Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Warstorm - Simple Guide & Review

I was enticed to play Warstorm (by Challenge Games) when I saw a friend's Facebook meesage about giving away free cards. Well it has been suite some time since I last played a card game and so I decided to give it a try.

The experience is not too bad if you have time to spare and are interested in such TCG (Trading Card Games) - like activity. Basically the game play of WarStorm involves assembling of cards comprising of a Hero card and unit cards. The Hero card has restrictions and may allow the player to include a Spell card or artifact / item card. These unique characteristics are reflected in the upper right corner of the Hero card (no. of units, artifact, and spell respectively). A total of 6 cards (other than Hero card) is allowed for each Squad.

The Heroes are formed from many different races, including Human (the 1st card you have is a Human race card), Elf, Orc, Undead etc. When a new squad is formed, there will be 1 Hero with unit cards associated with the Hero's race. The race is indicated at the upper left corner of the Hero card.

After the 1st squad is assembled, voila the player can start the battles! At the tutorial section, the player will be introduced to the various special abilities of the different cards, e.g. regenerate means the unit can recover health points at the end of its turn. There are many abilities, and counter abilities. For example, a unit with Sap ability (reduce opponent's attack) can be used against opposing cards with Frenzy ability (increased attack). Drainbolt can recover the unit's health when the unit causes damage etc etc.

At the bottom of the battle scene in Warstorm UI, the player can opt to increase the speed of the game. This is particularly useful once the player has the hang of the game mechanics. There is seriously no need to observe how each card is drawn slowly, and wait for the animation.

Each day that the player owns some territories, the player will earn 'silver'. These silver can be used to buy more cards. The Shop tab has a couple of options, including buying small packs of 3 random cards, or 6 random cards. There are also pre-packed bundle with characteristics of the cards stated clearly. Of course, every day there will be single cards for sale and some of these cards can only be bought with 'gold'. Gold coins are bought with real life cash (well the game developers also need to eat right?).

There are other ways to earn cards, and one such way is to log in consistently everyday for 5 days. With that achieved, the game will give the player an 'Expert pack' with 6 random cards. Quite useful actually for the beginning player since it is really tough for the player before they assembled their ideal Squads.

As part of inducting the players into the game, there are special scenarios / territory fights where the players will be asked to 'conquer' territory. Often each fight is accompanied with a storyline. The storyline is not particularly exciting, nor is the story closely linked to the cards. However, it is nice to have some background to each activity rather than plain fighting.

When there are many squads formed, the player can assembled Defensive Positions, which will be Squads to defend against other players / friends' attack. Want to show off how good your Squads are compared to your friends? Atttack their Defensive Positions and boast of the victory!

Well, with the above knowledge, it is sufficient to start playing Warstorm. It is sort of satisfying to level up although I don't really see the exact benefits given with each level.

Some simple tips: Keep fighting and complete the daily quests to get silver. Silver is especially essential for the beginning player since the units you get as default will be weak. You need the silver to buy Expert packs with better cards. If you can have more silver, do go for the pre-packed decks since some of them give pretty decent Artifact / Spell cards. The option to fight other players with rewards of 1,000 silver is useful.

2nd tip: Observe the card play (use the high speed). When the enemy uses powerful cards that require high number of turns to activate, try using simple decks with 2 turns activation in order to win the fight quickly. Simple trick but it works!

3rd tip: Try different combination of Squads that complement each other. For example, use deck with protection (Earthworks, Protection 2 to Infantry, Immune) that works also for other Squads (i.e. more infantry units respectively for Earthwork).

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