|Warhammer: Invasion The Card Game | Published 06 November 2009|
Welcome to the first “card of the week” for the Warhammer: Invasion The Card Game, in which we’ll be taking a close look at a different card each and every week. I’m sure that over the course of its lifetime this column will take many different angles. One week, we might present a strategy article that looks at different ways to take advantage of a card, other times we might discuss how to play against a card. Occasionally we’ll introduce and spoil new cards from upcoming sets, and sometimes we might just have an interesting story about the birth of a card... so be sure to check back each week! I’ve been invited to kick things off by discussing my favorite card in the Core Set, the Empire Pistoliers.
With somewhat innocuous stats (2 cost, 2 hit points, and a single power), this faction-defining card is all about its ability. When lead designer Eric Lang first turned in the design file, I fell in love with these guys upon the realization that they were the only card in the set that could single-handedly defend all 3 of your zones. Just make sure to wait until your opponent declares the attack before sending in the reinforcements!
From that point of departure, I found the value of amplifying the defensive reach of the Pistoliers, with cards like Knight Training and the Organ Gun. Knight Training in particular works especially well, moving a two power Pistoliers out of your Battlefield and into your Kingdom and then your Quest zone can really put you ahead in the resource race. It might be tempting to go full circle and attack as well, but be careful: once your opponent sees what you’re doing, the Pistoliers are going to be his primary target when he defends!
OK, that’s all pretty standard Pistoliers fare, and it wasn’t until I was in the midst of a test game against Eric that the final pieces of the Pistoliers pie pulled themselves together. I had a pretty nice set-up in my Kingdom with the City Gates and the Shrine to Taal, having built it up to 5 developments (and therefore extra power) that was growing every turn, when I drew into my Pistoliers. My first thought was to play them into my Kingdom or Quest zone: I was already collecting plenty of resources, what good would grabbing one more simply to move them back out accomplish? But then the combo dawned on me, and the Empire has never been the same. Since the power granted by the Shrine to Taal lasts until the end of the turn, the Pistoliers were the unit of choice for taking full advantage of the boost. Into my Kingdom they went, with an eye to survive until my following turn.
That turn arrived, and the Pistoliers were still on the table. The City Gates added another development to my Kingdom, and the Shrine to Taal gave the Pistoliers an incredible 7 extra power. I counted a treasure horde of resources, and then moved the Pistoliers over to my Quest zone and drew a mittful of cards. Finally, the amped up Pistoliers joined the forces in my Battlefield, and provided the lift that was needed to break through and burn one of Eric’s zones. Spoilsport that he is, Eric killed them off by defending, but the damage was already done, and the Pistoliers had more than paid for themselves...
In closing, I would like to offer one word of caution on this unit. While they are a dynamic, flexible unit that can be useful in adjusting to the flow of the battle as it develops on the table, it can be a trap, especially early in the game, to move them around simply for the sake of moving them. The early game is almost entirely about development, and more often than not you are better off using your resources to get more cards into play than to aimlessly move your Pistoliers around the board. Only after you are developed should take full advantage of this unit’s mobility, and use it to put yourself in a position to win the game.
Join us next week as we look at another spotlight card from the Warhammer: Invasion The Card Game core set.
Warhammer: Invasion The Card Game is a card game by Eric M. Lang in which 2 players develop their kingdoms and lay waste to their foes. Each side is comprised of either the forces of Order -Dwarfs, High Elves, Empire- or the forces of Destruction -Orcs, Chaos, Dark Elves- as they seek to extend their empire to include the entire Old World.
I would play it in the battlefield, you won't need to worry about getting that unit killed as they are always another unit to step up and receive the blessing of Taal. With 5 developments 6 power on a unit every round is nothing to sneeze at. Until it gets burned down or a orc horde runs it over, or a dwarven sapper team demos it!
I like them a lot...
The mentioned "risk" is an actual risk...Someone puts them in the KZ and then move them around, ignroing the fact that the +1/-1 resource is just useless. :)
Much appreciated. I haven't played Empire yet - but may get the chance tomorrow at a game meet up in Seattle. So, this was a good read in preparation.
Excellent job guys, I definately will be looking forward to more of these.
I love this combo. It took me a while to convince myself that the Shrine and Gates belonged in the kingdom. Once I tackled that, I haven't gone back since.
Great article, thanks Nate. :)