We love Open War games – easy list building and awesome missions in moments? Sign us up! – and so does the Events Team here at Warhammer World – so much so that the first Warhammer 40,000 Throne of Skulls of the new edition is based around the Open War deck. We caught up with John Bracken to talk about the thrills and spills in store for players, as well as his top tips for dealing with the deck.
John: Open War brings the truth of war to the gaming table: few plans survive contact with a howling mob of Orks under the cover of night. With literally thousands of combinations, the Open War cards allow you to create a unique game of Warhammer 40,000 with less effort than it takes to draw three cards from a deck! That, combined with Power Ratings, means playing a game of Warhammer 40,000 has never been simpler.
This means that anyone who wants to prepare for a game using the Open War cards has a lot of fun ahead of them – you need to be ready for anything, not just particular units, or specific missions with set numbers of objectives. So if list building is something you love to do, try building the perfect list to take on the Open War deck – you’ll need to think about Objectives, Twists and Deployments – not to mention Ruses and occasionally the dreaded Sudden Death!
The Deployment cards are one of the first things that you will see impact your games of Warhammer 40,000 – while some are similar to the ones you will have used before, most will change the very landscape of the game you are about to play. You can be set up in the middle of the battlefield, or even right up to the halfway point, right in the face of the enemy.
Being able to adapt to changing environments is, after all, the hallmark of a general destined for greatness.
The underlying strength of the Open War deck lies in the Objective deck. With twelve different paths to victory, you will need a mobile army to take objectives and pursue other, more esoteric agendas like fallen comets, supply caches and even valuable relics. This makes games fast-paced and exciting from the minute you draw the card. Of course, things are never that easy in Open War games, leading me nicely along to the Twist cards.
Among the things that don’t often happen to an experienced player is getting caught out by surprises. We all have that friend who knows every codex inside out, with every statline memorised and every rule mnemonically carved into their brain. Well, this is one set of cards that can really throw a game into the fast lane. From acid rain to armies berserk with rage (Orks love that one), the Twist cards make a battle less predictable and reward clever generals as they struggle to prevent the game spiralling out of their control. That’s not all though, as there is yet one more deck which can dramatically affect the outcome of the game. Enter the Ruse cards.
No general in the 41st Millennium can be successful without some really sneaky, dirty tricks up their sleeves. Even the most disciplined Space Marine Captain knows when to lay in an underhand blow, or deliver an inspired speech to his warriors to get the most out of them in battle. These moments of genius or downright sneaky ploys are represented by the Ruse cards. Ambushes, reserves and even just digging a massive trench network are all available to the players, and that just scratches the tip of the Tomb World!
Though this deck won’t be in use at Throne of Skulls as both sides will be using an equal amount of Power Ratings (120!) it’s great for giving an outnumbered general an even chance of victory. You will still need to go all out to achieve this mission – though your opponent won’t know what your Sudden Death objective is, it will become apparent very quickly if you start carving a path to his Warlord, or if even their infantry start shooting your model with the most Wounds on its datasheet!
So as you can see the great strength of the Open War format for playing games is that each game will be different as you will never quite know what to expect. This makes it perfect for our Throne of Skulls, where sportsmanship and attitude are prized as highly as your ability as a general. We expect to see true generals temper themselves in this crucible, as they adapt to changing circumstance with a smile on their face and a laugh on their lips.
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