Warhammer 40000: Warpforge

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Warhammer 40000: Warpforge

Post by raisinbman »

Part of me thinks I should just make a 'Warhammer games' topic, but this does search better so....:

A bit of background:

I'm heavy into CCGs and DCGs, and I most recently struck out trying to become internet famous(or at least get internet paid) playing MTG:Arena. So, like any sane person, I looked for another CCG to spend my time with. While I could just lick my wounds and go back to MTG(an inevitability), I saw a post on reddit saying how various card games don't care about limited.

Limited, if you're not familiar, is using a limited set of cards(hence the name) that you've just 'pulled' in either a 'draft' or 'sealed' format. MTG players will be familiar, but it's also in Hearthstone(arena), Legends of Runeterra(well, it was....it was called Expeditions but they've given up on it and shuttered the mode), Elder Scrolls Legends, Eternal.

While I understand people prefer the decks they've invested time and money into, at the same time, the industry seems to go gaga at roguelike/lite experiences, which this essentially is. Hopefully the point I'm making makes sense to y'all, but if not: if limited is such a critical darling, why is it a secondary goal? So I wanted to look for more limited experiences, and see if one fits me better.

That brings us to Warhammer 40k: Warpforge. I'm not sure how much Games Workshop regulates what its licensing, but they do seem to take the shotgun approach of many different games at different levels(from Doom-esque boomer shooter to fully fledged FPS in the form of Space Marine). With this knowledge in mind, I'm not sure how long this'll even stick around, and it's not even in alpha, so can't give it an actual grade.

The basic conceit is you have your commander, who you can attack with and they have an inherent power and alignment. They don't do a very good job saying what the actual alignments are, but since I have enough cursory knowledge(Marines, Chaos Marines, Tyranid, Eldar(?), Orks, Necron) I was able to figure it out. The 'cards' are displayed as if they were sort of...standing in a diorama, and various effects show that off. The effects are serviceable, as are the backgrounds. I do think they need to differentiate certain effects(why do camouflage and stealth look so similar?, accidently attacking wrong because something has armor feels bad). Unlike MTG, they're not going off of an established game, so creating a coherent visual language is something they'll need to do to. MTGA and LOR tend to do these pretty well, with LOR going to ridiculous extremes to display certain things. The game doesn't display 'related' cards, which means you'll be expected to know what 'master tactician' is before you choose to include that card. I was a bit disappointed by the voice acting, I've played a little of the turn based strategy(not sure if it was total war or something else) where I remember it being excellent. With Orks being as memed as they are, I was disappointed to hear a very boring, unenthused english accent from them. Especially being huge into Warcraft, Starcraft, and the aforementioned card games, it's a bit ironic that the grandfather doesn't seem to have as well of a handle on quips among other things as the much newer products.

They do have a draft format, which is really where I'll be living. Unfortunately, it seems to be copying the LoR model where you're not choosing 1 card at a time, but a group of cards. I won't go into why this sucks in great detail beyond the fact that this tends to make your draft too on rails, but let's just say I imagine this is why LoR got rid of it's expedition mode. The mechanics seems to be interesting enough, and the biggest one is probably the fact that every unit has a ranged and melee attack. Some units have a weaker ranged/melee attack, which can even be 0, so choosing how to attack, and even IF attacking is a good idea is a big part of everything. I can definitely see inspiration from MTG and other places:

Orks are very "red" with direct damage, and lots of small units that can overwhelm the opponent fast and in other elements, act like the Gruul(RG) color combo. Tyranids want to create one big giant unit with unbelievable stats(green, or green white), Eldar can harvest the dead to improve their units, while having alot of 'evasive' units that fly, have camo, or use stealth, and Marines seem to be somewhere between it all(but give me the feeling of 'white' from MTG. Necron can revive their units, or use them to fuel even more powerful ones(black, possibly white).

Community seems to be pretty good, which is saying something for WH40k fans sadly, but ofc, the only people who're playing right now DEFINITELY want to be there considering its a pre-alpha.

Verdict: Keep an eye on this one, if it even gets released. Pretty fun and short matches. Overall, Serviceable game.
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