It is the right combination of story, player powers, options, replayability, and adventure. In short, I recommend this game!
Designer: John Goodenough
Artists: Listed after Conclusions of Article
Game Type: Variable Player Powers
Game Type: Roll and move
Initial Year of Release: 2019
Age Range: 14+
Expected Playtime: 2-3 hours
Number of Players: 2-4
Theme and What is it?
Warhammer 40,000 Relic takes place in the 41st century. Humans have spread across the vast spread of the Universe. However, other creatures threaten mankind.
Genetically engineered marines with powerful weapons must face terrible challenges. A rift has opened releasing chaos and spreading an evil cult.
You must take on the role of one of the powerful Marines and find powerful relics in order to succeed. You must accomplish missions and fight terrible beast. Will you succeed in saving mankind?
Relic is a roll and move game with variable player powers. When you learn the basic rules of moving, combat, and leveling up, almost everything else is guided by player power, cards, and instructions on the game board.
There are three tiers on a magnificently huge board. Players start in the outer tier fighting and leveling up. When they think they are capable of moving in to the harder tiers they can go for it.
It probably isn’t wise to start moving in towards the final mission until at least 3 other minor missions have been completed. For every 3 minor missions completed a relic is drawn. The game cannot be won without having at least one relic.
Once players decide to move into the inner tier they have to land on every space or pass certain requirements. Once they arrive at the very center they need to complete the final challenger. Winning this triggers the end.
If at any time a players is vanquished in combat they are able to pop back up to life in a sanctuary space on the outer tier. The problem is, they lose some of their hard earned goodies.
A character can also be corrupted. If too many corruption cards are earned that character has to be retired. The player can then grab one of the other unused characters and begin again. You only truly end the game when someone wins or there are no more uncorrupted characters.
I can’t say that I was drawn to this game. The dark illustrations did not appeal to me. I had never played anything from the Warhammer family either.
I am typically drawn to more colorful and lighthearted games. I didn’t mind giving this a try. I was curious about branching out to play something I normally would not.
Game Build Quality
Relic is a high quality board game. The board is one of the largest around but feels like it can stand up to it’s size.
The miniatures are fantastically detailed. There are 10 to pick from! They are crying out to be painted.
The cards are a bit small for my liking but many need to fit on the spaces on the board. It also leads to incredibly small text. My eyes can still handle the size but my husband needed to use a light and a magnifying glass.
I like the recessed holes with a colored pegs for tracking the character’s levels. I’m really drawing into leveling up. I appreciate that things don’t slide around as well.
The player bases for the miniatures are unique. Each player has a color pedestal to put their character on. It reminds me a bit of character busts. I like that it is unique.
The artwork is high quality in Relic. A whole host of artists contributed to the work. Over 24 are listed as having a part in the artistic design.
The images have an expanse science fiction theme. I feel like there is a mix of fantasy in the images. There are many skulls and costumes that are completely over the top.
This game surprised me. I liked it. In fact, the more I played it the more I liked it. It helped that my husband really enjoyed it as well.
There were some aspects that did annoy me. It is a long game largely based on luck. Those two aspect put together make it a bit of a drag for me.
So why is it I’m drawn back in? I love the different player powers. They level up differently and, despite the luck aspect, each one plays very uniquely.
I want to keep playing with different characters and different player counts. There are also different end game options…lots of replayability.
Age Range & Weight
I think ages 14 and up is a good rating for Relic. It is a long game that I don’t see younger kids having the patients for.
There is a possibility that a mature kid would sit still that long. The game itself is not difficult to learn or play. Turns are fast and there is very little downtime.
There is a fair amount of reading in the game. Though the game is not complex to play, it requires some attention to detail. I’m not sure that younger kids will keep up with everything for that long a period of time.
Relic was something I wouldn’t normally pick up off the shelf and give a try. Yet, something was exciting about trying something new and unique. It ended up to be a great choice.
Typically, I do not go for games that are based on a good dose of luck. However, Relic was easy to play with very little down time.
The leveling up mechanism was addictive and compelling. Each character leveled up very differently and unique player powers greatly changed the experience.
Despite the big-bad-tough-manly look to the game I enjoyed it. I’m not familiar with Warhammer and neither is my husband. We both had a good time playing anyway.
No previous knowledge of the Warhammer world is required. I’m sure Warhammer fans would be drawn into the theme but it’s not required.
I’ve had a few games change my mind about certain mechanisms I hadn’t been keen to. This is one of them. It is the right combination of story, player powers, options, replayability, and adventure. In short, I recommend this game!
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