Welcome to The Game Shelf!

After getting into the board game hobby at the end of 2014, we've decided to share our thoughts on the games we're collecting on our shelves. The collection has certainly expanded over the last few years and we've been making up for lost time!

Sometimes our opinions differ, so Amy will be posting reviews every Tuesday and Fi will post on Thursdays. We hope you enjoy reading some of our opinions on board games - especially those for two players.

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Saturday 4 May 2019

The Game Shelf Reviews:- Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Champions Warband Collectors Pack

Game: Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Champions Warband Collectors Pack

Publisher: PlayFusion

Year: 2019

Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Champions Warband Collectors Pack is an expansion to the 2018 trading card game. While Age of Sigmar Champions shares the same 2-player beat your opponent with monsters until they die format that is common in a few trading card games. Where Champions differs is in it's unique corner system. Each turn cards rotate to their next corner which dictates things such as how much damage they do. This allows for a wide range of playable creatures that might hit hard when played but then get weaker over time or ones that do damage for 2 turns and then heal you on the third. If you want to see our full thoughts on the base game you can find them here.

The Warband Collectors Pack bucks the trend of the standard booster-packs that have been released so far. Instead including fixed cards for 2 of the 4 factions allowing your to customise your deck to be inspired by either the Thorns of the Briar Queen or Stormsire's Cursebreakers.

What's In the Box?

The Warbands Collectors pack is a bit of strange beast, somewhere halfway between an LCG style purchase model and a traditional trading card game. Inside you will find 3 boosters packs (two from the original Champions set and 1 from Onslaught) filled with random content as you would normally expect. In addition there are 16 exclusive cards, 8 for Order and 8 for Death. Both sides feature a unique champion along with 3 copies of a spell, 3 copies of an abilities, and a unique unit for each faction. As this is the only way to get hold of these cards they were kind enough to provide a foil copy of each unique card.

The purpose of these fixed cards is to theme your decks after the Thorns of the Briar Queen and the Stormsire's Cursebreakers. The stars of in Warhammer Underworld Nightvault, the sequel to Shadespire. As you might expect the new Order champion works well when used with Stormcast units, while the Briar Queen focuses on spirit-style undead. While you will get one of each type of unit in this pack you will have to rely on your own collection to fully utilize these new champions. Like all Age of Sigmar Champions cards you are able to scan these card in to add them to your digital collection as well as your physical one.

Amy’s Final Thoughts

Age of Sigmar Champions is a great game and it's always a treat to get it back to the table. The chance to make our decks after the warbands from the other Warhammer game we play was a welcome addition in theme alone. It's hard to rate what random boosters add to the game, obviously they add more card and choice, but whether the cards are ones you want is always a roll of the dice. We happened to pull another spirit-themed champion which we lack the cards to properly utilise and a unique champion that comes in the order starter set as two of our rares. Hopefully your luck will be better! There is certainly a discrepancy in how useful the set is for players with a limited collection. Even if you just have the starter set for Order you will easily have enough of the very common stormcast units to work well with the new Order champion. However the new Death champion wants you to have units of the Spirit type and those are considerably rarer and mostly available in the later sets, you'll need a big collection if you want to best use her.

That said even with our limited selection of cards the Warband Collectors Pack makes for a great pair of antagonistic decks. The abilities on both sides have a bonus effect if played against the included opposing faction for example, though these cards become far more limited against Destruction or Chaos decks. For me the star card was The Howling Vortex spell, this spell scorches it's way across the battlefield removing allied and opponent units alike before doing a whopping 7 damage. It's tricky to use right but played well this card can be devastating.

While I did enjoy this card collection I think what would have made it complete was a new blessing for each faction so that every card type was represented in the pack. Other than that the Warband pack really delivers. The 8 included cards are enough to use as many as the rules allow of each card, while the cards are useful enough that you'll probably want to! While the Order cards are slightly easier to fit into your collection both sides seemed evenly matched even with our limited card pools.

Fi’s Final Thoughts

I am a huge fan of Age of Sigmar Champions. It was on my Top Ten Games list for 2018 and from that list it’s perhaps the one I’ve been revisiting the most. Now that the app is available on Nintendo Switch, that’s certainly a factor, but I have still been enjoying the analogue version more.

Since we do not really play collectable card games, this particular product is exactly the kind of ready-made product that appeals to me as a player wanting to get more out of Age of Sigmar Champions whilst still knowing exactly what I’m going to get. However, since we only really have starter decks, plus the boosters from this pack, there are strategies that are relevant to the new champions that we can’t really exploit. If I were a veteran player of the game, I do wonder whether I’d want expansions from the original set at this stage now that both Onslaught and Savagery have been released.

I guess I’d love to see some more content for me as an audience that is more like a board game expansion in the way it refreshes my content, rather than a random booster model.
If nothing else this booster has whetted my appetite to play more of the game and I’ll simply need to rely on Amy to be my deck-builder since that’s really not something I enjoy. I have enjoyed adding the new cards into my deck and have found myself able to win with either Order or Death which is nice for me since I used to play Order exclusively.

You Might Like...
  • The new cards are both interesting and powerful additions to the game
  • The combination of fixed content and boosters ensures that you get something you like while also keeping the excitement of random content.
You Might Not Like...
  • Extra boosters from older sets might not be great for fans who already have large card collections.
  • If you don't have a large collection you may find the Briar Queen an underwhelming champion.
  • There's nothing here if you play Chaos or Destruction exclusively.

The Verdict

7.5/10 Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Champions Warband Collectors Pack is a new way to expand you AoS Champions collection. if you're looking for new heroes to add a thematic flare to your deck and a guarantee of some of the cards you're going to get, then this is a great addition. Whilst not everything works for players with a small collection, we'd recommend this pack for players with small-to-medium collections who want something new to try out.

Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Champions Warband Collectors Pack was a review copy kindly provided to us by PlayFusion.

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