Warhammer Age of Sigmar Champions is a brand new collectible card game (CCG or TCG – trading card game) from PlayFusion, the company behind the incredibly popular Lightseekers TCG. In Warhammer Age of Sigmar Champions players use cards from one of four army types or Grand Alliances, taken from Games Workshop’s popular Age of Sigmar setting, to build decks and then, using some unique game mechanics, try to defeat their opponent’s deck. This article will take an introductory look at Warhammer Age of Sigmar Champions, as well as look at a full booster box opening, and it will also detail our first two decks. This article will be followed up with a review and unboxing of the Warhammer Age of Sigmar Champions Founders Pack that is still available from PlayFusion, so stay tuned to TechRaptor to learn even more about this brand new game.

Warhammer Age of Sigmar Champions

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The four Grand Alliances available in Warhammer Age of Sigmar Champions (image courtesy of warhammerchampions.com)

Warhammer Age of Sigmar Champions features four different Grand Alliances:

  • Order
  • Chaos
  • Destruction
  • Death

Each of the four Grand Alliances includes different factions within it, taken straight from Age of Sigmar. In the Age of Sigmar tabletop setting, each Grand Alliance has a whole host of different factions, but only a couple of these are currently featured in the Age of Sigmar Champions CCG, which leaves plenty of room for future expansions. This initial release features 278 cards in a mix of Champions, Blessings and the cards that go into the decks themselves which are Units, Spells and Ability cards.

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The different card types in Warhammer Age of Sigmar Champions. Champion, Blessing, Unit, Wizard Ability, Spell, Warrior Ability.

The aim of Warhammer Age of Sigmar Champions is to reduce your opponent to zero health, and this is done in a variety of ways during your turn. Players start with a deck of 30 cards, 4 Champions and 4 Blessings. The Champions are set up across four lanes, facing the four enemy Champions with a Blessing shuffled randomly underneath each one. Some Champions have special abilities and are either Warriors or Wizards (with a few Warrior Wizards) which dictates which cards they can play onto their lane (spells or units). Each Champion has a set of four quests listed on the corners of their card and completing each rotates the card clockwise 90 degrees. Once the Champion has rotated back to their original position, they unlock the blessing that was placed randomly face down underneath them. All Blessings have a grand effect, like dealing damage over a number of turns, or drawing units from the deck and placing them onto the board.

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An example of the 4 lanes setup in Warhammer Age of Sigmar Champions (image courtesy of warhammerchampions.com)

Each turn players get two actions with which they can play units, spell or abilities from their hand, or use a special ability on a character. If one or no actions are taken, players are able to draw cards from their deck for the amount of unused actions. For players, a balance must be found between using their actions and drawing cards, because the only way to draw cards is to not use all of your actions. Another unique mechanic is that most spells and units have a rotating mechanic that can trigger automatically at the start of the turn, or after a requirement is met. For example, the Stomping Maw-Krusher deals no damage for the first two turns, but then it deals 2 damage at the start of the third turn and 3 damage on the forth turn. After cards are rotated to an empty corner, or if they are rotated back to their original position, they are removed from play.

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The Stomping Maw-Krusher’s position when initially played, then Turn 2 and Turn 3. Turn 4 would then be the final corner and on Turn 5 would be removed from play.

There are two standout mechanics in Warhammer Age of Sigmar Champions that have a huge impact on the game. The combination of these two mechanics are why we really enjoy playing this game so much. The first is the action/draw mechanic, which breaks down each player’s turn options to either:

  • Playing a combination of either 2 cards from hand, using 2 heroic actions on a cards in play, or 1 card from hand/1 heroic action
  • Playing 1 card from hand or 1 heroic action and drawing 1 card
  • Drawing 2 cards

This effectively stops snowballing effect that can happen in other card games that have decks that constantly draw cards and push them into play to overpower opponents, which can happen if one player has a poor initial card draw, or isn’t able to quickly deal with an opponent’s threat. It also forces players to balance the momentum of their game. It’s very appealing to play all the cards from your hand as quickly as possible, but then you will need to spend some turns drawing cards with no actions. There are times you will want to play 2 cards and not draw, but it makes this a conscious thought, rather than simply drawing automatically and slamming as many cards as you possible onto the table. There are also times when you won’t be able to play any cards, each Champion can only have 1 unit/spell (depending on if they’re a warrior or wizard) in their lane, which means that you may have to wait for their current cards to expire before playing any more. When this happens Champions can still have ability cards played on them from hand, but not units or spells. Which brings us to the next standout mechanic.

Rotating cards is a mechanic straight from Lightseekers and it revolves (sorry had to use that pun) around certain cards in play rotating 90 degrees each turn. If a card has a number or X in a circle in the top corners of the card, it means that at the start of each turn it will rotate 90 degrees and activate the ability listed on the card if able. For example the Lightning Strike Spell, the first three corners contain an X, which means that nothing happens while it rotates through those corners, but then when it gets to the last corner, it will activate the ability, which is damage your opponent for the amount listed in the corner, which is 9.

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The Lightning Strike Spell’s position when played from hand, Turn 2 and Turn 3. On Turn 4 the spell would deal 9 damage and on Turn 5 would be removed from play.

While playing Age of Sigmar Champions, you will have to monitor the timing of your own cards, of which you could have several rotating each round, as well as your opponents, which could be set up to remove or block damage from your cards in play. This can lead to some very interesting situations and requires a solid level of tactical consideration. The timing is handled by a simple front to back, left to right action order for rotating cards. We have yet to come across any timing issues in our games so far.

What we also like a lot about Warhammer Age of Sigmar Champions, and if you have read any of our previous tabletop articles you will know how important this is for us, is theme. Games should feel like the setting you are playing in. It’s very easy to put a setting or IP on top of some mechanics and call it a game. In Age of Sigmar Champions, Orruk (Orcs) feel like you are playing a tide of green-skinned warriors rushing for combat. Playing Death actually feels like you are commanding a rising horde of undead warriors and sending them forth, using magic and abilities to leach life from your opponent and boost yourself. PlayFusion have done a great job of giving each Grand Alliance depth and flavor, and while the card pool is currently limited, 278 cards equates to roughly 69 cards per faction, which is not exact as there are several neutral cards that can be added to any deck, and after you take away the Blessings and Champions further reduces the amount of available cards per deck, there are currently only limited options for decks. This may initially feel limiting to CCG players who are used to huge card pools, but those that remember the early days of Magic the Gathering or Legend of the Five Rings will understand that card pools take time to build and if Age of Sigmar Champions is successful, then there is a huge amount of scope for expansion into other factions as well as developing the forces already included.

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A booster box of Warhammer Age of Sigmar Champions.

Booster Box Opening

A booster box of Warhammer Age of Sigmar Champions contains 24 booster packs. In the below gallery you can see the contents of every single booster pack we opened. Each booster contains 6 common cards, 3 uncommon, 1 rare, 2 Champions or Blessings and 1 foil card.

As you can see from the images above, we got a great spread of cards across the four Grand Alliances. Combined with the four starter decks, we’re able to make a viable deck for each faction and have options for several types of decks with each. After one booster box, it’s not a full set, but we’re not missing that many individual cards, but having access to only single copies of most rares and some uncommons means that if this is your only purchase, some trading will need to be done and you will be somewhat limited in which Grand Alliances you wish to play. A single booster box does give you an incredible start in terms of entry to the card pool and some trading will allow you to make some very competitive decks.

The TechRaptor Tabletop Team’s first two Warhammer Age of Sigmar Champions decks

Note: These are not optimized decks, simply the decks we’ve enjoyed the most with the cards we have available while we’ve been testing Warhammer Age of Sigmar Champions. We will follow up with optimized decks and full deck guides later on.

The Stack!

The Destruction Grand Alliance makes use of a mechanics called Stacking, where units can stack on top of other units in play, boosting themselves based on the number of units beneath it (stacks are limited to 3 cards included the stacking card on top). The Stack! looks to play a large amount of units onto the table and deal damage directly to your opponent quickly. There’s no magic in this deck as it focus’ on dealing damage as quickly as possible, and activating the Blessings really helps with this, so the focus of gameplay has to be on completing the Champions’ quests and not having any Wizards or spells really optimizes the deck to do that.

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The 4 Champions and 4 Blessings used in The Stack! TechRaptor Warhammer Age of Sigmar Champions Deck

Champions & Blessings

  • Gordrakk, Fist of Gork
  • Warboss Recruiter
  • Gore-Gunta Boss
  • Orruk Boss
  • Might of Gork
  • Renewed War-Lust
  • Smash and Bash
  • Ushering of the Waagh!

Units, Spells and Actions

  • 1x Pouncing Wolf Rider
  • 2x Crowded Wolf Chariot
  • 2x Arahnarok Spider
  • 3x Brute Smashas
  • 2x Grot Slashas
  • 3x Orruk Shield Bashers
  • 2x Show-Off Grots
  • 3x Orruk Scrappers
  • 1x Meat Shield Grots
  • 1x Surprising Skulkers
  • 1x Trampling Grunta
  • 1x Sweeping Gore-Grunta
  • 3x Mob Rule
  • 1x Mosh Pit
  • 1x Grot Ambush
  • 3 Deadly Chop

 

Blood! (and some change)

This deck is predominately a Khorne deck based on dealing damage directly to your opponent, some of the Tzeentch spells allow you to bring out demons quickly from your deck and some from your discard pile, so a Lord of Change was a solid inclusion for some deck efficiency.

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The 4 Champions and 4 Blessings used in the Blood! (and some change) TechRaptor Warhammer Age of Sigmar Champions Deck

Champions & Blessings

  • Bloodthirster of Unfettered Fury
  • Lord of Change
  • Chaos Champion
  • Chaos Champion
  • The Path of Skulls
  • Outrageous Carnage
  • Skull  Throne
  • Chaos Runeblade

Units, Spells and Actions

  • 2x Blood Warrior Berserker
  • 2x Transmogrifying Flamer
  • 2x Starving Flesh Hounds
  • 3x Pack of Bloodletters
  • 3x Gore-Slick Skullreaper
  • 1x Fearless Khorgoraths
  • 3x Charging Bloodcrusher
  • 2x Capricious Flamer
  • 2x Scorn of Sorcery
  • 3x Blood Hunt
  • 2x Gift of Change
  • 1x Summon Daemon
  • 2x Searing Firestorm
  • 2x Infernal Gateway

 

There will be more Warhammer Age of Sigmar Champions coverage over the next few weeks, including more deck builds, a Founders Pack unboxing and review and some tactics/mechanics guides. Let us know if there is anything you would like us to cover.

 

Edit – Update – 05/08/2018

Something that we forgot to mention initially is the Booster Cards. These cards can be scanned by the player who finds them in the starter and booster packs, and then every player after who scans them increases the reward value for themselves and the original owner. Here are our Booster Cards, so get scanning and join us in increasing the rewards.

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Warhammer Age of Sigmar Champions Booster Cards.

 

The 4 decks and booster box of Warhammer Age of Sigmar Champions used for this preview was provided by PlayFusion.

 

Are you excited for Warhammer Age of Sigmar Champions? Which Grand Alliance are you planning on playing? If you try our decks, please let us know what you think in the comments below.

 

 


Adam Potts

Tabletop Specialist

I'm the new Tabletop Staff writer for TechRaptor. I've been involved in the video game and board game industry since 1997, from managing communities, to flavour text writing for CCGs. Most recently I've been involved in gaming journalism and playtesting. I'm an avid player of Gwent (the Witcher 3 Card Game) online, as well as an RPG player and table top gamer.