The Nintendo Switch, successful as it may be, still lacks really good card games. There is a glaring lack of Hearthstone, for starters. In a world where even potato-quality smartphones and PCs can run a quick round of Hearthstone, you still can’t do it on your Switch.
What is Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Champions?
Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Champions is a modern collectible card game that presents a connected play experience. If you’ve started playing the actual physical card game and have amassed a collection, don’t worry. This game blends your physical and digital card collections. You can scan physical cards into your collection to claim them and take them to conquer the battlefield.
Take the custom crafted decks from one of the four Grand Alliances and challenge friend or foe across the world, and across platforms! Pick up a Nintendo Switch or grab your trusty mouse and take battle-ready decks and battle opponents on all playable devices.
Warhammer: Age of What, Now?
Warhammer: Age of Sigmar serves as the Warhammer franchise’s foray into the fantasy genre. Whereas Warhammer 40K takes you to space as mankind, eldar, and orks among others, Age of Sigmar lets you play as popular fantasy races. And this being Warhammer, you’ll see quite a lot of twists.
Like 40K, Age of Sigmar plays just like a war game. You need to collect miniatures to fight and defeat your opponents. Players can buy and collect miniatures from an assortment of factions, each with their own desires and grand ambitions. These miniatures can be in the appearance of stereotypical foot soldiers to more advanced troops and even vehicles.
Some players love Age of Sigmar for its emphasis on the lore of the franchise. The game actively encourages recreating battles from official lore, or even by the players’ stories. And while the rules make the game easy, it does appear very difficult to master.
A War Game?
Add this to the fact that there exists four (4) Grand Alliances, each with their own goals. Order wants to maintain civilization, while Chaos wants to exploit the desires of mortals. Death wishes to rule over all of the realms themselves. Lastly, Destruction fights for their own self-interest, survival, or whims. Each Alliance contains certain factions, each with their own special sets of units.
Players can enjoy Age of Sigmar in three (3) modes. Matched Play will have players face off each other under certain point restrictions. Certain miniatures get assigned “points,” which get “spent” whenever they get drafted for Matched Play. Additional rules ensure Matched Play presents fair advantages to participants.
The other two modes encourage mayhem to players. Open Play lets players go all out with specifics. Meanwhile, Narrative Play encourages players to do matches according to lore. Narrative Play often has special rules, depending on scenarios players choose.
The digital card game contains just as much complexity in its simple rules.
So What’s The Card Game?
The card game boasts to have more than 270 cards across all Grand Alliances. Like in the war game, each Alliance favors a particular playstyle. Players can take advantage of these when making their own deck of 38 cards. Whereas players in the war game get to draft special units, the TCG gets them to draft four (4) Legendary Champions, four (4) blessings, and 30 action cards.
The TCG plays differently compared to more popular games, though. Champions focuses more on the Legendary Champions. Players position their chosen Champions and prepare blessings, which they can use throughout the match. Participants spend turns performing two (2) actions, which they can use to have their Champions do something, or even play a card. Players then draw a card after every action.
Progress in the game gets interesting in the long haul, though. Champions have “personal quests” that reveal their blessing upon completion. These quests include activating spells, deploying units, or damaging enemies. These blessings grant powerful boons to Champions, which they need to conquer their enemies. The game ends when a player reduces his opponents’ health to zero (0) points.
For The Switch: Is It A Worthy Card Game?
Now comes the interesting question. And while the true answer boils down to “waiting until release,” we can give first impressions based on what we have.
The digital aspect of the card game makes it quite a portable and accessible experience. Switch players will definitely find a compelling card game with Champions. This also finally allows them to compete with players on other mobile devices, or even tablets. The game coming to Steam also brings in another competitive player base, in the form of PC players.
However, Champions makes itself compelling with its “physical” aspect. Players of the physical card game can transfer their cards in the game, which means their decks in real life can be recreate virtually. This adds entire layers of customization and deck creation that can expand the game further. In fact, booster cards that come with campaign decks can be scanned and brought to the fray as well.
While these aspects of the game do speak a lot for the overall digital experience, Switch players can at least finally have a card game in their arsenal. And while tablets and mobile phones can easily run the game, there’s a different thrill having it in an actual console.
After all, the layout of the Switch makes the game look more compelling. Not only that, but the layout of the Switch’s controls can make playing the game digitally more comfortable. This is especially the case for players who got used to playing card games on consoles.
New Player? No Problem.
If you’re a new player with little to no experience in Warhammer‘s rich lore, don’t worry. You’ll be able to temper your skills in the fires of war immediately, and with new content and cards being added regularly.
Learn the crafts of war in the robust tutorial, then be ready to test skills against AI or other players in Casual mode, AI challenges, and full narrative campaigns. For the truest test, take on the challenge of Ranked matches for huge rewards and to reach the highest rank possible each season.
Get ready for Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Champions when it comes to Steam in February and on the Nintendo Switch later in Q1 2019.
Are you ready?