Sunday, February 5, 2012
Warhammer Invasion- More %$#^ elves!
As winter settles down on the shoulders of New Hampshire like a freezing blanket of freezingness my wife and I have started looking for a fun new two player game. Or rather, I have and my wife has waited patiently to see what I would foist upon her. I thought to give Warhammer: Invasion a try and happily it's been a nice success.
I've been surprised lately that I enjoy so many games set in the Warhammer universe considering how disinterested I am in the Warhammer wargames. I think Chaos in the Old World, Blood Bowl Team Manager, and Death Angel are all nicely designed games. I even like Warhammer Historical Battles set in the Dark Ages. That may be the crux of the matter- the Warhammer system seems best designed for large skirmishes between warbands and once tanks enter the picture the system seems to struggle.
Anyway, Warhammer Invasion is a deck building card game. You start with a stack of cards representing a faction like Elves or Dwarves and then draw cards and use them to engage in battle. WI is a "living card game" and so the publishers release new sets of cards regularly. There are hundreds of possible cards to use so your choices can be as wide as you care to explore. Given that there are many living card games on the market what makes WI worth playing?
For one, we've really enjoyed the warring factions. Each has it's own character and playing style and it's fun to discover what works best with each. Or you can pick a faction that appeals to you and become really good with it. My wife, for example, does love those elves. They're haughty and seem to thrive on stopping attacks in their tracks or sending immortal swordmasters onto the battlefield. In contrast, I like the chaos warriors who specialize in spells and summoning bizarre creatures. The art is top quality and helps with the atmosphere as well.
Secondly, there are a lot of options for game play. You can build defenses in your kingdom, go on "quests," build an aggressive army or cast pesky spells on your opponent. I'm finding this gives the game a lot of replay value and also gives you fun things to try no matter what cards fall your way.
Finally, the cards can be combined in a number of different ways. I like games that allow "combos," series of plays that you can discover or create and that allow devastating moves. WI rewards creative play and attention to your cards.
There is one possible drawback to the game. The rules are simple enough for teens but some of the cards may not be appropriate for all families. The evil elves especially seem to be composed mainly of strippers in g-strings with whips and the evil elf cards have titles like "Whip the Prisoners" or "Bathe in Blood." It's all quite lurid and pulp-y but if you don't have a tolerance for that sort of thing this game is going to prove pretty offensive.
The box set of Warhammer Invasion has enough cards to start playing the major factions. It's a good place to start and you could have a lot of fun without buying any expansions. Of course I ran out and got several expansion packs of cards and each one has been fun to sort through and add to the game. Warhammer Invasion has been a good success and as long as lurid artwork isn't an issue in your household I'd recommend it as a great two player card game.