Yesterday, I bought the Castle Ravenloft Board Game. I read through all the rules and punched out all the tokens and generally just rooted through the whole thing. I haven't played a complete game of it yet but I gone over it enough I think I could without referencing the rule book.
Since I had no idea what the game would be like when I bought it, I figured I might as well write a post about it. Maybe someone out there is thinking of buying it but wants more info.
The characters look like 4th edition characters but they lack the base statistics as well as fort, ref and will. They only have HP AC and surge value. The party gets two healing surges to share, which are used when you are unconscious. The cleric also has healing capability.
If you are knocked out and not healed then on your turn you use a healing surge if you don't have any you die. Damage is not random and is very low like 1dmg or 4 for a daily ability. So the HP is likewise lower then 4th edition with characters having around 8 or 10.
You start with some At-Will powers, one daily and one utility. Your can level up once if you roll a natural 20 and have killed a couple of monsters, you only need l 5xp. Becoming level 2 grants one more daily power and a bonus to AC and HP and that's about it. There are no levels beyond level 2.
The monsters have HP and AC but also have tactics. Each player will end up controlling different monsters at the end of their turn, by following the monsters tactics. Interestingly if two players are moving the same kind of monster then those monsters both act on both of the players turns.
The dungeon tiles in the game are different then the dungeon tiles you can buy separately. They are all exactly the same size except the start tile, and they interlock on all four sides. The pictures on them however, show you where walls and such are. The tiles are used similar to how cards are used, with their backs face up and you not knowing which tile is about to be placed.
You get alot of hard plastic and not painted miniatures. Which I actually like, to me they are more durable then the typical Mage Knight like miniatures. They will certainty hold up against my kids alot better. With the exception of the skeletons they are not very flexible. Also, I think they are color coded.
There are all sorts of counters, for things like conditions and traps, monsters, items. Personally I think there are too many counters and don't know which way to store them is best.
The Learning Curve:
I'd say the learning curve is small. I think I could teach four people how to play the game without even opening the rule book anymore beyond my first read through.
One more thing though, the game actually runs out of an adventure book and not everything in the adventures are random. However they are simple enough and can even be played one player. I think you could make up your own adventures if you wanted but the game in general is far simpler then even basic dnd.
I think War Hammer Quest is far more complex. I don't know weather to play ADD tonight or try out the board game. Maybe both.