By Steve Baltimore / June 3rd, 2019
I decided once again to jump into the world of digital card collecting games with Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Champions. This one is free to play and I’ve always been interested in the world of Warhammer but know little about it. I thought I would give this one a shot. I will discuss mechanics and features in this piece and well as how progression works without spending a lot of cold hard cash.
In this world there are four alliances that fight over control of this land. Order, Chaos, Destruction and Death. Each faction will have their strengths and weaknesses. Decks for each will consist of four champions, four blessings and 30 action cards. The game will allow you to unlock pre-made decks for alliance to help you get started. The object here is simple, reduce your foe’s life points to zero. However, that may be easier said than done.
The battlefield will consist of 4 lanes, and on each of these lanes you place a champion. They are very important to any deck, since they will be in play the entire game. These come in classes such as wizards or warriors. They allow you to summon units and use actions on the battlefield in order to fight. You will have to be aware of what type of actions they are allowed to use. For example, wizards are the only champions that can use spells and only certain warrior champions can use beasts. Each champion will have quests they need to complete in order to activate their blessing. Blessing are very powerful effects that can turn the tide of battle in an instant. The quests needed to activate them are basic gameplay actions, just check the cube by the champion’s portrait to see which one to do next.
Each round you will have two actions you can perform. These actions include summoning spells or units, activating heroic actions or drawing cards. If you do two actions on a turn you will draw no new cards until then end of your next turn unless an effect on the field will allow you to do so. You will notice all unit and spell cards will have values in each of the four corners. These can represent damage amounts, healing amounts or how many points of damage the card will absorb from attacks. Each round these values will rotate counter-clockwise and when it has completed one rotation that card will leave play. Most of the time you can only have one unit or spell in a lane but some cards will stack.
There is a lot of strategy in Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Champions. Do you try overwhelm your opponent with combat units, or maybe use a more defensive strategy? The alliance you choose to play as will likely factor a lot into this decision, and there are lots of different units and spells that could be worked into any deck to switch it up if you don’t like how it currently plays.
You’re probably wondering since this is a free to play game, how bad is the monitization. Well, it looks a lot worse than it actually is. They are charging for card packs, playmats and even cosmetics. The card packs, which I feel are the most important, can be purchased with in-game cash you earn. I earned enough to buy several packs in a very short amount of time and got a few pretty great cards out of it. If you are playing this game with the physical cards you can use the app to scan in your physical cards to earn in-game gold here to spend as well. There is also a Champions Pass you can sign up for that gives you access to more missions, shop deals and some free cards. If you just want to play this one casually I think you would be fine with in-game cash and buying a few gems for card packs here and there, but this one could turn into a money pit fast for those that want to go super hardcore playing the game.
I have to say I had a good time with the gameplay, but there are some issues here that I cannot overlook. The UI here is ripped straight from the mobile game and doesn’t really lend itself well to the Switch. This is something I think the team should look at to give players a much easier time with deck editing at the very least. The text when playing in handheld mode was a little small to me, but I’m old so maybe this was just my eyes. While I liked the in-game music, since it had that nice fantasy feel, I really hope they add more of it in the future. I heard the same track way too long.
At the end of the day, Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Champions is a perfectly functional CCG. The mechanics are actually pretty fun, it’s easy to pick up and play while still having plenty of depth to keep you busy. There is a good amount of single player content to play around with as well as mulitplayer matches. I had no issues picking up a quick match anytime I tried to do so. There is quite a bit of monitization here, but none of it really felt forced on me. This is one of those times where I feel like fans of Warhammer will find a lot to love here, but I’m not sure if this is a good entry point for non-fans. Though I would say if you are a fan of CCG games you should check this one out. It’s a solid game at the price of free on the Nintendo eShop, so what do you have to lose?
card gameCCGfree to playGames WorkshopWarhammer