Planning a battle is not a simple matter. It demands commanders take into account the infinity of factors that can endanger a strategy’s success. The enemy’s nature, the time and place of the attack, possible reinforcements, where will your forces act most effectively… a myriad of factors matter in determining whether your army will seize glorious victory or taste the bitterness of defeat.
Different decks follow different strategies to victory, but the beginning of the game remains a key factor in determining who will prevail. Will the starting player take advantage of their position to consolidate their board presence? Will the second player sacrifice the initial turns to follow a patient game plan and use their unique bonus card to swing the tides of battle? All strategies have their risks and rewards and today we’re introducing a new way players will be able to further customize their early game strategies: Offence and Defence cards.
When the game was first publicly tested during limited-time events, the gathered data and player feedback made something clear: winning the coin toss and being the first player to make a move gave a clear advantage. To compensate for the first player’s advantage, we introduced a popular system in card games, giving players going second an additional card in their starting hand, as well as a bonus Defence card unique to their faction.
This system had a clear effect in reducing this advantage, giving the second player a way to consistently answer a turn 1 enemy play or a small boost to use in a key moment in the game, depending on their faction. This system is being further expanded to give both players an important decision at the start of each match and allow them to choose how they approach the impending battle, and how they wish to set the scene.
Offence and Defence cards
Eagle-eyed players might have noticed that the battlefield they fight on always corresponds with the faction that’s playing second during the game. In Warhammer 40.000: Warpforge, the player that’s acting first is known as the Attacker, launching an assault against the planet, base or spaceship of the Defender, the player who will act second during the game.
In a not-so-distant update, this will start having a larger effect on the game than it currently does. At the beginning of a match, both players will face an important choice after drawing their initial hands. The Attacker will get to decide the conditions in which they are launching their assault by selecting an Offence card, while the Defender will choose how they decide to use their defences most effectively by choosing a Defence card. Let’s take a closer look at what this means.
Offence cards take immediate effect after the game begins, visually transforming the entire battlefield and adding an environmental effect that will impact both players throughout the match. Offence cards will also depend on the Defending player’s faction, and allow the Attacking player to further plan their assault. Would it be better to attack an Imperial World defended by Ultramarines during a Thunderstorm, which deals 1 damage to a random troop at the start of each turn? Perhaps your deck would find an easier time assaulting a Black Legion fleet during a Warp Storm, which reduces the cost of the first Stratagem played each turn by 1. Or maybe you find it best when attacking a Goff Ork base to do it in a Night Attack, which gives Camouflage for 1 turn to a troop when it’s deployed.
At the same time, the Defending player will select how to use their “home advantage” most effectively. Instead of always receiving the same bonus card when going second, a Defending player will now be given a choice between three different Defence cards. The available Defence choices will still depend on the Defending player’s faction, so every faction counts with different ways to respond to assaults. This means they will be able to see the Warlord and faction they are playing against to best tailor their game plan. An Ultramarine player defending against an Ork invasion might want to stick with the classic Hive Factory Defence card to gain a temporary cost reduction and establish their board faster, but, if they’re defending against a Sautekh army, they might consider taking a Firestrike Turrets Defence card instead, which deals 2 damage to an enemy and would allow them to deal with an early Remnant.
Unlocking the cards
When you first set foot on the battlefields of Warhammer 40.000: Warpforge, you will not have access to these Offence and Defence cards, to allow new players to focus on learning the ropes of the game first.
As you progress and further your knowledge of the different factions in the game, you will unlock new Offence and Defence options that will be available to you whenever you command that faction to glory and when you defend against their assault. Every faction will have a unique selection of 3 different Offence card effects and 3 different Defence cards, so there’s a lot to discover when the feature lands on the battlefields of Warhammer 40.000: Warpforge.
Shortly we will publish an article giving more details on the game’s progress systems and economy, so stay tuned to our social media! Have you not yet joined the battle? Sign up for the closed alpha by filling out this form and you might get a chance to test the game before release!