Posted in Warhammer Underworlds

Warhammer Underworlds: Beastgrave

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

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

Beastgrave Token Boards

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

Game Boards

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

Skaeth’s Wild Hunt and Grashrak’s Despoilers Miniatures

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

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

Beastgrave Rulebooks

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

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

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

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

Beastgrave Neutral Cards

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

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

New Upgrades

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

New Gambits

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

Final Thoughts

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

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Posted in Warhammer Underworlds

UK Games Expo – Grand Clash Review

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

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

Round 1 vs Nathan (Zarbag’s Gitz)

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

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

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

Game 2 vs Derek (Ylthari’s Guardians)

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

Game 3 vs John (Thundrik’s Profiteers)

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

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

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

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

Game 4 vs Josh (Thundrik’s Profiteers)

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

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

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

Final Thoughts

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

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

Posted in Warhammer Underworlds

Year in Review – 2018

Welcome back Trophy Hunters! It’s a new year. Hopefully your head isn’t too sore after a few too many Potions of Constitution last night!! I wanted to jump on the blogger bandwagon and take a quick retrospective view of 2018 and what to look forward to in 2019, inspired by the end of year review from Steel City Underworlds.

How did the Blog perform in 2018?

On March 6th I launched the blog (then known as Perfect Planning) with the article “Into the Underworlds”. It was a review of my Skaven Deck that came 10th at my first Grand Clash – I was very happy with myself. That opening month saw the blog gain 2272 new visitors and 4876 views…people were coming back for more.

The June-August period was rough. The meta had settled. No new factions were being released. Nightvault hadn’t been announced. The Leader Pack in July gave Skritch a really easy objective and Farstriders got Raptor Strike for some reason. Pushing them to be the top two factions of the era.

In stark contrast since November & December the blog has seen a growth to between 5000-7000 unique visitors and between 18000-19000 views. I’m extremely happy with these metrics, especially for a niche game with an official audience size of around 16,000 (taken from the GW Facebook page).

Articles Everywhere!

Katophrane Relic managed to release 84 articles between March and the end of the year! An average of 2.1 per week!! Damn that feels like a good work rate! Fortunately, WordPress can show you your most viewed article per month. If you want to take a trip down memory lane here are the best articles of each month for 2018:

How did Giblin perform in 2018?

It was a good year! I managed to take home five Shadeglass trophies with Spiteclaws Swarm, Steelheart’s Champions, Stormsire’s Cursebreakers, and the Chosen Axes. Whilst also bringing home a Grand Clash Trophy with Spiteclaw’s Swarm, alongside my teammates Jay & Bax. Completeing my goal for the year – Win a Grand Clash.

In 2019 I’m looking to win a local clash with the Sepulchral Guard and hopefully add another Grand Clash trophy to the cabinet. I’ve also heard murmurings of an ETC or WTC which would interest me greatly!!

What to expect in 2019!

I’ll be continuing the analysis of my own play – including the spreadsheet of doom which tracks all my competitive games, my win percentage and faction vs faction win percentage. I’ll be finishing off the ‘Tier’ articles with Farstriders and Eyes of the Nine in January and begin waiting patiently for Mollog’s Mob & Godsworn Hunt.

As for the Blog itself, I invested a lot of my personal wage into the running and maintenance of the site, so will be running a few affiliate scheme adverts on the sidebar, and small banners like the Element Games banner above, to aid me in covering the cost of hosting, plugins, keeping the spammy ads away. Hopefully they don’t intrude on your viewing and since they are placed there by me; you won’t see anything that isn’t in some way relevant to your hobby.

Thank you everyone for your support this year. It’s been a brilliant ride so far. Warhammer Underworlds moves from strength to strength and I’ve loved every minute of narrating its journey. To those of you I see at events, thank you for the kind words regarding the blog in person, they honestly make it all worthwhile. Finally, to anyone who has commented on Facebook/Twitter/Katophrane Relic – thank you for taking the time out of your day to read through my ramblings.