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Warhammer: Invasion» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Many expansions and hours of play later.... rss

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Pawel
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I was thinking about this for a long, long time and I think I'm ready to write a review of one of my Top 3 of favourite games.

Warhammer Invasion is a Living Card Game, which means that it's something between Dominion and CCGs like MtG. You know what you'll get in additional Battle Packs and big expanasions, but you have to build your deck before the actual game play. After buying all the big expansions and some Battle Packs it's hard for me to review just the base game, but I'll try to throw in something about it.

The theme of the game is exactly like its figure wargame counterpart (except the lack of two or three main races). You can control either the forces of Order - Imperium and Dwarves (+High Elves from Assault on Ulthuan) or Destruction - Chaos and Orcs (+Dark Elves from AoU). Each of these races has it's own capital board and as you may have already deducted every race plays differently - i.e. the Imperium bases its force on mobility and changes in enemy lines (without necessarily destroying them), Dark Elves try to control the opponent hand size and discard cards from his deck and the Orcs get bonuses from wounding their allies. Of course each army has more than one style of play, depending on what do you like (i.e. Orcs can use the aforementioned wounds, odd or equal card costs or rush with a multitude of cheap cards). There are also Neutral races, the most prominent being Skaven, Undead, Lizardmen and Wood Elves - the first two can only be combined with Destruction, the other two with Order. You can't use any of these as a base faction, because they do not have their own capitals (in the game), but many cards emphasize the use of more than just few of these in one deck.

The rules are really simple. Everything is based on Power (Hammer) symbols. Your capital board has 3 zones: battlefield from which you attack your opponent, quest zone which gives you new cards and kingdom which gives you resources. The battlefield obviously doesn't have any power symbols, the quest zone has 1 symbol and kingdom has 3 symbols, which respectively gives you 1 card draw and 3 resources per turn. Adding units or support cards adds these symbols, while adding units to your battlefield enables you to attack your opponent - here the power symbols show how much damage you'll deal. Each of your zones has 8 hit point, but that can be augmented - once per turn you can place a card face down as a development, that gives 1 additional HP. And that's most of the rules really, so you can start playing in about 40-60 minutes after unpacking the game. There's also an optional draft mode, but I can't tell you anything about it, because I've never played it.

The overall quality is really great, as IMO with most FFG games. The artwork on the cards isn't consistent though - some illustrations are better than others, but you probably won't consider any of them lower than "good" and I must admit that some of these cards are small masterpieces of art. It's also worth noting that the cards don't have black or white margins - they are filled with artwork to their border. Some cards also have flavour texts - it doesn't have any effect in the game, but is fun to read, sometimes giving the game a little amount of black humour (i.e. the Dwarves card Burying the Grudge and its flavour text "Grudges are best buried with the corpse of the wrongdoer"). The three types of tokens provided with the base game are thick and durable, although the wound markers could be a little bigger. The capital boards are as thick as main boards for other games. They have atmospheric illustrations and you'll instantly know which capital belongs to the Dwarves or Chaos.

The core set can be the only part of the Invasion family to buy, because it plays well on its own, although you won't have to much room for deckbuilding, so after a couple of plays I would suggest buying Assault on Ulthuan to have the additional 2 races and Legends for a new type of card. The Battle Packs give more deckbuilding options, but they are really unnecessary, especially if you want to play occasionally with friends unfamiliar with WH or only with your spouse/brother/mom/dad/really clever dog. If you are looking for a quite quick 2-player game with 4 different races and potential to expand in the future, I think that Invasion won't disappoint you and is a must have in your collection.

There are also two things I'd like to add:

1. The base game, although not having the capitals, provides you with 5 cards each for High and Dark Elves. You can mix them with other factions (respecting the rules), but I would rather consider them as a teaser for AoU.

2. Although I never played MtG, my friends, who are more familiar with it, told me that the LCG format is much more economic - with the money invested in WHI I built 5 really good decks and probably have room for one more, while with MtG I would only have one decent deck (again, this is an opinion of my friends, I don't know how true it is, but seeing that some cards in MtG can cost hundreds of dollars I fully believe them).
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Agent 57
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Excellent review, cheers.
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Mark Paul
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It is an amazing game of this genre. In my top three also.
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Arthur Rutyna
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I really enjoy this game but only get a chance to play occasionally. Thanks for confirming my previous buying decision of getting the base game with the Assault on Ulthuan expansion. Nice thing is that both fit in the smaller AoU expansion box.
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