Posted in The Chosen Axes, Warhammer Underworlds

Chosen Axes Win Shadeglass – Deck & Tech

Today is a proud day for The Chosen Axes! For they have claimed their Shadeglass Trophy! Huzzah. Hurrah. 

I was able to attend an unexpected event upon invitation from a regular sparring partner, Richard. The journey would take us abroad, all the way to Wales.  However, it wasn’t an epic journey as we only travelled an hour and a bit to Wrexham. With our bags packed, decks checked for BAR List eligibility we set off with our sights on winning the Shadeglass Trophy. I had my Chosen Axes ready for the fight, and with a few last minute deck tweaks was feeling confident!


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Chosen Axes Decklist

The night before the event I had been deliberating on my objectives & gambits. I could not decide whether to take My Turn or Defensive Strike as my final restricted card. I knew that My Turn would be invaluable, but I was seriously struggling to find a set of objectives the Chosen Axes could score comfortably on turn one. Opting to go with Defensive Strike (I should have taken Advancing!) I swapped out My Turn for Haymaker. It had a Chosen Axe on the artwork so I figured what could go wrong? For those of you interested in the deck it is available below.

Chosen Axes Deck List

The primary focus of this deck was to score a lot of glory via Fjul-Grimnir killing things. Whilst also being generally hard to kill to help me score Shining Example and Chosen Champion. In one game he reached 2 defence dice and 10 wounds!! That being said, Tefk was most definitely my second in command, and regularly pulled the warband out of the fire.

Chosen Axes Objectives

Ferocious Charge, Scion of Grimnir, Change of Tactics, Defensive Strike: These are my reliable Score Immediately cards and focus around killing a model in my territory with Grimnir on the charge!

Ploymaster, Extreme Flank, Shining Example: These are the objectives my opponent can do little about and tend to be easy to score.

Escalation, Master of War, Chosen Champion, Solid Gains: These are my ‘force multipliers’ and after a Score Immediately card has been played these become extremely easy to score and allow an uplift in the End Phase.

Superior Tactician: Scoring six objectives is only getting easier and this allows a big uplift at the end of the game that your opponent cannot prevent if you’re playing well.

Chosen Axes Gambits

11 Gambits in this deck. Why? Well, I find that my turn one is largely about drawing a power hand and then moving Grimnir onto an objective to get him Inspired and blowing all the Push cards to keep him there. In short, the Chosen Axes are one of the factions I believe can break the 10 Gambit rule.

The Earth Shakes, Treasure-Lust, Sidestep: The Chosen Axes suffer from being knocked off their Objectives in turn one. I’ve found these cards allow them to hop back on and can work as a threat extension in later turns.

Spectral Wings: This is one of those cards I’ve found helps to band-aid the warband’s slow movement speed, but also helps deal with the penalty for piling on the +2 Wound -2 Move upgrades.

Hidden Paths: Again, it’s a slow warband and this helps them get around.

Inspiration Strikes: Guaranteeing Inspiration in Turn One is #Money! Whilst using it to get another Chosen Axe inspired after Turn One can be beneficial too!

Piercing Stare: This is a real FU card. I’ve loved playing this on the Briar Queen after she has used Sudden Appearance, and she is left high & dry.

Ready for Action & Spoils of Battle: The classic combo! Getting this in Turn One feels glorious!

Haymaker: This was a last minute addition to my deck. I was intrigued to test it as we have lost a lot of dice manipulation cards to the BAR List. Whilst I found it very useful for an end of turn one charge, after this it was a difficult card to play at the right time.

Finally, keen eyes will notice that tricksy card ‘Mischievous Spirits’ cropping up again! This card is fast becoming a staple of the competitive deck it has numerous uses! Firstly, and obviously, it can disrupt Hold Objective playstyles to no end, and seeing your opponent lament moving an objective from beneath themselves is joyous. Secondly, Chosen Axes can use this as a pseudo Push card to bring a specific objective back underneath them if they have been pushed off. Finally, but not least, is the ability to move an Objective against an edge hex to set up a Faneway Crystal move to score Extreme Flanks, or my favourite, to use it to set up a Faneway charge action!

Chosen Axes Upgrades

Deathly Fortitude, Sudden Growth, Great Fortitude: Whack any of these onto Grimnir and he becomes an incredibly untempting target to attack. I once got all three onto him when I just needed him to survive to score me extra glory!

Hero’s Mantle: With Destiny to Meet and Slumbering Key on the restricted list this becomes a nice end of game glory booster. 

Grimnir’s Fortitude & Grimnir’s Speed: Turn an Inspired Grimnir into the most terrifying model in the game with these upgrades!

Glory Seeker and Great Strength: These aren’t for Grimnir! These turn the remaining Chosen Axes into beasts! I had Tefk hitting for 4DMG and Maegrim throwing darts for 2DM safely away from the fight!

Dark Darts: For when you need to chip a bit of damage away, or score a safe Change of Tactics.

Faneway Crystal & Potion of Rage: These are slowly becoming an auto-include as great ‘burn’ cards to boost your threat range and accuracy!


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Chosen Axes Tech

Previously when discussing the Cursebreakers I looked at the boards they used and the tecniques the deck employed. Well, I’ll be doing the exact same thing for the Chosen Axes too! 

Having placed 2nd and 1st with the Chosen Axes I’m beginning to get a feel for them, however I will warn you now dear reader – I do no think my choices are optimal and there is definite room for improvement.

Chosen Axes Board Choice

Board choice is extremely important for the Chosen Axes, and I’ll hold my hands up here; I don’t think these are optimal choices! They are what I’ve been working with but they don’t feel quite right.

When you win the roll:

Chosen Axes Aggressive Board

This board allows you to deploy for Extreme Flanks whilst also giving you a good weighting on the right hand side of the board. Which you should position to only allow a single charge from your opponent.

When you lose the roll:

By deploying at the back of the board behind the blocked hexes you can deny most charges (except against poor Maegrim who ends up in front of them). I found this the best board to use though I’m not confident it is the most optimal.

Chosen Axes Playstyle

Get Grimnir Inspired

The Inspiration mechanic for the Chosen Axes is definitely one of the more difficult Inspire conditions in Warhammer Underworlds. It can be disrupted easily via Attack Actions and Push Gambits, so you need to ensure that you have enough power cards to weather the storm. Typically, I would spend my first three activations drawing power cards and then finishing up with Grimnir moving onto an objective. This was of course unless I had objectives that required a certain play to be made i.e. kill something then I would try and complete those and use the cards in hand to get onto an objective hex!

Hit Hard. Strike True.

With dice manipulation all but gone from the upgrades we now need to look for other ways to increase our odds! Fortunately Potion of Rage and Haymaker exist giving Grimnir a four dice attack. I’ve been using the Warband Odds app on Android and a four dice Smash attack with Cleave is likely to win 85% of the time versus Shield defence and 83% of the time versus Dodge defence. Giving you some damned good odds to hit. With the score immediately revolving around charging & killing you want to make sure that you have the best chance available to you!

 Give Them Nothing

Denial is a big part of the gameplan. Deploy your non-Grimnir fighters deep and keep them away from the fight until it’s safe to join. Getting them Inspired helps by boosting their health up to four! I found that Grimnir’s five health is enough to keep him safe. Though once he had Great & Griminir’s Fortitude he was nigh on untouchable. Whilst Sudden Growth and Deathly Fortitude kept the other fighters alive.

Be sure to use your Power cards to disrupt the enemy plans! Use The Earth Shakes to push a fighter away from an extreme flank or supremacy score. Mischievous Spirits (have I mentioned them yet?) to ruin a perfect objective Key play. 

Posted in The Chosen Axes, Warhammer Underworlds

The Chosen Axes: Mid-Tier Faction

As part of my Faction spotlight series I’ll be looking at The Chosen Axes today.

Catch up here:

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.


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TL:DR – Their base stats pre-inspiration are not strong. If your opponent can disrupt their Inspiration (easily done) then they are a very weak faction. The Chosen Axes also have a VERY difficult time creating an Objective Deck that isn’t heavily weighted towards combat OR objective play. Once Inspired however the faction catapults into a Top Tier faction able to go toe-to-toe with anyone and come out on top. Inspiring Grimnir is the single most important objective in Turn 1.

What is The Chosen Axe’s inherent weakness?

The Chosen Axes suffer from having some of the worst stats in the game pre-inspiration. Movement 2 is bad. 3 Health is bad. Their attacks are pretty pants too. AND their Inspire condition feels counter to the in-world Fyreslayer mentality.

Charging into battle without hesitation, screaming war cries at a cowering foe while hefting enormous war-axes, the Duardin Fyreslayers are the descendants of the shattered warrior god Grimnir.

Hmm, what better way to represent these gold hungry warriors of renown Inspiring than to have them sit around on an objective hex for an entire turn? YES! It could represent them taking their oath and hammering the ur-gold into their skin but surely that’s all done before they begin the fight.

If the opponent is able to interrupt the Duardin ritual of becoming battle-frenzied then the Chosen Axes have a difficult time engaging on their terms. Movement 2 seriously impedes their ability to start a fight, they must simply finish it. Typically Mad Maegrim is left out high & dry to bait in a charge whilst the opening few activations are spent digging through the power deck to load up on push cards or searching for Inspiration Strikes to guarantee Fjul-Grimnir Inspires. This does allow a Chosen Axes general some freedom in deck building because you don’t have to cut to 20 cards as it’s likely you’ll be drawing heavily.

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How did the BAR List impact The Chosen Axes?

The Banned & Restricted List (BAR List) was extremely kind to the Chosen Axes. Firstly warbands lost a lot of access to their +1 DMG cards, which meant that less Duardin fall in Turn 1. Secondly, Great Concussion’s removal from the game allowed a safer Inspiration window for Grimnir and prevent a 2 hex void between the warband which completely reset the progress the Chosen Axes made in Turn 1.

The loss of Quick Thinker is a positive for the Chosen Axes, specifically Grimnir, their leader presents a very powerful threat and typically gets 1 or 2 high impact moves per game with Quick Thinker no longer in the picture you are guaranteed to make your charge! The loss of Time Trap is neither here nor there as everyone abused it and lost it equally.

With regards to Objectives the Chosen Axes loath the restriction of Fired Up and Defensive Strike. Both of these cards feature Chosen Axes artwork and work very well into their playstyle, it’s a shame that they have ended up last in the pile behind high value cards such as Extreme Flank, Change of Tactics & Escalation.

The BAR List on the whole has improved the Chosen Axes from a bottom-tier faction to a solid mid-tier faction. They can play aggressive or objective as they please and it will be a interesting to see which style of play they perform best with.

Related Article!
Event Review: Two Glass Two Glorious

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The Chosen Axes Faction Cards

The Chosen Axes have some amazing in-faction objectives, ploys and upgrades. I’d go so far as to say that post BAR they have the best in-faction cards outside of Cursebreakers.

First up are the Objective cards. Scion of Grimnir & Ferocious Charge are two stellar score immediatelys that the aggressive minded player always looks for. Whilst those who lean more to the Hold Objective playstyle can benefit from Hoarders and A Claim Retaken.

Next up are the Gambit Ploys. This faction has some of the best ploys! Helped immensely be the BAR List removing a lot of the ‘auto’ picks.

  • The Earth Shakes – Amazing utility Sidestep/Distraction rolled into one
  • Treasure Lust – Incredible repositioning ability
  • Piercing Stare – Shuts out your opponent’s big hitter for a turn
  • Indomitable – Essentially kills an entire activation for your opponent if they want to fight
  • Oathsworn – In this post BAR landscape dice manipulation is rare. Having a re-roll is baller.

Finally the Upgrades in this faction really push the Grimnir super-solo playstyle!

  • Griminirs Fortitude/Speed – +1 Def and +2 Move respectively ensure Grimnir can reach anywhere and survive.
  • Griminirs Blessing – With Soultrap/Tethered Spirit on the BAR this becomes a juicy alternate path.
  • Activated Runes – Missing your Awakend Weapon? Use these instead.

The Chosen Axes got a huge boost to their card index with the Restricted list. Some niche cards like Piercing Stare and Indomitable now become strong flex picks to help you weather the storm pre-inspiration.

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If you see Fjul with these upgrades and he’s inspired. All you can do is pray he misses.

The Chosen Axes have seen a resurgence of popularity and have grabbed themselves a few pieces of Shadeglass recently whilst the meta is still settling. I believe that once you’ve Inspired Grimnir the warband has the potential to go on to win any event. They will struggle against the Cursebreakers however as the accurate attacks of Ammis & Rastus and the range of Averon can seriously threaten to keep the Duardin at bay.

Do you think Chosen Axes deserve to be placed in the mid-tier? Where would you put them in relation to the other warbands? Let me know in the comment section below.

Posted in Event Review, The Chosen Axes, Warhammer Underworlds

2 Glass 2 Glorious

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Giblin: Sadly I was unable to attend any of the events this weekend. Instead I sat at home playing Ni No Kuni II, helping my girlfriend run her own business, and watching England progress one step closer to bringing it home!

Once again I’ll pass the mic over to Bryce to regale us with stories of his glorious weekend..


 

Hello again all,

It’s Bryce back again with a couple of tournament reports. Managed to make two this weekend, so I’m gonna do a double write up! Without any further ado, let’s jump in.

Day 1: Stormforge Hobbies

Stormforge is a nice venue in Warrington, about a half hour drive from my flat in Stockport. I’d gone out on Friday night and hadn’t got a tonne of sleep, so it was with a certain amount of grogginess I made the trip over. Thankfully it’s pretty close to where I live! Six people there for the event, 3 Reavers, 1 Guard, 1 Farstriders, and of course myself with the very finest of Axe Boiz.

Game 1 – Jay – Sepulchral Guard

No, not that Jay, thank the Old Gods of the North. This was another, very nice Jay, who said he was trying out a super defensive skellie list. I’ll be honest, this was three days, 7 rounds and like 18 actual games of Shadespire ago and I was a touch hungover, so I don’t remember this game suuuuuper well. I did dwarf things, punching his undead mans with my short mans, used Great Concussion to throw him off objectives when it was relevant, and kept punching his inspired undead mans. I know I won this round pretty comfortably in two games. Sorry for the lack of remembrance Jay, you were a lovely opponent, I’m just a trainwreck of a human being.

Game 2 – Pidge – Garrek’s Reavers

I only know this man as Pidge. He’s the chap who came second at the last Grand Clash before the relic nerf happened. He also smashed me with relics last time I was in Stormforge (I mean I say he did, it was relics, a seven year child could’ve achieved a comparable effect) [Editor’s Note: To read Giblin’s Review of that event click here]. But regardless, now relics have been nerfed, I suddenly like Pidge a lot more, and was keen for another game against him.

Reavers are a funny one. There were 3 here, and 5 at the event I went to on Sunday, which is a total of 8 out of 18 players over the two events. I remember, much like Pepperidge Farm, when Reavers were trash and no-one played them, so it’s interesting that they seem to have gotten drastically more popular in the last, like, month since I last played in events. Regardless, I played 4 of the 7 games this weekend against Reavers. Basically this paragraph is an extended way of apologising for not remembering this round super clearly either, since again, I played a tonne of Reavers this weekend and was also still basically hungover at this point.

I know I got long boards on one of the games, which is the DREAM against Reavers, since they want to fight you fast and I wanna fight them…but slowly. Scored my passives, played conservatively and took kills where I could get them. Being able to just one shot people with Grimnir uninspired and also with Tefk and Vol inspired (plus I have both Strength upgrades and Twist the Knife) coupled with the Reavers’ terrible defensive stats means that if you can control the engagement, you win this fight just about every time.

Pidge is actually a very nice person when he’s not playing relics, as it turns out, and we had two good games, both of which I won comfortably.

Game 3 – Richard – Reavers

MOAR BLOOD BOIZ. I played Richard in the final of the event at the Game Forge in Manchester last month, and he was keen for a rematch. This was the closest round of the day, and we had three very intense games. The first game was suuuuper tight, we both murdered each other pretty well. After talking for a while before the game about how I never seemed to get any use out of Hidden Paths, despite it being an amazing card, it straight up kept me in the game since everyone but Vol was dead, and all the Reavers were in my half, and I used it to bounce out of that nonsense and get Vol to literally the furthest point on the board from any Reaver model. Coupled with The Earth Shakes to push Garrek even further away, and Vol ended as the only dwarf left alive with three Reavers on the board. This game actually ended as a tie, with the same Glory, neither of us holding any objectives, and no one having been wiped out. Praise Grimnir for passive scoring keeping me in the game!

Second game I got longways boards and won pretty comfortably. Love a good longways board against aggro warbands.

Third game was super tight again, we traded kills and passives, but neither of us managed to gain a convincing lead. In the end Rich got me 8 Glory to 7, which meant the round was a straight up tie. As a result, the tournament swung on Glory difference, which I’d managed to rack up an impressive +40 or so over the three rounds, and just squeaked the trophy!

Great event and I was very lucky to take the win in the end. Richard is now determined that I’m his nemesis, which seems a touch harsh but hey I’ll take it. [Editor’s Note: Phew! My Skaven were previously. Glad he has a new target] He’s a very strong player and I look forward to playing him again. Incidentally, I don’t think I got Inspiration Strikes early AT ALL this tournament, which sort of puts some of the worry out my head that I only won my last event cause I got it early in about half my games.

If you’ve made it this far, I apologise for the lack of detail. As I’ve said, this day was a bit of a struggle for me, and remembering things isn’t my forte at the best of times. HOWEVER I promise the second day’s games are actually a bit clearer in my head, since they’re more recent. If you wanna find out how that went, read on.

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Day 2: Worcester War Games

Ah, back to Worcester. This was actually the place I won my first glass trophy about two months ago, and I was keen to go back down and get reacquainted with the store. Worcester’s about a two hour drive from my flat, so I was up at 7 (ON A SUNDAY. WHERE IS THE HUMANITY?) to drive down. The M6 seems to consist of nothing but roadworks at this point, so the drive was a bit of a pain, but I digress.

Got there and we had 12 people (I think, don’t quote me) signed up for the event. 5 Reavers, 2 Sepulchral Guard, 2 Chosen Axes, 1 Farstriders, 1 normal Stormcast, and 1 Skaven unless there’s anyone I’ve forgotten, which there might definitely be. If so, sorry pals.

So we got the round 1 pairings and got going at 10am!

Round 1 – Luke – Skaven

Course there’s one Skaven player there and I get him round 1. Luke is a very good player and this round was straight up possibly the closest round of Shadespire I’ve yet played. In an echo of the previous night, the first game was a tie, with both of us on 10 Glory. However it was a tie cause I made two stupid mistakes. 1. I have a bad habit of not specifically waiting to after objective scoring in the end phase in order to stick any random upgrades on that I wanna clear out my hand. This let him score Escalation on turn 1 when I didn’t have it. This is just a dumb, dumb move that I really need to stop doing. Also 2. On turn 3, when it was close, I had last activation. Should have walked Tefk onto an objective next to Skritch in case there was a tie, instead of trying to cycle my objectives to get something useable. This would’ve also stopped him scoring Alone in the Dark, but even if he hadn’t had that card, this was the right play since I knew it was close and that would’ve helped win tiebreakers. Silly, silly dwarf boi. C-, must do better. 10-10 on Glory this round.

Second game was very close again, but things went a bit more in my favour this time. It was very tight, but I managed to get Maegrim with the Blazing Key and Formless Key onto the correct objective and eked out an 11-8 win thanks to that.

Third game was possibly the worst game of Shadespire I’d ever played. From the first two games, we knew that both our decks had a tonne of push and speed nonsense, often the first turn of the game would be the longest as we’d spend a tonne of power steps jockeying for position. This time I got nothing and Luke got to just get into the perfect position with nothing to counter from me. Drew four upgrades on opening hand, discarded, draw another four upgrades. My objectives were in the wrong order, my deck was trash, my dice were bad. Oh boy, this game was unpleasant. Worth saying Luke is a stand up guy and great opponent, but it’s hard when you know it’s going to be a tough game whatever happens, and then your deck and your dice just crap out on you. I dunno what god or possibly woodland spirit I had offended before this game, but wow did they punish me for it. He wiped me out on the second activation of turn 2, scored up to win 12-0. I checked at the end of the game and the bottom four cards in my deck were Inspiration Strikes, Quick Thinker, My Turn, and Spectral Wings. Urgh. Not like those are important cards or anything.

After 3 rounds we had a tie, but since we both wanted a clear winner and we had some time, decided to play a fourth game in order to break the tie. I got longboards on this one. Skritch came in on turn 1, and engaged both Grimnir and Vol. I Quick Thinkered and made the ballsy play to move Grimnir in to engage Skritch, hoping to increase the odds of Vol surviving and hoping he didn’t have Trap or anything to kill Grimnir. He swung on Vol and I got the single support, so no damage! Grimnir whiffed on Skritch in return. Thankfully, Grimnir was now on an objective, so Inspired at the end of the turn. Skritch swung on Vol again at the top of turn 2 and I got ANOTHER single support, blocking the hit.

Patting myself on the back for making The Best Play Ever, Grimnir killed Skritch and then I started wandering up into his half, killing the Skaven I could get near and scoring passives. This game swung just as hard as the last game, but in my favour. Ended up 12-2 on Glory.

Oooft, that was a hard round. Didn’t see Inspiration Strikes at all this round, which made it harder, but credit to Luke, that was a tough, tough round of Shadespire.

Round 2 – Dave – Reavers

Reavers again. Dave was a newer player who’d only just bought some expansions and started playing outside the core set. Still never saw Inspiration Strikes, and my Objectives came out in a pretty messed up order, but still had two very pleasant games, both of which I won comfortably but not astonishingly.

Round 3 – Panda – Stormcast Eternals

Much like Pidge, I only know this man as Panda. I assume he possibly has another name, but it has been long since lost in the mists of time. He was playing Stormcast, and mentioned that he played them different to how he normally plays the game, which is to run screaming at people and hit them with sharp and/or blunt metal implements.

Defensive Stormcast it was then. He won the roll and chose longboards, which confirmed this theory. I put all my boys as far up as possible. Actually got Inspiration Strikes in my opening hand for the first time in what feels like forever, so Grimnir got involved, got a kill at the bottom of one, and another in turn 2. He scored some strong passives, as did I, and I ended the game getting Vol and Maegrim onto the right objectives for the keys they were holding to win 17-10.

Second game I got board placement so no longboards this time! The first turn was mostly just drawing power cards. I got Inspiration Strikes early again (hallelujah!) and sent Grimnir in, who whiffed on Obryn. Sad axe boiz. Managed to use Great Concussion to score Alone in the Darkness though, letting me get some upgrades out and clear my hand.

The second turn, pfft, this turn. This was the turn of Crit Defence. Some ancient spirit of like, a giant wall had looked upon us both and said “YOU SHALL NOT DIE.” I think I rolled two crit defences in a row with Grimnir, while on the flipside, an Inspired Grimnir made 6 attacks (4 activations, My Turn, and Oathsworn) which resulted in a single dead Stormcast. One. I think this turn saw a total of 5 or 6 crit defences. It was real dumb. However, I shouldn’t really complain, Grimnir ended the turn alive, and I killed someone. Got Sevrin at the top of the next turn, and Obryn couldn’t get the win by himself. Won this one pretty comfortably for a 2-0.

Game 4 – Luke – Reavers

A different Luke to the first game, this was a nice chap running some cool angry mans. Huh never seen them before, I wonder what they do?

First game was a trainwreck, he got in amongst me, chopped me up real good, scored Annihilation and a bunch of other cards. It’s rough when Reavers don’t die when you hit them. That makes life real difficult. It went real badly you guys. Lost this one heavily.

Second game I got longboards. He ran screaming at me, I picked my kills, went in where I could, Quick Thinkered on the key attack, and managed to just about wipe him out. I think this was like 23-8 or something, got a big, big glory swing on this one.

Third game. All to play for. No longboards this time, but I did as it turned out, get a cosmic baller of an opening hand of Objectives (Change of Tactics, Precise Use of Force, Master of War), with My Turn and Quick Thinker in my ploys. He came in and whiffed on Vol with Targor, Vol took a swing and missed. Tefk went on Guard for Change of Tactics and this is where the turn got silly. Garrek charges in, hits Vol for 2 damage. I My Turn with Vol and kill Targor (Vol getting a kill, first time for everything, amiright?), scoring Precise Use of Force and drawing into Scion of Grimnir. Some things happen (I know I used The Earth Shakes to stop Saek doing anything relevant cause lord that boy is terrifying), then Tefk Charges Garrek, gets Change of Tactics, and does a damage. I draw into Victory after Victory.

Grimnir then Charges Garrek, killing him and scoring Scion of Grimnir. Drew into Superior Tactician. Scored Victory After Victory and Master of War in the end phase, putting me on a total of 8 Glory in turn 1, with 5 objectives scored and Superior Tactician in my hand. Got Escalation and Alone in the Darkness on the draw.

Luke then came in with Saek on turn 2, and I promptly Quick Thinkered Grimnir away. He got Vol and Maegrim, and I killed Saek and Karsus this turn, and amusingly we both scored Escalation and Alone in the Darkness.

Last turn I killed Arnolf and scored some passives, Defensive Strike, and I think a couple of Keys. Really though, the game swung very hard on turn 1, it would’ve been difficult for Luke to get back into it, even if that Saek Charge hadn’t gotten Quick Thinkered. I think this one ended 24-14.

I won my second tournament and second glass trophy of the weekend! Very chuffed with myself, winning two events in two days is pretty damn sweet. I had a lovely weekend, thank you to all my opponents for the games, and thanks to Stormforge and WWG for being great venues.

I’m probably done with events for a month or so now, since I have work on a couple of weekends followed by a trip to Berlin to see my girlfriend, but I’ll be back mid-August or so to hunt for more Shadeglass! Hit me up with event recommendations, I think the Game Forge in Manchester are having one mid-August, so I’ll likely be there. See ya all soon, thanks for reading!

(Axe boiz are best boiz. I honestly don’t know why people think they’re bad.)

Posted in Event Review, The Chosen Axes, Warhammer Underworlds

Fyreslayers Win Glass at The Game Forge

We’re joined by a guest writer on the Blog today – Bryce Johnston, a Fyreslayer player through and through. Please note: This blog should be read with a Scottish accent.


Hey all, I’m Bryce, I work with Jamie at SFG. I’ve been playing Shadespire since just after the Dwarf and Skaven boxes were released, on and off as work and Real Life™ have allowed, and I attended an event at the Game Forge in Manchester last weekend.

First off, while I’ve tried a couple of games of Skaven and Stormcast, I’ve only really ever played dwarfs since I got into Shadespire. I generally prefer playing the good guys in games, and I’m not a fan of the look of Stormcast, so that pretty much left the dwarfs. Lucky for me they’re such stone cold badasses then, eh!?

Been a bit of an odd one with dwarfs, cause I got told they were terrible when I started playing, but I always did pretty well with them. I do think the last couple of releases have been very good for them too. Inspiration Strikes is more important for dwarfs than I think for any other faction; roughly 80% of the strength of the faction is Grimnir one-shotting 95% of models in the game when inspired, so being able to do that without having to hold an objective first is FIERCE. It’s been nice to see them doing well more recently, but they still don’t seem to be super popular.

Anyway, quick backstory and thoughts aside, here’s a review of the tournament last weekend!

Round 1 – Dave – Magore’s Fiends

Since there were six of us, we just played a round robin, so I knew from the start I’d have a lot of tough games throughout the day. There were a couple of big names there! But for round 1, I got Dave. Dave is a super new player who had only played one game before this tournament, so kudos to him for coming along and playing! This was more of a teaching game, where during and after we took some time to go over basics of the game, teaching different mechanics and timings for stuff. I won the two games comfortably and it was on to round 2!

Round 2 – Rich Loxam – Magore’s Fiends

Loxam is a former top tier Warmachine player, (and also my boss!) so I went into this round a bit trepidatious. I got three objectives on the first game, and set up as far back from the Fiends as I could, with Grimnir the furthest forward to take advantage of an opening hand with Inspiration Strikes in it. Going last on turn 1 and an inspired Grimnir let me take out Magore at the bottom of 1 and the Best Doggo at the top of 2 and the game snowballed from there. Lox managed to get some work out of Gary and Zach as the game went on, but I’d already gotten too much glory for him to catch me.

Game 2 I got lengthways deployment, which was fine by me since it again allows me to control the pace of the game. Drew into Inspiration Strikes early again and managed a near repeat of the first game except he started even further away from me. Better lucky than good, I guess!

Two comfortable wins again, roll on round 3!

Round 3 – Jamie Giblin – Skaven

Yep, this time it’s the Giblin King himself. He was there running his aggressive Skaven build. He came in on turn 1 hard with Skritch, and completely whiffed his attack, leaving Skritch high and dry to get murdered. The game sort of snowballed from there, since no one else on the Skaven lineup can really threaten dwarfs too hard, not without Shadeglass weapons at least. I won the first game 16-9 following some strong passive scoring from Giblin.

Game 2 went pretty much the opposite of game 1. Skritch came in hard, got several upgrades, and got to take out both Tefk and Vol early in the same activation of turn 2 (Skitter-Scurry comboed with Ready for Action is GOOD). I got some of my passive objectives off, but Giblin managed to wipe out my whole warband by the first activation of turn 3. Sad face.

Game 3 I got to set up long boards, which I LOVE against aggro lineups. Slowing down the game is a key part of dwarfs, to my mind, since you can’t really start playing the game till turn 2 anyway (unless you have, wait for it, Inspiration Strikes). Skritch got Sidestepped forward and could have come in on Grimnir at the bottom of 1, but a handy The Earth Shakes pushed him back out of even his very impressive 7 hex threat range. I gotta be honest, I don’t remember much else about this game, but the slow start and Grimnir getting inspired aftermeant the Skaven couldn’t engage favourably. Taking the tempo away from aggro decks is pure fire, and I managed to win the long fight on this one.

Pretty narrow 2-1 victory meant I was 3-0 and going into round 4.

Round 4 – Jay Clare – Skellies

Yep, you’re reading that right. The man, the myth, the legend. Some say he once won a game with an objective deck that included Total Annihilation, Mr Bun the Baker, and the four of Spades. Others claim he won a game of poker with a Hold Objective straight. Still others claim he feeds on the souls of dead cards and uses them to fuel his top deck. Regardless, it was round 4.

I did have one thing that offered me a chance; he was playing objective skellies rather than one of the more common warbands in the game. This would actually be my first time playing against the Sepulchral Guard, since I’d never run into them before.

Given that this was round 4, and I was on peak playing mode cause yanno Jay Clare, I don’t remember these games super clearly. I know Jay got 3 Objectives, and I know at the bottom of turn 1 I got involved and sent Grimnir in rather than getting him inspired. Jay pulled the Champion away with Quick Thinker, and I completely forgot to use Treasure Lust to pull Grimnir back onto my objective. What a silly billy! The remainder of the game was me slowly losing, and seeing a lot of synergies contained in the Skellie deck for the first time.

Jay got 3 Objectives again in the second game, but this time I managed to get fighting a bit earlier and smash some skellies to dust. A moment of comedy was me losing Grimnir cause it was bottom of turn 2 and the game had been going for so long that I just assumed he was inspired by then, but I managed to pull out a very narrow win regardless.

In Game 3 I finally got 3 objectives, but Jay countered it by his brilliant play of getting a godly opening hand that led to him ending the turn with the Harvester on MY back objective cause of Hidden Paths, and then scoring Our Only Way Out and Supremacy. Gulp. I got into the game though, scoring my passives, while mashing Skellies left, right, and centre and getting my score immediatelys that way. I ended up using Inspiration Strikes on Grimnir at the top of turn 3, which is I think the latest I’ve ever made it into a game without him either inspired or dead.

Jay finally came in with the Harvester as his last activation and completely whiffed two attacks on Maegrim, which meant that in my final turn I scored a kill, Escalation, Flawless Strategy and Superior Tactician, plus a Key on Maegrim, plus the Formless Key and A Destiny to Meet, meaning I got 11 Glory and just pipped Jay to take the round!

Round 5 – Richard – Reavers

Into the final round, and I’m pretty confident I’ve already won the event, but it never hurts to make sure! Since we’d all been chatting throughout the day, I knew Richard’s deck has a tonne of score immediatelys (like, 9 or 10?) which trigger when he kills or does damage. Very Khorney! The trick is to slow down the game and stop the deck getting the pain train rolling.

Got 3 objectives in the first game and deployed back far enough that he could only get one swing on me, which unfortunately whiffed. Grimnir then got Inspired (seriously, I got Inspiration Strikes early a LOT this tournament) and murdered Garrek first activation. At the top of turn 2 I killed Saek, and then Karsus, and then killed the remaining two dudes over the next few activations.

Second game was pretty much a repeat of the first game, he ran hard at me and I Inspired Grimnir (a LOT I say) and again, killed Garrek turn 1. Took slightly longer this turn, and he got to kill Maegrim and Tefk, but I killed my way through his best fighters and left him with the two little Khorne dudes, one of which ended up dying on the last turn again.

Two comfortable wins and I was 5-0, winning the tournament!

Final Thoughts

Had a great time at this event, and I’d love to see more people at the Game Forge in future, it’s a cracking venue. Dwarfs are good, but I didn’t realise until I was writing this just how often I drew Inspiration Strikes early. [Editors Note: MHHMMM YES YOU DID!!] I think that definitely contributed a great deal to my success, so I’m a bit wary of taking too much from it. Regardless, always nice to win! Thanks to all my opponents for fun games, and thanks to Corey for running the event.

Keep hunting for that Shadeglass!