Completing our review of the entire original range of WarLock Tiles, we have recently got hands on with the Dungeon Tiles 1 set from WizKids. WarLock Tiles are premium, pre-painted, dungeon tiles for Dungeons & Dragons or Pathfinder. Coming with a 1” grid system, “half height” 1” walls and WarLock clips to join the tiles together, the set enables Dungeon Masters to throw together impressive and believable 3D settings for encounters. Which is the core set to go for and does now owning this set in addition change the usefulness of any of the other WarLock sets/expansions? Let’s find out!
(Editor’s Note: For more information on other sets in the WarLock range check out our other reviews, such as for the Town & Village 1 set, the Summoning Circles set, or the “full height” wall II sets.)
Included in the Dungeon Tiles 1 box are enough floor tiles, plus interior and exterior walls, to craft a small to medium sized location. Being completely modular the tiles and walls can be clipped together into any shape the Dungeon Master (DM) may require. Once used the build can be completely dismantled or reshaped to become a new dungeon, or just the next stage of a larger location. Whilst this is the Dungeon Tiles 1 set, locations aren’t simply resided to being cold grey stone. The floor tiles included in the set are all double sided, featuring a stone design on one side and wooden design on the reverse. Stone walled buildings with wooden or stone floors can therefore be crafted using the set, with just flipping the tiles over giving locations a distinctive visual change.
Interior and exterior walls are there to help the locations spring from the table, so layouts aren’t aren’t only gridded floor tiles. The exterior walls are chunky, at around a half inch thick, with corner pieces and posts helping to build out perfectly enclosed rooms. Exterior doors are also included, which are fully functioning, split evenly between single and double doors. Interior walls are used to zone off rooms or passageways in dungeons and buildings. These are only a few millimeters wide, slotting between the tiles. This design allows the entirety of the tiles to be used, rather than having half inch sized spaces dotted around the dungeons – as thicker walls would encroach onto spaces.
Unlike the Town & Village 1 set there are no window wall pieces, nor a dungeon themed comparison piece. Not having a window like wall variant in the Dungeon Tiles 1 set seems to be a trade off for an increased number of floor tiles. The Town & Village 1 set includes 24 2” x 2” tiles. The Dungeon Tiles 1 set comes with 26 tiles of this size, and in addition features two 4” x 4” tiles and two 2” x 8” tiles. While the larger sized tiles cannot be split out, it is effectively 75% more floor space. While interior walls can only be used around the edge of the larger tiles, they make it quicker to swiftly build a small side room or corridor – and of course can be used in the middle of a room where walls aren’t needed.
One oddity is that the Dungeon Tiles 1 set only includes 2 interior doors. With the increased floor space DMs are more likely to want to zone off rooms – which means a few additional doors from say the WarLock Doors and Archways set might become more necessary. Dungeons do perhaps need less doorways but having the option – especially for when constructing stone based buildings – would have improved the set.
Since the release of the Dungeon Tiles II set there is now the option between half height (1 inch tall) and full height (2 inch tall) walls. There are a few important differences between them, though which is better will depend on the situation and personal preference. The half height style, which is what Dungeon Tiles 1 features, allows for much more visibility. However, the full height walls allow for accessories to be added and being full height are slightly more immersive. Currently WizKids has yet to announce any further sets with the full height design, whilst there are already other sets in the half height style, with more confirmed to be on the way. It doesn’t mean there won’t be more full height sets. At least for now though, if you are looking to expand your collection down the line half height is the option to go with.
In my original review of the WarLock Tiles range I suggested that from owning only one core set that only half of the WarLock Expansion Box 1 content felt usable. Owning both of the core sets has solidified that concern, yet owning both has caused the expansion to be used more overall. Regardless of which core set you own, there are only enough pieces in Expansion Box 1 to make a small size room with a differing wall style. Therefore, without the use for both styles it serves more as a taster kit, to see if you think the other style is something you want more of. With Dungeon Tiles 1 there is an additional benefit though, as it does slightly alleviate the issue of a reduced number of interior doors.
The same logic of everything being usable when owning both core sets even extends to the WarLock Dungeon Dressings set, which brilliantly adds flair to any location. Whilst it is a phenomenal set to get with either of the core sets, some of the items, such as the pile of rubble, the boulder or pit traps, did feel a little shoehorned into a townhouse/tavern location. Conversely, they fit perfectly along a path in a dungeon. At the same time, the comfy looking bed does look a little out of place in a dungeon setting.
From more recently using the Dungeon Tiles II set, which comes with the softer to use EZ clips, it is hard to go back to using the standard WarLock clips. While the WarLock clips make for more rigid builds, the EZ clips cut down the time taken constructing and breaking down builds. An added benefit is they are also more forgiving on your fingers, with no need to reach for pliers. If you are getting into WarLock Tiles you may want to pick up a bag of the EZ clips as an add-on if the core set you choose to go with, like the Dungeon Tiles 1 set featured, doesn’t come with them as standard.
Out of the two original core sets, Dungeon Tiles 1 is the easier of the two to recommend. Town & Village may edge things in the looks department, with the plaster style walls offering more variety visually. Both offer the awesome double sided floor tiles, though Dungeon Tiles 1 offers the ability to make larger builds. The Dungeon Tiles 1 set can also be used for both buildings and dungeon locations, whilst Town & Village would struggle to represent a dungeon. When it comes to half height vs full height walls, as in Dungeon Tiles II, it is a personal preference. Still, WizKids has yet to confirm future full height wall sets – whilst a range of half height walls are still to come. Regardless of which set you go for, you’ll quickly be able to create stunning 3D locations ready for encounters, bringing environments to life straight out of the box.
(Editor’s Note: The WarLock Tiles Dungeon Tiles 1 set was provided to us by Asmodee for the review. It is currently available from local board game stores, find your local store here.)