Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Qwik - Game of the Wasteland

Qwik - Game of the Wasteland is the latest gaming supplement from Two Hour Wargames (THW). Although it is a stand alone game, it features rules for converting characters from ATZ and 5150, which is one of the main reasons for me reviewing it.
The game of Qwik is a sport inspired by the 1989 film Salute of the Jugger (aka Blood of Heroes). It starred Rutger Hauer and Joan Chen in a post-apocalyptic setting where Qwik was the number one sport.
The premise of the game is very simple. The first team to stake a dog skull (known as the bean) on a spike in their opponent's end zone is the winner. Teams comprise of five players, made up of one Kwik, (the only person allowed to touch the bean) one Chain (whose main function is to protect the Qwik) and three Drivers (short for piledriver, whose role is to knock the opposition out of the match, literally). Teams may wear soft armour or hard armour for protection, but this will slow them down, so the third option is to go unarmoured. Wearing armour is a balancing act between speed and durability. Qwiks are faster than the other team members so they tend to be unarmoured or wearing soft armour. It is rare for Chains and Drivers to go unarmoured. The Chain will be armed with one or two lengths of chain, hence his name, whilst Drivers will be armed with a piledriver - a two-handed weapon with a heavy blunt end to pummel their opponents. Some piledrivers may have a hook on the other end, used for tripping up opposing Qwiks.
The game mechanics are very similar to a lot of THW games but character creation is different. Each starting team begins with 60 points to buy Attributes and Armour. Each player has three attributes, comprising of Savvy, Speed and Strength, none of which can be higher than 7 or lower than 1 and no character can have Attributes totalling more than 20. Each player may or may not have a Signature Move, which may be beneficial or detrimental, depending upon what is chosen or rolled for. Your initial Star and Grunts may chose their Signature Moves but any replacements must dice for them.
The game is played on a field made up of 35 squares, 7 long and 5 wide. A map is provided with the game, along with counters to represent five teams. The game can be played in one of three locales - the Heart of the Wasteland (this is where all teams start out), the Settlements or the City. Opponents in the Settlements are far tougher than those from the Wastelands, whilst those from the City are the toughest of all. The goal of every player is to become top dog in the City.
There is no limit to how long a game may last. Time is measured by the referee throwing stones at a gong at a consistant pace. When 100 stones have been thrown, a short rest is allowed to mend wounds, replace badly injured players or just plan the team's strategy. As soon as the bean is staked the game is over.

VERDICT. I can remember watching The Salute of the Jugger when it was first released and I'm sure I still have a copy of it on VHS video. Actually, it's not a bad film and I may well seek it out on DVD. The game that Ed has devised looks to be a lot of fun. I haven't played it yet but I'd like to give it a go. Fortunately, like all THW games, it can be played solo or against an opponent. I imagine once you get into it, it'll prove to be very tactical, like a game of chess. As for a tie-in with ATZ, I can see it happening once a year or two have passed in the campaign. It needs time for it to develop and take off, so don't expect to see it featuring in my campaign just yet, as I'm still in the first month of the campaign.
There are a range of 15mm scale figures available for the game from Highlander Studios. No good for me, as I'm a 28mm scale fan. Still, I'm sure it can't be too hard to find alternatives.
On the whole, I like this supplement, although I do have a few minor quibbles about the team roster sheet. There are four columns left blank on it. The first is headed UME and I have no idea at all what that means. The second and third are headed MAN and ATK, which I presume stand for Maneuver and Attack respectively, but what do I write in them and are they to be used every turn, in which case you're going to need a pencil and an eraser? The fourth blank column is headed SIGNATURE and that is clearly for the character's Signature Move, if he or she has one.
I bought the hard copy version of the game for $15.00 and got the PDF version for free on the same day that I placed my order. The beauty of the hard copy is that it comes with the counters and game board, so I don't have to worry about printing them out. If you just want the PDF version, it'll cost you $12.00.


  1. Have seen a good bit about this on the figure designers blog, would be interested in it as a chess like game rather than wargaming.

  2. Fran, in his closing comments Ed says, "if you approach QWIK as you would playing chess, calculating your moves. you'll do okay."

  3. I have watched their blog with much interrest. I am veeery tempted. I had the movie on vhs also. It has unfortunately been squashed when I moved from one place to another. Should be able to find it somewhere on dvd.

  4. Bryan- Was debating on picking this up or not, your review has me deciding to get it. I will most likely be ordering the printed version (a first for me, I ususally print the THW stuff off my self or go to a local print shop like I did with my ATZ trilogy, Ed was kind enough to email them with permission to print off any THW product I go in with on a disc or thumb drive) so that I can have the counters and everything.

    I might not actually play Qwik in my later campaign, though I may reference it being a big draw over in Green Bay, Wisconsin (Green Bay will be similar to Lake Havasu City in I, Zombie, in which violent/dangerous "sports" like Zombie Racing and Pit Fighting are played for the entertainment of the masses). Though who knows I may decide that the Gangers in Charlevoix, MI are into the game and have a coupel teams there in Charlevoix, and over on Beaver Island (a farming community they have taken over and pressed into a loose form of slavery, the community has to pay a tribute of all goods grown or traded, in turn the Gangers allow them to live without too many beatings).

  5. @Johhny. If you're that tempted, then you know you want it! Resistance is futile! Make the purchase!

    @Doug. I just love reading about the background fluff to your campaign. You've put such a lot of work into it. I can't wait for your first batrep, which I know got delayed due to circumstances beyond your control.

    As regards the merits of buying the printed version, that is the option I always go for. For just a few extra dollars you get the printed version AND the PDF version. The PDF version is fine as long as you have electricity and/or a working computer but nothing beats the feel of a physical book. If you are going to buy the game in PDF form and you subsequently print it out that doesn't make much sense to me apart from a slight monetary saving. Still, despite my misgivings, I have to say that was a very nice gesture of Ed's regarding your local print shop. He's one of the good guys in my view!

  6. Bryan- I usually buy them in PDF format since I was carrying them around on my Palm PDA, then my iPod touch, and now my Motorola Droid phone (a Google Android OS phone). I will most likely be purchasing any future THW game as the printed format (which as you said comes with a pdf copy emailed to you, typically the day you order), so that I don't have to worry about using my printer ink or going to a print shop, though I may still use my printer/the print shop if something happens to my hard copy and I need a new one, or if I am running a group game and need more then one copy (the extra copies will be kept by me for future group games).

    Ed is a great guy, he firmly believes in customer service and making his customers happy, same with the crew over at WWG and Chris (Mel Ebbles).

    As for the fluff what can I say it is a habit I picked up back from my AD&D 2nd Ed DMing days, I rarely used the pregenerated adventures, if I did they were just used as a filler while I was finishing up the adventure I was working on. Even my campaign world was one created by me, though I did run the occasional game using Forgotten Realms (or Greyhawk when I ran the Return to the Tomb of Horrors adventure for my group).

  7. Ah, thanks for the explanation about you buying PDF versions of Ed's products. I don't own any of these techy gadgets you mentioned... not even a mobile phone!

    I'll tell you what I love about Ed. No matter how big an order I send away for, he always writes on the customs label that the value of the goods in the package is worth $5.00. My dad finds it a huge source of amusement as he's effectively sticking two fingers up to our customs officers. Yep, Ed is a great guy!

    Back when I had a gaming group, I was nearly always the GM of any game we played and my motto was always "the more you put in to a game, the more you'll get out of it." It's a shame we can't game together because your gaming philosophy is very like mine!

    If you are thinking about playing QWIK in 15MM Rod and I are doing more figures to support the game!


  10. I would like to join the Ed/THW. A great guy who runs a small company the way it should be done with love for his work and respect for his customers. I know we all get wrapped up in this stuff sometimes but the main focus of it should be fun. Great dealers are part of the fun.

    Great review Bryan. I am really interested in this as I loved the movie. The real fun part would be finding and converting minis for it. Theres so many cool PA figs out now. Right now I can think of a Superfigs heroine who would make a great Kwik.

  11. I Have seen this around and read a little about it also, looks quite good, I believe there is a game they play(in Europe) like this in real life, minus the violence of course, I watched a clip of it on You Tube, at the start of each round they yell out JUGGER !!, the chain guy has a huge rubber ball on the end of his chain and the pummel guys have the same on the end of there spears and one guy is the ruunner, looked like a fun sport, here is a useful link to a 'Jugger' blog:

    Good review buddy.

  12. @Brother Joseph. Thanks for mentioning my review on your blog. I'm only too happy to spread the word as its a product I really like. Now about me switching to 15mm... that ain't gonna happen, so what say you guys produce a range of 28mm scale Qwikers to go alongside your 15mm range? I'd certainly buy them!

    @Roger. You hit the nail on the head about having fun. Ed certainly does his part in making our gaming experience fun.

    As for finding alternative 28mm scale figures I was looking at the eM4 website and a couple of their Savages from their Near Future range would work great. The Savage with a chain is ideal for a Chain and wouldn't need any converting. A few others would work with a slight bit of converting.

    @The Extraordinarii. In the introduction to the book, Ed mentions that the sport is now played in Germany and the USA, as well as spreading to other countries like Australia and Ireland. Many thanks for the Jugger link. Very useful!

  13. Cool Bryan
    I am thinking about doing some 30MM Collectors models next year...
    For now I am all about doing a complete range in 15MM.
    There are a Million 30MM models, and about a 1,000 of them look great.
    There are only 1,000 15MM models, and only about 100 of them look

  14. Great review Bryan. My focus on other stuff has meant I've not gone for this one yet - it will have to wait unfortunately.

    Love the idea of a fully modelled 'pitch' with surrounding terrain and spectators etc.

    Agree with everyone's comments. My experience with Ed has always been superb.

    Ed is correct - Jugger is growing as a sport

  15. @Brother Joseph. The quantity and quality of 15mm scale figures is growing but I have invested far too much money in my 28mm scale collection to change over now. Still, it's reassuring to hear that you are at least thinking about making some 30mm scale figures. I hope you do.

    @Adam. Hmm, a full sized arena with supporters would be an interesting project to do. Alas, I just don't have the time to do it this year. Maybe later. Cool link, by the way!

  16. Hi Bryan! I've been under a rock some place, I didn't even know this existed.

  17. @Willy. Welcome back to the land of the living, my friend. I thought you'd been captured by aliens! LOL! Actually, this was only released a few weeks ago so it hasn't been out long.

  18. Hey Vampifan, thanks for the review. I wouldn't have bothered with this at the mo. BUT NOW!!!! 'Salute to the Jugger' was my (single man at the time) bottle of wine, late night movie (before Heartbreak Ridge). Always tinkered with designing game rules myself. Just when I wanted to get deep into ATZ you (and the boys from THW) give me this. Oh, oh, oh, what project to follow. Not yet bought but very VERY tempted!!!!! Keep up the good work.

  19. @Irqan. As I said to Lord Siwoc earlier, if you're that tempted then you know you want it! Hey, "Heartbreak Ridge" was a damned fine movie. If you really are stuck between ATZ and Qwik and finances are tight then Qwik will definitely be the cheaper option. Otherwise, I'd say, be extravagant and get both!

  20. This seem to be a very interesting game.

    Argh, now I'm tempted too!!! :D

  21. At one point I had well over 3,000 28-32MM
    It took me a year to sale them all on ebay.
    Yeah, I am definitely going to do some 30MM stuff next year, as collectors items based on my 15MM ranges.
    Mostly Sci-Horror Monsters, some cool heroes, and some sexy girls.

  22. @Zerloon. There's a lot of temptation going about, I see.

    @Brother Joseph. That's a lot of figures to sell! I hope they want to good homes and that you got a fair price for them.
    I like the sound of your plans for 30mm figures. Sexy girls - yes please!

  23. Ordered my copy (printed) this morning, just got home and checked my email. About to read the PDF copy and maybe do a dry run through via a hand drawn board and scraps of paper as the figures.

  24. Good for you, Doug. It maybe a "low tech" approach that you're using to play the game but so what? You'll soon learn how the game is played.

  25. Bryan- I usually do a dry run of all the THW games that way before any actual games so I am familiar with any new rules. For I, Zombie I used the ATZ Board Game copy I have for the Dry Run of the new rules.

    Reading through the Qwik rules right now. So far looks interesting, will probably integrate it into my Mackinac Island Campaign as I previously mentioned as a game played in Green Bay, Wisconsin and by the Gangers in Charlevoix, Michigan (and the communities of "slaves" they rule over). I may have it as a game played on Mackinac Island, but there its not as competitive a sport like in the other settlements, though they may have a "pro" team that does compete in Green Bay, who knows.

  26. @Admin. That's good to hear.

    @Doug. That's a good attitude to have. Qwik is a game that I'd like to integrate into my own campaign at some point in the future, although it will be later rather than sooner. It sounds like you've got the makings of a mini league going. That's great!