Well folks, it’s finally here!
I’ve been growing in excitement for this game since I first mentioned it, and now that it’s in my hot little hands, I have to say, I’m suitably pleased by it! Well, on a first-look basis, naturally.
First of all, I’m surprised at the size of the box. It’s the size of the one of the “silver-line” games, such as Elder Sign or Blood Bowl: Team Manager, and not the usual LCG core set size. Whether that is meant to mean anything, I don’t know. Storage, however, will be a problem for me, as the game expands, as the War Packs are apparently coming in plastic clamshell packaging, so the cards can’t be stored in them once they’ve been cut open. But anyway.
As well as the usual good-quality cardboard chits, there are two rulebooks (in keeping with what seems to be FFG’s new policy of a fast-start rulebook, and a nuts-and-bolts follow up), and a whole slew of cards. As well as the standard-sized cards for the main body of the game, there are four decks of small ‘token’ cards associated with four of the seven factions present in the core box. These cards enter the game based on a variety of mechanics.
FFG has spotlighted each of the seven factions in articles that were published leading up to the release, partly as a sort of player guide to making the most out of each:
– Space Marines
– Astra Militarum
– Dark Eldar
– Tau Empire
Unfortunately, my personal favourites – the Necrons – are to be released in a future expansion, along with the Tyranids. But anyhow, there’s a good, classic hunk of the mythos in this box, and with the four War Packs that have so far been announced, even more 40k goodness is on its way to us!
– The Howl of Blackmane (bring on the Space Wolves!)
– The Scourge (Nurgle in all his glory)
– Gift of the Ethereals (new Tau warlord)
– Zogwort’s Curse (new Ork warlord)
– The Threat Beyond (new Astra Militarum warlord)
– Descendants of Isha (new Eldar & Dark Eldar warlords)
I’m still a bit surprised by how quickly these packs have been announced – I suppose I’m still thinking in terms of the older LCGs, where there were six months or more between expansions. I suppose I should be looking forward to them, but still – let us enjoy the game first!! (Of course, that said, I still want that Necron deluxe expansion!!)
So the object of the game, as described, is to win control of three planets with a matching icon in the top corner of the card. This is reminiscent of the story cards in Call of Cthulhu, but having now played the game, the similarity is purely cosmetic! Each planet has a Battle ability that can be triggered when a player wins a combat there, but only the first planet in the line-up can ever be won.
The core of your deck is your Warlord, who brings with him a sub-deck of eight cards that form his ‘signature squad’. Other cards in the deck can feed off the Warlord, such as the Tzeentch cards in the Chaos deck, and I’m sure as time goes on we’ll see Warlords that support pre-existing themes, and cards designed to work closely with pre-existing Warlords.
The rest of the cards in your deck are primarily army units, which I suppose is a reflection of the source material as a tabletop miniatures game.
I’ve played all of Fantasy Flight’s LCGs, and have enjoyed each one for its own merits. This game is definitely worthy of joining those ranks, I must say! It feels true to the source material insofar as players are fighting for control of an objective, and something I particularly like is the alternating gameplay. You don’t get to take your entire turn in one go, which means less downtime of course, but also makes it a lot more strategic than just putting down your heavy-hitters and making a mess of the battlefield. You really have to think about your moves, and plan out ahead what you’re going to do, while adapting to what your opponent is doing. It makes for a really enjoyable game, and makes me wish more of the LCGs were like this!
Of course, Eric Lang is one of my favourite game designers, responsible for such awesomeness as the Warhammer Invasion and Star Wars LCGs, among others. While I have indeed only played this game once so far, I can honestly say that it was a really enjoyable experience, and the game is definitely one that I can see myself coming to again and again!
Now, I am aware that I’ve been talking about Warhammer unto death on this blog lately – that’s just because it’s my new favourite thing. I’m not intending to keep on spamming you all like this, and more blogs are of course planned as time goes on, with updates on the various fascinating aspects of my life…