How to Play MourneQuest

MourneQuest is a wonderful fantasy adventure board game that is perfect for anyone that wants to go on an adventure. It is based on a series of novels written by Garry McElherron and it’s a cooperative type game that accommodates 1 to 4 players with an average playing time of 60 to 90 minutes. Steeped in Irish mythology and folklore, the game takes the players and casts them as the main heroes from the novels and takes them on an adventure. Their ultimate goal is to vanquish a big bad. In this article, you will learn how to play MourneQuest and some of the history as well.

Product Title
Product Title
Play Time
Play Time
80-120 Minutes
Year Published
Year Published
Recommended Age
Recommended Age
Backspindle Games
Leonard Boyd & David Brashaw
Game Mechanics
Game Mechanics

Main Objective

In this board game, the players play as the heroes from the book and you will explore the Mourne Mountains and try to defeat Shimnavore. The overall goal is to stop the monster from wreaking havoc on the kingdom of Mourne. On your way to fight Shimnavore, you will face other enemies.

These enemies include the Changeling, Dullahan, and Banshee, and Bogbeans. While the overall goal is to beat Shimnavore, they can’t do it without getting stronger. To get stronger, the players need to gather charms, equipment, and magical relics. Gathering these items will increase the player’s powers and skills so they can fight any enemy that gets in their way.

What’s in the Box

  • Shimnavore – the figurine and a Shimnavore card
  • The Nightmare Gang: The Banshee, The Changeling, The Dullahan, and Merrow. You get their figures and cards.
  • Six heroes – Jack, Tess, Grace, Cobs, Beith, and Lur. You get the figures and player mats.
  • 12 Bogbean Mini Figures
  • 4 Speedwells
  • 1 Playing Board
  • 4 Lousewort
  • 6 MourneQuest Talismans
  • 4 Snipes
  • 12 Skill Tokens
  • 8 Broken Wall Tokens
  • 5 Discovery Tokens
  • 1 Moon Marker
  • 8 Compass Tokens
  • 24 Wound Markers
  • 66 Charm Tokes: Flax, Granite, Blackthorn, and Gold
  • 1 Encounter Bag
  • 47 Encounter Tiles
  • 2 Compass Dice
  • 4 Combat Dice: Levels 1-4
  • 28 Equipment Cards
  • 18 Relic Cards
  • 1 Rule Book

Setting Up the Game

While the game has a lot of moving parts, the setup is actually quite simple.

  • On a table or a flat surface, place the Playing board.
  • Each player picks a hero and then place a hero at each starting point.
  • Each nightmare figure goes in their designated spot.*keep their cards close by for quick reference*
  • The decks of equipment and relic cards need to be stacked side by side next to the board.
  • Keep the tokens and markers within reach.

Number of Players and Play Time

In MourneQuest, there can be 1 to 4 players, and the playtime can be from 60 to 90 minutes.

How to Play MourneQuest:

Once the board and the pieces are laid out, the players need to pick a hero. Each hero gets placed at the starting point. With the heroes and the nightmares in their spots, it’s time to play.

Each player gets to roll the dice, and the moon in the middle of the board will move phases. With each round, there is a hero phase and an enemy phase.

In the hero phase, our heroes spend their time collecting and dropping charms and exploring the board, or passing cards to one another. The more charms you collect, the stronger you will get.

During the enemy phase, the Bogbeans can be released onto the board, or any nightmares that are on the board can be activated. If the enemies attack, new encounter cards can be drawn. Once the move rotates a second time, the Shimnavore is active

The heroes can only start attacking the Shimnavore once all the enemies on the board have been defeated. The Shimnavore wants to destroy the Mourn Wall, and the heroes need to stop it. If the Shimnavore destroys one side of the wall, the heroes lose.

Player Interaction

MourneQuest is a cooperative board game. That means there is a lot of player interaction. The heroes are friends, and they must work together to defeat the Shimnavore. Their interaction with each other is crucial for the game.

Scoring and Winning

The only way to win the game is by defeating the Shimnavore. If there are enemies still on the board when the monster is released, you will have a short time to defeat them so you can attack the Shimnavore. You must attack him and send his wound markers to 0 before he destroys one of the Mourn walls.

MourneQuest History

MournQuest is based on the book by the same name which is written by Garry McElherron. The game is manufactured by Backspindle Games, run by David Bradshaw and Leonard Boyd.

Backspindle gave gamers and readers a chance to invest in the game by putting it up on Kickstarter. By backing the MourneQuest Kickstarter, backers enjoyed certain perks depending on how much they pledged.

Tips and Tricks

The main tip is that it is best to collect as many charms and items as possible before the Shimnavore is released. You will need these items to gain strength. If you aren’t strong enough before the monster is unleashed, most likely, you will lose.