Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Dipping my Toe into Shadespire

When it first came out I wasn’t too interested in Shadespire, having chosen to end my Fantasy playing days; lack of time to devout to as many games, the demise of Warhammer Fantasy Battle (not that I’d played it in its last two years) and really not liking the look of Stormcast when they first came out.

Overtime the great models that have been coming out for Age of Sigmar have pipped my interest, but the overall blockage that I didn’t enough time to plat mt existing games enough to warrant picking up AoS still stood.  That didn’t stop be picking up some models.  I picked up 2 Silver Tower Skaven Assassins to be extra Gutter Runners for my Skaven Bloodbowl team.  The Dark Elf Assassin was converted to be a second Succubus (with massive Blood Glaive), and I even picked up another Silver Tower model when in a moment I weakness (before the codex) I bought a model to be a Farseer (Doom is just too good of a psychic power).

Shadespire came out, and I thought it would another splash in the pan, and then disappear; Shadow War anyone.  However as with many gaming journeys I was convinced to give it a game by two close mates who had bought it.  One mate, Mike, who had stubbornly stuck to one faction in Infinity had gone all in buying every faction, including sleeves and dice.  We had a few games and was presently surprised and thought it was a good fun game.

The different warbands appeared relatively balanced (let me know your thoughts), and I liked the idea of the deck building aspect (eg. can tweak to be more killing or objective based), but I was weary that it would turn into Magic the Gathering when buying the last few cards for a deck can prove expensive, especially as you can’t buy the cards separately at all from GW.  However I didn’t intend to go to tournaments and the mates I knew would keep thing balanced, and wouldn’t go out and buy the top builds to smash by newbie deck; well not until I starting winning 😉

[I just need Ironskull's Boyz to get free postage - SOLD]
So with the decision made I bought the main game.  Then I made a unusual (for me) decision about painting.  I knew I would never have the time to paint the warbands with all of my 40k, Bloodbowl & Infinity projects., so looked at buying some painted warbands.  My favourite warband so far is the Khorne Bloodhounds, so I quickly found one on ebay at a reasonable price.  I was buying a well painted warband, rather than some of the top notch painting you can find.  Then I found an ebay listing of someone selling the main boxset with both warbands painted.  I liked the unusual Stormcast paint scheme, but thought the Khorne paint scheme wasn’t that good, so I would sell them on ebay.

I managed to pick this auction up for less than the cost that I had bought the brand new boxset for 😊  This gave me lots of cards, and allowed to me to keep he initial starter decks in the boxset complete (to play my son), while I built decks to use against my mates.

My last investment was a custom foam tray, which fitted in the box and perfectly held the warbands, tokens, dice etc.  This made it perfect to take the box and holiday, and I was able to pla a couple of games against my son in the evenings.

So far I’ve been having a ball playing Shadespire, and most importantly having fun with it.  Against my son’s Stormcast I’m 2-1 down (sometimes pesky Stormcast refuse to die!), I’m 3-0 up against Mike (horrendous dice in the 1st game against Undead, and then two close wins with both being equal as we headed into the last turn), and then I’m 1-0 down against my other mate’s Undead (first game playing with the short board edges touching).
[The surrounded Stormcast just wouldn't, even when a 4th Khorn guy joined in]
I’ve recently bought the Ork warband, so my next post will be a review of my first expansion box, and I’ve got my eye on a 4th warband when the Shadespire Season 2 comes out.

Have you been playing Shadespire ?  What do you think of it, and are you excited for Season 2 ?


PS. There are actually some ebay auctions selling the cards from the expansions individually, however in nearly all cases the best cards are sold out, but if you're not playing super competitively there are a nice way to pick up some extra cards.  If you want a lot of cards it might be worth buying an expansion and selling the models (and faction specific cards) on ebay.


  1. I love it. I have all the Warbands so far, and plan on continuing that into Nightvault. It's actually a great game for competitive play, since it's fast enough that you can do best two out of three each round, which can balance out some of the dice swingyness that can affect things like 40K or Blood Bowl. The overall balance is better than 40K or AoS, too, since there are fewer variables to balance out. I've been to a couple of Shadespire Tournaments, and they were a lot of fun.

    Having all the Factions, there are a number of cards that I'd really like multiples of, so I'm actually considering buying dupes of some of the Warbands and using the Models for conversions or something (Adding the Shadespire Skaven to my Warp Runners BB Team seems like it'll make some cool options). For the ones where I don't really care for the Models, tho (the Fyreslayers, most notably), I might actually take a go at painting them up and selling the painted Warband on eBay.

    1. It great how each warband plays differently, and the multiple ways to win, eg. killing vs objective grabbing, brute force vs sneaky tactics.

      I have noticed that some cards are much better than others, and to get the ideal deck I'd like for a single warband I'd have to buy most expansions, however once a player doesn't sweep all the expansions for the best cards for one super deck its very balanced, eg. both my khorne deck and ork deck want both of the +1 str cards I have, but making one deck better would make the other worse, so I give them one each, and I'll see how competitive the LGS scene is before I change anything.

      Getting extra cards is a pain. However ebay seems to get good prices for warbands, so I'm tempted to buy a warband and sell off the models. All the auctions for individual cards are sold out of the good cards. I think the ranged stormcast faction has about 6-7 cards that would be good for my khorne and ork decks, so I'm tempted to buy that expansion and sell off the models.

      Playing best 2 out 3 will open up interesting tactics, as in games 2 and 3 you'll have an improved idea of what opposing deck has in it. I can see that happening already playing multiple games against my mate, and it really adds to the tactics.

      Played my mates Skaven again (with my Orks this time) and loved seeing all the sneaky tricks they can do. I'm tempted to buy them, and just buy the Season 2 boards and rules when it comes out. Ironically, while I sell my WFB skaven army on ebay :)

      After I play more games I might venture down to my LGS to have some games.

    2. Yeah, it is kind of frustating, especially since what I most want is an extra set of the Keys, which are spread across all the various expansions. I have uses in mind for extras of a bunch of the Warbands, tho, so I don't mind too much.

      Another cool thing about Shadespire tournaments is that you can bring multiple Warbands, and when you get your next opponent, you each reveal the Warbands you have available and then pick which you're going to use. So there's an extra layer of strategy there, too

    3. Interesting, I've never heard of that being done. Do you think it would have another advantage to someone who has multiple warbands ? Rather than having to build a warband to compete against all-comers a person who just have decks which are good in a particularly type of play, eg. objective grabbing or fast combat etc.

      Not been to tournaments yet, but would like go at some point, and was thinking I could limit myself to 4 warbands and buying a few cards here and there.

    4. I like bringing one Control Warband, and one Combat Warband*. It doesn't always matter hugely, but every now and then you'll come up against someone where one of the two would be at a major disadvantage.

      *My default at the moment is Sepulchral Guard and Magore's Fiends. We'll see how Nightvault changes that.

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