Wizkids is launching a new line of dungeon tiles and accessories to add a whole new dimension to Dungeons & Dragons and other fantasy tabletop games. With the tremendous resurgence of Dungeons & Dragons in recent years, companies are bringing more and more physical accessories to help accentuate a game that can be played using only a handful of dice, a pencil, and a character sheet. The WarLock Terrain Line by WizKids, for example, allows a DM to build a three-dimensional dungeon using a set of interlocking tiles and clips before filling it with miniatures and dungeon dressing, the latter of which is also available in the WarLock line.
3D dungeon tiles aren't a new innovation - but the WarLock tiles provide a relatively lower entry cost to get started. Each of the WarLock base sets - a Dungeon Tiles set (Amazon) and a Town & Village set - are $99.99 (Amazon), which seems a bit pricy until comparing it with other dungeon tiles sets. There are also a ton of tiles and accessories in each set - the base Dungeon Tiles set provided by WizKids for review contained enough tiles to build out a decently sized miniature dungeon with multiple small rooms, along with enough interior and exterior walls to make the WarLock build look like a true cross-section of a castle, inn, or dungeon.
The heart of the WarLock tiles are the WarLock clips that insert into every tile. Users push the WarLock clip into a tile using a three step method - insert clip until it's about halfway in and clicks, tilt the clip and push until you hear a click, and then push up until the clip clicks again - which then lets them lock together clips and walls in place. You only need one clip per tile, although multiple clips add an extra level of sturdiness to your dungeon build. Interior walls and doors easily slide between tiles, staying in place either because they slide in around a clip, or simply due to the tiles providing enough tension to keep them from moving.
I quickly learned two lessons as I sat down to build my first WarLock dungeon. The first is that these tiles are remarkably sturdy, and they hold up to more pressure than usual miniatures products. Putting the small plastic WarLock clips inside the tiles aren't too much of a pain once you get the rhythm down, but it does require a bit of strength to lock the two tiles together. There were a few times that I was sure I would break a tile in two or snap off a clip inside a tile, but everything stayed in one place despite my best efforts. I wouldn't say these tiles are unbreakable, but I don't think builders will lose many pieces during normal use.
The other major lesson I learned is that, like any good DM, it helps to have a plan before you get started. Although I jokingly described the WarLock tile as Legos for grownups, it takes a not insignificant amount of effort to build anything more than a one room dungeon with these. I quickly learned that it made sense to lay the tiles out BEFORE I started building a set, as it means less pulling tiles apart when you discover that you should have used multiple 2x2 tiles instead of a 4x4 tiles.
WizKids also provide several expansion packs, including a Summoning Circle set with multiple patterns and a LED base that lights up, a Stairs & Ladders set that adds platforms and stairs to show where players can head up or down to the next floor, a Doors & Archways set that adds a variety of doors on transparent bases, and a Dungeon Dressings sets containing everything from beds to barrels to chests. Many of the expansion packs contain pieces that players can interact with - the summoning circles light up, the doors open and close a bit, and the barrels have different tops to represent different kinds of foods and liquids - but none are necessarily essential to the WarLock tiles experience. Personally, I enjoyed the Stairs & Ladders and the Dungeon Dressings set the most, but it might make more sense to buy a second base set if you're looking to build out your dungeon rather than dress it up.
The WarLock tiles are a promising start to a line that could add a lot of "coolness" to your D&D game. Like so many other D&D accessories, they're not essential to the gaming experience, but they will provide both the DM and players with a lot of fun as they explore a tactile representation of whatever lair or dungeons they discover next.
The WarLock Tiles will be released in June. The Dungeon Tiles 1 Base Set and Town & Village base set will be available at launch, as will five expansion packs. Pre-orders are live on Amazon now.
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