Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Game Review: Warhammer: Invasion

I got a chance this weekend to sit down with a buddy of mine and play a few rounds of Fantasy Flight Games' Warhammer: Invasion. It's a great little game and I highly recommend it.

First a quick description. Warhammer: Invasion is a card game that can be played with two to four players. In it each player controls their own kingdom and recruits warriors to fight for them and manage their kingdom. The core set retails for about forty dollars although it's possible to find it for cheaper elsewhere. It's not a collectible card game, per se, but there are expansions, both released and soon to be released. All the cards you need to play are in the core set, and when you buy an expansion you get all the cards in that expansion. There are no random cards. The core set contains starter decks for Empire, Chaos, Orks and Dwarves, and teaser cards for Elves and Dark Elves. We played with just two players and each game probably took about half an hour so you can get in a bunch of games in one evening. Of course having more players will make the games longer.

If you've played other collectible card games the sequence of play will be familiar. Each player's turn is broken down into four phases and after one player is done with their turn play moves to the next player. Unlike many other Fantasy Flight games (I'm looking at you Arkham Horror), the rules and phases for Warhammer: Invasion are very simple. In the four phases you 1) get your resources, 2) draw new cards 3) play cards using resources and 4) fight. Each player's kingdom has three zones. Fighting can damage these zones and once two of the three zones are destroyed that player is eliminated from the game. Last player in the game wins.

The game borrows from real-time strategy video games. While it's possible to quickly build up a fighting force and rush your opponent in the first couple of turns, it's a better strategy to invest in your kingdom, building up your support zones to generate more resources and draw more cards. Balancing your offensive and defensive investments is a big part of the game.

After a few games some of the strategy starts to shake out. For instance, one of the areas in the game is the battlefield. Troops in this area are the only troops allowed to attack an opponents kingdom. When you attack, your target has the choice not to defend with any of their troops so if you destroy your opponent's battlefield first there's no longer a reason for them to commit troops to defending it and they can amass an army in their battlefield to attack you. This puts you on the defensive with few options for getting rid of their troops outside of attrition while defending.

It's a great game, and judging from the product lineup Fantasy Flight is planning on supporting it for a long time. If you enjoy the play style of collectible card games but are tired of the investment they require, this game is a good way to go. Likewise, if you enjoy the Warhammer Fantasy universe then this game is for you. Finally, if you just enjoy a great game with friends (and this is definitely a great game) then I'd recommend a trip to you friendly local game store to pick up Warhammer: Invasion.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. I buddy of mine and I have become crazy about this game. We bought all the expansions and after realizing there wasn't a play group established in Louisville(our area) we decided to start a meetup site. This has gone over great! In a matter of a couple of months we have grown to a steady 6 - 8 players each week with a total 14 members.

    If anyone is looking for a place to play in Louisville here is our info:

    Louisville Warhammer Invasion League

    Fridays from 6:30PM until midnight

    BluegrassMagic GameShop
    5629 Outer Loop,
    Louisville, KY 40219


    Hope to see you there!