This past Saturday was a Shadespire tournament at the LGS I play at. One of the cool things with these Shadespire tournaments is that Games Workshop is backing them, so there was official prize support. Actually, Games Workshop calls these Grand Clashes. I can’t recall the exact breakdown, but top 8 got some goodies (we only had 8 of us, so we all got it), then maybe top 5, and of course 1st place.
Note: I just stumbled on the article they did covering Grand Clashes, which also shows the prizes.
I have only participated in 40K tournaments, so the setup for Shadespire wasn’t something I was familiar with. The way it works is that you play a person in the best of 3 games. You have 1.5 hours per-round. Pairings continue until there’s an undefeated player.
It’s simple and makes perfect sense. As with any game, there’s an element of randomness to it, so going best of 3 games should help eliminate that from the equation.
In our case, with 8 players, we had 3 rounds, so potentially 9 games to play.
I won’t even try to recap my games beyond the basics.
In my first game I blew out my Stormcast opponent with my Bloodreavers. Then, for the final 2 games, we had ties – unbelievable. This let me win the round with 1 win, 2 ties.
Second round was similar in that I blew out my opponent in the first game; he was playing Fyreslayers. In the second game he came back and defeated me soundly with about 6 glory over me.
This left us to play a third round, but my opponent (Dave), also works at the shop and had to attend customers. This left us with 4 minutes to play our final game, and of course that ended in a draw of 0-0. However, I had the most glory points overall, needing to break the tie of 1-1-1, so I took the round.
Much to my surprise, I was in the final around for first place. My opponent was playing Farstriders, which I believe was my first time against them with Bloodreavers.
The first game I blew out the Farstriders (a trend of the day). The second game he returned the favor and destroyed me. Final game came down to the absolute final turn and point tally. My opponent defeated me by 1 glory point and took 1st place for the day.
I was very pleased with how the day went. Not only how I did, but just how Shadespire plays out in a tournament setting. I can easily see why this game has really caught on in a competitive setting. It’s easily the best game GW has put out to be played competitively.
I’m not saying best game overall, just in a competitive setting where they clearly intended the game to be, unlike say 40K or Age of Sigmar.
And that’s the thing, I loved playing a game that was meant to be played competitively. I’ve played 40K since 2006, and I’ve seen that game’s ups and downs, but it’s never really been a truly competitive game in terms of balance.
I love 40K, I enjoy tournaments for it, but tournaments is not what 40K was made for. Shadespire though, you know it was the intent from the start and the game thrives in the setting.
That aside, it’s also nice to play some quick games. It would be ideal to play best of 3 in 40K against each opponent, but we all know that’s just not feasible. Instead you get one chance against everyone, so there’s no room for errors.
With quick games, 1,5 hours per-round for Shadespire (averaging 30 minutes a game), you get to play a lot of games, not be pressed for time, and come out with a clear winner. I played 9 games of Shadespire in 4.5 hours, where with 40K I play 3 games in 7.5 hours. I got to play three times the games of Shadespire than I do 40K, and I got to do it in nearly half the time.
I had a great time playing in the tournament and I’m glad I was able to go. If anyone reading this is considering it, definitely get yourself to a tournament and have some fun. Odds are you’ll get some goodies, and you get to play a lot of games in a short time period.
Anyone else try a Shadespire tournament yet?