Welcome to today’s review in which we are looking at Relic, a new adventure board game set in the grim darkness of the Warhammer 40k universe. Relic is produced by Fantasy Flight Games (FFG), a huge name in the gaming industry, who create and publish role-playing, board, and card games, such as Talisman, Star Wars X-wing, Dark Heresy, and Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay.
The box that Relic comes in is large, covered in gorgeous graphics, and is constructed from a very thick card – exactly what you would expect if you own any other games from FFG. Right from the start it feels like a good quality product. The price seems to vary quite a bit on this board game, but a quick search online yielded prices of around £40 in the UK and $45 in the US.
The back of the box is more of the same, and lists the box contents:
1 game board
10 Character sheets
10 Plastic Character busts
4 Plastic Character bases
4 Character boards
4 Plastic Level pegs
4 Each of Strength, Willpower, Cunning and life dials
5 Scenario sheets
30 Corruption cards
24 Mission cards
36 Power cards
18 Relic cards
68 Red Threat cards
68 Blue Threat cards
68 Yellow Threat cards
24 Wargear cards
40 Character tokens
55 Charge tokens
55 Influence tokens
4 Six-sided dice
The rulebook is printed in full colour and features plenty of vibrant artwork based in the Warhammer 40k universe.
Inside you’ll find more artwork and a clearly laid out set of rules, which will feel familiar to people who have previously played Taslisman, but with lots tweaks and new content which really do make it a whole new game.
The goal of the game is to reach the centre of the board, where you’ll often meet a terrifying final threat as shown on these 5 Scenario Sheets. As with all of the cards and sheets in this set, they include some gorgeous artwork and are printed on good quality card.
One thing that’ll really keep you coming back to this game is all the different characters you can be. There are 10 character sheets as shown below, each with their own special rules and strengths/weaknesses. During the game each of these can be levelled up, corrupted by chaos, and gain stats and wargear, so there are plenty of opportunities to create a unique character every time you play.
The parts you can see here are the Character Boards, Level Pegs and dice included with the game. The Character Boards are made from a very thick card and fit around the top of your character sheets, you can use the built in dials to keep track of your stats. The Level Pegs fit into holes on the Character Board so you can keep track of any bonuses you should be getting at different levels.
The board is huge and beautiful. Taslisman players will recognise the 3 regions that you battle through during the game, consisting of an outer ring, a middle ring and a centre ring. Each region is divided into many smaller locations that you’ll recognise from the Warhammer 40k universe, and each is accompanied with detailed artwork.
These next 2 photos show just a little of the glorious artwork which covers this board.
Relic comes with a lot of cards, over 330 in total, we’ll look at each type separately, but something they all have in common is gorgeous artwork and quality printing.
68 of the cards make up the Blue Threat deck. These are cards you will encounter as you journey around the board, and can contain many different tings such as events, followers, and enemies to battle with. The Blue Threat deck contains a high ratio of Tyranids and other enemies which require Will Power to battle.
The 68 Red Threat Cards contain many enemies who you will need a high strength stat to overcome, especially Orks.
The 68 Yellow Threat Cards contain high proportion of Eldar enemies which will require large amounts of cunning to conquer.
Throughout the game your character may begin to get corrupted by chaos, and gain new effects some good, some bad, as shown on the 30 Corruption Cards. Beware, if you collect too many of these your character is lost!
The 36 Power cards can be used in one of two ways. You can either use the number shown on the card in the place of a dice roll, or perform the special action written on the card.
The 24 mission cards contain various missions for your character to complete. Each time 3 are completed, your character gains access to a relic.
There are 24 Wargear Cards, each of which describes a valuable piece of equipment you can equip your character with, these are great fun, help you to overcome weaknesses in certain stats and really help you personalise your character.
18 Relic cards are extremely powerful assets which not only greatly increase your characters abilities, but also act as keys to enable you to progress towards the centre of the board.
In addition to all those cards, Relic also comes with a large amount of counters and tokens. All of these are printed on very thick card an are nicely printed.
These are Influence Tokens, they are used as currency during the game and have several uses including purchasing new wargear.
Charge Tokens are used to keep track of how many times you can use a piece of wargear before its power is exhausted. You can recharge your Wargear in different areas of the game.
Character tokens are used to keep track of missions and special abilities related to characters. They come in 4 colours so its easy to see which token belong to which player.
One of the nicest parts of Relic is the inclusion of 10 plastic Character Busts, to represent each of the Character types available in the game. Each of them is nicely sculpted and would make nice display pieces for any expert painters out there.
For use in the game, the Character busts come with 4 coloured bases, one for each player.
Here are some close-ups of each Character Bust, first up the Ultramarines Captain:
The Callidus Assassin
The Tech-priest Enginseer
The Sanctioned Psyker:
The Rogue Trader:
The Ordo Malleus Inquisitor
We had slight concerns that gameplay wise, Relic might simply be ‘Talisman in 40k’, but as soon as we started playing we were excited to see that there are plenty of differences here to make Relic a great game in its own right. The new mechanics added in Relic such as the additional stats, wargear, and levels mean that each time you play as a certain character, its feels unique. There is also an new mechanic where in each time a 6 is rolled on a die, this ‘explodes’ and lets you roll an additional die, meaning that even if you are heavily outmatched or outnumbered in battle, there is still a chance to win.
We’ve played the game a couple of times now, and it was very enjoyable for all players, we look forward to more games in future. We’d highly recommend this to anyone interested in the Warhammer 40k universe that also enjoys board games. Let us know what you think of Relic in the comments below.