“The Great Cataclysm shook the firmament with such force its echoes still pervade, and always will. All semblance of tranquility was blasted away in an instant.”
–Warhammer, “War Unending”
The world of Warhammer: Invasion The Card Game is a world of blood and war. The Great Cataclysm reshaped the Old World in a howling tempest of raw magic. It altered lands and beasts; they were twisted from their former beauty into terrible and maddening shapes. The game’s six races must constantly prove themselves in battle. Monsters, Orcs, and minions of Chaos prowl the wilds, and barbaric hordes thunder down from the north. Even among the forces of Order, ancient enmities can erupt into open hostility. No place is safe, and just when you think you may have formed an unbeatable battle plan, along come the multiplayer battles of Cataclysm…
When you participate in the fast-paced, back-and-forth battles of two-player Warhammer: Invasion, you may not always know when the next attack is coming, but you always know who’s going to launch it. In the multiplayer battles of Cataclysm, however, your opponents’ attacks can be much harder to predict. There are more of them, and they can come from any side. That makes defending yourself a much more difficult prospect in Cataclysm than in the two-player game, so it might be to your benefit to encourage your opponents to direct their attacks at each other, instead.
Today, guest writer Torsten Krämer looks at the fleeting alliances and opportunistic backstabbing made possible by the multiplayer format in Cataclysm.
Fleeting Alliances and Opportunistic Attacks
Among the things that excite me most about Cataclysm are the interactions you only get in a multiplayer game. The discussions. Convincing the Dark Elf player he should attack the Dwarfs instead of my cute, harmless little Goblins. Trying to get everyone to gang up on the High Elves because, really, who wants all that indirect damage? The deals. Forming an alliance – and then stabbing your ally in the back when the time is right. Surely some games will be so fast and vicious, there will be little time for such deal-making, but the manipulation of other players will have its place, and it’ll add a whole new dimension to the game.
While all this come naturally with the format, Cataclysm also brings us cards which support these interactions. One such card is Chosen of the Gods (Cataclysm, 39). I both love and hate this card. I hate it out of fear; it’s effect is so profound, and I don’t want to be the one who sees his undamaged, perfectly defended zone go up in flames. But I love it because it often leads to negotiations, to promises – and ultimately to treachery. Sure, if you’re the Chaos player who wants to play this tactic, you might want to wait until one of your zones is burning; otherwise, you can suffer the effect yourself. But, ideally, you’ll find a way to play it early, likely encouraging an opponent to play your ally and target another foe, like some pesky Empire player, who benefits from all his unburned zones. Then you’ll just have to trust your new ally will pick that other person and not turn the effect back on you.
Sometimes, it's in your best interest if one opponent can’t win a battle against another. Maybe you don’t want the strongest opponent to pull further ahead; maybe you’re just not yet ready for the game to end. Many effects already in the game can allow you to interfere, but Cataclysm will provide Order players an additional, immediate way to come to another player's aid. The Ostland Bowmen (Cataclysm, 18) can defend any unburned zone, not just their controller’s. Too weak to stop an assault force by themselves, they can nevertheless tip the scales in favor of the defender – and you! Of course, it should come as no surprise that you can find a similarly opportunistic attacker on the side of Destruction, always ready to join your opponents’ assaults.
Let the Bidding Begin
Another card sure to create heated interactions is Fickle Sellswords (Cataclysm, 49). With two power and two hit points for just one cost, these mercenaries offer a deal too good to pass up. Unfortunately, they also offer it to everyone, all the time, always threatening to abandon you, because they will gladly join anyone’s assault. Of course, for the right price, Fickle Sellswords are always willing to rejoin you. Smart players will prepare for bidding wars with greedy Dwarfs and the newly rich leaders of Raider squads, or they’ll wait until their opponents have squandered their riches on other cards before hiring these Sellswords. Sometimes, though, it’s worth just taking the risk. Sometimes, there’s a lot to be gained by attacking a poor target…so long as you can convince the other players that they shouldn’t lure away your Fickle Sellswords until you can declare them as an attacker.
Cataclysm is coming, and the world of Warhammer: Invasion The Card Game is bound to be changed forever! Boundaries will fall, cities will burn, nations will turn against each, and no one is safe.
When the battles come, will you try to create a wall of defenses too high to overcome? Or will you try to play your foes against each other? Can you survive unending warfare without forging alliances? Can you trust the allies you make? In the multiplayer battles of Cataclysm, you must balance diplomacy, treachery, and brute strength to win dominion over the Old World.
Look for your chance to test your skill in the multiplayer battles of Cataclysm. This deluxe expansion for Warhammer: Invasion The Card Game arrives soon!