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Shadespire: Showcase and First Impressions

Aside from Lord of the Rings, I don’t tend to write a lot about Games Workshop. That said, Games Workshop catches my attention more and more lately. They now seem to be doing things right. Lord of the Rings and many of their specialty games have me wanting to try my had with a Games Workshop Game. Shadespire is one of those games that caught my eye.

At Hotlead 2018, I got to try the game out with Brad Leaver of Six Squared Studios. The game that I played is his, and he did a great job painting the miniatures.

Personally, I prefer the aesthetics of the old Empire and Britannia models from the old Warhammer games and the miniatures from Lord of the Rings, but the Stormcast Eternals are okay – especially with how well Brad painted them.

Let’s take a closer look at the minis that Brad painted.

The Miniatures of Warhammer Underworlds: Shadespire

Check these minis out! They look pretty good to me!

Shadespire Miniature
This guy looks really cool. When the Stormcast Eternals (or SigMarines) first came out, I thought they were magical armour Golems. I didn’t realize there were actually people in those suits of armour.
Shadespire Miniature
A nice dynamic pose, and it is really nice to see some female representation in the game.
Watch out for this guy. He is carrying one heavy Warhammer!
Ork from Warhammer Underworlds Shadespire
The Orks did not appeal to me as much as the Stormcast Eternals, but this guy I really like! I stand corrected.  I guess these guys are called “Orruks” now!    LOL!!!
Warhammer Ork
It surprises me to see how much armour the Orruks get in the Age of Sigmar.

Initial Thoughts

So what did I think of the game play? I liked it. The game was fast and simple. I am of mixed mind about the cards. It is nice that everything you need is at the table without having to go through books.

At the same time, I can see the same trap going on as there is in X-Wing.

The miniatures you buy come with the cards that you need, but other warbands might have cards that you also want for your current group of miniatures. In turn, you may end up buying the other boxes to complete your collection of cards (even if you are not necessarily interested in the miniatures). If you are into just casual games, this set looks great. If you want to play competitively (or are a completionist), be prepared to collect everything. The cards in the other sets are not necessary, but I am told that they are nice to have.

Shadespire first play
Shadespire in play. It is a nice looking game.

Collecting Points

As far as objectives go, we were trying to capture and hold certain spots on the board. We also had cards that gave secondary objectives to the players. The secondary objectives could range from holding a specific point on the gaming board to killing an enemy character. Personally, I really liked the way the additional objectives work. It makes for a fun and interesting game.

Character cards and upgrade cards are also fairly simple and straight forward to use. I am not going to get too far into detail on the system as there is a lot of other information out there, but overall the game was a lot of fun. I still prefer the old figures from Warhammer Fantasy, but I certainly liked the game and how it played.

Shadespire Battle
Playing as the Stormcast Eternals, I won both games. Beginners luck likely played a big role in those wins. Brad also went easy on me as I had never played Shadespire before.

Six Squared Studios

Brad works for Six Squared Studios. For those that don’t know of the company, they make some fantastic terrain and gaming accessories at great prices. I often buy from them at the conventions that I attend. I am told that their shipping rates in North America are good too, but so far I have bought only directly through them in person at shows.

You may have noticed some unique 3D terrain features on the Shadespire board in the picture above. These are prototype pieces of some terrain items that they are working on that will fit into the game of Shadespire. They look pretty good, but the final product may end up looking different as these are prototype pieces. If terrain for Shadespire interests you, it may be worth keeping an eye on Six Squared Studios.

3rd Party 3D terrain for Shadespire
A close up of some experimental terrain pieces that Six Squared Studios may release in the future. It adds a nice touch to the game.

Six Squared Studios makes great Scatter Terrain and Gaming Accessories. They are also getting into MDF terrain with wall pieces that work perfectly for Necromunda, and some really cool fences. Again their prices are fantastic and worth a look.

Wrapping it up…

Games Workshop continues to turn my head with their new direction and new games. I think the company has been making a lot of positive moves and I am glad I tried Shadespire. The game itself plays well and the figures look great.

Special thanks goes out to Brad Leaver of Six Squared Studios for teaching me how to play Shadespire. Thanks also goes to him for allowing me to photograph his miniatures and game. They look Great!

Until next time, Happy Gaming Everyone!!!

Update… If you like this article, be sure to check out our Hotlead 2018 wrap up article

This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. Joe M.

    Nice post, I’ve only recently started getting into the game of Shadespire but enjoying it so far. Thanks for the heads up on Six Squared Studios experimental terrain hexes… If they can produce wheat, sheep, wood, etc. hexes I know quite a few people who would buy a bunch for 3D Catan boards! Seriously.

    1. Jacob Stauttener

      Hey Joe. Thanks for commenting.

      Six Squared Studios is great. As far as Catan, there is a company that already does metal pieces. The pieces are not the tokens you mentioned, but are pieces that go on the board (like cities and settlements). Check out RAFM at…

      If that does not work, you can go to their main website ( and click on “My Catan.”

      Thanks again!

  2. Thor

    Nice review, and glad to see you trying something of GW’s.

    I love the game. It’s fast paced, quick to play, a lot of fun, and every game is different. It’s also easy to learn but has a lot of complexity as well.

    Also, you can’t beat the price; and for GW that’s surprising.

    Having to get the warbands for cards is my only gripe. I’d love to see booster packs, but I’m not holding my breath either.

    1. Jacob Stauttener

      Thanks so much Thor. Figured it was time to try a GW game. They have been pumping out some good stuff of late. 🙂

      I agree with you on the Battle cards. I want to try out a few more of their Specialist Games and Lord of the Rings in the Future. Thanks for the comment.

  3. Andres F.

    Shadespire is definitely a case of GW doing things right.

    Have looked at the rest of the warbands? The minis tend to be fantastic and dynamic, sometimes looking like mini-dioramas. I particularly like the Skaven (my favorite) and the Sepulchral Guard.

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