For The Glory of The Empire

Warhammer Champions: Age of Sigmar is another entry into the crowded collectible card game market. In a market saturated by games like Hearthstone, Magic The Gathering, Yu-Gi-Oh and Pokemon, the only way to stand out is by delivering something unique. Age of Sigmar on the switch does so in spades by leveraging its unique universe and characters to create mechanics that make the game worth playing.

Tutorial

Age of Sigmar starts out like just about every other game, with a tutorial. While this tutorial doesn’t do the best job in the world of explaining the game mechanics, particularly the extremely useful, but also confusing rotation system. The tutorial is functional and teachers you almost everything you need to know to be competent at a basic level. More in depth learning and understanding comes from trial and error gameplay.

How to play

Playing Age of Sigmar is similar to games like Magic but also very different. There’s no mana cost to be able to dause spells, abilities or summon creatures. However that doesn’t minimize the strategic depth of that’s required for victory. In order to win and bring glory to the empire, you need to take advantage of the abilities of the cards under your command. Commanders have quests, which are mission objectives that they need to complete. As these objectives are completed, new abilities become available to use. These new abilities are known as blessings, these blessings are extremely powerful damage deailing abilities that can turn the tide of battle. You also have to take into account the numbers surrounding the cards that you play, as every turn they rotate, so while you may have only done 1 damage this turn, you could do 4 damage next turn. Knowing what cards to play and when is crucial to victory.

Channeling victory

In a game like Magic, you’ll have a single commander or a single card your entire deck will be based around. While that can be a powerful key to victory, it can also lead to hasty defeat. If your one trump card gets wiped off the map as soon as you play it, your entire game is forefit. Age of Sigmar avoids this by taking a Yu-Gi-Oh style approach and dividing the field of play into sections. Each section has its own specific champion with specific abilities and objectives which can lead to blessings. These channels, known as wizards and warriors allow you to play different cards and use different abilties. Wizards cast spells while warriors deploy units to battle that make up your front line troops. All lanes aren’t created equally, however. Depending on the commander in that lane, the card you’re using may be more useful elsewhere. Deciding what to use and where to use it just goes deeper into the strategy of the game.

Small problems

Overall the game is fantastic. The User Interface is nice and clean and easy to work with however the touch prompts don’t always register. The biggest problem with the game is the required internet connectivity, even when playing by yourself against AI or building a deck. This is a fantastic experience for anyone that wants to get their hands on a new CCG. However the lack of offline play is confusing considering the game is available on the Switch. The Switch is a platform that emphasizes playing anywhere, even when you don’t have wifi. Losing the ability to play Age of Sigmar on your daily commute to work does put a bit of blemish on an otherwise polished experience.

Earn it

The more you play, the more cards you earn. The more cards you earn, the more combinations of decks and abilities you get to play around with, leading to a wonderfully rewarding gameplay experience. There is a monetization system in place in the game but it doesn’t feel like a pay to win option, just a faster route of progression, however you gain enough XP at a fast rate to make paying optional instead of necessary.

Glory To The Empire

Age of Sigmar is a fantastic experience on the Switch that I’d wholeheartedly recommend to anyone looking for a new CCG that’s tired of the same old same old. New gameplay mechanics, wonderful tie-ins to the lore and history of the Warhammer franchise and a genuine breath of fresh air make Age of Sigmar a great addition to your switch library. I’d give it a 4.5 out of 5.

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