An awesome side effect of Dungeons & Dragons having its most successful year ever is all the cool, quality product coming out for it. One area that’s shone in particular is detailed game pieces. You could play D&D on a simple sheet of gridded paper, using cups to represent castle towers and coins to stand-in for player characters. But there’s a unique satisfaction in slamming down a golden dragon figurine that dwarfs the player’s hero figures. That seems to be the thinking behind WizKids’ WarLock line, a mix of miniature buildable set pieces and environment props.
The core of WarLock are sets of floor tiles, walls, and doors that “lock” together so you can build your own dungeons. They come painted and sculpted to create the feel of worn stone, while also being carved into even squares for accurate D&D play. When I reviewed the very first set, I found them to be wonderful for immersion and creativity, but noted that the number of pieces limited my ideas to rooms instead of labyrinths. Now there’s several expansions available that give you options to build more versatile dungeons and, more importantly, go beyond just one room.
WarLock Dungeon Tiles 2: Full Height Walls
Two recently-released expansions are compatible with the old dungeon tiles. Dungeon Tiles 2 adds more of the same floor to work with, as well as “full height” stone walls. The idea is that Dungeon Tiles 1 included low walls so that players could move their figures around a scene without bumping it. The full height walls give the option for more closed-in, immersive scenes for those who want that. My guess is that D&D livestreamers who want to create high-quality set pieces will appreciate this the most.
Dungeon Tiles 2 also bring two minor improvements that address user issues with the first set. The first is banners and torches that can hang on the walls. These help to give a small amount of detail to the dungeon so your builds feel a little less samey. They also help the players keep track of light sources in games where darkness is a crucial mechanic. The more impactful addition is the inclusion of new clips. I wrote in my review of Dungeon Tiles 1 that the clips that hold tiles together were too strong, making dissembling a huge inconvenience. A new, more user-friendly style of clips are the standard now, and my fingers deeply appreciate that.
WarLock Dungeon Tiles 3: Curves Expansion
Dungeon Tiles 1 and 2 only offer square floors and sharp corners. Dungeon Tiles 3 takes it in a different direction by being solely dedicated to rounded floor tiles and curved walls. Again, the target audience seems to be those who desire immersion or those who want a little more flair in their builds. It is a neat idea, but if you were only to buy one of the new sets, I’d pick Dungeon Tiles 2. In my opinion, it’s the best when it comes to giving you more dungeon for your money.
Putting It All Together, And Was It Worth It?
For those who want a visual example, here’s part of a dungeon I built with a friend for a one-shot. We were candy people who discovered the human realm, and an evil mage was performing experiments to harvest candyfolk for food (don’t ask). Here you can see us figuring out a puzzle in the small circular room, and a guard waiting in the torture chamber on the other side.
Fast forward to the boss room, where the mage and his acolytes summoned a creature to attack us. I used almost all the square floor tiles from Dungeon Tiles 1 and 2, as well as a few curved walls, for these two areas. It was worth it to have a large battlefield for the finale, as we were level 15 and had some big spells to cast.
For that reason, I recommend picking up Dungeon Tiles 1 and at least one expansion. Dungeon Tiles 2 is available as a full $129.99 set or a $79.99 expansion. Dungeon Tiles 3 only comes as a $79.99 expansion. Putting that together, you’ll be throwing down at least $200 for a decently-sized collection of tiles. That’s a lot for one person, but if you’re in a group who regularly plays D&D together, there’s a case to be made for sharing the sets. Your party might have years of adventures to come, or might rotate DMs. In that case, everyone stands to benefit from the immersion WarLock tiles bring, and the Lego-like joy of building a dungeon. Many groups already split the cost of books or a D&D Beyond account, so why not indulge and level up your game?
WizKids provided review sets of Dungeon Tiles 2 and 3 to TheGamer. They’re available now on the WizKids site or through your local game store.
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Sergio is the Lead News Editor for TheGamer. But usually he asks people to call him “Serg” because he wants to sound cool like the guy from System of a Down. He began as a convention reporter for FLiP Magazine and Albany Radio’s The Shaw Report to get free badges to Comic-Con. Eventually he realized he liked talking to game developers and discovering weird new indie games. Now he brings that love of weird games to TheGamer, where he tries to talk about them in clickable ways so you grow to love them too. When he’s not stressing over how to do that, he’s a DM, Cleric of Bahamut, cosplay boyfriend, and occasional actor.
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