Dungeon Saga is a board game set in the Kings of War universe by Mantic Games. It is to Kings of War what HeroQuest is to Warhammer Fantasy Battles. In practice though it has more in common with Descent: Journeys in the Dark than HeroQuest, although they all fill the same niche.
Dwarf King's Hold
In 2011 Mantic released a tie-in board game called Dwarf King's Hold: Dead Rising. This game was intended to represent fighting inside the ancient halls of an underground Dwarf city. One player controlled the forces of the necromancer Mortibris while the other controlled Dwarven adventurers attempting to reclaim their home. Six scenarios were included with the base game, but they were all standalone with no carry over of characters or items between them. Characters from this release, and the two future expansions, were also eventually added to Kings of War as living legends in the first edition supplements.
A standalone expansion was released later that year called Dwarf King's Hold: Green Menace that had forces for Elves and Orcs fighting in Dwarven ruins. This too had six scenarios, but again no carry over between games. A second expansion was released in 2012 called Dwarf King's Hold: Ancient Grudge. This added four new scenarios intended for three to five players using components from the other two sets and Mantic miniatures. It also included several new tiles for these scenarios, such as a series of ice caves. It also included points costs and army building tools for using any of the four warbands in any of the scenarios, as well as rules for new units released in Kings of War not included in the original release.
In August 2014 Mantic launched a Kickstarter to redo the board game and incorporate more RPG elements and simulate more of a dungeon crawling experience. This relaunch was titled Dungeon Saga: Dwarf King's Quest. The initial release retells the story of the first Dwarf King's Hold set, but instead of a party of Dwarfs raiding the city, a party of adventurers is venturing into the ruins seeking treasure and glory by defeating Mortibras. Several modules and supplements were produced in accordance with the Kickstarter stretch goals.
Instead of being a skirmish game, now the game has one to six players take the roles of heroes in a dungeon while one player takes the role of overlord and tries to stop them in pursuing their goals. The hero players work cooperatively to complete the tasks set by the scenarios while the overlord is often tasked with either killing the heroes or running out the game turn clock to win. The first supplement book, The Adventurer's Companion, has additional rules for creating heroes, leveling up, and making our own campaigns as the overlord.
Dwarf King's Quest
The quest module included in the base game retells the story from the first Dwarf King's Hold set. Instead of a warband of dwarfs from the Golloch Empire, now it is a party of four adventurers that are seeking to stop Mortibras from looting the ruins of Dolgarth. Mortibras seeks to seize the body of Valendor the Great and the Tome of Valendor in order to enact the will of a mystical voice he has head his entire life. This module includes a selection of undead minions, tile sets to represent the ruins Dolgarth, and a bunch of cards representing gear, spells, and abilities for the heroes and enemies. This is also where you get the "Necromancer Overlord" deck for running undead enemies. There are also four heroes and four bosses included in this module:
- Danor the Human Wizard: A pre made human wizard from Basilea. He is a pretty standard squishy spell caster.
- Madriga the Elven Ranger: A pre made elven ranger of the Sea Kindred. She specializes in ranged attacks.
- Orlaf the Barbarian: A pre made human barbarian. He is built as a melee damage dealer.
- Rordin the Dwarf Fighter: A pre made dwarf fighter. He is built as a tank.
- Elshara the Elven Banshee: A spell casting ghost boss who cannot be damaged except through scenario victory conditions.
- Grund the Undead Dwarf King: A dwarf revenant boss who focuses on melee.
- Hoggar the Undead Zombie Troll Shaman: An undead troll boss with both melee and spell abilities.
- Mortibras the Necromancer: A human necromancer boss.
Return of Valendor
The second quest module continues off of the first. Though the heroes have foiled Mortibras' efforts to capture Valendor's body, he managed to steal the Tome of Valendor and release the voice that commanded him in the first place. This voice is revealed to be Ba'el of The Abyss, who now challenges the heroes alongside the necromancer. This module includes an additional miniature of each undead enemy type, as well as more cards to supplement the heroes from the first module, though it does not contain any new overlord cards. Also included are a new hero and a new boss:
- Valendor the Great: The legendary hero who defeated Winter returned. He's not normally playable, but can be summoned to aid the heroes in several scenarios.
- Undead Demon Lord Ba’el: Imprisoned inside Dolgarth for centuries, Ba'el is now an undead demon boss that can be fought in two of the included scenarios.
A supplement released to allow players to create their own heroes that can level up and gain new abilities. It also includes monster stats and advice for overlords to make their own dungeons and quest lines. Includes no miniatures, but about a hundred cards for items, spells, abilities, and what not. The Kickstarter release was notably marred by typographical errors, including several instances of the book directing you to page XX to find needed information. Backers were offered a replacement book fixing these errors, which is also the version of the book included in the commercial release.
Following on the story of Return of Valendor, although featuring some new heroes, the third quest module takes the party to the Abyss in order to retrieve a fire lotus. This rare flower grows near lava flows in the Abyss and is needed by Furial of the Order of the Shrouded Sceptre. As with other modules, numerous new cards are included. This is also the set that includes the "Abyssal Champion Overlord" deck for running demon enemies as the overlord and includes a host of demonic miniatures to represent one's minions. Two new heroes and a new boss are included as well:
- Arianya the Naiad Demon Hunter: A Naiad demon hunter. Specializes in close combat against the forces of the Abyss.
- Venetia the Human Cleric: A human cleric from Basilea. She is built like a swordmage.
- Drech’nok the Abyssal Champion: A demon boss built slightly differently from Ba'el.
Warlord of Galahir
The fourth quest module takes place in the Forest of Galahir and finds a party of heroes pursuing the orc warlord Thundrak Skullsplitter and his horde. The set includes a set of orc and goblin enemy miniatures and a bunch of cards. This is also where you get the "Orc Overlord" deck of cards. Two new heroes and a boss miniature are also included:
- Kapoka the Gladewalker Druid: A pre made Gladewalker druid. His race makes him very defensive, while his class has a mix of offensive and defensive spells.
- Hrrath the Salamander Fighter: A pre made Salamander fighter. He is built more for offense then for defense.
- Thundrak Skullsplitter: An orc barbarian boss. He is something of a boss equivalent to Orlaf from the base game.
Tyrant of Halpi
The fifth quest module and the last of those promised by the Kickstarter. This one takes place north of Basilea in the Halpi Mountains. This module has the Hegemon sending a party of adventurers to defeat a dragon that is terrorizing the region. As usual this set includes a host of new item, spell, and ability cards. It also has the "Dragon Overlord" deck. Two new heroes and a large monster boss are included as well:
- Ally the Halfling Thief: A pre made rogue character. She is the first halfling model produced by Mantic.
- Ibrahim the Human Paladin: A pre made paladin character. He is built to fight monsters, such as the one included in this module.
- Karrathor The Unbroken: The titular "Tyrant of Halpi." A large dragon monster that serves as the boss of the module.