Today is a proud day for The Chosen Axes! For they have claimed their Shadeglass Trophy! Huzzah. Hurrah.
I was able to attend an unexpected event upon invitation from a regular sparring partner, Richard. The journey would take us abroad, all the way to Wales. However, it wasn’t an epic journey as we only travelled an hour and a bit to Wrexham. With our bags packed, decks checked for BAR List eligibility we set off with our sights on winning the Shadeglass Trophy. I had my Chosen Axes ready for the fight, and with a few last minute deck tweaks was feeling confident!
Never Miss An Article Again! Join the Newsletter today!
The night before the event I had been deliberating on my objectives & gambits. I could not decide whether to take My Turn or Defensive Strike as my final restricted card. I knew that My Turn would be invaluable, but I was seriously struggling to find a set of objectives the Chosen Axes could score comfortably on turn one. Opting to go with Defensive Strike (I should have taken Advancing!) I swapped out My Turn for Haymaker. It had a Chosen Axe on the artwork so I figured what could go wrong? For those of you interested in the deck it is available below.
The primary focus of this deck was to score a lot of glory via Fjul-Grimnir killing things. Whilst also being generally hard to kill to help me score Shining Example and Chosen Champion. In one game he reached 2 defence dice and 10 wounds!! That being said, Tefk was most definitely my second in command, and regularly pulled the warband out of the fire.
Ferocious Charge, Scion of Grimnir, Change of Tactics, Defensive Strike: These are my reliable Score Immediately cards and focus around killing a model in my territory with Grimnir on the charge!
Ploymaster, Extreme Flank, Shining Example: These are the objectives my opponent can do little about and tend to be easy to score.
Escalation, Master of War, Chosen Champion, Solid Gains: These are my ‘force multipliers’ and after a Score Immediately card has been played these become extremely easy to score and allow an uplift in the End Phase.
Superior Tactician: Scoring six objectives is only getting easier and this allows a big uplift at the end of the game that your opponent cannot prevent if you’re playing well.
11 Gambits in this deck. Why? Well, I find that my turn one is largely about drawing a power hand and then moving Grimnir onto an objective to get him Inspired and blowing all the Push cards to keep him there. In short, the Chosen Axes are one of the factions I believe can break the 10 Gambit rule.
The Earth Shakes, Treasure-Lust, Sidestep: The Chosen Axes suffer from being knocked off their Objectives in turn one. I’ve found these cards allow them to hop back on and can work as a threat extension in later turns.
Spectral Wings: This is one of those cards I’ve found helps to band-aid the warband’s slow movement speed, but also helps deal with the penalty for piling on the +2 Wound -2 Move upgrades.
Hidden Paths: Again, it’s a slow warband and this helps them get around.
Inspiration Strikes: Guaranteeing Inspiration in Turn One is #Money! Whilst using it to get another Chosen Axe inspired after Turn One can be beneficial too!
Piercing Stare: This is a real FU card. I’ve loved playing this on the Briar Queen after she has used Sudden Appearance, and she is left high & dry.
Ready for Action & Spoils of Battle: The classic combo! Getting this in Turn One feels glorious!
Haymaker: This was a last minute addition to my deck. I was intrigued to test it as we have lost a lot of dice manipulation cards to the BAR List. Whilst I found it very useful for an end of turn one charge, after this it was a difficult card to play at the right time.
Finally, keen eyes will notice that tricksy card ‘Mischievous Spirits’ cropping up again! This card is fast becoming a staple of the competitive deck it has numerous uses! Firstly, and obviously, it can disrupt Hold Objective playstyles to no end, and seeing your opponent lament moving an objective from beneath themselves is joyous. Secondly, Chosen Axes can use this as a pseudo Push card to bring a specific objective back underneath them if they have been pushed off. Finally, but not least, is the ability to move an Objective against an edge hex to set up a Faneway Crystal move to score Extreme Flanks, or my favourite, to use it to set up a Faneway charge action!
Deathly Fortitude, Sudden Growth, Great Fortitude: Whack any of these onto Grimnir and he becomes an incredibly untempting target to attack. I once got all three onto him when I just needed him to survive to score me extra glory!
Hero’s Mantle: With Destiny to Meet and Slumbering Key on the restricted list this becomes a nice end of game glory booster.
Grimnir’s Fortitude & Grimnir’s Speed: Turn an Inspired Grimnir into the most terrifying model in the game with these upgrades!
Glory Seeker and Great Strength: These aren’t for Grimnir! These turn the remaining Chosen Axes into beasts! I had Tefk hitting for 4DMG and Maegrim throwing darts for 2DM safely away from the fight!
Dark Darts: For when you need to chip a bit of damage away, or score a safe Change of Tactics.
Faneway Crystal & Potion of Rage: These are slowly becoming an auto-include as great ‘burn’ cards to boost your threat range and accuracy!
Want more tournament winning deck lists?
Join the Newsletter today!
Previously when discussing the Cursebreakers I looked at the boards they used and the tecniques the deck employed. Well, I’ll be doing the exact same thing for the Chosen Axes too!
Having placed 2nd and 1st with the Chosen Axes I’m beginning to get a feel for them, however I will warn you now dear reader – I do no think my choices are optimal and there is definite room for improvement.
Board choice is extremely important for the Chosen Axes, and I’ll hold my hands up here; I don’t think these are optimal choices! They are what I’ve been working with but they don’t feel quite right.
When you win the roll:
This board allows you to deploy for Extreme Flanks whilst also giving you a good weighting on the right hand side of the board. Which you should position to only allow a single charge from your opponent.
When you lose the roll:
By deploying at the back of the board behind the blocked hexes you can deny most charges (except against poor Maegrim who ends up in front of them). I found this the best board to use though I’m not confident it is the most optimal.
Get Grimnir Inspired
The Inspiration mechanic for the Chosen Axes is definitely one of the more difficult Inspire conditions in Warhammer Underworlds. It can be disrupted easily via Attack Actions and Push Gambits, so you need to ensure that you have enough power cards to weather the storm. Typically, I would spend my first three activations drawing power cards and then finishing up with Grimnir moving onto an objective. This was of course unless I had objectives that required a certain play to be made i.e. kill something then I would try and complete those and use the cards in hand to get onto an objective hex!
Hit Hard. Strike True.
With dice manipulation all but gone from the upgrades we now need to look for other ways to increase our odds! Fortunately Potion of Rage and Haymaker exist giving Grimnir a four dice attack. I’ve been using the Warband Odds app on Android and a four dice Smash attack with Cleave is likely to win 85% of the time versus Shield defence and 83% of the time versus Dodge defence. Giving you some damned good odds to hit. With the score immediately revolving around charging & killing you want to make sure that you have the best chance available to you!
Give Them Nothing
Denial is a big part of the gameplan. Deploy your non-Grimnir fighters deep and keep them away from the fight until it’s safe to join. Getting them Inspired helps by boosting their health up to four! I found that Grimnir’s five health is enough to keep him safe. Though once he had Great & Griminir’s Fortitude he was nigh on untouchable. Whilst Sudden Growth and Deathly Fortitude kept the other fighters alive.
Be sure to use your Power cards to disrupt the enemy plans! Use The Earth Shakes to push a fighter away from an extreme flank or supremacy score. Mischievous Spirits (have I mentioned them yet?) to ruin a perfect objective Key play.