Hello everyone !!
First i'd like to apologize, the review was delayed because of a technical blunder on my side and i had to start over from scratch !
The official description is :
This box contains everything you need to run a multiplayer campaign of Warhammer Age of Sigmar in the war-torn lands of the Flamescar Plateau. Whether you want to play Skirmish games, or massive, epic battles with thousands of points, this set makes it easy to organise, set up and play.
Let's get this review started !
Before getting into the meat of the rules i'd like to spend a short time on the content and it's quality. In the box there are Cards, a map and stickers.
A) Map and stickers
It's an interesting combo, using a cardboard map and sticker and it's the first time gw did it IIRC.
The Map is foldable, in Cardboard, with 6 panels, very close in quality to the bloodbowl pitch but with a lighter density and a smaller size. It's a representation of the Flamescar Plateau a war torn lands in the Fire realm. The back story is that a magocracy used to live here but got wiped by Khorne himself after they disintegrated his armies(haha is khorne allowed to swing his axe ?) . I guess it did matter a little where the blood flowed from.
The design look good with cute illustrations on a few regions (the ones with strategic importance.)
To be honest it feel a bit empty a larger numbers of points of interest drawn on the map would have been better but it's nothing major. On the 23 regions only 9 have something drawn on them the rest is barren land.
2) Stickers (256)
Stickers are supposed to be reusable and there are a bunch of them.
First they are not sticker because they don't use any glue !! they hold in place with statics, or Chaos magic.
The bigger one (the starting position markers) tend to curl a little. One solution i found is to lightly lick the marker back
and stick it on the map (like with a stamp). Then it's super well sticked and even take an effort to remove it from the map. I didn't mention it but the design of the large one are amazing and invite the imagination !!
The smaller marker hold very tight without licking and it's worth noting that once you have used them you can replace them on the storage sheet without any trouble.
My conclusion on the map and markers is that they are of great quality, the marker re usable thing is great and work perfectly. My only caveat is, if i need to keep the map somewhere for all the campaign i would have liked a thinner material to hang it on a wall. Still doable with the cardboard map but not very intuitive.
B) Cards & envelopes
There are a lot of cards in firestorm and that's because it's a deck building game ! Off course you also need to store them for the duration of the campaign and envelopes are provided.
Cards, cards, cards, cards (131). You get 4 set of domains cards (one for each players).
Glory points, build points, strategic cards, secret objectives... The quality is ok (nothing special) with a slight satin finish, if i were to make a comparison, the open war cards are of better quality. Don't freak out though, the difference is very light and you have to hold the two at the same time and look really hard to feel a difference.
Great idea to have thought of it. In fact it's primordial to be able to stock your deck between battles. If the idea is great, the actual product is not ^^ it's cheap thin cardboard that not gonna last more than a few sessions. The positive is that you can write your name on it and i am sure GW store will give them freely for playing (and that would explain the quality). One other options is getting a deck holder (for MTG) and store all the cards inside.
Quality is ok, nothing special but it does the job ! Let's get to the rules now !!!!
Firestorm is a campaign mode for 2 to 4 players battling for the control of the Flamescar Plateau. Playing campaigns of warhammer (battle or 40k) in a sandbox with way to upgrade cities was always a dream of me. Alas it never really worked as i imagined. Was it official campaign set, third party solution or even homemade.
And Here come Firestorm ! I know deck building game have a lot of hype these days, but to imagine GW would join the fray is great (Shadespire going have deck building too). It's innovative as a way to manage a campaign ! Made me think a little of the board game : Terraforming mars (way easier don't worry).
A) Overview of the rules
The rules are quite simple but with a lot of little details improving the depth of the game. We fight for zone control by challenging other players. before each battle, we draw 6 cards from our deck and build our armies with the points allowed. After the game, there is a post battle phase where you can loot and then upgrade your deck !
B) Set up :
Set up is quite straight forward. First you roll for starting position. Then take the 8 base cards composing your Domain deck.
Finally draw 3 secrets objectives, choose one and place it in the envelopes until the end of the campaign or until you complete it !.
Write your name on the different markers of your color.
That's it for the set up !
1) No turn & honor code !
In the Firestorm campaign there is no turn per se, at any time you can challenge and play within the set time limit (One week for exemple). But you can't challenge again until the previous game is played.
The code : Instead of a big set or rules for challenge there is a code !
haha it's a cool rule !
2) Time of war and region selection
There is a Time of war rule for each of the regions on the map. Off course some have perks for certain race or drawback.
To select which region to fight on, you roll a dice and the winner choose where the battle take place. That mean you can challenge someone and if you win the roll you choose where the fight happen, your zone, a neutral zone or one controlled by the challenged.
The most interesting part of the campaign (outside of playing an AOS battle of course.) is spending build points to improve your deck and map control.
1)Spoils of war :
After each battle both player gain 1d3 build points to spend. (The winner can reroll. )
Unspent build points are converted to cards and are saved for later in the envelope.
2)Spending build points :
The first thing you can buy with build points is a garrison ! it's a super strong defensive tool that also help conquering close region. Garrison allow you to draw a 7th domain card before the battle (it's super good if you have a good deck).
Second way to spend build points is upgrading the Domain deck.
There is 3 types of Domain cards, basic, upgrade, optional. You always start with the 8 base cards
You can purge your deck of basic cards with upgrade cards or you can add optional cards and upgrade them too if you want.
It's really important (i think) that you get to the max muster point asap ! (max is 20 pts per fight) but i am sure other strategies are viable too !
1) Muster points :
In a matched play 1 muster point = 100 pts ! max is 20 muster points (so 2000p max). If players are ok with it, they can decide at the start of the campaign that muster points are worth 50 or 200 or any number they want.
So it's important to make the drawing of cards before the play day because you may have to change your list based on the number of MP you got !
2) Strategic points :
SP are rerolls, for 1 SP you can re-roll all combats and magics rolls. They can also be used to buy stratagems during/before a game.
Here the list of stratagems:
In the firestorm campaign there is 4 Battleplans and they all utilise a bidding system for role selection.
All the 4 BP used in the Firestorm campaign are some sort of surprise attack. That mean that one role, the attacker is going to be favored. The four present in the book are :Trap, Flanked, Night Attack, The Ambush.
2) VP bidding:
As a way to balance the scenario, both player bid VP before the game (secretly on a piece of paper). The winner get the attacker side !
It's a super interesting mechanisme, but you are going to need a few games to get the right amount VP bid. Because if you bid too much you will loose even as the attacker and if you bid too low you give away the attacker role for cheap and loose.
There a few thing that i left out about the Firestorm campaign
1) Other details
-Parley : Player can make tractation and even trade stuff.
-Legacy Campaign : You can start a new campaign on the ruin (map) of the old one !!
-Victory : At end of the campaign duration the player with the most glory points win. But you win instantly with 30 glory points or by making a flame scepter and controlling 3 specifics zones !
-A realm gate
Firestorm is a really cool box ! It solve all the campaign problem that i encountered in the past.
The deck building is great and manage everything in the game : army size, town upgrade, defense, objective, win and loss.
It's fast and easy to explain.
To me there is only 2 problems with this release :
-The map is a bit heavy to hang on a wall and you need to keep the board open during all the campaign (or make sure that the markers are really well fixed !)
-The enveloppes quality is a bit low.
That's it for the review of the campaign mode of Firestorm !
I think it's going to be my favorite release for the AOS, i honestly think it's brillant and super fun to play. I can't wait to start a campaign (maybe next week !)