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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Friday 21 June 2019

The Game Shelf Reviews:- Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Champions Warband Collectors Pack Series 2

Game: Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Champions Warband Collectors Pack Series 2

Publisher: PlayFusion

Year: 2019

We play a lot of Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Champions, both on the Nintendo Switch and on the tabletop. However, at the UK Games Expo, we learned that we are part of a large group of players who play this game more like a 'board game' than as the collectible card game it was originally modelled as. Whilst the new Warband packs offer some fixed content, as you'll discover in this review and in our review of the first pack, there's still no doubt that the product is best suited to the competitive scene. excitingly, we learnt at UKGE that Playfusion are taking notice of players like us and there should be more fixed decks and other packaged products coming soon for Age of Sigmar Champions.

In the meantime, let's find out if there something here for home players?

What's In the Box?

Just like the first in the series, the second Warband Collectors Pack is a mix of fixed content and random boosters. Inside the box you will find three boosters; one Savagery Booster Pack (set 3) and two Onslaught booster packs (set 2). In addition to these you will find two sets of 8 cards. This time you will find a Chaos faction led by Vortemis the All-Seeing and a Destruction faction led by Zarbag the Shaman. Once again each side receives 1 champion, 3 copies of a spell, 3 copies of an ability and 1 unit, with 1 of each card being foil.

These packs are allowing you to customise your decks after two of the warbands found in Warhammer Underworlds Nightvault, either the squig-happy Zarbag's Gits, or the followers of the god of change the Eyes of the Nine. While both factions are led by a mage their special abilities really help differentiate them, along with providing a solid theme to center your deck around.

Amy’s Final Thoughts

The warband packs certainly feel like a great way for a casual player to expand your collection, the promise of 8 guaranteed cards for 2 factions mean that you know those factions will get a big boost in your collection, with the random boosters giving that little surprise on top. I feel this time we had a little more luck with the boosters, which may be partly because most of our collection is from the original set. We were less likely to see repeats from the more modern sets included in this pack. Of the two factions the Chaos one seemed to have the most obvious theme. The eyes of the nine are focused on predicting the future: manipulating what is on top of your deck and combining that with cards that are powered by the top card of your deck. To me this felt a bit more involved than the Destruction focus which is more to do with spells and grots. However being more involved didn't seem to help them as the destruction deck certainly seemed to be winning the most games!

Much like the first pack the two warbands included here are designed to be antagonistic, both faction's abilities gain extra benefit when facing against the other factions. While this does make for a great 2-player pack, it can feel a little lackluster to use those cards if you aren't facing the right faction. This time my favourite card was actually a champion. I loved Vortemis' one-use heroic power to search the top 6 cards of your deck and rearrange them. The best part being if you really don't like what you see you can re-shuffle your deck. I can see people using this to try and fish for certain combos in conjunction with magic touch to draw more cards.

Overall I still really enjoy the warband packs. This time both factions seemed about equal in ability to slot into an existing collection (the Destruction deck favours the use of grots, but not to the extent that the Briar queen requires spirits) which also helps with deckbuilding flexibility. I still would have enjoyed getting a blessing for each faction, just as a way to really round-off the warband theme, but aside from that I highly recommend this pack.

Fi’s Final Thoughts

The Series 2 set seems to me like a more complete new way of playing with the Destruction and Chaos factions. With the fixed cards, it was easy to see how the two factions became more unique and specialised in the way they played. From a personal perspective, Destruction and Chaos are the two factions that I find the hardest to play with, that demand more knowledge of you deck, knowledge of the typical traits of your opponent deck and just a higher skill level to play. Since I don't have that higher skill level, I didn't really need more strategy in the game that I normally play a lot more tactically and turn-by-turn. However, I can see that for experienced players, the extra depth here will certainly be a great new set of mechanisms to work with.

We were really pleased to find that the booster packs we received gelled really well for the two factions and specifically the abilities of the new champions. Since booster packs are random, this of course won't happen every time, but it's great for us, since we don't have a ton of cards from a history of booster addiction. I don't deckbuild, so I left this task to Amy and ultimately found that the Destruction deck was just unbeatable, whether I played with it (ie. someone who plays quite badly) or Amy played with it. We certainly need to work harder to build balanced decks that still allow us to enjoy the fresh new ideas that are being introduced into the game.

I'm pleased that the Series 2 Warband Pack delivered us some new content, and I only wish that I could have something equally as interesting to embellish my favourite Order faction, more so that the first warband pack did. I'm excited that Playfusion are continuing to support the game and bring out new content and if you're a fan of either of these two factions, then I think you'll be really pleased with this pack.

You Might Like...
  • The mix of fixed cards and boosters guarantees you the opportunity to customise your decks
  • The specialties of the cards work well even if you don't have a huge card collection.
  • There aren't any boosters from the original set this time.
You Might Not Like...
  • If you exclusively play one of the factions you may feel like you aren't getting a great deal.
  • The Destruction cards don't feel like they have the same strong focus that the other factions have had.

The Verdict

7.5/10 Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Champions Warband Collectors Pack Series 2 expands upon the original pack by getting the remaining two factions involved. The inclusion of more recent boosters is a welcome addition. The new champions and spells work well together but you can also freely mix them into any existing decks you have and since they aren't heavily dependant on specific cards they should work well even for players with small collections.

Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Champions Warband Collectors Pack Series 2 was a review copy kindly provided to us by PlayFusion.

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