Dare you venture down into what lies below?
At Warhammer Fest Europe we had the awesome announcement of Warhammer Underworlds: Nightvault, season 2 of the Underworlds game. It even had a fancy announcement trailer:
Clearly it told us a lot. Now normally I don’t like posting about wild speculations without any credible proof but IT’S NIGHTVAULT BABY so I’ll be doing so. Please remember that the following thoughts are just pure baseless speculation with not an ounce of evidence to back up my words.
Now I’m actually a real fan of the narrative to Shadespire. It’s simple, intriguing and pretty unique. A civilisation using immortality via glass to develop tech and their lives. Until Nagash found out of course and ruined everything (or fixed for you Death players out there). Twisting the once glorious haven into a doomed deathtrap with no sign of salvation in sight. Tempting in countless warbands and individuals for either priceless bounties or saving what Katohprane citizens remain.
So what about Nightvault? Well from what GW have released, this is now a deeper realm of the mirrored city, previously locked away in shadow and secrecy. What treasures are to be found? What horrors have been released?
I’m pretty excited by this so I can’t wait to see where they go. I’m hoping they add a little more focus on narrative play with rules for campaigns and such. Allow people to enjoy the story to match the already great gameplay.
Firstly, I’m assuming the core mechanics won’t be changed, although this doesn’t mean they won’t add new stuff on. We may see more clarifications about rulings and statuses, especially if you take the preview card into account:
Currently placing a Guard Token on a fighter does nothing in Shadespire. Perhaps in NIGHTVAULT (Nightvault for you non-excited people) tokens are what denote actions and statuses for warband fighters. The closest thing we have currently in Shadespire is Hidden Paths which places the fighter with a movement token but is not considered a move action but does prevent the fighter from moving again. Perhaps token control will become a big part of the game, where players can use cards to give or remove tokens from fighters to effect what buffs or debuffs they have (e.g. removing a guard token or charge token from a fighter).
I’d also like to see upgrade cards that cost more than 1 glory, such as with the relic beta rules. Have really good upgrades that cost 2 to 3 glory would be a very interesting twist. Imagine choosing to play 3 separate upgrades or a single upgrade that costs 3 glory but is super strong.
Spending or burning glory to make a ’50/50′ card work without needing to roll dice would also be awesome. While it gives the advantage to the player in the lead and would need to be tweaked for effects that save a fighter from dying, it would add another layer of tactics. Spend a glory for an upgrade or save it to make sure your Forceful Denial works 100% of the time?
My views on this may be different to others but I’m hoping the neutral cards from Shadespire don’t carry over into Nightvault. This is because: it’s easier to balance as Nightvault will have 120 more cards than Shadespire so it’s easier to balance if both are not included, it helps differentiate the game between different seasons and means new players don’t need to buy into all of Shadespire to be competitive.
With cards like Great Concussion, Keys, Twist the Knife and Trap (to name but a few) there is not much reason to run other such cards unless GW somehow make even better versions of them with Nightvault.
I still would want faction-specific cards and warbands to carry over (as well as the leader cards) so there is still a reason to have your Shadespire stuff. It keeps the game fresh and puts a new twist on how things are played depending on whether you want a game of Shadespire or Nightvault.
Of course I can understand people who want everything to carry over but I feel it would be detrimental to the balance and health of the game. For example, unless Nightvault introduces better versions of the cards I already run, there is no reason for me to change my current Skaven deck.
At least this way there are clear differences between games of Shadespire and games of Nightvault. It means all the stuff you bought for Shadespire is not a waste for Nightvault and helps with ease of access to the game depending on what season you are playing. Of course I think no carry over from Shadespire at all would be bad but I think having just faction and leader cards being usable for both seasons would be fine. This would mean you could use Nightvault warbands and faction cards in Shadespire games too.
With the 2 cards previewed, the new starter set is obviously Nighthaunt vs Stormcast Eternals. However, the real question is what miniatures will be uses for the 2 new warbands? The Death ones seem to be Chainrasps (dead criminals basically) and the Stormcast appear to be Evocators (warrior wizards).
For the Death side I’m hoping the warband is 4 to 6 members, mainly 6 as we currently lack a 6 model team. I can also see them being ethereal, basically allowing them to move through blocked hexes and fighters as if they are not there but must end on an empty hex. They could also instead have a defence dice on shields that is not effected by cleave to reflect their ghostly nature. I’m also hoping that they are movement 4 for spooky speed. As for inspire mechanics, I have no idea.
As for the Stormcast, I’m assuming 3 models. The leader will probably have a short-range 2 hex attack to represent their magical bolt as in the previewed card. Evocators work by buffing each other, sticking close together and blasting away the opponents with close-range magic in combat. While I doubt we’ll see magic mechanics in season 2, I can see these guys inspiring by being adjacent to each other at the end of an action phase.
For future warbands, my hopes differs to the general consensus. While most people want to see popular factions from Age of Sigmar transferred over, I’m hoping to see brand new races and factions not yet introduced. New stuff is also good and GW have said previously on their Twitch streams that we’ll be seeing more brand new stuff for future warbands as the game allows the sculptors to have more free-reign in terms of creation. We’ll probably see a Nurgle and/or Tzeentch warband but I’d love to see a Grot sky pirate warband, the new angelic Aelves from the realm of light or even something entirely new that has not been hinted at yet. We could even get warbands with only 1 or 2 fighters.
Tournaments and Support
But we already have Grand Clashes and store tournaments, I hear you say, what more is needed? Well, firstly, I’d love to see a 2 day Grand Clash. A lot of Grand Clashes bring close to 100 people now, especially in the UK. Having around 5 to 4 games on the first day with a top 8/16 knockout cut on the 2nd day and side games for those that don’t make it would be totally awesome. This would also make winning a more “Swiss” affair instead of just praying you don’t lose a single game (aka even winning 2-1 once can cause you to miss out the final) and not make the brutal top 2 cut.
Of course more/new prizes would be great for such an event and it could even be called something else to separate it from the current Grand Clashes we have. It also could be run far more sporadically, perhaps like national tournaments you see for games such as X-wing.
The good news is that there is currently a Grand Clash which will be running exactly as I mentioned earlier, the one at Blood and Glory in November which I will be attending. Hopefully Nightvault will be out by then, so the event should be even more awesome!
Well that’s enough rambling from a crit-rolling madman. Shadespire has served us well but it still has a lot of life left in it. New players can pickup the game to get the hang of the basics before season 2 while the Shadeglass veterans can continue to enjoy playing before the true terrors are unleashed upon us. There are still Grand Clashes to be won, Q3 kits to loot and crits to be rolled.