Impressions: Warhammer 40,000: Warpforge is accessible, but hard to master
We bring you our early impressions of the demo of the new Warhammer 40,000 card game.
Who would have told the creators of the Warhammer brand when it was created in 1983 that its video game section would be almost as important as its physical one? For those who don't know, Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 belong to a company called Games Workshop, which develops armies of figures that need to be assembled and painted, and then used to carry out simulations of real battles.
The Warhammer universe can be as rich or richer than that of The Lord of the Rings, for example. This has led the brand to develop its stories on multiple platforms, from novels to miniatures to the case at hand: video games. Warhammer 40,000 takes place in a very, very distant future (in the forty-first millennium, in fact), in which humanity has been scattered across half of known space trying to spread the faith of the Emperor. Of course, on this journey mankind encounters various races and beings such as Orks, Tyranids (similar to Xenomorphs) and even a space-age version of elves called Eldar. But mankind's greatest enemy will be the armies of the Horus Heresy, the followers of the same Chaos Gods from Warhammer Fantasy, who are the true antithesis of the Imperium.
This is the context in which Warhammer 40,000: Warpforge, a new card game that tries to get in on the fever for this genre we are currently experiencing, takes place. We were able to see so far in Warpforge that it is an agile and fast game, which does not require excessive learning time to crack. We only need a couple of tutorials to get up and running, but it teaches us enough, to know what we can expect. In the two tutorials we first play the Space Marines and then the Orks, so we can obviously play different races, which will of course translate into different decks.
Warpforge is fast-paced, and it is mainly about strategy in combat. We don't start with a lot of energy, on the contrary, at the beginning it is scarce, so we will have to be smart when using it. Like all card games, we will have to carefully balance the use of skill cards with attacking. The game ends when the commander of our troops falls.
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Each unit has two types of attack: ranged attack and melee attack. This is very important because depending on the type of unit you have, you may have different attack values. In addition, each unit will return a part of the damage you inflict, so we will have to calculate each of our attacks if we don't want to 'die on the attack', as used to happen in the Middle Ages. This dynamic of attack types is very relevant when, for example, air units appear, since we won't be able to hit them with melee attacks.
Apart from the attack calculation and counter-attack, the game lacks excessive strategic difficulty. For people new to this type of game, it is a good start, as there are no complex dynamics. The greatest difficulty we found is energy management. Throughout the game we draw cards from the deck as our energy increases. Among the cards that we have, on the one hand, there are the troops that we will have to deploy and the special cards, both with an energy cost. Therefore, we will have to choose whether to add troops to our army or use the special attack cards. We recognise that sometimes these decisions have translated - in many cases - into victory or defeat. Unfortunately more of the latter.
A really negative point is that we couldn't find a big difference in performance depending on the deck we use. This is probably due to the fact that this is a demo and later on the differences between decks will be more tangible, not in their power, but in their play style. Just like in the tabletop battle simulator from which the game originates.
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On the technical aspect, we tested the demo on a MacBook Air with an i5 processor and 8GB of RAM and we have to say it was a bit average. Drops in the refresh rate of images are common and it is something strange because the game is not at all demanding in terms of graphics.
We would like to remind you that the demo is no longer available on Steam, as its access ended on October 10th. But we can't wait for it to be officially released as a full game so that we can fully exploit its online fighting system, which is the main focus of the game.