Warhammer Quest: Cursed City is a co-operative dungeon crawler board-game for up to four players, set in the undead infested city of Ulfenkarn. Taking on the roles of brave (or greedy) heroes, players must fight their way through hordes of undead to slay the masters of the city, the court of the vampire lord Radukar the Wolf. After a successful launch in 2021 the game was pulled from sale, returning in October 2022.
Cursed City has high production values and is a treasure trove for anyone who loves painting miniatures and doesn’t care which of the Age of Sigmar armies they come from. If you’re looking for the definitive dungeon crawler board game, Wargamer actually suggests you try Gloomhaven before Cursed City – check out our Gloomhaven review to see why, or our Gloomhaven classes guide for help getting started.
Warhammer Quest Cursed City rules
You’ll spend most of your time in Cursed City moving character models around a map of the ruined city that you build out of cardstock tiles. At the start of each round, players roll some dice and store them on their character card. On their turn, they can spend those dice to take actions. Better actions require higher die results to use. Taking wounds reduces the number of dice you roll each round, making your character slower and more vulnerable.
The initiative order is randomised between players and monsters. Monsters behave semi-randomly, with a table of behaviours to roll against on each monster’s stat card. Combat involves rolling fancy attack and defence dice and trying to score more successes.
Different mission types will see your characters running through a randomly generated city to escape from a roiling mass of death sorcery, or looting the ruins for supplies, evacuating civilians, or hunting down Radukar’s elite court. Spend too long on a mission and night will fall over the Cursed City, making your enemies deadlier.
Random encounters will see you make choices and attempt challenges that can help or hinder you in your mission – though you’ll never know what the outcome might be until you make your choice and try.
The heroes’ supplies are constantly dwindling, while the fear of the population is always rising, so many of your missions will be attempts to keep those two threats under control. Your characters will acquire experience and valuable items in the course of their adventures, gradually accumulating the power you’ll need to face Radukar himself.
The Cursed City of Ulfenkarn
Ulfenkarn is located in Shyish, realm of death, and was founded in the age of myth. During the age of Chaos, as the dread forces of the ruinous powers slaughtered their way across the mortal realms, the denizens of Ulfenkarn made a bargain with an unlikely saviour – Radukar the Wolf, Vampire lord of the Vyrkos dynasty.
When Nagash, Lord of Undeath, unleashed the Necroquake across the mortal realms, Radukar and his thirsting court threw aside all notions of restraint and rampaged throughout the city, slaying any who might oppose them. The city is filled with the unquiet dead, monsters, and Radukar’s vile court.
The players take the role of a band of heroes determined to stake a claim in the Cursed City. They each have their own motives, from the avaricious Kharadron Overlord Dagnai Holdenstock seeking profit in the ruins of the city, the aelven Qulathis the Wanderer who wants vengeance on the vampires who murdered her kin, or the Ogor mercenary Brutogg Corpse-Eater, who treats the doomed city and its undead inhabitants as a truly marvellous buffet.
Cursed City models in Warhammer: Age of Sigmar
All the models in Cursed City can be used in Warhammer: Age of Sigmar armies. The heroes of Ulfenkarn can be used as heroes in Cities of Sigmar armies. The undead half of the miniatures actually makes the start of a Soulblight Gravelords army. Radukar and his court come from the Vyrkos dynasty, a Soulblight subfaction that buffs both heroes and infantry when they fight close together.
The models in Cursed City remain one of the big draws for the game: the collection would make excellent DnD miniatures, and plenty of skilled fans have converted them for Mordheim, a retro skirmish game set in Warhammer: The Old World.
Is Cursed City on sale?
Cursed city was originally released in April 2021 and sold out on the day of pre-orders. While fans expected the game to be quickly reprinted, it was only made available again in March 2022 during a made-to-order window. It returned to shelves as a stock item in October 2022.
At time of writing Cursed City is available from the Games Workshop webstore for $199 USD / £125 GBP. It has two expansions, Nightwars and Nemesis, which are not currently available for sale from Games Workshop.
Cursed City Expansions
When Cursed City first released in April 2021, fans expected that it would receive a full line of expansions with models, extra equipment and dungeon tiles, missions, and adversaries. Its predecessor Warhammer Quest: Blackstone Fortress had plenty of expansions, big and small, which introduced interesting, niche miniatures that didn’t warrant a place in any of the Warhammer 40k factions.
But then Cursed City was dropped from sale, to wide disapproval. My theory about what nearly killed Cursed City is that the pressure on cardboard manufacturing facilities caused by COVID-19, and the imminent release of Warhammer: Age of Sigmar third edition, meant GW couldn’t put the resources into a supplemental game.
Cursed City finally received expansions after the game was reprinted in October 2022. Unusually for a Games Workshop board game, these didn’t come with any miniatures – despite introducing many adversaries that didn’t have figures in the base game. Who knows if these two expansions are the ones that were originally planned: GW works years in advance, but obviously changed its plans after Cursed City was first cancelled, then resurrected.
The Cursed City expansions sold out quickly, and then GW made them available on a made-to-order basis in December 2022. Unfortunately, if you didn’t pick them up at the time, you’ll have to track down a copy lurking in a local game store or second hand.
Nightwars takes place after you complete the main game’s campaign, with three new Vampire Lords attempting to claim the throne left vacant after your characters send Radukar the Wolf packing. Characters are expected to start this campaign loaded for bear and to progress event further, into new ‘elite’ classes.
It comes with a quest book, adding new story threads and missions as your party deals with each of the three vampire lords in turn, and then confronts the new and hairier Radukar the Beast. It has all the cards, tiles, and rulebooks you’ll need to play the expansion, but you’ll need to supply your own models.
Nemesis follows on from Nightwars and requires that expansion – this one is for players who want to see the story of Ulfenkarn all the way to the end. It’s a farewell tour that will see your players face off against old villains again, with base game villains returning as Reborn Evils, and Radukar himself poking his head in to make your life miserable. To really show that all the knobs have been turned right up, characters get new Major Actions they can only activate on a D6 roll of a 7.