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[Shadespire] Casual/Newbie friendly discussion thread

Lord-Kragan

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So, warhammer underworlds online did launch a demo at warhammer fest this last weekend. And what we've been able to gleam was incredibly interesting.


More importantly, it looks much, much better than expected. They didn't limit themselves to bolt onto PC the tabletop game.
 

Mengtzu

Another Kill Team...
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I bought the new teams and they're a lot of fun! The elves are surprisingly killy for only having 2 damage at most, and the dwarves have lots of shenanigans and ranged combat based objectives.

I've also thrown together an all magic all the time Cursebreakers deck which is highly entertaining but super volatile. The magic dice are treacherous.
 

Lord-Kragan

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Magic spam can be a riot with cursebreakers. Specially as they are already a strong warband in terms of stats.
 

Mengtzu

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Played a little friendly store tournament, good fun!

First round was against a new player, and I felt a bit bad for introducing him to the power of a fully armed and operational Mologg, but he was a cool guy and we had fun anyway. Played a quick friendly in place of our third round where I used my dumb spell deck, that was more even.

Second was versus the Cursebreakers player that wrecked me last time. This time I took a round off him and the other two were close, but I would have had to have had extremely good luck to tip either of the games I lost. His deck is just too well tuned for scoring, and too many of my objectives are just "win more against hordes" - so his floor is too close to my ceiling vs elites. Great player and good fun.

Third round I was surprisingly destroyed by the steampunk dwarves, driven by the store manager who was making up the numbers. I've beaten the deck before and Mologg is a real bugbear for the player, but today he put it together when it counted and thoroughly outplayed me. I was happy to be a part of him getting past his troll trauma 😅

(Then we played a friendly and I destroyed him because random Mologg is random 🤷‍♀️)

Good fun but I think I need to take a serious look at my objectives, too many only help me when I'm already winning.
 

Schleiermacher

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New Shadespire player here.

Long story short, I really like the game. The balance is surprisingly good, skill ceiling high and with all the different warbands and customization options, there's a good deal of variety too. Even though some of the warbands have "right" ways to play them (good luck playing Sepulchral Guard as anything but an Objective list for example) there are so many different warbands, and they're so diverse, that there's something for anyone. Plus, many of them can be played in very different styles by different players.

There are two things I don't like though - one minor and one major.
The minor issue is a lot can hinge on the outcome of a few pivotal die rolls. To some extent that's par for the course in GW games - just look at Blood Bowl- but it's exacerbated in Shadespire since each game is so short. With only 12 activations per player, and some of those not involving any rolls, there's no time for a run of hot or cold dice to even out over the course of a game.

Still as I said, ultimately that's minor. Learning to maximize your odds, manage risk vs. reward and play in a way that doesn't leave you entirely at the mercy of the dice is what the game is all about after all.

The bigger issue I have is with objective design. While it's certainly not all bad that GW is willing to push the limits of the design space when it comes to objectives, I think a little more restraint and attention to core gameplay might have improved the game. Spesifically, when you judge by the objective cards in the core game it looks like objectives are broadly concerned with three things: Fighting the opposing warband, controlling objective hexes, and controlling territory more broadly (e.g Denial). That makes sense because that's also what the fighting in Shadespire revolves around on an in-fiction level - you can easily see how those things would further a warband's cause. Then you'd expect that the various warband-spesific objectives add their own twists to that. But quite a few objectives are being printed that are just about jumping through arbitrary gameplay hoops, like Extreme Flank, Change of Tactics, Magical Void or Arcane Torrent.

Now some of these are very strong cards and some are not worth playing (unsurprisingly it's broadly true that the ones you can score without rolling dice are strong, while the ones that rely purely on dice, or are so meta-dependent they might not be scorable at all, are weak) but that's not even really the issue. Rather, the problem is that most of these are completely non-interactive (just how are you supposed to prevent your opponent from scoring Extreme Flank?) and divorced from what the game is ostensibly supposed to be about - fighting over territory and magical Objective hexes. One match-up that I play relatively often is Mollog's Mob vs. Magore's Fiends and in these games the objective hexes usually might as well not even be on the board. Refocusing the game more on objectives that actually require engagement with your opponent and allow for counterplay, like the various Tactical Supremacy objectives, would improve the game significantly in my opinion. It might even make it more common for two opponents' objectives to - gasp- conflict!
 

Mengtzu

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Yeah the randomness - double randomness because there's no guarantee you'll pull the cards you want to mitiagte the dice - is just part of the deal. As a Mologg player I just get used to losing games when my opponent rolls that one crucial defence crit 😅

I'm more positive about the state of objectives than you are but I would agree there's a lot of tension there. They're both what makes the game great and where we as players have the most incentive to optimise the fun out of it.

In particular I think high risk objectives don't have high enough reward and/or require control of the board you probably don't have. If I'm playing an aggro deck that relies on lots of small easy score immediatelies to guarantee upgrades and put the wrecking train on, I should be more worried about the potential for you to pull out a hail mary score combo and win even if I've killed most or all of yiur fighters.
 

Inqy

World Breaker's Sigh
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Does seem like “Claim the City” and similar hold-all-objective cards should just be Exodia style auto-wins for how hard they are to actually score.
 

Mengtzu

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Wish me luck: attempting to get one or two friends to play Shadespire this week!
Good luck, hope it takes!

For your question above, I think it's Mologg (easiest) --> Magore's --> Most other people --> Gitz, Eyes or something like that 😅 It's probably hard to separate ease of use from deck building and in particular selection of objectives. The more straightforwardly violent teams are probably easiest to drive because what they want to do is obvious and trivial to predict, the deck just helps them succeed.
 
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