There has been a lot of discussion regarding the future of physical play in Warhammer Champions, and it appears that PlayFusion has been brewing something. That something appears to be a multi-pronged, long term plan covering a couple different concerns the community has had. Alongside the previously-announced Organized Play Kit 2, there are a few major things that have been announced.
Official Source: https://www.warhammerchampions.com/organised-play-2019-2/
Blood and Glory Series
“The Blood and Glory Series is run as a monthly league, where players get a themed campaign deck and use it to challenge fellow signed-up Champions to a duel.”
The first major piece is aimed at local game stores, a long-term, pseudo-Sealed series. Quoted from the PDF, “The Blood and Glory Series is run as a monthly league, where players get a themed campaign deck and use it to challenge fellow signed-up Champions to a duel.” It then goes on to detail that players are allowed to inter-trade within the themed decks, add limited numbers of boosters and must register their decklists.
Due to the nature of Sealed, this has an effect of leveling the field for those looking to get into the game, and is clearly aimed at bringing new players into the fold (which is definitely needed at this time). Play Kits have been made free, likely to encourage wary store owners into giving the game a chance and lower the barrier of entry.
At first I was somewhat concerned, as details were fairly sparse (especially regarding the trading of cards, adding boosters to the packs and what the timelines were going to be) but it appears that they recently updated the document to include far more details about it. We still don’t know the contents of the packs themselves, but this could be an interest pilot program to get some fresh blood into the stores to play, especially with the inclusion of Champion Points (segue!).
The other major portion of the Organized Play announcement revolves around Champion Points, as well as teasing information regarding upcoming Qualifiers and (eventually) an Invitational tournament. Champion Points are awarded to players for any sanctioned event, increasing with how well you placed and how large the crowd is, as well as a multiplier depending on the type of tournament. These points are awarded regardless of whether it is part of the new Blood and Glory series or regular Constructed events (as detailed in a table in the PDF below).
Champion Point rewards seem to focus primarily on the App, likely an attempt to coax normally App-Only players into playing in the physical game. It remains to be seen how well this works, but it’s good to see PlayFusion make the effort. Personally, I’d appreciate seeing some physical reward options for these tiers for the rare players who don’t play on the App, or who might prefer something like custom, metal Life Tokens or a physical play mat instead. Something for PlayFusion to keep in mind going forward 😉
Pre-Releases, Regional Qualifiers and Invitational Championship
What I think is likely the biggest news is the different type of events that were outlined in the PDF above. Something we’ve been asking for since the first set, it seems PlayFusion has finally decided to give Pre-Release events a shot. These are great ways to generate hype (and with the new Champion Points system, a good way to get said points!), but will nee follow-through in advertising and communication/coordination with stores looking to run events. Issues with OP Kit 2 deliveries has soured some people, but I’m optimistic that with this new initiative, they’ll re-double their efforts in this regard.
Regional Qualifiers and an Invitational Championship have also been fielded within the PDF, though details outside of a possible November Invitational are fairly sparse (though I imagine Constructed format is assumed). Top point earners from the US, UK and (tentatively) EU are eligible to be invited, with free flights and hotels, to compete for a part of the $5,000 prize pool in November. There has also been talk of inviting some number of top-Digital players as well, though numbers and such haven’t been floated as of yet.
There has been some criticism regarding the size of the prize pool for the Invitational, though we don’t know what prizes the Qualifiers will provide or how that prize pool is divvied up. Personally, flight, room & board and a chance to play on the big stage for even a modest prize seems incentive enough for someone like myself, but obviously that is a personal evaluation you have to make.
That about covers it for now. PlayFusion has stated they plan to release weekly updates on the state of Organized Play, so we here at https://whaosc.com will be looking to keep you guys up to date. If you have any questions, comments or opinions, feel free to leave them below!