Former King o’ Games HRH What If? intended to spend this past weekend camping with his family, but they were frozen out of campground reservations. So we invited them to camp at our new San Marcos house … it’s the equal of most campgrounds with 3/4 of an acre of land, a pool, a hot tub, a grill, showers, power, bathrooms — why not, What If?
So Mr. Keefer and his family descended on us for the weekend. I sent out a call for a game day, and while we did manage to get in a couple hands of Warhammer: Invasion …
… which was fine, as I was still kind of gamed-out from the Geekend in any case.
But since this is a gaming blog, I’ll post a bit on my feelings about Warhammer: Invasion.
Warhammer: Invasion is a “Limited Card Game” from Fantasy Flight Games. A “LCG” is kind of like a “Collectible Card Game” without so much collecting. Basically it has CCG mechanics and allows for deck building, but cards are sold in fixed packs and the emphasis is on casual play with pre-built decks. This is the perfect format for me, as I enjoy CCG mechanics but I don’t care for card collecting and deck building unless I’m part of a big group playing a game (which just doesn’t happen any more).
I’ve never much liked the Warhammer world but I starting warming to it after playing Chaos In The Old World as the Petit Geekend several weeks ago. Reviews indicated this might be the shake-out-of-the-box CCG I’ve been seeking so I decided to give it a go.
I’ve grown to quite love the game. Warhammer: Invasion is my most-played game of the year, and even after several matches with Tom this weekend, I am eager to play again. I’m so enthused for the game that I even broke my “never expand” credo and bought the elves expansion (and was rewarded with some memorable games right away, especially a Sunday morning epic with Tom which saw my Dwarves barely outlast his Dark Elves in a game that went down to the last draw).
There are dozens of detailed reviews of this game on the web, so I will concentrate on what I like about the game, without really explaining how it works. Effectively, it is CCG 2.0 … it has the vibrant and thematic play of a CCG, without a thousand little patch rules and the blizzard of errata found in a more mature system. The game has high-level strategy (manage your mix of resource generation, draw rate, and soldier spawning), and plenty of tactical detail (decide which of three targets to attack, manage attacks and defense, work your combos). The races in the basic box (plus the elves in the expansion) all have distinct theme and feel. The game plays smoothly with a minimum of grit, and while there are only two ways to win (smash enemy walls or run out his deck), there do seem to be different paths to getting there.
The only downside I see right now is that the game does seem to lean pretty heavily toward “rush” decks … but that being said, I’ve still played several games that were decided by deck exhaustion. The game also lacks multiplayer rules, but it’s easy enough to play with “attack left, defend right” or something similar.
No stinkers in the factions, either. I’m partial to Dwarves but I’ll play any faction … Chaos is also a lot of fun, with their corruptions and hideous monsters. I like the Orcs for blowing things up, and the High Elves are monstrous if they get the right cards out, quickly healing what little damage you can poke through their invulnerable positions.
Tremendous game, want to play it again right now …