The Witcher Adventure Game. Fantasy Flight Games, 2014. $60. Designed by Ignacy Trzewiczek. Game board, Learn to Play and Rules Reference Guide books, 4 hero figures and sheets, 48 Quest cards, 120 Investigation cards, 40 Foul Fate cards, 20 Good Fortune cards, 60 Development cards, 4 companion cards, 30 Monster tokens, 150+ assorted tokens and 9 dice. 2-4 players. 120+ minutes.
Players take on the roles of heroes from the world of The Witcher (Geralt, Triss, Dandelion, or Yarpen), investigating leads and fighting enemies to complete quests. During their turn, each hero can perform two actions including: travel (move), investigate (draw a card potentially leading to leads), rest (heal), or develop (gain a card improving their equipment or skills). Each hero also has a special action unique to them. The goal of these actions is to complete quest cards which gain the player victory points to win the game.
Quest cards offer several options, including a Main Quest, Side Quest, and Support Quests. Quests require certain resources (mostly “proofs” which are obtained by first gaining “leads”), fights or locations to complete. Leads are gained in several ways including traveling to various locations.
Heroes also encounter obstacles, various challenges represented by “foul fate” cards and battles with monsters. Battles are resolved using the hero’s dice and battle dice as well as various card effects. Heroes can be wounded, resulting in a loss of potential actions until they heal, but cannot die.
The rules are well written, easy to learn and quick to begin play. The heroes are all very unique and their style of play and development which creates different approaches to the game. Good Fortune and Foul Fate cards can make or break your day!
At first it can be interesting to move your developing hero around the map, gaining clues and investigations and completing quests, but it can become repetitive. Though the goals may shift, the main focus is almost always gain clues, gain proofs, go here, go there, finish quest, score points. Player interaction is very limited. Players can complete side quests on other player’s quest cards, but this is merely a matter of expending the required resources and gaining victory points.
While a solid board game displaying fantasy adventure thematic moments, with fairly repetitive mechanics and little player interaction, only Witcher fans will play it more than a few times.
Though I believe this review to be fair and objective, I feel obligated to provide the following information. This review was written using a Beta test copy of the game provided by Fantasy Flight Games. I was a paid editor and beta play tester for FFG on this game. I have a long standing relationship with Fantasy Flight Games as a freelance contractor. No compensation for this review was involved.
c2014 by Richard A. Edwards