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So what do you do if you've written a (mostly) in-depth review of a great game - a game you absolutely adore - and it's gotten great thumbage and a ton of friendly, supportive comments? Do you sit back, counting your thumbs on your, err...fingers, while cheerfully drinking a Guinness and munching down on pork rinds?

Heck, no! Instead, you whip up a cool Addendum Review (trademark pending) that discusses the differences between this game’s 4 factions (AND if you read this right now, we'll throw in an extra special, one-time-only, mini-preview of the forthcoming High & Dark Elf races at no cost - that's a $100 value for FREE! But wait! There's more. If you keep reading this Addendum Review, we'll also touch on potentially cool races for FFG to add to the Warhammer: Invasion game!)

Okay, so we'll start with what we know. Warhammer: Invasion will be initially released in a Core Set that provides 4 distinctly potent (and in the Orc's case, "Pungent") races:Empire (Humans), Dwarves, Orcs, and Chaos (warped, evil, mean, nasty, pinch-you-when-you're-not-looking, fail-to-file-taxes, demonic beings).


The Core Set provides you with 50-card starter decks for each of these cool races. Let's look at a few stats to see how FFG broke down each Race in the Core Set (organized by Race):

Dwarves
-
22 Units Total - 12 are different (2 of these are Heroes)
8 Tactics Total - 7 are different
8 Support Total - 5 are different
2 Quest Total - only one type provided

Orcs -
22 Units Total - 12 are different (2 of these are Heroes)
10 Tactics Total - 8 are different
6 Support Total - 5 are different
2 Quest Total - only one type provided

Chaos -
22 Units Total - 12 are different (2 of these are Heroes)
9 Tactics Total - 7 are different
7 Support Total - 5 are different
2 Quest Total - only one type provided

Empire -
22 Units Total - 12 are different (2 of these are Heroes)
10 Tactics Total - 7 are different
6 Support Total - 5 are different
2 Quest Total - only one type provided

----------------------------------------------------------------

Here's a chart that shows the Units by Resource Cost for the four Races in the game, by comparison, for those who were curious:



----------------------------------------------------------------

RACIAL THEMES, KEY CARDS, AND KEYWORDS (and a couple of predictions):

Now a quick discussion about each Race's inherent themes and/or Keywords (inherent abilities provided to a unit by a "keyword"), along with pictures of key cards for each Race. I'll also showcase key Neutral cards and make a few informed guesses about the upcoming High & Dark Elves.


DWARVES: The Dwarves bring several aspects to the table that reflect who they are within the war-torn Warhammer Fantasy world. Several of their units (#3, Hammerer of Karak Azul - #7, King Kazador - #12, Ironbreakers of Ankhor) have "Toughness", a Keyword ability that has a numerical value, e.g., "Toughness 1", which subtracts itself from incoming damage. They have one unit (#10, Dwarf Ranger) with the "Scout" keyword, which allows a surviving unit in combat to randomly draw and discard a card from an opponent. The Dwarves also have a Support card that heals their Capital (#14, Keystone Forge) and a Tactic (#25, Master Rune of Valaya) that can cancel damage assigned during the Battlefield phase. The Dwarves also have a Tactics card that provides Support & Development destruction (#23, Demolition!). Two other minor themes are the ability to boost Power on Units and the capability to increase the Resource Cost on opponent's played cards. The Dwarven Quest card (#17, A Glorious Death) isn't terrible powerful but can help reduce the danger of a large attacking force with its power to kill 2 target attacking units. Overall, the Dwarves are a sturdy faction that when used on their own, can hold their own in combat and tend to find their strength building as the game goes on. Here are some pictures of key Dwarven cards below:



Some Dwarf Units



Some Dwarf Tactics



Some Dwarf Support cards


------------------------


Orcs: The "Greenskins", as they're known, encompass both Orcs and Goblins in the Warhammer Fantasy world. They're categorized by their love of battle and destruction and this is ably reflected in their card selection and abilities within Warhammer: Invasion. One of their key abilities is Support and/or Development destruction on a massive scale with a whopping SIX cards dedicated to this kind of mayhem (#63, Grimgor Ironhide (Unit) - #65, Doom Divers (Unit) - #72, Smash 'em All (Quest) - #74,Smash-Go-Boom! (Tactic) - #75, Rip Dere 'eads Off! (Tactic) - #78, Pillage (Tactic))! The Orcs also have a minor theme of receiving a boost for controlling damaged units via two units, (#57, Squig Herders and #61, Boar Boyz). Probably the main over-arching theme of the Orcs is simply damage-dealing of any kind, plain and simple. The Orcs also possess one of the single most powerful cards in the game in the Tatic (#80, Troll Vomit), which destroys ALL Units in play when its played. Ouch! Some pictures below of key Orc cards:



Some Orc Units



Some Orc Tactics



Some Dwarf Support cards


----------------------


Chaos: The horrible forces of Chaos focus around Corruption abilities (Corruption is an effect that makes a Unit unable to Attack or Defend until that Unit is Un-Corrupted - players can Un-Corrupt one Unit as an ability at the beginning of their turn, but only one Unit), Damage-dealing, and they have the single most powerful Unit in the game (#92, Bloodthirster), who is a whopping 8 Resource & 5 Loyalty Cost monstrosity with 5(!) Power and 8(!!) Defense. His blood sacrifice requirement means he may not stick around very long but while he's on the table, things look ugly for your opponents. The Unit who most benefits from Corruption is probably (#88, Melekh the Changer) who gains 1 Power for each corrupted card controlled by an opponent. Chaos also has the best pure and easy direct-damage card in the game in (#102, Flames of Tzeentch (Tactic)) - as an X resource cost, you can pump it up to suit your damage-dealing needs as required. Continuing that damage-dealing theme are two other great Tactics (#101, Nurgle's Pestilence & #103, Blood for the Blood God). One other minor theme possessed (pun intended) by the forces of Chaos is the annoying but useful ability (found on the Quest card #97, Journey to the Gate & on the Tactic #100, Will of Tzeentch) to discard cards from your opponent's hands. Here are some pictures of key Chaos cards:



Some powerful Chaos Units



Some Chaos Tactics



Some Chaos Support cards



-----------------------


Empire: Finally, we come to the mighty Empire - bastion of humanity with massive armies of disciplined (usually) soldiers, ready to make Karl Franz proud. Empire probably has the widest range of abilities and themes in the game. I'd go so far as to call them the trickiest race to play. The key Empire ability has to be the power to move its Units between Zones, allowing an Empire player excellent flexibility overall. This is important because pound for pound, Empire's Units aren't quite as powerful as their opponents. Some key cards that help move Units around include (#36, Pistoliers Unit - #37, Johannes Broheim Unit - #42, Temple of Shallya Support - #48, Forced March Tactic). Empire also possesses the only cards with the "Counterstrike" Trait (which allows a defending unit to deal damage BEFORE the normal damage-applying phase of combat) via these useful Units (#27, Reiksguard Knights & #37, Johannes Broheim). Counter-acting enemy actions is one of the Empire's minor themes and these two cards (#28, Bright Wizard Apprentice Unit & #39, Church of Sigmar Support) help it along. It should be noted that Church of Sigmar, #39, doesn't really counter-act an action or effect but in making that Effect more expensive, it still helps deter or counter enemy Effects. Interestingly, Empire is the only other race (other than Dwarves) to have a Scout Unit (#35, Free Company). Finally, one of the (potentially) most powerful Reset-style cards in the game (#49, Judgment of Verena, Tactic) belongs to the Empire. Woe betide your foes who forget to play a Development into every Zone if you have that card in your hand! Ouch! More key cards pictured below:



Some tough Empire Units



Some Empire Tactics



Some Empire Support cards


---------------------------


Neutral cards: Warhammer: Invasion also provides (in the Core Set) Neutral cards to help fill in the deck-building blanks. One key batch of Neutral cards are the Alliance (Banner) cards that provide two Loyalty symbols on one card to help with deck-building and card costs. Every combination is provided but remember that forces of Order (Empire, Dwarves, High Elves) cannot be in the same deck with Destruction (Chaos, Dark Elves, Orcs). So there are Alliance cards for High Elves & Empire, Empire & Dwarves, Dwarves & High Elves (unusual since they are estranged in Warhammer history but for game purposes this is a necessity) and Alliances for Dark Elves & Chaos, Chaos & Orcs, and Orcs & Dark Elves. There are some great all-purpose Neutral cards available in the Core Set. #112, Contested Fortress, a Support card with the Limited keyword (which means you can only play one of these per turn) cancels 1 damage to your capital per turn. #118, Burn it Down is a potent Tactic for Support destruction while #117, Pilgrimage is a useful Tactic for removing a pesky Unit from play. #119, Innovation, is a killer Tactic for harvesting a large batch of Resources quickly and at 0 Cost, it's nearly a must-have for any deck. Last but not least, #120, Infiltrate, is one of the more potent Quest cards in the game and it's also a must-have for players who plan to pursue a card-discarding (aka "milling") strategy against their opponents. Pics of these below:





---------------------

High Elves & Dark Elves: Just a tiny preview of a few cards from these two forthcoming Races (in the Warhammer: Invasion Companion Set mentioned in the Core Set Rulebook on Pg.18). The High Elves appear to be focused on healing abilities and Corruption removal/prevention while the Dark Elves seem to be focused on Damage-dealing, Corruption, Subtracting life from Enemy Units, and Counter-strike. A few card pics below:



A Dark Elf Tactic



High Elf Sample cards


-------------------------

Future races I'd personally love to see added as full-blown Races in the game: Tomb Kings (Undead Egyptian-themed baddies? Count me in!), the Undead in general, Lizardmen (they'd provide for great art and themed-abilities), and Cathay (the mysterious Far East race, led by the Celestial Dragon King). We already know that Skaven are coming as a sub-faction (or so it appears) based on the first couple of Battlepack expansions for W:I.

So there you have it, a quick, down-n-dirty look at the Races and cards, as well as a short look at strategies and themes. Hope you enjoyed it, my work here is done. As I've already said in my earlier review here at BGG (find it here: http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/443230), this is a superbly enjoyable game in many, many ways.

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James Cartwright
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Excellent additional review.

I'm definately going to get this when it comes out. I'd also like to see a Lizardmen set of cards, as I used to enjoy plaing them.

I'd love to see FFG do this type of game for 40K as well.
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Sean
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I don't want happiness by halves, nor is half of sorrow what I want. Yet there's a pillow I would share, where gently pressed against a cheek like a helpless star, a falling star, a ring glimmers on the finger of a hand.
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Simply awesome.
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Mark Johnson
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“Brothers, oh brothers, my days here are done, the Dornishman’s taken my life, But what does it matter, for all men must die, and I’ve tasted the Dornishman’s wife!”
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"Oak and iron guard me well, or else I'm dead and doomed to hell." - Andal proverb.
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Great review and the game has me interested, especially since I've tried and enjoyed FFG's other two LCG's (though I tried them before they became LCG's).

After getting introduced to the Warhammer universe through the Chaos in the Old World game, I'm having cravings to give this a try. Particularly the Chaos cards after having played with the Chaos God's in CitOW.
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Phil Davies
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Cathay doesn't exist in Warhammer canon any more I don't think? I'm pretty sure that was what the Ogre Kingdoms became
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Paul DeStefano
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It's a Zendrum. www.zendrum.com
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So, do you like the game?
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Travis Worthington
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2010 Releases ........................................ The Resistance, Haggis & Triumvirate ..................................... Now accepting submissions for 2011 releases ........................................ www.IndieBoardsandCards.com
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Guiness and Pork Rinds ... tell me I didn't just read that.

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Had to come up with something crazy yet catchy.
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Darke wrote:
Cathay doesn't exist in Warhammer canon any more I don't think? I'm pretty sure that was what the Ogre Kingdoms became


Phil, I was just reading about Cathay in the latest (6th Edition) of the Warhammer Fantasy Rulebook, so I think it's there but not terribly well-developed or supported. Maybe they'll (GW) be supporting it more in the future?
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Anselmo Diaz
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I was asking for pics, and you have delivered them in tonnes = thumbsup
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Well unfortunately I've run afoul of posting far too many - I've been requested by FFG to remove some of these. D'oh!
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Anselmo Diaz
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Oh no!!! I was fortunate enough to see them. Can you edit your post so it doesn't look so terrible?
Though it's not your fault.
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Josh Taylor
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Major props on the more in-depth review. I don't think FFG likes having so many of their cards spoiled. So it makes sense that they ask that you take some pics down.

Either way, great stuff. You are a hardcore maniac, and its appreciated.

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Thank you, Josh! If you haven't read the first part of my review, I did link to it at the bottom of this article.
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Frank Böttcher
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If there are really 22 chaos units, than the breakdown is wrong (23 units).
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I wondered when someone would catch that, LOL. I just noticed it myself last night. I'll have to tweak it tonight and put up a new pic.
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Joachim Pehl
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wytefang wrote:
Darke wrote:
Cathay doesn't exist in Warhammer canon any more I don't think? I'm pretty sure that was what the Ogre Kingdoms became


Phil, I was just reading about Cathay in the latest (6th Edition) of the Warhammer Fantasy Rulebook, so I think it's there but not terribly well-developed or supported. Maybe they'll (GW) be supporting it more in the future?


Cathay does exist. The ogre kingdoms use Cathay swords, but those came from trading, war or payment as mercenaries.
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