All the Warhammer-community is watching the new tabletop game from Games Workshop – Shadespire. We are not an exclusion and we’ve played couple rounds. So, let’s share the impressions!
GW solved their financial issues about big Warhammer and now they pay attention to skirmish. Shadow war: Armageddon, and Age of Sigmar – skirmish are quite interesting projects, nonetheless not super-popular. Now it’s time to try something even smaller.
Shadespire brings us quick turn-based game with activations on the fixed battlefield. The rules are very simple, and unfortunately, not original. They remind several wargames at once. Each turn players alternately activate their figures 4 times. They can move, attack, or charge. The number and type of dice required for a successful attack are stated on the character cards. The same with defense. Players also have different actions and upgrade cards in hands, which brings a nice random element to the game.
The aim is to get Glory points. They are earned by killing enemy models or completing the objectives you also have in hands. There are particular objectives taking, killing a particular number of models and so on. The interesting thing is that the game is not finished if you’ve lost all the models – a lot of objectives can be completed even after it. It’s a great point since this way the game is not reduced to just killing and requires some tactical thinking.
In general, the rules are this easy. You can confidently use all the rules by the middle of the first game. So, it’s a nice way to introduce Warhammer universe to your friends. They might like to try the full-scale game after they’ve played Shadespire. There are also multi-player mods and «capture the flag». We might also expect some new ones – more battlefields, cards, and abilities will definitely improve the game.
It’s nicely played. Mainly because of the fact that all information is on the cards in front of you. You don’t have to keep multiple stats and combinations in mind. Shadespire is a great thing for a couple of relaxed evenings with friends. However, there can be problems with replayability.
There are really few miniatures in the army. For example, Stormcasts player has only 3. The highest number of the shown armies is 7 – for skeletons. The rules for each are simple and mostly standardized. It’s enough for the tabletop game. But here GW tries to compete with such giants like Malifaux and Infinity. And Shadespire greatly lacks depth for it. There are not so many combinations and gameplay elements. There are no markers, terrain and you are limited in the ways to fight. Even the movement of your soldiers is limited by hexes.
However, considering all this, we can’t say that Shadespire is a bad game. Just don’t expect such complex hobby like other skirmish wargames. And, sure, like full-scale Warhammer. It’s a nice tabletop game, which will help you and your friends to spend some evenings with a cup of tea (yes, tea). Let’s hope that releases of new miniatures and play modes will keep Shadespire interesting. This game really deserves better.