Posted in Warhammer Underworlds

Building a Gaming Community

Hey Folks! It’s been a quiet month on the blog, but I thought I’d take this quiet time to discuss something that is particularly close to my heart; Community Building.

A question that crops up every now and again is “How do I get more players for this game?” and it’s not just restricted to Warhammer Underworlds, though that is what I’ll focus on…for obvious reasons.

In my time in the ‘hobby’ I’ve helped to reinvigorate the Middle-Earth Startegy Battle Game Community; keeping the game on life support during the dark days of Games Workshop by regularly running large events & hosting a successful YouTube Channel despite zero or minimal releases. I still help run these events as the game system hold a special place in my heart, though I no longer play the game itself.

Here are the best tips I can give to help grow a gaming community at your local store or club.

Show up to game night!

This can be a tough one, but consistency is key! Speak to your local gaming store that stocks Warhammer Underworld. You can see what stores are near you through Games Workshop’s Store Finder. Once you have found a store nearby that you want to spend time in then visit it and speak to the Store Manager.

Find a mutual day that works 1) for you (as you’ll be doing the leg work) and 2) isn’t dominated by another game system. For example; Friday Night is for Magic. There is no shifting that play space as it tends to be a game store’s bread & butter. Pick a day where you’ll be able to show up consistently, and honestly expect to be alone for the first few weeks so take something else to do; catch up on painting your miniatures or take a book!

Present yourself well & be social!

It should go without saying BUT we are in the gaming community, wear deoderant, eat a mint, and when you stand up to shake someone’s hand gently wipe the palms of your hands on your trouser leg as you stand up; it takes away any moistness and gives a good first impression!

Introduce yourself to players in the store – it’s likely they’ll ask questions such as “what is that game” or “what’s that game like?” A good answer is to have an elevator pitch that you can quickly rattle off, I’d recommend something along the lines of “it’s kind of like a gang fight where you get points for killing models and controlling areas of the battlefield” if they seem interested then offer a demo game.

You’ll likely need to provide all the materials to get people playing their first demo game. Ensure you have the boards set up, the decks prepared, models already laid out and be ready to get rolling dice as soon as possible. In my four years as a community manager the single most important aspect of a demo game is to get the player rolling dice. Rolling dice is fun!

Present the game in it’s best light!

Bring along two balanced deck lists that show off the core mechanics of Warhammer Underworlds. You’re not prepping someone for a Grand Clash, you’re giving them a taster of what the game offers!

The starter decks in the Shadespire Boxset exemplify this and I would highly suggest using Steelheart’s Champions versus Garrek’s Reavers and offer the Champions to the new player. You can find those decks here.

Take your foot of the gas, make suboptimal plays to allow your prospective player to get some kills and score some glory. It’s kind of an unwritten rule but…let them win, it gives them a good impression of the game and will make them want to come back for more. As everyone knows; the first one’s free 😉

How should I give a demo game?

Before you begin ensure that the warbands are deployed in charge range of each other. Everyone loves to kill things.

Then make sure the starting hands include 3 ploys and 2 upgrades. Ideally give the new player Sidestep, Peal of Thunder, Healing Potion, Great Fortitude and Great Speed in their Power Deck, and Hold Objective X, Slayer of Tyrants and Awe Inspiring in the Objective Hand.

Your starting hand should have Sidestep, Blood Offering, Khorne Calls, Great Strength, and Great Speed. With your objectives being Hold Objective X, It Begins, and Blood for the Blood God.

  1. Explain that Warhammer Underworlds is a game of three turns each with 4 activations. The winner is whoever has the most Glory (Victory Points) after the third turn. You can score glory by killing models or scoring objectives – show them one of your objective cards and how it is scored.
  2. Let them know that they can Move, Attack and Charge. You can introduce Guard actions later if the opportunity presents itself.
  3. Give yourself the opening turn and make a charge action with Targor into Brightshield to explain the Move, Attack and Defend mechanics. It also allows them the chance to Inspire, introducing another mechanic of the game. Whether you damage them or not DO NOT PUSH THEM AWAY!
  4. Instruct them to make an attack action versus targor with Brightshield – they’re likely to hit and you’re likely to fail the defence roll. If you need to, just change the dice face to ensure that Targor dies. Give them a Glory Point.
  5. Now you can introduce Upgrades to the opponent. They are likely to give one of their guys the extra wound but it doesn’t really matter!
  6. You can then use Sidestep to push someone onto an Objective, they hopefully use Peal of Thunder to push them off. This introduces the power step and gives some tactical back & forth.
  7. Then use Blood Offering and have Saek make a BIG Charge Action to whack a Stormcast down to low health (hopefully).
  8. Continue to play through the rest of turn one.
  9. At the end of turn one go through the scoring step, scoring your own first and offer to end your demo game there. If the player is interested then they may ask to play on, but if they’re not enjoying themselves then this gives them an opportunity to politely leave and lets you focus on demoing to someone else.

There are lots of ways to demo a game but this is a relatively quick back and forth that can set you up to teach the core mechanics of Warhammer Underworlds, and is easily learnable and repeatable.

Reach out to players on social media

Like it or lump it we live in a digital world and connecting with like-minded individuals with similar interests is easier than ever. If your local store doesn’t already have a gaming group on Facebook then consider creating one and inviting anyone who’s show an interest in the game. Let your store know this exists and ask them to share it via their store Facebook Page.

Post regularly in the group to let people know you’re attending the store on certain nights, arrange meet ups, and eventually run events through there too and on that note…

Ensure your Local Gaming Store has stock in-store!

There is nothing worse than having a potential new player but having nothing to bait your hook with! Those of us attracted to wargaming are habitual impulse buyers (we’re also generally White, male, aged 25-34 and reading this on mobile – Google Analytics is a scary tool!!) not having stock on the shelf to enable that impulse purchase means that the $40-$50 that would be dropped on a starter set is instead being spent on another game. It will take some convincing for the LGS owner to lay out their cash but ensuring stock is on the shelves makes the transition from prospective player to regular opponent easier.

Secondly, get your store to sign up to receive Games Workshops’ organised play packs. You have no idea the difference that a Glass Trophy and some exclusive goodies can do for attendance figures. Offer to run those events and train the stores staff how to run them. Heck – here is an excel document I use to run our local events.

Warhammer Underworlds – 16 Players – 4 Rounds

(It orders players by Tournament Points > Glory Difference > Glory Scored – I don’t track losses for such small events).

Finally, travel to events and ‘network’ with other groups

The only way to grow a scene on a regional/state/national level is to travel to events and make a good impression on their players. Invite them to your facebook group and stay in touch after the events – you have a mutual interest discuss deck builds with them or how you think the latest BAR List is or how they plan to beat Cursebreakers or Mollogs ENGAGE WITH THEM!!

Eventually you’ll just become friends and you’ll use these gaming weekends or days to just meet up and roll dice, and the competitive nature comes second. I can’t begin to even think of the amount of friends for life I’ve made through the hobby.


Hopefully this helps those of you who want to become a champion of your community and give you a platform for introducing the game to new players and building your own community.

Posted in Warhammer Underworlds

BAR List, Errata & Designer Commentary Updated!

Banned & Restricted – Download Here

  • Extreme Flank gets banned!
  • Superior Tactician hits the restricted list.
  • Deathly Fortitude hits the restricted list.
  • Sudden Growth hits the restricted list

Nothing too surprising there. I expected to see Transfixing Stare in the restricted list, and maybe in time we’ll see that too! The loss of Extreme Flank is definitely going to hurt the ‘Horde’ warbands ability to score high consistently, more than lower model warbands. Which is always an issue we’re going to have in this game!

Errata – Download Here

Wow! This one took me by surprise:

This is a straight up BUFF! for Mollog. He can now Charge – Attack – Attack – Charge when Inspired. Which is pretty nuts considering how strong the ability was anyway! I’d expect this is to help clear up the rules for newer players. Speaking of which… who hasn’t seen the question about Mollog & Second Wind on the various groups? Well, it’s been cleared up:

Essentially it allows Mollog to Charge again if he’s uninspired, and hasn’t already made a Move action. It’s a clean way of fixing a confusing rule. Nicely done, but is still another buff for Mollog.

There are some rules clean ups in there for the Warden and his actions. Which is nice as I raised these in the group recently and had a mix of opinion.

Designer’s Commentary – Download Here

This is a mammoth document that is covered in magenta, but the key take aways are listed below. Many of the other questions are simply clean ups and do not effect the majority of interactions in the game. The ones I’ve listed however do:



Your Thoughts?

What do you think of our latest Banned & Restricted List, Errata and Designer’s Commentary?

Posted in Warhammer Underworlds

Cards that might get Banned or Restricted!

We’ve had a few weeks now since Mollog’s Mob & The Godsworn Hunt were released. But what were the real standout cards of those sets? Those cards that are so game changing that they may even end up on the banned or restricted list?

I’ve rummaged through the Objectives, Gambits, & Upgrades to find out. Obviously, I have no prior knowledge on upcoming cards from the Kharadon Overlords or Sylvaneth and wouldn’t expect an update until a month or two after their release. HOWEVER reason is not something that a sensationalist gamer understands… so lets plough on!

Transfixing Stare

Transfixing Stare. Hey look! It’s Negative Play Experience 101. This card is punishing to the extreme! In the hands of a good player this can absolutely shut down a less skilled opponent’s entire game. It’s comparable in Power Level to Frozen in Time, but at least that has a random element attached to it and your fighter cannot be damaged whilst it’s frozen.

A Negative Play Experience (NPE) is when playing a game frustrates or bores one or both players. NPEs are thought to prevent new players from fully entering the game and leading to existing players abandoning the game.

“But this has a range restriction on it!” I hear you cry! Range 2 and no LoS requirement is plenty of room to shut down a model especially if you have a Push ploy to get out of their threat range.

“But this is good anti-Mollog tech” I hear you too. And I ask you…how? Stopping him from charging twice per turn just puts him on the same level as everyone else, whilst drastically reducing EVERYONE else’s ability to do anything.

Upgrades are so Hot Right Now!

Remember back when it was just Gambits that you struggled to pick. Now it’s Upgrades too! We’ve got so many good upgrades, but these too probably skew the game a bit too hard. In a similar vein to say the Slumbering Key & A Destiny to Meet.

Tome of Offerings

Tome of Offerings. Previously this upgrade was a thematic Upgrade solely for our Khornate Leaders – which was fine. Because you were aware that you were likely to come up against that when playing Khorne. Now, warbands with five or more models shudder when they see this come out in Turn One! This upgrade is regularly netting 3 or 4 additional glory in our games of #Lunchspire.

This is a difficult upgrade to assess as, much like Transfixing Stare, it is extremely Player Skill dependent. A good player will get far more worth out of this upgrade than a bad player, and I guess this is an issue that could be applied to many or all cards, but Tome of Offerings certainly exacerbates this issue.

Rather than add this to the restricted list and hurting the potential of a Librarian build (having all the Tomes) I think a simple change to this card could even be “The first time this fighter takes an enemy fighter out of action per action phase, gain 1 additional glory point.” This limits it’s score to 3 additional glory points, more likely 1 or 2 but reduces it’s impact on the larger warbands.

Bag of Tricks

Bag of Tricks. How much I love and hate you at the same time is almost incomprehensible! You’re an amazing venture into unexplored design space but you’re also a Bag of D**ks for skewing the balance of a game!!

Bag of Tricks has a fairly weighted punishment for searching your deck when used in a small warband and not so punishing in a large warband, however the impact of this action is immeasurable! When Bag of Tricks is equipped and searched in turn one to find Inspiration Strikes or Ready for Action or the Silver Bullet to your bad match up it can flip a game on it’s head. Searching for a specific card is not something that the game mechanics of Warhammer Underworlds supports.

A fairer effect would be Action: Draw X. Pick 1 and reveal it to your opponent. Shuffle the remaining cards back into your Power Deck and place a Charge token next to this fighter.” What is X? I don’t know it would need playtesting. My gut says 3 or 4 but it is still extremely powerful and better than just pulling the top card.


Thanks for taking the time out of your day to read through my thoughts spilled out. Let me know if you agree or disagree in the comments below. I’d like to know your thoughts!

Posted in Mollog's Mob, Warhammer Underworlds

Mollog’s Mob: Deck & Tech

Hey Trophy Hunters!

Recently I attended Wayland’s Forge in Birmingham for their Glass Trophy Event, and I thought I’d take along the new hotness; Mollog’s Mob. The warband is incredibly strong, and it is causing ripples in the meta. Sadly, for me, I missed out on the Shadeglass and came 2nd – losing to Oliver’s Eyes of the Nine. Oliver used a deck that was stacked to defeat Mollog. Oliver played fantastically and read the meta well… but rolling rebound successfully twice also helped and had that not happened I think I’d have been heading home with Shadeglass.

Mollog’s Mob Objectives

Strong Start, Victorious Duel, Longstrider, No Remorse, Demolished: All very easy to score objectives that can get the glory train chugging. Victorious Duel is an objective I loved from my days as a Skritch player and it fits the bill perfectly for this warband too.

Alone in the Darkness, Extreme Flank, Escalation: All high scoring passive glory that can be scored simply of off good positioning. Note that they are all restricted too…coincidence, I think not!D

Master of War, Solid Gains, Shining Example: Good passive scores that build can be built off of a single objective being scored elsewhere.

Superior Tactician: If you’re not running this card you should be. It’s the least disruptive third end phase three glory card, and it would not surprise me to see it on the restricted list in future.

Mollog’s Mob Gambits

Ready for Action, My Turn, Aggressive Defence, Haymaker: Make more attack actions and score more glory from kills. Haymaker was a last minute decision due Mollog to only rolling two Smash dice, however this would change for Misdirection in the future.

Spoils of Battle, Inspiration Strikes: Either of these cards in your hand on turn one probably mean you’re going to be in an extremely strong position for the entire game. Inspiration Strikes basically is a +1 Damage card for Mollog, whilst Spoils has an extremely short shelf life can get big upgrades out that simply flip the game on it’s head (Tome of Offerings & Bag of Tricks specifically).

Commanding Stride, Predatory Growls, Transfixing Stare: Exert power over the board with a slue of positional cards. Hot tip: Transfixing Stare will hit the restricted list. I’ll bet my hat on it.!

Forceful Denial: Mollog’s Mob have skewed the meta hard. Some warbands simply do not have the tools to go toe-to-toe with him in a straight fight. I spoke with players at Waylands Forge and my first opponent had played 20+ practice matches versus Mollog’s Mob and was successful just once with his Sepulchral Guard. The only way they had found that was relatively consistent was to use cards like Frozen in Time, Rebound, Cruel Taunt to shut down his rampage. This is where Forceful Denial comes in. Misdirection is good, and I should have included it, however Forceful Denial is more useful in more situations as it can shut down powerful cards like Distraction, Ready for Action, Spoils of Battle etc. unfortunately for me in the final versus Oliver I fell foul to Frozen in Time and Rebound in our first game, I won our second game where Frozen in Time wasn’t played & Rebound failed, and then in our third game Rebound worked (again) and I was defeated at the final hurdle.

Mollog’s Mob Upgrades

Great Fortitude, Tome of Vitality, Vampiric Weapon: I like that these wounds keep your mobility. Vampiric weapon returns the wounds you take and just one kill with it equipped is like another Great Fortitude.

Great Strength, Blooming Spores: I like playing with restricted cards. I LOVE playing with six restricted cards. Welcome Blooming Spores AKA Incredible strength.

Potion of Rage, Foul Temper: Do you know what is better than 6 restricted cards? SEVEN!! Foul Temper AKA Awakened Weapon boosts your accuracy, and we all know about Potion of Rage by now.

Tome of Offerings, Bag of Tricks, Potion of Grace: These were my ‘tech’ cards. Tome of Offerings is just bonkers crazy on Mollog as every kill is worth two glory and since most/all your attacks come from him and most/all are lethal attacks this can lead to some crazy glory scores. Bag of Tricks gives one of the critters something to do when there isn’t an optimal activation to be made with Mollog, or simply making the power play of searching for My Turn/Aggressive Defence and revealing it to your opponent which is essentially saying “come and wound me so I can kill you”. Finally Potion of Grace was my hidden gem of the day, using it in conjunction with Ready for Action to move around without getting a token is just golden, and I also managed to get use out of it to shut out a Transfixing Stare play. It also facilitates Longstrider with a Critter if Mollog gets Frozen or killed.

Mollog’s Mob – Board Choice

Katophrane’s Reliquary does EVERYTHING you need it to for Mollog’s Mob. It keeps your critters at the back of the board regardless of orientation, and puts Mollog front and centre ready to move into your opponent’s territory! This works when going first or second and I used it in all nine games at the event.

Mollog’s Mob – Top 5 Tips

  1. Keep the squishy things hidden away and in position to score Extreme Flank & Alone in the Darkness. They are hard to kill once inspired and if you spread them out there is minimal glory to be gained from kills.
  2. Don’t over commit. Mollog can still be killed even with his mammoth seven wounds. Ask questions of your opponent but don’t just rush in.
  3. When you do commit with Mollog ensure your target priority is solid. Remove models with access to cleave if possible. Ideally leave leaders until you can score Victorious Duel, or if the option isn’t there just kill them to prevent your opponent scoring Shining Example etc.
  4. Place Objectives in your opponents half of the board to prevent a Faneway into your back field. This also allows Mollog’s Range to cover more of the hexes if your opponent is playing a hold objective playstyle, which is apparently back in force?
  5. Use positional Gambits to enable attacks over making charge actions. REMEMBER: Even though Mollog can Charge twice when Inspired he cannot Charge and then Attack. He is still bound by the Core rules for Charge Tokens.
Posted in Card/Board Reviews, Warhammer Underworlds

5 Older Gambits You’re Going to See More

Thanks to Paul Howard for this article suggestion!

With the release of Mollog’s Mob & Godsworn Hunt the meta has been shook up! New threats are aplenty; be it the ferocity of Mollog or the flexibility of the Servants of Darkness! To help answer these new threats (and new neutral cards that come with them) we might see a return of some older cards! (Make note – they’re so powerful they’re generally 50/50)

Frozen in Time – Farstrider Expansion

Ah. Frozen in Time. A staple of decks in the States (or at least Claim the City Podcast say so) has definitely risen in value since the one-troggoth wrecking crew is proving particularly powerful. Roll that dice and on a Smash or Crit and you’ve potentially stalled your opponent for an entire turn, known as a Time Warp.

Time Warp: The idea of a change in the measurement of time, in which people and events from one part of history are imagined as existing in another part.

By preventing your opponent from executing their plan with a singularly powerful model (Magore, Fjul, Gurzag, Stormsire, Mollog) they can effectively have a null and void turn. We only have 12 activations, Turn 1 is jockeying for position, Turn 2 is execution of the plan, Turn 3 is about wrapping it up. If you can freeze a big threat in Turn 2 then they may not even get to execute their plan if yours has gone well!

Cruel Taunt – Ironskull’s Boyz Expansion

Being Inspired is golden (bad’um tss). You get better stats and unlock objectives such as Fired Up & Shining Example. If you can remove that option from an enemy model then you put yourself in good stead. Uninspiring Snirk leave the Moonclan Grots without their ‘heavy hitter’, Stormcast lose access to their double defence dice, Grimnir probably flips the table in fury. The drawback is that in 50% of your games this won’t work and you’d probably with you’d brought Distraction to just push them away!

Shattershard – Spiteclaw’s Swarm Expansion

In the wake of the BAR List we are no longer seeing Soultrap and Tethered Spirit, replaced instead by Deathly Fortitude and Sudden Growth. There is a definite reliance on these upgrades to ensure that our models don’t die, pulling the proverbial rug out from under them and removing those +2 wounds when they’re in the danger zone already can turn the tide. You’ll get a glory for the kill and might just score something like Strong Start! The other uses that jump out are removing Tome of Offerings, Hero’s Mantle, or even something as simple as Great Speed to ensure someone stays out of range!

Forceful Denial – Sepulchral Guard Expansion

Whilst this has been growing in popularity already Forceful Denial is almost the only way to shut down an opponent’s power card in it’s track. You could play No Time but that can potentially hurt you just as much! This 50/50 can drastically alter the outcome of a game. Particularly good for stopping those cards mentioned above and things like Ready for Action, My Turn, Illusory Fighter – removing the ability to use a Restricted Card is so satisfying…

Misdirection – Ironskull’s Boyz Expansion

Play this if your gameplan revolves around having a single big model do all the work. It can keep them choppin’ or in a vital position for longer! This card was popular during the ScaredyKat days but might see a resurgence soon! It’s drawback is that it requires you to be ‘chosen by a ploy’ so it needs that specific keyword. However all the above cards DO have that so you’re pretty fortunate there. This card if very much a Chicken and Egg card – if the other cards become popular then this probably will.

What cards do you think we’ll see more of?
Let me know in the comments below:

Posted in Event Review, Sepulchral Guard, Warhammer Underworlds

Sepulchral Guard Event Review

Hey Folks! Apologies for the lull after Mollog’s & Godsworn Hunt released. I’ve been a bit hesitant about jumping into a Faction review of them as I wanted to get some games with & against them before I began talking about them. There is already plenty to read about them out there and a simple card review didn’t capture my imagination. Their cards have both helped and hindered the Sepulchral Guard, just how much remains to be fully seen…

As you may or may not know I’ve been playing Sepulchral Guard since the BAR List and have been enjoying the challenge they’re presenting me with. They certainly are not the strongest warband and I don’t think I’d EVER take them to a Grand Clash as they will nearly always drop a game or two! I’ll be keeping my cards close to my chest on this until I win Glass, so no decklist this time, sorry!

I finally plucked up the courage to attend an event with the Guard after a run of bad luck regarding events. They kept getting cancelled or life was getting in the way. The field was looking pretty good for a Guard victory due to a low attendance! There were Thorns of the Briar Queen, two Godsworn Hunt, myself…and then two Mollog’s Mob warbands appeared and the percentage chance of victory went tumbling…

Sepulchral Guard Middle Finger
This is for you Mollog!

Sepulchral Guard vs Godsworn Hunt (Tom Bond)

Wonderful. First game versus Tom Bond from SteelCityUnderworlds Blog. Tom always gives a good game, and I’ll never forget our super tense Magore vs Skritch game that ended in a draw and knocked us both from the running to win an event. He’s a true gent and a fantastic player, though is prone to letting Riptooth eat Magore and losing to children.

Our games were extremely close and the Godsworn Hunt surprised me at how many dice they would start rolling and just how effective Oath of Conquest was for an end game objective. Horrible stuff!

Tom was able to get the best of three; winning Games 1 and 3 – though we chalked Game 1 down to above average dice for Tom and below average dice for me. An inspired warden rolled two attacks versus a single dodge and didn’t even score a Smash or Crit!!! Congrats Tom – I’ll get you yet!

Sepulchral Guard vs Godsworn Hunt

Sepulchral Guard vs Godsworn Hunt (Paul Murphy)

Well…I was out of the running to win but I was certainly getting my reps in against the Servants of Darkness! This game versus Paul showed me just how versatile a warband they are. Tom played them aggressively and got all up in my grill! Whilst Paul blindsided me by playing a Hold Objective/Magic playstyle. This warband is one to watch in the future!

Fortunately, my dice had thrown their tantrum in the Game against Tom, and were now behaving themselves. Shutting down Pauls attempts to kill anything and everything. I won Games 1 and 3 but Paul’s victory was a massive 23 glory to my meagre 10, so my Glory Difference was through the floor!

Sepulchral Guard vs Nighthaunt

Sepulchral Guard vs Thorns of the Briar Queen (Ben Smith)

Ben is a regular face at the Forge and used to use Sepulchral Guard (if my memory serves) so he probably had a good bead on what I’d be trying to do. Fortunately, I’d used Thorns of the Briar Queen (poorly) at the Grand Clash so also had an inkling on what he’d be trying to do.

Our games went VERY strangely! With him grabbing objectives, me killing ghosts with an Inspired Prince of Dust it feels like our objective cards seemed not to matter anymore as we both misplayed a lot as we danced around keeping our Leaders alive whilst threatening to kill the other.

The dice were definitely in my favour as multiple times I rolled a Crit defence whilst blocking an objective that Ben needed. I was able to close out the Games 1 and 3 (again) but ended up losing Game 2 due to an immense opener from Ben scoring Supremacy, Our Only Way Out & Tac 3-4 for a whopping 7 glory!!

Event Summary

Not the best day at the office but I enjoyed myself none the less. I came 3rd overall even though there were only 6 attendees the field was very strong as Bryce, Tom Bond, Michael Carlin, Ben & Paul were all attending.

The final was between Bryce & Michael, both of whom were playing Mollog’s Mob. Bryce lost the game but overall won on Glory Difference, and he had been the only undefeated player after two rounds… but it felt a bit naff ending the event at Round 2 so we all agreed to play a third.

I’ve been given a hall pass for this Saturday to attend an event and I’m seriously contemplating heading to Wayland Forge in Birmingham to get another tournament in.

What Next?

I’ve been honing my Speulchral Guard deck for a while and I think I have something I’m keen to run at events now. Playing a large, slow warband like this feels like relearning the game as a misplaced model can spell utter disaster! I’ve found them EXTREMELY difficult to recover from a losing position because the option to switch on the kill switch and just start farming glory simply isn’t there.

I’ll be bringing the Guard deck, and probably have a pocket Mollog, for the next few events that I attend.

Competitive Stats

If you’ve been following this blog for a while you’ll know I track every single competitive game I play and submit them to my spreadsheet of doom. After a bit of a lull here are the latest takings.

Since using less powerful warbands I’ve seen my Total Win Percentage drop, which whilst upsetting to see a drop is still extremely high. I’m also nearing my double century of recorded games!

Sepulchral Guard Stats

Posted in Event Review, Stormsire's Cursebreakers, Warhammer Underworlds

Grand Clash Winning Cursbreakers – Deck & Tech

Hey pals. It’s me, Bryce, now officially Not A Scrub. So I (and about 160 other people) went to the Grand Clash at Warhammer World last Saturday to play some Shadetoys. I, amazingly, won the event. In this post I’m gonna go through my deck list and explain my reasoning behind the cards in it, and do a short review of the event. If I get time I’m gonna go into some more detail on general thoughts about the meta, but depending how long this ends up being, that might have to be a separate post.

The Deck List

So, the bit you all actually care about, the deck list…

Objectives:

  • What Armour?: A super easy score immediately card with Rastus.
  • Strong Start: It’s an aggro deck, I wanna be killing things, and I can usually do it first.
  • Harness the Storm: Oh hey you know your whole gameplan? Here’s a glory for it! And draw another objective! Go nuts pal, you have yourself A Time!
  • Precision Strike: It’s in faction Precise Use of Force. It’s good, especially given the variety of attack profiles in Spellboiz.
  • Sorcerous Scouring: Kill things with Stormsire’s spells and get glory for it.
  • Fired Up: These guys have a super easy inspire condition, so this card is easy to score on turn 1, and relies on zero interaction with the opponent.
  • Shining Example: See above.
  • Escalation: It’s an easy to score card that doesn’t RELY on interaction from your opponent, but they often make your life easier.
  • Master of War: This is an easy 1 glory that doesn’t rely on interactions with my opponent. I have enough score immediatelies + Spoils of Battle that the upgrade part isn’t usually an issue.
  • Superior Tactician: In literally every deck from here till doomsday. Score lots of easy cards, get rewarded for it at the end, again with no interaction. Would be amazed if it doesn’t get restricted next time round.
  • Magical Supremacy: Oh hey you know your whole gameplan? Here’s a glory for it!
  • Alone in the Darkness: Ah HA! You were expecting Extreme Flank, eh? Not for me, my friend. I wanna go into this a little, I swapped out Extreme Flank for Alone in the Darkness for two principal reasons. 1) Extreme Flank with a 3 model warband is actually difficult. I kept finding that in order to score Extreme Flank I had to put myself in bad positions to do so, isolating my models or limiting my actions for the rest of the game. And that’s not even getting into what happens if a model dies. For my money, running Extreme Flank leads to suboptimal positioning and I don’t believe it’s worth the tradeoff for my version of Cursebreakers. That said, I think the card is still an autoinclude for any non Stormcast warband, I’ll be amazed if it doesn’t get banned next time round. My second reason is, honestly, who’s been playing Alone in the Darkness since Extreme Flank came out? Everyone’s looking to counter EF, no one’s positioning against AitD. This allows me to play mind games and ‘set up’ for Extreme Flank, forcing my opponents to make efforts to stop me scoring a card that wasn’t even in my deck. That said, now this article is out the cat’s out of the bag, but tbh the payoff was pretty decent.

Gambit Cards:

  • Inspiration Strikes: Being able to inspire without rolling dice is incredible, especially given how much better all my models get when inspired.
  • Ready For Action: Literally the best card on the Restricted list, including objectives. Why not run it?
  • My Turn: What with all the hidden damage ploys being restricted, 4 health is actually relevant again. One shotting people is quite hard. My Turn lets me either push away to stop an upgrade/Ready for Action for the kill, or lets me counter attack. Or both with Stormsire!
  • Hidden Paths: I don’t think I’ve seen a deck without this card in a very long time. It’s incredible for opening the game up if your opponent is hiding at the back.
  • Sidestep: Just an incredible card. Super basic, but has SO many potential uses. Like this card used to be one I always looked at and never included. Having played it for like three months, I love it to death.
  • Spoils of Battle: My list has a few super important upgrades. Being able to get them out in turn 1 can make all the difference. That said, its value decreases as the game goes on, and it’s kind of useless turn 3. Overall I think the explosive effect it can have turn 1 or 2 is worth it overall.
  • Abasoth’s Withering: Inspires me, triggers two of my objectives, effectively does a damage, just incredible.
  • Abasoth’s Unmaking: So in previous versions of the deck, I had Mischievous Spirits . However about a month ago this card caught my eye and I realised I’d been a moron for ever including Mischievous over it. This card is, at worst, basically a copy of Inspiration Strikes. At best it completely ruins objective decks, and triggers two of my objectives. Just an incredible card. Can’t believe I didn’t run it for so long.
  • Lightning Assault: With Helpful Whispers and Awakened Weapon restricted, anything that adds to your accuracy is solid gold.
  • Frozen in Time: Haha, well. I literally only included this card on the morning of the event. Basically Giblin had been playing a Thorns relic deck and beaten me twice with it, so I was terrified of it. So I swapped out Distraction for FiT like two minutes before I handed in my deck list in case I ran into it. This card is basically fine, really strong if the effect comes off, but I hate 50/50 cards. It did essentially nothing the entire day until the final game where it…uh, won me the tournament. 50/50s, right?

Upgrades:

  • Deathly Fortitude/Sudden Growth/Great Fortitude: If my dudes have more wounds they’re harder to kill. Now that Soultrap/Tethered Spirit are restricted, these are in pretty much all my decks.
  • Hero’s Mantle: Pour one out for A Destiny To Meet. Free glory if your leader survives is good.
  • Sprinter: I actually really like this card. +1 Move is just good. Like it catches people off guard, and works to counter the penalty from Deathly and Sudden.
  • Tempest’s Might: This lets Stormsire do 3 damage with his Fulminations. Combo that with Abasoth’s Withering or Gloryseeker and you’re doing a lot of damage.
  • Faneway Crystal: I hate this card so much. It does nothing like 80% of the time (or actively works against you), but then 20% of the time it wins you a game. Bleh. I think you need to include it atm, but I don’t want to.
  • Gloryseeker: It’s functionally Great Strength except it also works on Stormsire’s spells. Autoinclude.
  • Great Strength: Lets Ammis hit for 4 damage, or Rastus hit for 3. Just solid.
  • Potion of Rage: Much like Lightning Assault, accuracy buffs are premium right now. Autoinclude in every deck.

Restricted: Alone in the Darkness, Fired Up, Escalation, My Turn, Ready for Action


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Tournament Report

So that’s the deck. Now for a quick tournament report. I’m unfortunately not gonna be super detailed here, cause I played 11 games of Shadespire on about 4 hours sleep over an 11 hour period, so I’m more gonna try and hit the key points of each game. If any of my opponents wanna correct anything here, feel free, I’m more than willing to acknowledge any mistakes I’ve made due to a severe case of garbage brain.

Firstly, for the actual tournament day, I wasn’t overly impressed. The people running the event were obviously doing their best, but they were drastically understaffed for the number of attendees. Whatever tournament software they were using had several key errors, for round 2 they had to read everyone’s names out over the tannoy with what table they were on, which took a long time, and led to confusion. In addition, from the reaction to the final standings being posted, it looks like a LOT of people ended up being wrongly placed, which is frankly just unacceptable from a game that’s marketed as The Ultimate Competitive Miniatures Game. Lunch was good, but the lack of staff and poor tournament system meant the whole thing finished almost two hours later than it was supposed to.

A point on the format; it’s bad. 160 players leaves 10 undefeated (ish) after 4 rounds, and then it’s on who has the best tiebreakers for the final. As a result, you’re rewarded heavily for playing worse opponents in the first four rounds, which is mad. What kind of a system is it where you’re literally hoping you just play people you’re way better than all day? You should be hoping for close, tight, exciting games, but if you get that, even if you go 4-0, it’s likely you’ve dropped more than one game over the day, so you’re out of the running for the final. Just daft. It’s possibly cause my background is stricter competitive games like Warmachine and Guild Ball where you’re rewarded in the standings for playing against better opponents, but this system just rattles my brain and feels deeply unfair.

Anyway, for the tournament itself, one of the biggest problems with my prep was that Battlefleet Gothic Armada 2 came out on the Thursday before the Clash. As a result, attempting to maximise video gaming time, I stayed up till 2am on Friday flying spaceships around (Cadia broke before the Guard did. MY EMOTIONS). I then had to get up at around half 6 on Saturday to tidy stuff up and head to pick up Giblin in time to get the Clash, so I was pretty bloody shattered all day.  

Amusingly, I was so scared of Giblin’s relic deck I almost just ran it. I brought all my cards and was like, inches away from playing Thorns. But meh, I know my Cursebreakers deck like the back of my hand, and I’m someone who’ll always go for something I’m experienced with over the current power list. And hey, if those two just happen to sync up, like with Cursebreakers, it’s just a happy coincidence!

So we rocked up, I made the fateful Frozen in Time change, and we handed in our decks. Both of us were pure starving, but there was no time for breakfast, it was on to round 1! Before I start this, I’d like to apologise to any opponents whose names I get wrong. I am a garbage person.

Round 1 – Becky – Zarbag’s Gits

Sat down and got a lovely woman called Becky from Essex. She was running gobbos, and we jumped in. Game 1 she got truly appalling draws, her deck came out in almost entirely the wrong order and I ended up winning the game 18-2. The second game. Oh man the second game. My opening hand was Superior Tactician, Shining Example, and Fired Up, which sucks against Goblins cause you wanna get kills turn 1, but I figured ‘eh’, at least I’ll get Shining/Fired Up. Becky went first and crucially didn’t inspire the Fanatic, so like, my eyes lit up with dollar signs. Stormsire casts the Withering on Snirk, dropping him to two wounds and inspiring, and then casts Fulmination…which misses. A bit rough, but at least I’d inspired him. Then Becky drops Cruel Taunt on Stormsire and the 50/50 goes off and like my whole game fell apart in front of my eyes. Jesus. What a play. Ammis and Rastus then spend 3 activations failing to inspire and I pretty much lose off of that. I don’t think I killed a single goblin or inspired either Ammis or Rastus by the end of the game. Dice games huh. Also, to be fair, Becky didn’t give me an inch to get back into the game, she played super solidly. Lost this one I think 15-6.

Game 3 I actually don’t remember much about, other than the final score. It was SUPER tight, we were both in super focused hardcore mode, but thanks to Hero’s Mantle I managed to squeeze out a 17-16 win.

This was actually a brilliant round, and oooft, so close. 17-16 is nuts.

Round 2 – Mike – Magore’s Fiends

Uhm. I gotta be honest. Running on 4 hours sleep and German energy drink at this point, and super stressed after game 1, I don’t really remember anything about this round. I think I got longboards deployment at least once? Which is always good against Magores, cause it slows them down. TBH I’m sorry Mike, you were a lovely opponent, I’m just bad at remembering things. I know I won this round pretty handily though, and ended up with solid glory diff.

Round 3 – Steve – Farstriders

I don’t love this match up, but I don’t hate it either. I won board set up both times, I believe, and managed to go for the 3 connecting hex set up, which I love against Striders cause it controls where they can inspire. Again, much like game 2, I don’t remember a tonne about these games other than me panicking cause Steve rolled like three crit defenses in a row at one point, which is real bad, but I managed to pull out two wins pretty comfortably after that. Again, sorry Steve, also a lovely opponent, but for some reason the games in the middle of the day are really hard to remember.

Round 4 – Ben – Thorns

Oh boy, so game one of this round was one of the dumbest games I’ve ever seen. Ben’s playing like a super aggro Thorns list, based around Varclav being a big boi and soloing people. He gets Hidden Pathsed in at the bottom of turn 1 and does three damage to Rastus and knocks him back. Nae danger, inspired Ammis gets Great Strength and charges in with 3 dice with a reroll. Rolls 3 hammers. Varclav gets a crit. Well, damn, but it’s okay. Stormsire killed a Chainrasp and scored me like 3 glory earlier, I get some more in the end phase. Varclav gets Great Strength in the end phase, Ben wins first and kills Ammis. Hmm. Might be an issue.

Stormsire kills a chainrasp and gets me to 8 glory, then Varclav goes on an absolute murder spree with Ready for Action and about a hundred crits, and kills both Rastus and Stormsire by the end of turn 2. This is…a bit of a problem. I score Escalation, but I also notice that actually, he’s only on like 6 glory, and I’m on 10. The last turn we both cycle through, I’ve thankfully scored 6 objectives and have Superior in hand. Also had Alone in the Dark, but unfortunately he left two models next to each other. Regardless, turns out Our Only Way Out and Supremacy were at the very bottom of his deck, and his focus on killing me rather than scoring objectives meant that at the end of the game I got to 13 with Superior and he only got to 12! Winning a game after getting wiped out 6 activations in, WOOP WOOP!

Game 2 was a much more reasonable affair, Varclav’s crits were much weaker this time, and I got to kill him, and murder my way through the rest of the warband. Highlight was Ben spending his entire turn 2 getting his three remaining models onto 3 objectives only for me to drop Abasoth’s Unmaking. I felt bad for that one. Well not really, but you know, it was like I did.

Won this one pretty convincingly, and ended the day with 1 game loss and +78 glory diff! I was convinced that it wasn’t enough to get into the top 2 for the final, since I was sure at least 2 people had gone 2-0, but amazingly, it was!

The Final – Joel – Magore’s Fiends

Following a long, tense wait as results were worked out, it came down to me and a Spanish chap called Joel in the final. Wasn’t keen since it was Magore’s Fiends, and I think that’s one of the harder match ups in the game for Cursebreakers, but hey, we’re in the final and Giblin unfortunately had to get the train home cause I’d been rude enough to qualify.

The game itself is viewable on Warhammer TV (you need a subscription though), so I’m gonna comment more generally. First thing, if you watch the stream, the commentators go on about how unlucky Joel’s draws were, when he got an inspiration card + Spectral wings in turn 1 both games, AND got to choose board alignment. Going longboards into Magores makes this match up SO much easier, so I don’t feel like the commentators are entirely fair there.   

That said, Joel played very well. One of my biggest strengths as a competitive gamer is knowing when to just wait, and knowing how to push an activation advantage. It’s rare I see someone else who’s as good at that as I am, and it was genuinely tough. I had a couple of poor rolls here and there, but I was also saved in game 1 by him missing a three dice attack on inspired Stormsire, so I won like 15-9? I think? Game 2 came down to me sitting back with an array of cards and choosing not to go in on anyone on turn 1 cause I was happy with my objectives and I had to go first cause he stole the roll from me. Then I waited till he’d played Spectral Wings and inspired Magore, and I used Frozen in Time on Magore, basically shutting his entire turn down. I scored 3 from Alone in the Dark and Master of War, but that was 3 more than Joel scored.

It was sort of obvious he’d been tilted all to hell by the FiT, and from then on the game was us both drawing cards, attacking when we had the chance, but it really felt like the wind got completely taken out of Joel’s sails at the FiT play. Ended up finishing this one 11-4 up.

Upcoming Events

And so I took the Clash! Shout out to all my opponents, but especially Joel for being a hell of a finalist, and Becky, for being the only player to take a game off me and giving me the closest round I had all day!

Gripes aside, thanks to everyone for the day. It was grand (lol). I’ve ran out of space a bit so thoughts on the meta and stuff will come later in the week. One last thing, I’m running an event this Saturday at the Game Forge in Manchester, so come by if you’re nearby! I’m hoping to be able to play Mollog’s Mob and give the big guy a run out, so hope to see you there!

Thanks for reading folks, seeya later!

Posted in Godsworn Hunt, Warhammer Underworlds

Godswon Hunt | Praise the Design Space

Okay! Godsworn Hunt just dropped on Warhammer Community – hot take – the stats are bad but the design space is absolutely chuffing beautiful!!

Godsworn Hunt: The Oaths

I love it! Tell your opponent what you’re going to do. Then do it and earn more Glory because you were able to do it despite them knowing exactly what you want to do! This can be used to bluff your opponent and disguise your actual plans, and if you achieve it then you get the nice added bonus. Well done designers!

Godsworn Hunt: Theddra Skull-scryer

Leader. Three health. One dodge. Hide her from combat. Magic level 1 upto 2 when Inspired is nice but her attack is nothing to write home about definitely an opportunistic killer. We cannot know just yet if upgrading her to Inspire and reach two magic dice is worth the effort just yet. Hopefully there are some incredible in faction spells!

Godsworn Hunt: Grundann Blood-Eye

Definitely the ‘fighter’ of the bunch – when Inspired going up to five move and three damage makes him a bit of missile, a prime target for Sudden Growth and Deathly Fortitude. Using Great Strength to jump from two to four damage is also a nice trick!

Godsworn Hunt: Jagathra

Definitely a fighter you want to make use of then sacrifice to the dark gods to get an upgrade out on someone else. The Javelin is a nice option to have in your back pocket to take someone out from potentially eight hexes away or to initiate the fight with. Two health and one dodge doesn’t see her staying around for a while though.

Godsworn Hunt: Shond Head-Claimer

Nice to see the Gargant’s switching defensive stat made it’s way to the main game (though likely vice-versa given production times). Shond is not an impressive fighter. Though gaining cleave and three fury dice on his attack may make him useful against block warbands.

Godsworn Hunt: Ollo

Arnulf’s cousin made his way into Nightvault!! A thoroughly terrible fighter expect to see this guy hanging out in the wind to trigger Martyred. Another model with cleave is nice but two health and one dodge before being inspired is pretty rubbish.

Godsworn Hunt: Grawl

Who’s a good doggo? Riptooth is a good doggo. Grawl is a bit pants. Poor attacks, low health, low defensive stats. At least he’s fast…

Godsworn Hunt: The Cards

Seized Trophy is a neat way to throw out an extra upgrade immediately and score Escalation of few glory. Because then you get the glory for taking someone out and equip another upgrade to someone else? It doesn’t actually do anything though. I’d LOVE to see an in-faction ‘Ready for Action’.

Brutal Sacrifice we already have Spoils of Battle and Ghoulish Pact, if you want to triple down on the effect and concede a glory point then… sure?

Path to Glory it’s slightly obscured but looks to be -1 wounds +1 dice to attack actions. With the caveat of upgrading on top of upgrades. It seems fine. I don’t think I’d be taking it though if I’m being entirely truthful.

Godsworn Hunt: Verdict

I love love love the design space that this warband has entered into. I’ll need to see the rest of the cards to get a proper analysis but colour me excited for this warband to be released!


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Posted in Mollog's Mob, Warhammer Underworlds

Mollog’s Mob Reveal | Squigs Away

Mollog’s Mob have been teased on the Warhammer Community Site we’ll be taking a closer look at the critters and gribblies. It will be exciting when these and the Godsworn Hunt are released to see how my Warband Ranking is impacted!

Mollog's Mob

Mollog’s Mob: Mollog the Mighty

Mollog's Mob

He’s big, he’s mean, and he’s gonna make an impact. Mollog’s Mob look like they’re going to rely heavily on this chap to do most/all of their heavy lifting.

Whilst it’s a shame Mollog doesn’t have Cleave to boost his accuracy, as he’s only rolling two smash, on his Makeshift Club the range two is a nice ability to have, having played with Skritch for over 100 competitive games I can assure you of its threat! You’ll want to include Haymaker & Potion of Rage to ensure his accuracy is high!

Side Note: Whirling Club is a nice option versus horde warbands but until Inspired it’s probably better to just smash.

Seven health is a big deal for Mollog, you’ll want to try and capitalise on it as much as possible! Gambits such as Inspiration Strikes, Aggressive Defence, My Turn, and Healing Potion will be invaluable to ensure that Mollog is swinging that club as often and for as long as possible.

Mollog's Mob
Bet you forgot this existed!

Finally, we cannot ignore Mollog’s incredible versatility with his special rule! When Uninspired Mollog may make a Move or Charge action even if he already has a Move Token, this improves when Inspired to ignore a Charge or Move Token. This can combo extremely well with Hidden PathsFaneway Crystal, Seize the Day, and/or Potion of Grace to keep the troggoth moving and threatening all over the board!

Mollog’s Mob: Bat Squig

Mollog's Mob

It’s the return of Lurking Skaven!! Slightly slower when uninspired than the damned rat but when Inspired this squig becomes a nightmare to hit! Move 5, Dodge 3, and two damage on two fury is a good finishing attack for an end of turn charge action!

Not being able to hold an objective means that this guy cannot help your objective play but can certainly get to where he needs to be if you’re looking to deny Denial or score Extreme Flank.

Mollog’s Mob: Stallagsquig

Mollog's Mob: Stallagsquig
Public Opinion on this guy is kinda like marmite

If nothing else you have to tip you hat to the Game Designers for the spelunking into design space on Mollog’s Mob. This Stallagsquig is not deployed during set up – which means Mollog’s Mob are likely to finish deploying first and get the additional crit. For that Game Devs I applaud you.

Also, a model that cannot move or be pushed in a game where movement is key is a bold choice. Its attack is nothing of worth. Its defence is strong (unless your opponent has cleave) but the low health and inability to do anything of impact means this is really just a bit of terrain that you can use to your advantage.

Personally, I’d like to throw him on an Objective Hex deep on my side of the board to deny the hex to my opponent and equip it with Tome of Glories to try and get some get something from him **EDIT: YOU NEED TO HOLD AN OBJECTIVE TO TRIGGER TOME OF GLORIES – SCRAP THAT PLAN** or stick him out of harms way on an edge hex to score Extreme Flank.

Mollog’s Mob: Spiteshroom

Mollog's Mob: Spiteshroom

Yet another model that cannot hold objectives. That rules out the Objective Hex playstyle for this warband. The attack profile is weak. The survivability before Inspired is weak. The speed is low. The health is low. The final reaction of releasing its spores is cute but not likely to really win games and the glory earned from taking it out of action is likely worth the one damage, considering Mollog is gonna smash you anyway!

Probably the weakest of the bunch – there may be some Faction Objectives/Gambits/Upgrades that make it more viable!

Board Choices?

Without knowing the faction objectives it’s difficult to suggest a board that will put you in the best stead however from simply knowing the stats and a decent knowledge of the generic objectives when I win the roll off I’d look to employ the Penitent’s Throne lengthways with the lethal hexes positioned towards the opponent, so that I can keep my low health models safe and cover more ground with Mollog.

Penitent’s Throne

Whilst when I lose the roll off I would consider using The Shattered Tower. This board allows for a safe deployment for three models on any orientation that the opponent chooses. This gives you the first round to gear up Mollog before steamrolling in on Turns Two and Three.

The Shattered Tower

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