By Fantasy Flight Games
A Warhammer fantasy outing created outside of the Games Workshop stables could make a fan of Warhammer a little wary but I'm happy to say that "Invasion" manages to perfectly capture the voice, the style and incidental details that endear fans to this fantasy universe.
It helps that the famous game designer Eric M. Lang was at the helm and that some of the more popular races of Dwarfs, Humans, Orcs and Chaos are available to play (those green skinned Orc's being my personal favorite).
Invasion is a two player card game which sees players building up their Kingdom, going on quests and attacking the enemies capital. So essentially each player races to build up their force to attack the other sides castle while defending their own. As with many of the best games, it's a pretty simple game to learn but does take time to really master and it's one that is enhanced by the different traits the various races bring to the table. Each race is pretty unique and plays very differently and this helps to bring some longevity to the game.
While Warhammer Invasion is a "card game", it isn't one of those where you have to buy loads of packs before you can play; it's very self contained and doesn't need anything else to enjoy. There are however a number of extras you can buy and these vary from additional "battle packs" which add additional races and card options to full blown expansions that provide new game mechanics and additional levels of strategy.
Warhammer Invasion is a great deal of fun to play, I loved how easy it was to pick up and even those who don't normally play board games or even card games can learn it very fast. You don't even need to have any interest in Warhammer to enjoy, the game-play and strategy are strong enough to stand up on their own. It does however act as a great introduction to the Warhammer world and the artwork is superb.
The game mechanics are perfectly balanced and at no point can you get hopelessly overwhelmed just by one bad move. The rules are easy to understand and pretty clear, setting up and getting going with your first game takes no time at all. The way that each race plays very differently really does add an extra dimension to the game, rather than different on the surface, the designers have managed to perfectly capture the essence of each race perfectly.
The actual siege battles are quite rewarding, even when the attackers get through the outer defenses of the keep it can still be a tough job to win with the defenders putting up a fierce resistance and here the game mechanics really do shine.
Warhammer Invasion is an incredibly polished game that is simple to pick up and play but takes real skill to master, suitable for the casual gamer, the family or those who love the strategy of war. Astonishingly addictive and remarkably rewarding I'd love to see this reach a wider audience - it deserves a place amongst the best board games that fill the shelves.