in the main game and any future expansion? How about some other agents of the Order of Azyr, or mortal resident of the realm of death? Perhaps some fanatical member of the Devoted of Sigmar, or even a mercenary Ogor looking for a good fight.

For my part, I think it would be fun to see a tomb raider/treasure seeker, similar to Shevanya Arclis from the novel ‘Callis and Toll: The Silver Shard’. A support character that doesn’t just conform to the Priest/Mage architype, that can be used to dig up clues and items that can help your party, or even help avoid trap and ambushes. Someone that isn’t from a military background or part of some holy order, but someone that seeks some ancient treasure from the city itself. We will of course just have to wait and see. But the possibilities, much like the different residents of the realms, are endless.

Mortal Adversaries

Not all who dwell in Shyish are of the undead. There are many mortals who dwell within the cities of the dead, either because they don’t have a choice or more worryingly, because they want to. We often hear of mortal servants in the service of Vampires or Necromancers, those individuals that are able to go were their masters cannot or stand guard over them as the rest. And while we are unlikely to see such individuals fleshed out in the mortal realms, they could make for some interesting adversaries in the Cursed City.

Maybe we could see an Igor style miniature that in enthralled to a mad necromancer, or human guards that are wanting to prove themselves and have their vampiric masters and receive the ‘gift’ of the Soulblight Curse (much in the same way that Oleksander Halgrim wished to). Games Workshop could really have fun with this and show off a completely different side to the followers of Nagash.

But there is also the possibility that the dead aren’t the only threats our heroes my face. Anyone else noticed a lot of talk about ‘rats’ in the few bits of lore we have seen? Maybe this is hinting at another force of adversaries we will have to contend with, either in the main box game or perhaps in a future expansion? Maybe I’m reaching, but it might be fun to see more than undead beasties prowling the streets of Ulfenkarn. And speaking of Expansions…

Six Expansions over Two Years

If we are to take Blackstone Fortress as a benchmark, then I think it’s safe to say that we will be getting at least two years of supported content for Cursed City with at least six major expansions over those two years. Again, taking Blackstone Fortress as a guide, the yearly pattern will probably be two releases with a few extra models (perhaps some additional leaders for the adversaries) and then a larger set that progresses the narrative and provides some additional heroes to play with. What they could be is very much a mystery, but I have a few suggestions if GW are listening.

Remember the Thing in the Woods from Mordheim? Prefect chance for a remake. 

Perhaps we could have one expansion where our heroes have to track down a horrific beast (such as a werewolf or flesh golem) before it can cause too much trouble. In one of the larger expansions, we could explore the outskirts of Ulfenkarn and encounter a suspected witch that could offer to help our party. For a price. Or maybe we could see the Skaven show up as a force set against both the heroes and the undead, and we have to stop them before they find an artifact of unimaginable power.

The fact is the gothic horror setting of the Cursed City gives GW so many options to play with, and it’s one of the reasons I’m so excited to find out more about the set. Hopefully we will have to wait too long till we can explore Ulfenkarn for ourselves.

And that will about do it for today dive into the mystery’s surrounding Warhammer Quest: Cursed City. We will have to wait and see if any of my predictions/speculations prove to be true, but even if they aren’t I’m very excited for the future of Warhammer Quest moving forward. Let us know what you think we can expect from Cursed City in the comments below, or you can let me know over on Twitter @TenguPlaysGames or on the Master of Magics Facebook page.

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