REVIEW: The Warhammer CCG: WarCry
Warhammer has been challenging hobbyists for years, the lore and world behind it has been carefully protected by the master designers at Games Workshop, so trying to create a Customizable Card Game based around this game of Elves, Dwarves, and Orks is a project that promised to challenge even the most seasoned game developers. So Games Workshop summoned the Designers at Sabertooth Games, Seattle based Development company behind the Warhammer 40,000 CCG, as well as the upcoming Lord of the Rings Tradeable Miniatures Game. Shortly after, WarCry was born.
If you’re familiar with card games, you’re also familiar with the pages and pages of rules that accompany even our favorite games like Decipher’s Lord of the Rings Trading Card Game and Magic: The Gathering. Well when I opened my Grand Alliance starter box, the rulesheet that unfolded in my hands is only one double sided page, slightly longer than your average sheet of printer paper. These short easy to read and easy to understand rules explained what each characteristic of a card did, and how to understand the tactics described on my action cards. Thanks to a demo from WarCry Designer Ryan Miller, I walked away with a basic understanding of the cards, so to make sure we’re all on the same page, let’s take a look at some of the great features that WarCry has to offer.
Just the Starter Box alone is a tribute to the great artistry behind WarCry, when you take your Grand Alliance Starter Box and set it next to your Hordes of Darkness Stater Box the combined artwork on the two boxes create one grand scene of Men, Elves and Dwarves going to battle with Orks, Dark Elves and the armies of Chaos. Inside the Grand Alliance Starter Box is 30 Unit Cards, the heroes and soliders of your army, and 30 Action cards, which when luck sides with you can tilt the tide of battle in your favor. Let’s take a look at one of our hero cards, one of the more stunning cards in the set, also happens to be one of the rarest.
Imrik, Dragon Prince of Caledor is a favorite Miniature of many a Warhammer Hobbyist, and also happens to be a very beautiful Foil card in WarCry. Starting off, Imrik is a Flying Unit, which allows him to block cards regular Infantry and Calvary cards cannot. Imrik’s Strength is 5, a very respectable value, he has 6 Tactic Points, and a Leadership Value fit for a Prince: 5. Not only will his 5 Strength allow him to start off ahead of your average Infantry and Calvalry, but with 6 Tactic points you will be able to play numerous Action Cards to put more of a scare into your opponent. Lets take a look at some of those Action Cards.
Strength of the Forethought is an Action card that fans of our man Imrik will greatly appreciate. Basically, this card rewards you for using it alone as your Combat Tactic. It costs 1 of your Tactic Points to play, and gives the unit +1 Strength for each Unspent Tactic Point at the end of the Tactic Phase. On our bud Imrik, if you only play Strength of Forethought during your Tactic Phase, you can get +5 Strength just by playing this card and sitting back sipping your Starbucks. How does combat work? What is Strength and why do we want to keep our strength as high as possible?
The Combat phase is a very unqiue and very special element of the WarCry Collectible Card Game. On the table is a strip with the icons for the dark, and light side strength bars, when you begin a combat, you move a counter up towards your opponent or closer to yourself depending on the strength of your unit, verus the strength of your opponents unit. As you play Action cards the token can move either way, as strengths rise and special abilities play out, this is an amazing way to simulate the struggle of battle and a feature that sets WarCry appart from other games of its kind. So our man Imrik, in a battle with the Dark Elf Flyer the Archon of Twilight, would start off with an advantage of 1, as Imrik’s Strength is 5, and the Archon’s strength is 4. From there action cards can make Imrik bend the Dark Elf to his will, or leave Imrik wishing he’d stayed out of the battle. As soon as both sides have played out their action cards, each player “rolls” by drawing the top card of their action deck. There is a die logo on the bottom left corner, you add your die roll, and the total strength of your unit, against your opponents, and the higher player is victorious. A tie ends with the slaughter of both units.
Overall the WarCry CCG is a great easy to learn Collectible Card Game that really captures the struggle of war that Warhammer Hobbysts demand, yet still be an experience that new fans to the Warhammer way can easily enjoy again and again. Designers Luke Peterschmidt, Ryan Miller and the rest of Sabertooth Games really built a great system that anyone can pick up and enjoy for hours at a time. You can pick up WarCry in your local Gaming Shop, and when you do shoot us a line with your thoughts on the game and we’ll post em up right here on Gaming Havens at TheOneRing.net.
until next time…….Posted in Old Special Reports on June 23, 2003 by Flinch