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 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 (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 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!!
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.
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.
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!
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Hey pals, Bryce again, back to interrupt your usual schedule of warband rankings and ‘good content’ from Jamie with another tournament report written in my normal eclectically awful style.
So I actually went to two tournaments this weekend, one last Friday at Games Workshop Warhammer in Stoke, and one on Sunday at Rebel Base Gaming. Friday was an attempt to steal glass with Skellies just so I could say I’d done it. Largely stole a deck Giblin’s been trying for a few weeks and made some changes literally on the morning, but turns out best of 1 events are kind of a crapshoot. Got two wins and a tie, the two wins were when I got 3 objectives, the tie I got 2 objectives and also then my opponent rolled three single die crit defences in a row. Boo.
Defeated, I ritually buried my Skeleton models at a secret location somewhere in the UK and over the coming months will steadily reveal clues in order to guide YOU, the loyal readers of this blog, to find them. The winner gets to keep them, cause tbh I ain’t touching them again (alright I give up, they’re under John Rees’ pile of glass. It was the safest place I could think of).
Joking aside, Sepulchral Guard are hard. And while things like Martyred and resurrecting people help them against aggro, weirdly it feels like they struggle most against other objective decks. Lose three objectives and uh…good luck, I guess? They’re not trying to kill you, so you ain’t scoring Martyred or getting anyone inspired, which means you’re slow, which means getting them off their objectives is TOUGH. Bleh. IDK I just couldn’t click with them. My positioning is also poor for objective play, since I’ve pretty much ignored objectives barring shoving people off them since I started the game.
BUT I didn’t let Friday’s defeat get me down, and only got a little bit blind drunk and danced appallingly to Queen on Friday night. Following Saturday’s brutal hangover, I showed up at Rebel Base Games on Sunday with a Magore’s deck in hand, and a keen eye for Shadeglass.
I’m not really gonna go into the deck, I basically stole Michael Carlin’s deck (which is here) since it seemed to work, and modified it to suit my playstyle. Particularly I dropped Ghoulish Pact since I don’t like it, and Shattering Terrain for the same reason. Swapped in Mischievous Spirits cause screw objective play, and Last Chance, which is a card I’m swiftly growing to love. A 2/3 chance of stopping the doggo dying out of nowhere seems real strong. (Hot Take: Last Chance is the new Quick Thinker, fight me irl.) (Not quite, but certainly for warbands with models with Dodge that are likely to be in the middle of things it’s damn close. Skritch and doggo love it, probably Reavers too.)
Rebel Base is a lovely venue, it’s situated in this like country village alongside a really pretty café, and you’d never guess that there’s a gaming venue there if you didn’t know. It’s real lovely though, and does a pretty mean burger.
There were six of us on the day, myself and Giblin included (I had to borrow his models cause I left mine in the office cause I’m bad), and we had some good chat with folk before getting the round going.
Round 1 – Martin – Cursebreakers
So this whole ‘writing things on the internet’ thing is bad because if you write good things, people will steal your good things and use them against you. Martin was running my Cursebreaker deck that I posted here last week which at least meant I knew what everything did.
These games were pretty chill. I got to see how the deck does against Magore’s (turns out not great), and Magore and Riptooth are SO much fun. I’d only played one game of Magore’s prior to this weekend, so getting to revel in chopping people up and setting the dog on them was great.
Martin had awful dice in the first game, and really struggled to get Inspired, which came back to haunt him in later turns. When he finally got inspired, Magore handily took Stormsire’s head off before he could do much else.
The second game was a bit more even, and Martin played much more conservatively, but the end result was the same, with Magore and Riptooth proving themselves to be the bestest murderpals and killing a whole bunch of shiny spellboiz.
Giblin, myself, and a lad called Ed got through round 1, and I waited to see who I would get!
Round 2 – Ed – Thorns
Ed’s a lad I’ve seen at quite a few tournies recently. He’s always good chat, and a solid player! We’d actually run into each other on Friday at the Games Workshop Warhammer event in Stoke, where we’d played round 1. He’d been using my Cursebreakers deck (gotta stop giving that tech away), and thankfully had rolled badly enough that I’d managed to beat him with Skellies.
Two days later and it was a completely different match up, Thorns into Angryboiz. I was pretty happy about this match up; he has a lot of spooky ghosts that I can kill and score glory off of. It can be a problem if the Briar Queen gets inspired and starts killing people back, but pretty much I think the match up is fine.
Game 1 I got three objectives, nice, so he was gonna have to come to me if he wanted to score pretty much anything. He ran at me, I started charging and getting kills. Zach and Gary (those are their names now, deal with it) stayed on the edge hexes to score Extreme Flank early, and I think even they started getting involved once ghosts got close enough. After three turns of hard choppin’ I won this game pretty convincingly.
Game 2 I got three objectives again and Ed sighed audibly as a result. He played more aggressively, pushing the Queen and folks up into my half to try and go for my objectives, but killing ghosts is pretty easy and I scored a tonne of glory. Bonus points go to Magore getting Trophy Hunter on turn 1, which ended up being worth three glory over the game. Spectacularly failed to kill the Queen this time, and almost ruined myself by charging Gary off of Extreme Flank scoring position to hit a ghost, but caught myself just in time. Scored 17 or so in the first game and 21 in the second game. We’re into the final.
Round 3 – The Giblin King – Chosen Axes
So Giblin and I, as we’ve mentioned, play a lot. We play Lunchspire™ on most of our lunchbreaks, so we have a good feel for how the other plays. He’s been playing Skellies lately, and I’ve been pinging between Cursebreakers, Skellies, Thorns, and one game of Fiends. For this tournament he’d brought the Chosen Axes, since we both think they’re pretty damn solid these days. I didn’t really know what was in his deck, since he pretty much wrote it the night before the event, whereas he knew most of my (Michael’s) Fiends deck, so he had a bit of an advantage there. However, I played nothing but Dwarfs for six months when I first got into Shadespire, so I have a pretty good handle on how they play, and what they don’t like to see. Going into the final our total games played with our respective warbands were 5 for me and 4 for him, so in terms of experience we were neck and neck.
For the first game, he won three objectives, and I was unsure whether he’d got any hold objective stuff in his deck, so had to figure that out. Turn 1 I had change of tactics and Furious Inspiration and Shardgale in hand, so the plan was to go on guard with Magore then charge in, whack Grimnir for three damage, and then Shardgale to kill him, since I had last activation. This plan worked right up until he used Piercing Stare on Magore right before my last activation. This was extremely rude and I think Giblin should apologise. Not to panic, I Inspired Riptooth, dropped Spectral Wings, and went for the same play minus scoring Change. It worked and Grimnir went down on the bottom of one!
I got no objectives, however, and he scored a couple. Turn 2 opened with me going on guard with Riptooth to finally get Change, however, an Inspired Tefk decided he was the real captain now, and charged over, rolling 2 crits and a hit and smashing the poor doggo into the ground!
The game went poorly for me from there, I didn’t hit a single attack for the rest of the game (Magore tried but ended the game uninspired despite making a whole bunch of cleave attacks on dwarfs) and lost hard. I think it was 16-4 in the end.
Alright. Early loss out the way, I’d at least figured out some of his deck. No objectivey stuff, just passives and kills. Time to focus in. Got Change again and went for the exact same play as turn 1, only to get Piercing Stared before my last activation again. Boo. Hiss.
I actually can’t remember this game super clearly, was in hyper focus mode, but managed to bounce around, score some objectives, and finally got in and started eating some squishy dwarfs. Pro play of the game was Grimnir charging doggo, so I used Last Chance, stopping a Scion of Grimnir and preventing Giblin’s turn 2 glory train rolling. Giblin scored good passives, but I managed to actually roll some dice this time and ended up with a 17-12 win.
Alright, game 3, all to play for.
I had to dump my opening objectives (Rivers of Blood, Chosen Champion, and Show of Stength) cause I couldn’t reliably score any of them.
Drew into Change AGAIN on turn 1, whoop, and having learned from the two previous games, put Dark Darts on Magore with Spoils and charged, doing one damage to Maegrim. Grimnir walked onto an objective. End of the turn Giblin Deathly Fortitude on Grimnir and I got Heroslayer on Magore and Great Strength on Riptooth, who were both covering the midfield in charge range of Grimnir. I also scored Escalation, Master of War, and Shining Example.
Giblin got the first activation and spent a lot of time hemming and hawing. At one point he said ‘you’ve put me in check’. Since both Magore and Riptooth were out of range of Grimnir post Deathly Fortitude, but in range of him and all the other dwarfs, he felt he couldn’t safely do anything in case Magore charged then Ready for Actioned and killed Grimnir, so he decided to back off one hex with Grimnir. I think this was a big mistake, if I’m honest. Keeping Grimnir safe only matters if you can achieve stuff with him. Force me to make the play and take the risk of it failing, cause moving Grimnir away means you probably lose anyway. Jamie – I was struck by Analysis Paralysis and I actually had a correct play to make but got too caught up in keeping Grimnir ‘safe’. I should have gone on Guard and equipped Grimnir’s Fortitude and sacrifice my Ready for Action (I only had 1 unspent glory). This would have given me 2 dice on Dodge versus Magore and 2 dice with Block & Dodge versus Riptooth. Thus allowing me the opportunity to strike back if I survived. It would have been a bit of gamble but it would have force Bryce to commit Magore for the best opportunity to kill Grimnir and prevent my other fighters from being brutalised.
Regardless, he did. Riptooth killed Vol, and then Grimnir Ready for Actioned over and took her head off, while Magore killed Tefk, scoring What Armour?, drawing into Strong Start which I also scored. I also played Shardgale this turn.
At the end of the turn I scored Extreme Flank and Rivers of Blood, leaving me with only Superior Tactician in hand going into turn 3, which I’ve never seen before.
Turn 3 Magore made a number of attacks and I think finally killed Maegrim after like four attempts? Grimnir was hamstrung cause Giblin had put Faneway on him and I’d moved all my models away from the objectives.
This game ended as 18-12 in my favour. Amusingly, over the three games, Giblin beat me on Glory Diff (40-39) despite losing the round.
Got my sixth glass! Think I’m going back to Cursebreakers now to practice for the Grand Clash in January, but I actually really enjoyed my foray into the world of angryboiz.
All factions are capable of winning an Event and we’re in a really good place for Game Balance. The warbands in the Mid-Tier are warbands that I see as having an inherent weakness but their strengths can overcompensate for this.
Why are Sepulchral Guard Mid-Tier?
TL:DR – The Sepulchral Guard suffer because of their Inspiration condition, and are seen to bleed Glory. This has changed somewhat with the BAR List as there are less killy Score Immediately objectives. The Guard have a strong Glory stream coming from Hold Objective, Positional, & Combat objectives. When they have three objectives they are firmly Tier 2, when they have only two objectives there is definitely an argument they drop to Tier 3.
Sepulchral Guard have some giant strengths but also some terrifying weaknesses. I have placed them in Tier Two as I believe that once you have a strong knowledge of their strengths and weaknesses and have a lot of practice games under your belt, they become a force to be reckoned with. Sigmar forbid you underestimate the spooky scary skeletons as they can certainly give you a run for your Glory.
One of the greatest strengths the Sepulchral Guard have is that their Glory stream can come from a multitude of places. They have the Petitioners whose job it is to score positional objective cards like Supremacy, Extreme Flank, Keep them Guessing and utilise the Keys to allow an updraft of Glory in the Third End Phase. Whilst the warband also has competent fighters in The Warden & The Champion to score kill orientated objective cards like Skills Unforgotten, What Armour? And Strong Start.
Where their single biggest weakness lies is in their Inspiration Mechanic. To get inspired a model must be removed from the table and brought back by the Warden (or Ploy) typically this concedes a minimum of one Glory to the opponent (though likely more due to Score Immediately cards) and spends an Activation. No other warband is punished so harshly just to Inspire, and this has to happen TWICE for the Warden to Inspire. For this reason, Martyred has become almost an auto-include in their deck because it helps reduce your core weakness, whilst Inspiration Strikes is also a strongly favoured card as it helps unlock passive objectives like Shining Example & Fired Up.
The warband also has a less then stellar movement value of 2 when uninspired, allowing the majority of warbands to dictate the engagement. Sepulchral Guard needs to load up on movement ploys (which we now have plenty of!) to keep themselves relevant. If the Guard don’t get three objective hexes, they can seriously struggle to reach their opponent’s objective hexes. I’ve joked that they are almost like a typewriter in that they move forward just to die and be respawned where they started.
The Nightvault token system did a LOT to rectify the problems the warband suffered. Now when a model is returned to the table it does NOT have the tokens attached to it when it was removed. Which allows you to Move/Charge/Attack again making your activation to resurrect a model more worthwhile. The warband has a high skill ceiling and at times it feels like you need to see into the Matrix just to figure out how you end up scoring Supremacy whilst also having all the Keys in the correct place. With ploys like Confusion, Confused Priorities, Sidestep, Shifting Shards, and the Shardcaller Upgrade it’s possible to manipulate the board so much that I’ve certainly had games where I just sit for a few minutes staring at the board with my brain feeling like this…
The Sepulchral Guard are NOT an easy warband to pilot, and you would be well within your right to believe that they don’t deserve their place in second tier but with their nemesis Great Concussion gone, and the slew of easily scored Score Immediately objectives restricted the warband is not the push-over of yestermeta that you remember. You’ll need a solid plan for disrupting their Hold Objective play!
Where do you rank the Sepulchral Guard? Let me know in the comment section below & sign up to the mailing list so you don’t miss out on any future articles!
My goal for the year was to win a Grand Clash. I can mark that off my to-do list now, but I’ve still got some things left to do on there. Fortunately I was able to scratch out two of the factions en route to winning a Grand Clash but now I’m turning my head back towards the Sepulchral Guard because I think they’ve got some playability with the new cards from Zarbag’s Gitz, Eyes of the Nine & Echos of Glory. Deck list to follow:
This is the first draft of the deck list so will need some refinement for competitive play, but fortunately Nightvault has seen a resurgence of players at The Forge and we’ve got a regular group playing on Wednesdays. The perfect place for me to test my deck before hunting Glass.
Defensive Strike: I’m slow. People like to kill me. It stands to reason any kills I make will be in my own territory.
Martyred: A new objective! Score 1 Glory immediately if the first fighter taken out this turn is a friendly fighter. Seems likely.
Change of Tactics: No explanation required!
What Armour?: New Objective! friendly fighters attack with cleave succeeds – no need to kill. Just cause damage! This is a lovely buff for SG & Magores.
Keep Them Guessing: Seems like an easy to score 2 glory objective given the number of actions available natively to the warband.
Well-Guarded: The Warden is likely to be kept safe so some buddies around won’t hurt. Escalation: With a third of my deck as score immediately i’ll likely be equipping mid-turn so Escalation just makes sense.
Fired Up: I’m going to bring back the Champion so it is sensible to earn a glory for him being alive.
Extreme Flank: I have a lot of models to take advantage of this easy to score 2 glory.
Shining Example: The Warden is going to get Inspired, and I’ll try to keep him alive so
makes sense to score glory for it.
Supremacy: Not a huge fan but it can swing games massively and if I get three objectives it would be rude not to try.
Superior Tactician: I am confident I’ll score half these objectives in a game and this end game uplift can really bring you out in the lead.
Glory Potential: 20 + Kills + Upgrades
Quick Thinker. Time Trap. Great Concussion. Ready for Action. Hidden Paths: cause…y’know.
Sidestep: It’s legitimately one of the best cards in the game. I can’t leave home without it.
Restless Dead: Allows more action economy and can be used up push that Inspire condition.
Quick Advance: Pushing two models is good. Especially with the objectives I have.
Spectral Wings: I’m slow. This makes me not as slow.
Irresistible Prize: I want to see how this functions on the table. You’ll notice I don’t have Alone in the Darkness – this can help prevent that or keep Well Guarded on the table.
Tethered Spirit & A Destiny to Meet: They’re just great cards.
Slumbering Key: A Destiny to Meet Strikes Back!
The Formless Key: Hold any objective for a glory seems doable.
Tome of Glories: It’s like The Formless Key but can activate a few times & helps with the
objective Supremacy & Keep them Guessing.
Sudden Growth: Because Deathly Fortitude is great, and I like new artwork.
Faneway Crystal: Fantastic applications on the table, helps with stopping Denial and pushes objective play.
Binding Shard: Experimental. I’m gonna try and use this to glue my petitioners onto objectives.
Frightening Speed: +2 Move is just so good in this warband.
Undying: More wounds = more effort to kill me. Chosen this over Deathly Fortitude (for now) as I don’t want to completely hamstring my movement.
Before the Shadespire Competitive Season ends I vow to do two things:
I will win a Shadeglass Trophy using Speluchral Sepulchral Guard.
I will learn how to spell Sepulcrahl Sepulchral without crutching on spell correct.
Before I complete the first, and easier, of the two quests I need to paint up my Skele Bros. I’m a lazy painter, not to say I’m a bad painter, just a lazy painter. I do not enjoy painting. I would go so far as to say that I loathe painting, and would happily play a game with my models basecoated in a single block colour from a rattle can.
I could play Warhammer Underworlds without painting my models. If someone makes the choice not to, don’t chastise them. Games Workshop created this game to attract all variety of players. Welcome those who prefer to spend their precious hobby time playing the game rather than painting. Anyway pious rant over I will be painting my Sepulcharl Sepulchral Guard.
As you can see I’ve basecoated them white – because that’s a good colour for bone to be built up from. However, I am lazy. Games Workshop recently released the Soul Wars box set, and with it came some amazing Nighthaunt models – and some even more amazing paints that would let you quickly paint up your ghosts and ghouls with a single layer to get them tabletop ready. “WELL” says I, “that looks like an easy solution to my dislike of painting!”. And within about 20minutes I had painted my warband. I will be adding Stirland Mud to the bases and then painting the rims black or purple, undecided as of yet.
BOOM! Done. Nearly. I’ve decided to nickname these guys my ‘Lazybones’ as I’ve taken so little effort to paint them up – but you can be certain I’ll be putting the effort in when they’re on the table. I hope to see you across the table at an event soon! The journey for the Shadeglass will be long and difficult, but I’ve got time on my hands…