Posted in Warhammer Underworlds

Beastgrave Gift Pack – They rereleased THAT card!?

Do you own all the Shadespire Cards?
If yes, then you can probably get by without the gift set.
If no, then I’d highly recommend buying this expansion.

Rebound: … I don’t wanna talk about it.
Jealous Defence: Situational, but free attack actions are pretty darn tasty. Useful for models with range 3+
Forward Planning: Probably not worth sacrificing an activation for an upgrade.
Distraction: Welcome back old friend. You’ve arrived when we needed you most!

Daylight Robbery: If you like your 50:50 the OG is back!
Harnessed Powe: Ylthari’s Guardians will definitely be considering this!
No Time: If you wanted to play keys then this is the card for you to stop something catastophric!
Misdirection: Protect your fighters on objectives from Distraction with this!

Mischievous Spirits: Oh! Beware Hold Objective players. This card is going to spoil your fun!
Spectral Wings: A stellar card that was sorely missed by Aggro players, a welcome return.

Grim Tenacity: Not being able to be driven back is a pretty big deal with all these lethal hexes and feature tokens around now!
Guardian Glaive: A solid 2/2/2 attack with re-rolls on an objective…this is nice for the earlier objective grabbing warbands; skeletons and skaven in particular.

Lenders Lockbox: A neat trick, good for protecting Cursed Keys and Tomes I suppose.
Shardcaller: Ah, the old classic. I reckon we’ll see some use out of this yet.
The Keys: 1-5 and Formless are back in action!! I didn’t bother taking their picture but they have all gained the ‘cursed key’ keyword.

Bold Conquest: Nice easy surge for fast leaders!
Concerted Attack: If you’ve got lots of rubbish attacks that aren’t likely to kill someone then this is the surge objective for you.
Cover Ground: AMAZING IT’S BACK! The Duke’s Bats are speed 6 when inspired…
Guardians of the Way: For the pay off this isn’t worth it – the number of restrictions for one glory is too damn high!

Plant a Standard: Nice and easy, especially if you think you’ll be going on the offensive with your leader.
Steadfast Defender: Probably a bit too situational to take up one of my Surge slots.
Tactical Genius 1-3: Just play Supremacy
Tactical Genius 3-5: Just play Supremacy

Tactical Supremacy 1-2: Good glory score a nice non-surge Hold Objective objective card. Beware of flipping and disappearing tokens.
Tactical Supremacy 3-4: See above.
Victorious Duel: A fantastic aggro two score Surge card. Glad it’s back.
Finders of the Way: Have keys on all surviving fighters is pretty difficult for some of the larger warbands, and a two score for the third end phase isn’t so hot.

Posted in Warhammer Underworlds

The Grymwatch

The Grymwatch Expansion for Warhammer Underworlds: Beastgrave was sent for review by Games Workshop.

Initial Reaction: WOW! WHAT A FACTION! JUST WOW! 7 fighters that I actually want to put onto the table top and don’t feel like they’re just gonna get washed away!

The Grymwatch’s Backstory

The Ghouls of the Flesh-Eater Courts suffer from the shared delusion that, far from being monstrous corpse-cannibals, they are in fact noble knights and their dedicated men-at-arms. So it is with the Grymwatch, who ‘ride’ out at the command of the degenerate beast whom they perceive to be the heroic Duke Crakmarrow. Hailing from a blasted and ruined kingdom far to the north, the Grymwatch have come questing to slay the monstrous entity that they believe lurks at the Beastgrave’s heart. After all, they can’t risk letting this terrible creature threaten their ‘crops’ or menace the ‘peasant folk’. Now, slavering, grunting and snarling, the Ghouls of the Grymwatch scramble through the tunnels, noble hunters in search of their monstrous prey.

The Flesh-Eater Courts are basically old Brettonian Nobles who are under a shared delusion. Read more on Bell of Lost Souls and check out the comic strip from Roll Models below for a perfect example of how it appears in the Mortal Realms. Poor Johan...

A comic of Roll Models that shows the Grymwatch's eelusion.
An perfect example of the shared delusion within the Grymwatch.

The Grymwatch Fighters

Duke Crakmarrow: Leader, Hunter, Better Skritch

Lets start things off with saying well done to the design team for creating Muster. Not needing an action to bring back a Crypt Ghoul and simply having them arrive on the battlefield at the start of an activation is simply great, and allowing it to be used as an action is nice for Keep Them Guessing.

The Duke’s Halberd is nothing short of spectacular! Uninspired it is a good attack action whilse when inspired it is everything Skritch ever dreamed off, and is a solid option to try and score What Armour by.

The Inspiration condition can be a bit tricky and is present on all fighters of the Grymwatch. If you can stall your opponent in Turn One from entering your own territory then you will all Inspire and life will be great…perhaps you’re sacrificing a turn to get the Lady’s blessing…hmmm?

Finally, as a Hunter Duke Crakmarrow can benefit from the flurry of cards that are coming their way and I think the Grymwatch are going to prove extremely popular. I’m certainly chomping at the bit to get them on the table already!

Duke’s Harriers: Giver of Support and not much else

The trend of bringing your pets to work continues with the Grymwatch! The Harriers are super fast once inspired and make a great accompaniment for your fighters when you want some support in a fight; you’ll want to take a look at Combat Drill later on for such an example!

As for their combat potential I don’t think you’ll ever really be doing, well, anything with these bats other than grabbing them for support and hoping they don’t die.

Gristlewel, Greatsword: Great ‘Sword’, Guided Missile

Gristlewel believes himself to be a debonair champion to the Duke wielding a mighty ‘greatsword’ that carves through his liege’s enemies.

On the tabletop he wields a great club with barely any accuracy, but may the Lady help you if he makes contact! A whopping 3 dmg is attached to his 2 fury attack, which ups to 3 fury once inspired.

It gives you a good guided missile once you’ve got some dice manipulation – Challenge Seeker is a great pairing to go with Gristlewel’s meagre 3 health.

Valreek the Tracker: Hunter, Objective Holder

As an uninspired Fighter Valreek doesn’t bring much to the Grymwatch other than a health pool of three and movement four. I foresee her being used to stand on an objective closer to the enemy than the Crypt Ghouls would prefer.

However, when Valreek inspires we see her gain an additional Fury dice, an additional pip of movement and a second Dodge dice. Making her even more suited to grabbing an Objective, or if you’re in dire straits as a fighter who can finish off someone already wounded by the Duke.

Crypt Ghouls: Hunters, Basically Fast Petitioners Until Inspired

Uninspired this trio of ghouls provide the fodder for the Grymwatch. Whilst their stats are completely trash these ‘men-at-arms’ can be resurrected into a random corner of the board by the Duke which gives them a modicum of unpredictability and the ability to grab far flung objectives.

The Ghouls are identical until they inspire, they all gain an additional pip of movement and at least an additional Fury dice…

Master Talon – Once inspired Talon gains a reaction that allows him to gain a Feast Token when an adjacent enemy fighter is taken out of action. These Feast Tokens increase his wound stat…I think it’s a neat ability but the actual use in game seems minimal as he does not return to the game with these tokens. I foresee Talon remaining away from the action as much as possible.

Royal Butcher – The Royal Butcher’s attack boosts to four Fury dice and gains ensare, but still only does a single damage. Whilst the attack is accurate the action efficiency of making that attack just isn’t there, however if we ever see a ‘What Armour?’ for Ensare then this opinion may change.

Night’s Herald – My favourite of the ghouls. The Night’s Herald reduces adjacent attackers dice by 1 to a minimum of one! Which is a glorious ability and with a defence boost and guard makes him a NIGHTmare to shift off objectives!

The Grymwatch Objectives

Rather than go into HUGE detail about each card as you can read them and make your own opinion about them. I’ll be giving each card a rating out of five fleur-de-lis and a short comment on the card.

The Grymwatch: Faction Objectives 1
The Grymwatch: Faction Objectives
  • Bravely Done – ⚜️⚜️⚜️ – Requires some combo play to set up, but with their in-faction cards should be doable.
  • Charnel House – ⚜️⚜️⚜️⚜️ – I love this as Third End Phase it’s Denial OR Conquest.
  • Conquering Heroes – ⚜️⚜️⚜️ – On it’s own this is not great, however there is the potential to combo this card with other objectives.
The Grymwatch: Faction Objectives 2
The Grymwatch: Faction Objectives
  • Defending the Hearth – ⚜️⚜️⚜️⚜️⚜️- Defensive Strike is back!!
  • Ghoul Pack – ⚜️⚜️ – Hard to set up.
  • Glory of the Court – ⚜️⚜️- Either everyone is Inspired after Turn One or they’re probably not going to inspire at all.
The Grymwatch: Faction Objectives 3
The Grymwatch: Faction Objectives
  • In the Name of the King – ⚜️⚜️⚜️⚜️ – Two Glory Surge for holding objectives is juicy.
  • Incomprehensible Scheme – ⚜️⚜️ – Unless you come up against Skeletons, Grots or the Briar Queen then you’re probably gonna score this.
  • Mordant Triumph – ⚜️⚜️⚜️ – So this is great in turn 2 or 3 but you need to load up on easily scored Surge cards, now this is very achievable but I’d be worried about this bricking your opening hand. One to consider now we’re capped at six surge cards.
The Grymwatch: Faction Objectives 4
The Grymwatch: Faction Objectives
  • Mouths to Feed – ⚜️⚜️⚜️⚜️ – Kill over 50% of the enemy warband is quite a big ask of the Duke but with the right upgrades he’s more than capable.
  • Shifting Madness – ⚜️⚜️⚜️⚜️ – I like the design space and these ghouls are fast!! Easily scorable surge card.
  • Pervasive Delusion – ⚜️⚜️ – Theoretically I love this card. However I’ve always struggled with dumping gambits into a turn – sometimes you don’t just want to burn cards for the sake of a glory.

The Grymwatch Gambits

Once again we’ll be using the Fleur-de-lis ranking system to determine our thoughts on the card.

The Grymwatch Faction Gambits
The Grymwatch Faction Gambits
  • Appalling Viasge – ⚜️ – A bit too situational for my liking, though could be good if you draw it turn one to ensure your Inspire condition is met.
  • Combat Drill – ⚜️⚜️⚜️⚜️ – Bring along the Batswarm as support during a charge! If you’re using this with the Duke and want to attack from range 2 then you’ll need to have your warrior end adjacent to both fighters to benefit!
  • Double Time – ⚜️⚜️⚜️ – Better than Sprint was and scores you Burst of Speed or Longstrider in a single activation. Can also be comboed with Combat Drill to get some unexpected movement!
The Grymwatch Faction Gambits
The Grymwatch Faction Gambits
  • Horrifying Spectacle -⚜️ – If you’re killing then you’re probably already inspired this seems like a bit of a redundant ability.
  • Pack, Advance! – ⚜️⚜️⚜️⚜️⚜️ – Push up to three models two hexes each! Great for grabbing objectives and heightening their manoeuvrability.
  • Recycled Riches – ⚜️⚜️⚜️⚜️ – If you’ve taken only a few of their great cards then this will duplicate their effect!
The Grymwatch Faction Gambits
The Grymwatch Faction Gambits
  • Scrabbling Claws – ⚜️⚜️⚜️ – I can see a definite use for this to just rip away a strong upgrade! Especially since you’ll have so many fighters around the place.
  • Shattering Impact – ⚜️ – I’d just take scrabbling claws, it’s basically the same ability without the massive negative.
  • Stench of Victory – ⚜️⚜️ – More movement shenanigans, a bit too situational for my liking but still a contender.
  • Strident Summons – 🍖🍖 – Until I get them on the table I’m unsure of the benefit of a bonus Ghoul Call actions due to the random nature of their arrival – it saves an action so I’ve rated it better than 1 Fleur-de-lis.

The Grymwatch Upgrades

Well that was odd. My fleur-de-lis suddenly looked like meat on a bone! Anyway, the fleur-de-lis is DEFINITELY back this time as we discover the Grymwatch faction upgrades.

The Grymwatch: Faction Upgrades
The Grymwatch: Faction Upgrades
  • Aura of Command – ⚜️⚜️ – Turn Crakmarrow into the Warden!
  • Drawn to Weakness – ⚜️ – Don’t bother wasting an upgrade slot on just the bats!
  • Grip of Madness – ⚜️⚜️⚜️ – Not terrible for the objective holding playstyle. Combine it with the Shard of Binding for an immovable block.
The Grymwatch: Faction Upgrades 1
The Grymwatch: Faction Upgrades
  • Heroic Vision – ⚜️⚜️⚜️⚜️ – Additional dice are always great, and giving Crakmarrow a 3 Hammer attack is just brutal!
  • Hunter’s Nose – ⚜️ – Valreek isn’t great so locking +1 dice onto this model isn’t worthwhile in my opinion.
  • Impervious Delusion – ⚜️⚜️⚜️⚜️ – I have ummed and aahhed on this card and for Crakmarrow this esnures that he will never be one-shot until later in the game. Throw in a few wound upgrades and you’re laughing all the way to the grave.
The Grymwatch: Faction Upgrades 2
The Grymwatch: Faction Upgrades
  • Right-hand Ghoul – ⚜️⚜️ – Crakmarrow can bring along a friend for the fight, essentially giving him a support and making him more accurate.
  • Seized Weapon – ⚜️⚜️ – Free damage to an adjacent enemy. Probably too situational.
  • Severed Trophy – ⚜️⚜️⚜️⚜️ – MMMmmm more aggro Glory for Crakmarrow!
  • Well Motivated – ⚜️⚜️⚜️ – An in-faction Great Strength is nothing to pass up on lightly.

Neutral Objectives

The Grymwatch Neutral Objectives
The Grymwatch Neutral Objectives
  • Coveted Spoils – ⚜️ – So, your opponent can help you hold objectives to score this, but I’ll be intrigued how popular Hold Objective becomes for this to actually work.
  • Dug In – ⚜️⚜️ – 4 glory is a lot of glory, holding three objectives in two consecutive turns is no easy task. It doesn’t have to be the same objectives mind you, and once you’re on them you tend to just stay on them.
  • Fateful Strike – ⚜️⚜️⚜️ – Everyone and their mother has two defence dice these days. I think this will make a regular appearance in decks.
The Grymwatch Neutral Objectives 2
The Grymwatch Neutral Objectives
  • Path to Victory – ⚜️⚜️⚜️ – I like this for the Grymwatch, it feels very achievable.
  • Scrum – ⚜️⚜️⚜️⚜️ – High model count warbands will love this, group up away from the fight and score glory.
  • Swift Capture – ⚜️⚜️⚜️⚜️ – Okay, more great objective holding score immediately cards. I think the cogs are well and truly turning now.
The Grymwatch Neutral Objectives
  • The Beast is Slain – ⚜️⚜️⚜️ – If you have access to a good Hunter this may be the aggro card for you!
  • The Great Hunt – ⚜️ – Needs too many hunters to have too many upgrades for the low return on Glory.
  • To the End – ⚜️⚜️ – This is basically a turn three card but if you find you are throwing cards willy nilly then you can definitely grab this objective.

Neutral Gambits

The Grymwatch Neutral Gambits
The Grymwatch Neutral Gambits
  • Cloaked in Shadow – ⚜️⚜️ – This could be a great way to defend yourself versus push tech if you’re playing a Hold Objective playstyle.
  • Desperate Flight – ⚜️⚜️ – Live Snirk’s Life. A nice, albeit unpredictable, threat extension.
  • Exhaustion – ⚜️ – Great concept, difficult to use well.
  • Fate’s Decree – ⚜️ – A bit too situational for my liking, would have been great a few months ago to counter Rebound and Last Chance.
  • Frenzied Search – ⚜️⚜️ – I don’t think I’ll use this card but I love the idea of it, and I think the Steel City chaps will make good use of it.
  • Madness Dart (poison) – ⚜️⚜️⚜️⚜️ – Declaw your opponent by making their Attack actions have the Fury symbol. Sorry Stormsire, you need to roll Fury on your magic dice now.
The Grymwatch Neutral Gambits 3
The Grymwatch Neutral Gambits
  • Mass Upheaval – ⚜️ – Extremely difficult to cast. Shuts down the Hold Objective playstyle in it’s entirety.
  • Restless Prize – ⚜️⚜️⚜️ – Moving Objective hexes around the board is a great concept! I love it.
  • Sitting Target – ⚜️⚜️⚜️ – Bonus dice and ensare is a great asset to have in your deck if you’re going on an Aggro binge.

Neutral Upgrades

The Grymwatch Neutral Upgrades
The Grymwatch Neutral Upgrades
  • Amberbone Axe – ⚜️⚜️⚜️⚜️ – Okay here we go. Amberbone weapon’s folks! Bonus Glory for killing. Pretty good!!!
  • Bloodthief – ⚜️⚜️ – A decent attack action that can heal you for two is nothing to sniff your nose at, especially for some of those aggro heavy warbands.
  • Hunter’s Reflexes – ⚜️⚜️ – Turning a fighter into a hunter is great for using the other cards. however the effect is a bit situational.
The Grymwatch Neutral Upgrades
The Grymwatch Neutral Upgrades
  • Trophy Belt – ⚜️⚜️⚜️ – I applaud the design space and would definitely consider this if there weren’t an in-faction card.
  • Survival Instincts – ⚜️⚜️⚜️ – Become vulnerable to Hunters but always be on guard. Can’t be knocked back. Could be good for Hold Objective warbands.
  • Stoneform – ⚜️⚜️ – See above for the exact same reasoning.
The Grymwatch Neutral Upgrades 3
The Grymwatch Neutral Upgrades
  • Soothing Companion – ⚜️(+⚜️ for Ylthari) – Healing one is a bit moot in my opinion as the game is very binary in that you’re either fighting well or dead. I don’t think this will see play
  • Mazzig’s Many Legs (Lost Page) – ⚜️⚜️ – WHAT DOES LOST PAGE MEAN! The effect of this is pretty good but it’s a shame you have to spend an action to do it. Good for Stormsire to pump out some in-turn spells for a defensive magic build though.
  • Larval Lance – ⚜️ or ⚜️⚜️ or ⚜️⚜️⚜️ – Depending on the Turn Number this is great or rubbish!

The Grymwatch Decklists

So, I’ve taken my first stab at writing a Grymwatch Deck – the focus is mainly on putting the Crypt Ghouls on objective hexes and having the Duke go crack some skulls.

Objectives

  • In the Name of the King (Surge) – 2 Glory
  • Scrum (Surge) – 1 Glory
  • Calculated Risk (Surge, Restricted) – 1 Glory
  • Swift Capture (Surge, Dual) – 1 Glory
  • Defending the Hearth (Surge) – 1 Glory
  • Martyred (Surge) – 1 Glory
  • Loner (Restricted) – 1 Glory
  • Keep Them Guessing – 2 Glory
  • Supremacy – 3 Glory
  • Opening Gambit – 1 Glory
  • Solid Gains – 1 Glory
  • Charnel House (Hybrid, Third Turn) – 2 Glory

The aim here is to get some quick easy early glory from the Surge cards before settling in to score Hold Objective cards whilst the Duke goes and makes a nuisance of himself. I’m not overly keen on Keep Them Guessing but until we get some more Neutral objectives it’s think pickings for non-magic warbands.

Gambits

  • Restless Prize
  • Haymaker
  • Commanding Stride
  • Centre of Attention
  • Transfixing Stare
  • Snare
  • Sidestep
  • Pack, Advance!
  • Combat Drill
  • Madness Dart

This has a nice mix of push cards and aggro cards that should allow me to score my objective deck whilst also asserting some control over my opponent through Madness Dart and Transfixing Stare.

Upgrades

  • Bag of Tricks
  • Faneway Crystal
  • Potion of Rage
  • Crown of Avarice
  • Duellist’s Speed
  • Great Fortitude
  • Well Motivated
  • Severed Trophy
  • Impervious Delusion
  • Heroic Vision

Plenty of health and aggro upgrades to turn the Duke into an absolute unit whilst also providing some of the usual tricks to getting bonus glory.


Posted in Warhammer Underworlds

Beastgrave Playmat

I was sent a neoprene Beastgrave Playmat for review by Games Workshop! Now I bought the Nightvault Playmat and was sorely disappointed that it was folded up and had some horrendous crease lines. I basically just dumped it into the cupboard and forgot about it, but this is something different…

This improved packaging allows the playmat to roll out straight from the box and you can put it to use almost straight away!

The playmat’s layout has room for:

  • Objective Deck
  • Discarded Objective Cards
  • Power Deck
  • Discarded Power Cards
  • Activation Tokens
  • Turn Counter
  • Unspent Glory
  • Spent Glory

Unfortunately the designers opted to repeat the Nightvault design rather than go for the optimal layout in my opinion! Which of course was the Shadespire Grand Clash layout which had room for Scored Objective Cards!

Overall this is a brilliant product and I recommend picking one up…if you’ve not won a Shadespire mat that is.

Posted in Warhammer Underworlds

Warhammer Underworlds: Beastgrave

Welcome to Katophrane Relic; a Warhammer Underworld Blog. I’ll be unboxing Beastgrave which was sent to me for review by Games Workshop Ltd.

As I recieved this extremely close to the embargo date I have written more of a first impression style article and will dive deeper into the factions once I have had a chance to build them and put them on the table.

Beastgrave Token Boards

Upon opening the box I was greeted by three double-sided token boards. I found the quality of all cardboard to be exceptional and Warhammer have continued their high level of finish yet again.

Game Boards

To my excitement I also found two new game boards, both double-sided which brings the total available board faces to a whopping 16! I do wonder if Warhammer are going to rotate out any boards as well! Once again these boards are of a high quality finish, though I do find the artwork quite busy compared to the more muted tones of Shadespire and Nightvault.

Skaeth’s Wild Hunt and Grashrak’s Despoilers Miniatures

The miniatures found in the Beastgrave Starter Set are Skaeth’s Wild Hunt and Grashrak’s Despoilers. Both faction have a rich story contained in the rulebook and an overarching story that explains the Katophrane’s Curse which is definitely something I did not expect to enjoy as much as I did.

I’m sure you can already guess it but these a high quality miniatures designed to be built without glue, and in coloured plastic so that you don’t have to paint if you don’t want to. Should you? That’s for you to decide.

Beastgrave Rulebooks

The rulebook has been updated and new rules have been added. As this is an unboxing and first impressions article I’ll cover these in a more in-depth blog once I’ve sunk my teeth into it.

A collection of booklets in Beastgrave.
Collection of booklets found in the Warhammer Underworlds: Beastgrave Starter Set

A new addition to Beastgrave is a comprehensive timing sequence! Something that I have been crying out for since Shadespire was brought to life! A heartfelt thank you to the developers and playtesters who made this official!

The timing steps for combat.
The timing steps we’ve all been waiting for have arrived in Beastgrave.

Beastgrave Neutral Cards

No Warhammer Underworlds set is complete without some neutral cards that you want to pick up. I’ve taken the time to sort out the new neutral cards for existing players. Obviously you’ll want this set for the boards, tokens, rulebook and two new factions, but these five cards will expand your card pool for existing warbands.

Five new cards for your Beastgrave Collection.
Juicy new neutral cards!

New Upgrades

  • Predatory Instinct – Make your fighter a Hunter to gain access to all the Hunter Only cards. Gain the benefit of dice re-rolls against a Quarry.
  • Caltrops – IF you survive an attack against you then you can trigger this reaction to cause a damage to your attacker. This will block Pit Trap and potentially other reactions, combo with Blessing of Argentine to whack out a 2 dmg volley.

New Gambits

  • Marked – Make a fighter into a Quarry. Useful if you have some upgrades or gambits that benefit someone being a Quarry.
  • Snare – Hunter only Pit Trap.
  • Eldritch Haze – Spell – +1 Defence for the round/out of action and cast on a Focus. This is a great spell to Inspire Stormsire and be rocking three defence dice!

Final Thoughts

I’m really looking forward to getting some games of Beastgrave, and have managed to line up a few tomorrow at The Forge Manchester. I’ll have more articles in the pipeline after I’ve used Skaeth’s Wild Hunt and Grashrak’s Despoilers tomorrow.

Be sure to sign up to the Katophrane Newsletter and never miss out on an article! New articles are sent to your inbox every Friday.

Posted in Warhammer Underworlds

I Can Hear the Call! | Beastgrave

Hey Trophy Hunters!

I’m back at the wheel of Katophrane Relic once again. I burnt out at the end of Nightvault. The Mollog/Thundriks/Cursebreaker score immediately meta bored me. The rate at which my written content was becoming out of date hurt. I’d also set myself some unrealistic goals with regards to content frequency and I’d kinda lost sight of the aim of the blog. I use it to track my personal progress as a competitive player and now I have a higher calling than just winning another Grand Clash – the 2020 Grand Masters!

via GIPHY

Beastgrave appears to be breaking the meta I hated, and with the rotation of Shadespire cards out I’m actually PUMPED to write some deck lists again. No longer will I immediately grab; Ready for Action, Escalation, Change of Tactics and something for flavour.

It also didn’t help that all the local players around me had moved on to other games, but I’m going to give running events another go at The Forge Manchester to see what sort of turn out I get.

If you want to stay in the loop of this veteran of the game’s opinion then sign up to the Katophrane Relic Newsletter below and never miss an article.

Posted in Warhammer Underworlds

Where my Head is with Warhammer Underworlds

If you’ve been following Katophrane Relic you’ll have noticed June was a particularly quiet month despite a new expansion and a Grand Clash.

Well I’ll level with you dear reader, I’m finding it difficult to get motivated to write about Warhammer Underworlds right now. The close combat arena game I fell in love with is a distant memory replaced by one where range is king and death in the power step runs rampant.

Nightvault pushed the boundaries of Warhammer Underworlds game design but since Dave Sanders was announced to be working on Warcry it feels like the play testing and balance of the game has taken a dip. This could be any number of reasons and I won’t list my thoughts incase I unintentionally offend designers, developers or play testers, but the power creep is real.

I’ve also become disenfranchised with the speed that content becomes outdated or with chasing the headlines. Some of my favourite articles were my Objective based Skaven tactica in season one but that information is basically worthless now. Whilst other blogs have written fantastic in-depth discussions (https://steelcityunderwords.com) that are of diminishing value to a competitive player.

Having won a grand clash there is nothing further to chase and no fire in me to keep playing. I wish something had been done with the special cards handed out to top placing players at grand clashes.

Despite it all I still enjoy the game and have made great friends in this community but I’m just not enthused to write about the game anymore.

Maybe Season 3 will change that for me. Maybe something will be revealed this weekend at the Open Day that entices me back in.

In the meantime I’m going to be getting to grips with Godtear and keeping a close eye on Super Fantasy Brawl.

Posted in Event Review, Thundrik’s Profiteers, Warhammer Underworlds

Rebel Base Gaming – Event Review

After my poor showing at the Grand Clash I was determined to improve my game with Thundrik’s Profiteers and hone the deck some more. I’ve made changes to the deck I trained In the Dojo with and I’m very happy with how it’s performing. So, I packed my bags and headed to Rebel Base Gaming!

Round 1 vs Jason (Ylthari’s Guardians)

Game one: Well there isn’t much to say on it everything went to plan and I won the game 21-6 as Jason’s plan completely fell apart!

Round One couldn’t have gone better!

Game Two: A win here secures the round. Ylthari started explosively killing Garrod and Ironhail whilst scoring 8 glory. Alas, the Guardians blew so many powerful cards in Turn One that they were vulnerable in Turn Two and Three. The game ended 22-14, putting me at +23 Glory Difference after Round 1, and 44 Glory Scored (Glory Scored was the first tiebreak).

Another strong win put me in good stead for the tournament

Round 2 vs Bryce (Mollog)

Great. A Grand Clash winner and Mollog stood between me and the Shadeglass trophy.

Game 1: Opening move of the game; Dead Eye Lund charges Mollog to score What Armour? and misses. At this point I thought I’d lost the game, in activation one of Turn One. Bryce is a great player and I fully expected him to take advantage of the situation. Fortunately, for me, dice are malicious cubes of hate and they hated Bryce that day. I ended up winning 21-12.

WHY LUND WHY?

Game 2: After a dicey victory in game 1. I knew Bryce would rally and give me an incredibly tough game. He started strong and Mollog pulled ahead extremely quickly. By the end of turn two the score was 16-8 to Bryce and he’d used illusory fighter to retreat mollog denying me the opportunity to score my objectives. Fortunately the Profiteers can score glory like nothing else I’ve encountered and due to a misplay from Bryce I was able to score 8 glory through a mix of kills, upgrades and objectives to bring it to a 16-16 draw in the final turn and good old Thundrik was sat on an objective to take me through to the final.

When the game is looking tight, always stand on an objective!

Round 3 vs Mike (Sepulchral Guard)

Oh great! After beating a Grand Clash Winner I now had to take on a Grand Clash finalist! I swear the Northern tournament circuit is one of the hardest places to win a sodding Glass Trophy.

Game One: Everything went to plan for me, and Mike’s deck never got started. He drew 9 Upgrades as his opening power cards. An 18-6 win for me. One more and the Shadeglass would be mine!

Photo reconstructed as I forgot to take any of this game!

Game Two: So Mike was playing Tomes! This was a super tight game with barely any objectives being scored on both sides. Going into the end of Turn Three I was sat on 11 Glory and Mike was on 10. With the Warden dead and Restless Dead used I had a final attempt to kill the Librarian (the skeleton holding all the Tomes). I equipped Thundrik with Tome of Offerings and Potion of Rage and made a charge to kill the Champion. I missed entirely with all 4 dice! In the end Phase Mike scored 8 Glory thanks to a whopping 5 from Acolyte of the Katophranes and Superior Tactician putting the scores at 11-18. Had the attack killed the Champion the game would have been a draw!

Stupid dice coming back to curse me!

Game Three: This one was for all the marbles! And my dice did not want to play anymore. In the opening turn I missed three attacks in a row from Dead Eye Lund to score What Armour?, and in the final crucial activation of the game Drakkskewer’s Tome of Offering kill was stopped by Last Chance, and then his Ready for Action attack completely missed!! The game ended 17-18 to Mike thanks to his Libraian scoring 6? Glory and my Khazagann failing to make his attacks count! Congratulations Mike!

Turn One was wasted trying to score What Armour?

Final Thoughts

Well, I got lucky versus Bryce and luck was not a lady for me in the game against Mike. To quote Love Island #ItIsWhatItIs the Profiteers are performing very well for me with this newly tweaked deck. I came 2nd overall at the event with a whopping 125 Glory Scored and Glory Difference of 36. There’s always next time…

Posted in Card/Board Reviews, Warhammer Underworlds, Ylthari's Guardians

Painting Ylthari’s Guardians with Contrast Paints

Hey Folks! Thought I’d take a stab at this ‘Painting Revolution’ of Contrast paints and give them a go. Now, I’ll preface this by saying that I’m not the best painter. I can do tabletop standard fine and go through the Base – Shade – Layer – Highlight steps but that is where my enthusiasm for painting ends.

Typically I’ll spend around an hour or two per model. For example my Dreadfane Warband, Ironsoul’s Sequitors, has taken probably seven hours so far as I’ve been putting more care into them and using the ‘standard’ way of painting.

I’ve been watching these Contrast Paints from the sidelines and have been keen to try them out. So I popped down to my Local Gaming Store and grabbed a can of Wraithbone, Gryph-Charger Grey and Cygor Brown with the intent of getting Ylthari’s Guardians painted in as short a time as possible. I’d like to have got some Wyldwood but they were sold out!

Step One: Wraithbone Basecoat (2mins)

So I prepared Ylthari’s Guardians and took them out to be blasted with the rattlecan, and I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to cover the models with the new paint! I’ll be using Gallaghan as my test subject in this little experiment.

Step Two: Cygor Brown Layer (17mins)

The paint went on easily and I was able to get good coverage in a short space of time. I took the picture a little too prematurely as when left for longer to dry the brown DID begin to look more highlighted. I was a little nervous for the next paint as it was a new colour and I wanted to use Aethermatic Blue but it was out of stock! They hype for this paint is real!!

Step Three: Gryph-Charger Grey (7mins)

Wow. This stuff went on quickly and easily. I am massively impressed by these lighter colours. When they have dried full they look absolutely stunning and Contrast paints for doing these ethereal style models will become common place at tournaments!

Step 4: The Base (15mins)

For the final step to make this miniature ‘Battle Ready’ I painted the base in the traditional way. Base – Shade – Drybrush. I’ll go back in and ensure the base gets the TLC it deserves as it looks unfinished to my eyes. But all in all I’m pretty chuffed with the time taken on this.

Total Time: 41~ minutes

Have you pre-ordered the Contrast colours? Let me know in the comments which project you’ll be using Contrast in.

Posted in Warhammer Underworlds

UK Games Expo – Grand Clash Review

Welcome Back Trophy Hunters! The UK Games Expo happened a lifetime ago and I was able to attend the Grand Clash with Thundrik’s Profiteers as my chosen warband. I came 30th overall out of just over a hundred (I think) with two wins, a draw, and a loss. Overall I’d like to have performed better but I had four very difficult games against high calibre players and can keep my chin up with the result. I won’t go into the blow by blow of each game but will give a rundown of the results and my feeling of how the game went.

Oh and before we begin we used Best Coast Pairings again, which is an app I detest and wish that there was literally any other tournament organising platform in use. I spent the first half an hour of registration going down the registration line explaining how to use the app to players to speed up registration. Also, I’m SO glad that I brought my power bank as my phone would not have lasted the tournament having to constantly check the app. For me it just drains power like nothing else.

Round 1 vs Nathan (Zarbag’s Gitz)

In round one I was drawn against Nathan, he seemed like a younger player but in my years of competing in various systems it’s never worth underestimating a player due to their age. Nathan explained that he is on the Underworlds Discord as ‘A Git’ which was a pleasant surprise as we’d actually chatted a little bit on there.

Nathan was running Gitz and I was cursing having dropped Tome of Offerings immediately. Game One I was able to nuke Snirk, the fanatic, very early and Nathan held his cards close to his chest about what his gameplan was. I took game one 22-8.

Game Two saw all the Relics get piled onto Snirk so I focused fire on bringing him down. Having played relics myself I knew how important denying their scoring was, and I was able to control Snirk in the early game thanks to all the movement shenanigans the Profiteers have. It was close but I was able to take the second game 18-15 as the relics never got going.

Game 2 vs Derek (Ylthari’s Guardians)

I knew Derek was a good player from the Facebook Groups and whenever you recognise a name it’s usually never a good sign. Fortunately Bryce and I had been playing this match up a LOT. I threw everything at killing Ylthari and ignoring Gallaghan, and it paid off in both games as I was able to win 19-13 and 15-6. No losses and a +32 Glory Difference had me in good stead for the event.

Game 3 vs John (Thundrik’s Profiteers)

If you want a blow by blow of the game you can check John’s Blog here. For the most part it is accurate though there are a few mis-remembered details, for example:

His Drakkskewer charged mine but missed although did score Calculated Risk. 

I never used Drakkskewer to score Calculated Risk all tournament, because he literally can’t score it. We had a really tight set of games, John took the first 11-16, I took the second 21-18 and in the third my objective deck bricked me but the most frustrating moment of the game for me was when John rolled a defensive crit with Ironhail against my turn one Drakkskwer charge.

I had Ready for Action, Potion of Rage & Trap in hand with the intention of killing Ironhail (stopping Get Thee Hence! and making Headshot more difficult) with the plan being attack Dead Eye Lund with 4 dice and Trap to kill him (slowing down What Armour? and a good damage threat). I rolled double smash with Drakkskewer on the charge but John critted out of it and the game went downhill from there. Sometimes it’s just not your day. I lost the third game 11-18.

Game 4 vs Josh (Thundrik’s Profiteers)

Great another Profiteer mirror match. They really aren’t very fun to play. Josh was a good opponent and I enjoyed his company and shared in his frustration at how the games went.

In Game One we played the game well and ended with an 18-18 draw as nobody had any tiebreakers – that was a relief but also a bit lacklustre. Game Two saw Josh’s deck and dice desert him and I rolled in for a 21-6 win. Game Three the reverse happened and Josh won 8-21.

We had assumed I’d won the round as my Glory Scored & Glory Diff over the games was higher but at a Grand Clash this doesn’t matter as they are additional victory conditions if there must be a winner so it was recorded as a draw as we had both won a game. A bit of a damp ending for both of us I think there.

Final Thoughts

For the event I ended on 2 wins, 1 draw, and 1 loss. With 6 individual games won, 1 drawn game, and 3 games lost. Coming 30th after that performance stung. Though had my round draw been a win it would only have moved me to 21st as I lost 3 individual games.

I have since made multiple changes to the deck to make it more consistent and stop bricking my opening hand as much. The Thundrik’s mirror match, of which I experienced two, is one of the most miserable experiences I’ve had the displeasure of playing. I learnt a lot about how to handle those games and feel confident going into them now, but the Mexican stand off is a bit boring. Oh and once again I passed my swag onto other players as I really don’t need another set of Alternate Art Keys.