Hey Trophy Hunters! With the UK Grand Clash Season well and truly upon us, UK Grand Clash Winner, Bryce and I have been hammering out games ‘in the dojo’ in preparation for competing for the Grandest Glass available. We both believe that with the current BAR List in action (as of 28.05.19) that the Cursebreakers are the most competitive faction in the game.
Last time at the Warhammer Fest Grand Clash I used the Cursebreakers to great effect, losing only to the Champion (and tumbling down the rankings) resulting in a (presumed) 8th place finish out of around 92. We never got the final standings for this event – which sucks – but I got swag for Top 8 so I’m assuming 8th!
This time around I fancy something different and have been enjoying Thundrik’s Profiteers in our games of Lunchspire! Now, this time I’ve not been posting as frequently on the Facebook page as a few competitors at Warhammer Fest had pretty much figured out my playstyle through the mini reports, and I wanted an edge this time. As of May 20th my deck list was:
This gave me a good amount of Glory – 18 and the majority of it could be scored with minimal interaction with the opponent. Which is great for consistency. I’d be relying on a multi-tap to kill a four health fighter outright unless I was able to utilise Trap and Toxic Gasses (and lethal hexes). I was pretty happy with it for a first pass at the deck.
Week 1 – The Trees…They Move…
For reference it is 28th May whilst I writing this: I spent last week playing against Ylthari’s Guardians – due to a combination of days off, working from home and just being generally too busy Bryce and I only managed to get a few games in. The takeaway I got however was that Drakskewer was a great assassin once inspired and I should be using him more; with an effective threat range of 6 hexes and ignoring everything in his way allows him to hunt leaders and vulnerable fighters. This was my deck during that week.
My Objective deck felt quite confused as I kind of wanted to play keep back, but also wanted to commit. I was Passive Aggressive. But the aggressive objectives felt hard to accomplish. I decided to make some pretty important Objective changes:
Headshot (Out) – Cover Ground (In)
Death from Afar (Out) – Martyred (In)
Solid Gains (Out) – Combination Strike (In)
These changes increased my total glory to 18 and took my Objective deck more into my own control and away from dice, and I didn’t need to kill a single enemy fighter to score every single Objective. So long as Thundrik or Dead Eye Lund could score me What Armour? I’d be set. The change from Solid Gains to Combination Strike is on that I ummed and aaahhed on for a while but as more of the Score Immediately cards were now in my control (god bless lethal hexes) I felt confident in being able to score it, and with 6 score Immediately cards there is a good chance they’d come off!
The Gambits were pretty set. I am on the fence about Trap. It’s nice to have but I could get Illusory Fighter for more positional play and to play keep away from Mollog.
The Upgrades saw the most changes, as the deck became far more passive in it’s build:
Tome of Offerings (Out) – Potion of Grace (In)
Potion of Constitution (Out) – Warding Scroll (In)
Duellist’s Speed (Out) – Bag of Tricks (In)
Fighter’s Ferocity (Out) – Hero’s Mantle (In)
As I wasn’t killing fighters too frequently I swapped out Tome of Offerings as it was not helping me score my Objectives. I put in Potion of Grace as it can combo with Ready for Action and Seek the Sky Vessel to aid scoring Longstrider. Potion of Constitution wasn’t helping versus the magical chip damage that Ylthari or Curesbreakers hand out so I elected to go with Warding Scroll in an attempt to scupper their plans. As I wasn’t making Attack Actions frequently Duellist’s Speed wasn’t doing anything useful, the swap to Bag of Tricks gives Ironhail the ability to search for Ploys to score Objectives. Finally, with my lack of aggression I dropped Fighter’s Ferocity and included Hero’s Mantle as an end game glory boost. The new deck looked like this and I’m hoping to start playing it tomorrow.
25th May– Okay! Ready for two more games of Lunchspire before the Clash. After sleeping on the heavy changes I decided to drop Trap and include Illusory Fighter. I didn’t see the value in keeping Trap as I wasn’t trying to kill anyone and it was just a nice to have whilst Illusory Fighter will help score more objectives and deny take outs to my opponent.
Today I played versus Mollog & it was a super tight 19-19 draw!! Illusory Fighter felt better than Trap as I was able to keep Bjorgen somewhat safe. Mollog still turned him into jelly with the last swing of the game but the troggoth spent a lot of time lumping around the board to do it.
26 May & 27th May – I’ve been struck down by illness and have avoided playing anything as I just need to get better for the clash. Oh dear. I’m not expecting great things as my head is terribly foggy and I’m not sleeping great – I guess you’ll already know how I did assuming the results are published. Hopefully I’ll do myself proud and finish in a respectable place.
Following on from my In the Dojo article I was feeling a bit nervy heading into the Grand Clash. My Cursebreakers had spent the week being beaten by everything Bryce and I threw at it. Time has since passed since the event and details have become blurry. There are some definite stand out moments – specifically in my game versus Rafa in the final round.
Anyway, I travelled to the Richo Arena on my lonesome and leaving the house at 5.30AM after a night of drinking prior. Fortunately I was able to travel via montage, and was able to get there easily. I.e. It was a long boring journey with many changeovers that drained my will to live.
By the time I’d finally arrived there was only 30mins or so to prepare. I’d packed my bags the night before with a shot at the Grandest Glass in mind this includes:
3x 500ml bottles of water
Nurofen Express (fast acting headache tablets)
4 Rounds in a single day can take it’s toll on you mentally and physically. Staying hydrated should be a huge party of your daily routine anyway but at a convention it’s very easy to succumb to beer, soft drinks, energy drinks etc these make you groggy and can cause sugar spikes and crashes.
I was already nursing a hangover, so the Nurofen was keeping me ticking but I was being sparing with them as I’d likely need them going into the final round. The bananas are a great source of energy and helps stave off the desire to stuff your face with chocolate/crisps/vendor trash.
Nerds aren’t the cleanest of people. It’s a sad fact. I took the deodorant because I’m a decent human – conventions can be sweaty smelly places and keeping yourself fresh is a common courtesy to other attendees. Finally, I’ve been to enough cons in my time to know that I’ll end up shaking many hands or handling doors that might not be the cleanest. The number of attendees who don’t wash their hands after using the rest room is disgustingly high. The hand sanitiser is to keep the con crud at bay as best I can try!
If you’re going to a large convention or gaming event be considerate of your personal hygiene, and if you’re trying to win stick to water over beer. Anyway onto the games
Game 1 vs Ian (Magores)
I managed to win this set of games 2-0. Having played Aggro warbands for an extremely long time, and using Magores myself recently I knew how vital Magore tends to be as he can score What Armour & Show of Strength, and tends to have some Character Locked Upgrades too. Assassinating him tends to leave the deck in an awkward situation where you can draw into dead objective and power cards.
The cards and dice allowed me to do this in both my games…in Turn One. Through a combination of Attack Actions, Shardgale, Sphere of Aqshy, Cry of Thunder, and Abasoth’s Withering I was able to kill Magore before he got going. The games ended 15-3 and 18-2 respectively.
I honestly couldn’t have asked for a better start. No losses and +28 Glory Difference would put me near the top of the table and away from the sharks as previous Grand Clahses had ranked top of bracket with bottom of bracket. We’re not quite sure it was ran that way this time as in round 4 Aman (solely undefeated) was playing on Table 3 whilst both myself and Rafa on Table 2 had dropped a game :shrug:
Game 2 vs Miles (Eyes of the Nine)
Game 2 saw me against Miles. You may remember Miles from a previous blog where he piloted his Eyes of the Nine amazingly versus Michael Carlin. Well, seeing him over the table from me was a bit terrifying as I was hoping for a nice easy win. This would not be one.
Game 1 went about as well as I could have hoped and managed to take it quite comfortably. Game 2 was not. Vortemis got jacked up on upgrades and spells and was an absolute nightmare to deal with. I thought Stormsire had finally got him when I rolled a Crit and a Hit for Fulmination to finish off the Tzeetchian pest, but then Miles rolled Crit, Crit, Dodge to give Cursebreaker the middle finger and then proceeded to kill Rastus with an Unfocused Blast and take down Stormsire with a charge!
Our final game was an incredibly tight affair. I held a hand of upgrades and distraction as I had Alone in the Darkness and wanted to grab as much passive glory as possible before committing. I probably should have ditched them as I ended up bricking my hand a little but the game ended 15-15 after a flurry of action, and Rastus was sat on an objective to give me the win.
Game 3 vs Will (Mollog)
After dropping a game in the previous round I knew I’d need a big Glory Difference to put me back in the running for the final. I was already on +39 so was feeling decent and I was aiming to grab maybe +15 this round to push me to +54 before the final round which was likely to be against tougher opponents with less chance to get big wins. So when my opponent put Mollog down on the table I cried internally.
To give a brief rundown of the games they both went like this:
Mollog kills Ammis and Rastus
Stormsire uses Hidden Paths to reach Critters
Stormsire kills Critters
Mollog arrives to kill Stormsire
Stormsire uses Illusory Fighter to disappear
Mollog stomps his feet in anger
I managed to take the round 2-0 and with a whopping +16 Glory Difference! I’d managed to exceed my goal for the round and put myself in the best position possible to make the top tables and maybe the final!
Game 4 vs Rafa (Cursebreakers)
Much time has passed since this game. I’m currently writing this over a week from the event and some details may be a bit mixed – work and life have gotten in the way of the hobby.
So, as I sat down to wait for my final opponent of the day I was positioned on table two. To my left the top table was Mollog vs Thorns of the Briar queen, piloted by a Canadian and a Filipino, whilst to my right on table three was Magore vs Thundrik, piloted by an American and a Brit. In front of me sat down Rafa, a Spaniard. I consider it a huge success of Warhammer Fest and Warhammer Underworlds to draw in so many nationalities and to have them all compete at the highest calibre was fantastic.
Rafa pulled out his Cursebreakers, and I wasn’t feeling overly confident. In Bryce and my practice matches of Lunchspire the mirror match was very coin flippy and basically whoever assassinated Stormsire first was likely to win.
Game One saw Rafa win the board roll and I placed down the Arcane Nexus as it allows me to deploy deeply and force Rafa to run through Lethal Hexes, whilst Rafa did the same. An unfortunate Turn One bid to assassinate my Stormsire with Ammis left Rafa vulnerable to my Stormsire to go and kill his leader. Which happened. I was able to win this game 18-12, which is truly a testament to how good Cursebreakers are at scoring glory even without Stormsire!
Game Two – This one is reasonably clear in my head!
This time round I won board roll. Rafa chose the Arcane Nexus attempting to mimic the set up previously, whilst I chose the Amber Forbidden Chambers Board and at the maximum diagonal. Turn One saw us jockey for position with Rafa exclaiming that he cannot do anything as the Blocked Hex was making it difficult for Stormsire to target anyone without over committing and standing next to the Lethal Hexes was not an inviting offer.
In Turn One I was able to use Spoils of Battle to equip Stormsire with Tempest Might and Inspire thanks to Abasoth’s Unmaking. I also had Sphere of Aqshy and Illusory Fighter in hand. This was a god hand and I felt very confident that I’d be able to assassinate Rafa’s Stormsire before he Inspired. At the end of Turn One I charged with my Stormsire and failed to cast Fulmination. Damn. I cast Sphere of Aqshy on Stormsire to set up the kill next turn and used Illusory Fighter to return to my safe spot away from Rafa’s fighters.
Turn Two. I won initiative and passed priority to Rafa as I wanted the final activation as he would have to be the aggressor in this instance, as he knew I had more passive glory capability. I had drawn another God Hand. I had Ready for Action, Potion of Rage, Well of Power, Abasoth’s Withering and Great Fortitude. I had no unspent glory so would need a kill to trigger Ready for Action.
The cards and how Rafa’s Ammis & Cursbreaker resulted onthree wounds a piece may have been different but this is simple enough to explain by just using cards I had at my disposal.
Rafa knew he had to make a decision and charged with Ammis dealing three damage to my Ammis, but leaving his fighter in range of my Stormsire’s Fulmination. I cast Abasoth’s Withering. I attacked with Fulmination, and didn’t roll a hit. Rafa used Hidden Paths to put Rastus next to my Ammis and killed her. I rolled for Fulmination, and didn’t roll a hit. Rafa drew a card. I rolled for Fulmination, and Rafa blocked it. Rafa’s Stormsire moved up attack my Rastus and succeeded and Inspired. I charged Rafa’s Ammis with my Fulmination in range of his Stormsire for a kill, Ready for Action & Potion of Rage attack versus his Stormsire to try and kill two in one activation. I rolled my Fulmination, can you guess what happened?
Turn Three saw Rafa’s Ammis get upgraded with Great Strength and charge into my Stormsire – killing him. From there on out it was a case of his Stormsire mopping up. The game ended 3-15 to Rafa and kudos to him for making the best of a bad situation. Were I to play this game again with the same cards in hand I would do everything exactly the same again. I was frustrated that I had done everything correctly, forced Rafa to make difficult decisions whilst maintaining control over the game and still ended up losing.
This was the one for all the marbles. The top table were only on their second game and wouldn’t find time for a third and were getting heated as it was EXTREMELY close on Glory scored and Glory Diff.
I lost board rolls and decided to go a bit left field as Rafa now knew about the Amber Forbidden Board set up. I elected to go for the Penitent’s Throne whilst Rafa played what he knew and went with the Arcane Nexus again. I made some basic errors in this game and pretty much cost myself the win by standing Stormsire next to Ammis at the end of turn one stopping myself scoring Alone in the Darkness and delaying my glory generation. The game ended up 10-12 to Rafa, and had I not made that mistake the ‘butterfly effect’ of my card draw would have been so much smoother and inline with how I was playing. Que sera.
A frustrating end to the event, being undone by dice and then by my own mistake. Fortunately Rafa went on to win the final (sorry Aman) so I get to smugly say “I only lost to the winner of the event”. I finished in the top 8 and grabbed some more acrylic glory tokens, and I think I was 8th but there is honestly no public display of results…which kinda sucks.
The remaining swag I passed out amongst attendees who I saw collecting their stuff last or not at all. As I don’t need any more paraphernalia that isn’t acrylic and it’s nice to share the wealth. Speaking of wealth…Profiteers are looking promising eh? There is another Grand Clash on 31st May – so I’ll probably be back in the dojo and then out for another shot at glass.
Now, before we get into this let me preface it by saying that EVERY WARBAND CAN WIN ANY GIVEN GAME! However it is an undeniable fact that the warbands are not equal, and some have a far easier time on the competitive scene. I also enjoy tier lists as a topic of discussion so be sure to drop a comment below if you agree or disagree.
This tier ranking is based on the two factors listed below:
Personal Experience – I have won a Grand Clash, won multiple Store Events, play against a fellow Grand Clash winner almost daily, and have consumed so much content that I have a deep understanding of the game. My personal experience was my initial groundwork for ranking the warbands.
Best Coast Pairings – Upon initially writing the tier list I then reviewed it against the Best Coast Pairings data analysed by Wigglehammer; specifically the win percentage and games played. However, due to the recent influx of cards, and two new factions, I have had to weigh in more on my personal experience as the win rates mentioned in this article do not include the latest cards.
The win percentage on the whole for Warhammer Underworlds is incredibly tight and all bar Eyes of the Nine and Ironskull’s Boyz fall between 40-60%, which is damned good for a game with 16 factions, and further presses the point that ANY FACTION CAN WIN GAMES.
I will be revisiting this list after the two upcoming UK Grand Clashes, the final Banned and Restricted list is published, and maybe if we get to see the Dreadfane warbands too! Then we’ll get a well rounded view of the end of Season Two.
Stormsire’s Cursebreakers: This warband exists in a league of its own. With the full array of Gambit Spells available to them Stormsire’s Cursebreakers are the ultimate flex warband, able to be built to play aggressively. defensively, or relatively uniquely as a Magic heavy build. With on-card Magic Spells and some of the most powerful in-faction cards this warband stands head and shoulders above the rest. (55% win rate on Wigglehammer at time of writing).
Mollog’s Mob: This gigantic Mushroom has caused major ripples in the game. You cannot build your deck without this lumbering guffant in mind. He will steamroll you if you don’t have the tools to defeat him. An unapologetic aggro build that goes all-in on Mollog is the definitive way to play this warband. (55% win rate on Wigglehammer at time of writing).
Magore’s Fiends: A solid choice. They do what they do well and will kill you if you let them. With a strong aggro game, and a decent mid-range deck they can go on the defensive and score passively if they need to. With lots of in-faction damage reduction they can outlast all but the hardest hitting fighters. (47% win rate on Wigglehammer at time of writing ).
Thorns of the Briar Queen: These spooky bois can play a variety of styles; aggro with the Queen of Thorns is a strong front runner which is complimented by their in-faction objectives and strong Gambits. However they most recently claimed a Grand Clash win with a Hold Objective playstyle thanks to their efficiency in movement and flexible build style. They are also one of the only warbands that can run the dreaded Katophrane Relics effectively despite the two Glory cost. (49% win rate on Wigglehammer at time of writing ).
Zarbag’s Gitz: The greenskin horde! This may be a surprise for some players to see them so highly rated but they score Glory extremely consistently, and an aggressive Snirk Sourtounge can rip through fighters at an alarming rate. Their Katophrane Tome end-game is strong as is their ability to play with the Keys to rack up their end game Glory.. (51% win rate on Wigglehammer at time of writing ).
Thundrik’s Profiteers: The latest Duardin expedition to the Mirrored City brings a lot of powerful ranged firepower that gives them a truly unique play experience. With generally low health pools, until Promoted, the Profiteers can struggle into a high tempo aggro warband. I’m expecting these to be a popular choice at upcoming events. (No recorded data).
Ylthari’s Guardians: The first ever Aelves to grace Shadespire! With their strong in-faction Objectives, Gambits and Gambit Ppells they are a force to be reckoned with, however with their difficult Inspire condition they struggle to get all their warband at peak performance. (No recorded data).
Sanson’s Farstriders: The Farstriders have climbed highly in my estimation. They can play a very aggressive playstyle utilising their Gambits to do unavoidable damage and with the neutral objectives focussing on ranged attacks released with the final wave their deck building has become far easier. They miss out on A Rank as Mollog still has a field day against them and they don’t really have an answer for him bar a few corner case Gambits and combos. (41% win rate on Wigglehammer at time of writing ).
Godsworn Hunt: I wanted to put these higher in the ranking as I’ve piloted them to good success, but generally they are on the slightly weaker side due to their base stats and deck management can be difficult with them as Upgrades tend to have to go on certain fighters to score certain objectives. (49% win rate on Wigglehammer at time of writing ).
Steelheart’s Champions: The original boys (and girl) in blue have had a popular resurgence of late, but their main playstyle (Control/Defensive) seems to be being written out of the game, and whilst their Aggressive playstyle is decent there are simply far superior choices. (49% win rate on Wigglehammer at time of writing ).
Eyes of the Nine: No longer are these worshippers of Tzeentch condemned to the bottom rank! Their Librarian Blue Horror build is a decent (if predictable) end game, and with the full array of spells Vortemis can earn his keep. However, their let down is that Vortemis’ difficult Inspire Condition and a meagre single Dodge dice on his uninspired side doesn’t get you very far nowadays! (39% win rate on Wigglehammer at time of writing ).
Garrek’s Reavers: Having played with this faction extensively since Mollog was released they definitely have the ability to win games. With slightly outdated cards in-faction they struggle to keep up with the newer releases. This has been compounded by the most recent banned and restricted list hurting their ability to keep their fighters alive and relevant with both Sudden Growth and Deathly Fortitude being restricted. (46% win rate on Wigglehammer at time of writing ).
Spiteclaw’s Swarm: Skritch Spiteclaw himself is a force to be reckoned with. This faction gained a lot with the latest releases… however you know how everyone is equipping themselves with the tools to stop Mollog? Well, they also work on Skritch and if you’ve leant too heavily into aggro then you’ll be punished far and wide. If you’ve gone hold objective…there are warbands that do it better. Skritch is an unfortunate casualty of the Mollog meta. (43% win rate on Wigglehammer at time of writing ).
Sepulchral Guard: The Sepulchral Guard have a soft spot in my heart. They didn’t overly benefit from the most recent set of releases as they don’t typically deal well with ranged fighters, and there are now a plethora of ranged warbands in the game. Losing Extreme Flank to the banned list, Tome of Offerings existing, and the Warden being potentially the most vulnerable leader in the game yet also the linchpin of the warband leaves them in an odd spot competitively. (41% win rate on Wigglehammer at time of writing ).
Ironskull’s Boyz: Awful in-faction objectives, all but one upgrade is character locked, ploys are sub-par. Hakka and Basha are just bad fighters. Bonekutta is fine but feels like he should have Cleave printed on his card – just look at the size of that axe!! Gurzag needs to do most of the killing but you know that whole Mollog meta thing I mentioned earlier? Well it hurts Gurzag just as much. (36% win rate on Wigglehammer at time of writing ).
The Chosen Axes: The controversial one! There always has to be one! These chaps have fallen from grace. They seriously struggle against ranged warbands knocking them off objectives and we now have a LOT of ranged warbands. Grimnir’s still an absolute unit when Inspired..but the anti-Mollog tech is popular and it stops our naked loon too. (41% win rate on Wigglehammer at time of writing ).
Hey there readers, it’s Bryce back with a quick tournament report/deck list since I won glass this weekend and Giblin didn’t. I’ve been running Gobbos for a few weeks now, as anyone who’s been following our #Lunchspire reports knows, and doing alright with them. Consistently won against Godsworn Hunt, and generally lost against Garrek’s Reavers, largely since my rolls for board placement turned hard once Giblin switched over to Reavers and controlling board placement is pretty huge for the littlest boiz.
I’m gonna give my deck list first, then a quick tourney
report, then general thoughts on Gobbos.
Restricted Cards: Superior Tactician, Change of Tactics, Defensive Strike, Escalation, Ready for Action
Zarbag’s Gitz: Objectives
Change of Tactics,
What Armour, Martyred, Defensive Strike, Obliterated: Score immediately
cards are always super important. Martyred cause it’s a rare turn where a gobbo
doesn’t die, the rest cause they’re just easy to score. Obliterated cause Snirk
is both your most reliable damage dealer, and the most interesting model
mechanically in the entire game.
Escalation, Solid Gains, Master of War, Shining Example, Keep Them Guessing: Easy passives which you can score off your other score immediatelies, or in the case of Escalation, pretty much any time you like. Keep Them Guessing gets a special mention cause of the Scurry FAQ, so for some reason, it’s very possible to satisfy three conditions (Charge, Scurry, Move) in a single activation. Really weird ruling, but hey, I’ll take it.
Supremacy: You have so many gitz plus Scurry, this is a relatively easy card to score without taking more objective cards to double down. I don’t like doubling up in case you lose three objectives and you can only reliably get 3 models on them one turn, usually. Grots tend to die quite a lot.
Worst card in the game, garbage, useless piece of trash. I used to have Mad
Scurry, but for about 6 games drew it last on turn 2 or on 3 when too many boiz
were dead to score it. Then switched it out for Superior (switching out Fired
Up for Shining Example for the restricted slot) and over 9 games since that
change I drew Superior in my opening hand 7 times. One of the other times it
was the very last card in my deck and I never got to it. Objectively a good
card, in terms of my drawing patterns for the last two weeks, complete trash.
Zarbag’s Gitz: Gambits
-1 wound means more reliable Snirk killing, or really anyone, without risking
triggering My Turn or other damage effects. Brilliant card, auto include for
any warband with a Level 2 wizard from the off.
Transfixing Stare: *Puts on high pitched Snirk voice* NO MY CHILD. DO NOT FLEE FROM MY SCATTER BASED LOVE.
Ready For Action:
Best ploy in the game.
Quick Advance, Sidestep, Sneaky Step, Centre of Attention: Sneaky goblinz wants to sneak around. Good for setting up Scurries, pushing Snirk next to enemy models, pushing onto objectives if you get knocked off them, and pretty much anything.
Hidden Paths: Snirk
placement or moves to get someone onto an enemy objective.
Last Chance, Rebound: Goblins tend to die a lot. These cards mean that they die a little less. They’re also pretty massive negative play experiences for your opponent (particularly Rebound) but hey, they’re good and apparently no one else hates them as much as Giblin and I do, so….
Zarbag’s Gitz: Upgrades
Sometimes this stops a Goblin dying in one hit. Sometimes it doesn’t.
Tome of Offerings: *Puts on high pitched Snirk voice* GIVE ME YOUR SWEET GLORY MY CHILD. (Also definitely needs to be restricted, like when do you ever not take this? Compared to Hero’s Mantle or Formless Key this is so, so, ridiculously good.)
Helps score What Armour? Also occasionally lets an arrow boy kill a thing.
Bag of Tricks: Hunt
for whatever card you need to score an objective, just great.
Great Strength: Lets
Drizgit, a Squig, or Zarbag hit for 3. Sometimes that’s all you need, esp with
Faneway Crystal: Move
onto objectives that your opponent has the indecency to hide on the opposite side
of the board.
Dazzling Key, Shadowed Key, Fractured Key: What is this, early 2018? Keys
seem okay. Sometimes you get a tonne of glory, sometimes you get nowt. I didn’t
really have any other upgrades I desperately wanted, so eh, these seem to work
Goblins are the most mechanically interesting warband in the entire game. They have Snirk and Scurry, two mechanics which are enormously fun to play. However, flipside, they’re also fiddly as hell, and if you misposition, you get punished harder than if you misposition with Stormcast. I don’t believe I’ve ever taken an optimal activation while playing Goblins. I’ve had great activations, but the trick is there’s always a better activation if you think hard enough. They’re just…whew. And interesting as hell because of it.
I play this list generally to huddle in my board. Set up Snirk somewhere he’s not in danger turn 1, and where you can Scurry him forward and inspire. Archers go in places where they might die, Zarbag goes somewhere in the middle. Drizgit can flex around wherever he needs to go. If you lose play then take the Penitent’s Throne which has good spacing and options. If you win placement, the new board with three lethal hexes because it lets you force engagement and only give up one git early, which you can even run backwards if you really want. You end up providing your opponent with a lovely choice of attacking Snirk or running into some lethal hexes.
That said, I don’t think Goblins really have a great board for them if you lose. All of the options kiiiiinda suck against aggro cause oh boy they’re a coming for you tiny skulls. You kind of have to hope you draw Last Chance/Rebound early and use Scurry to pull back as much as you can. Flipside, it’s possible to build a much more aggro focused deck with Gloryseeker and maybe Shadeglass dagger if you have the restricted spot, and go for more kills over the more passive play in this deck.
I also realised, over the course of the event, that my deck is built for playing against aggro. It’s a downside of our Lunchspire games that, unconsciously, you tech and get used to playing against the thing we play 5 games a week against. Since Giblin’s been on Reavers, I’ve been expecting people to come in and fight me hard. Playing against a more passive Eyes deck was a bit of an eye-opener (haha).
In general, use your push cards to set up Scurries. Sit
yourself on your safe objectives on turn 1, get Snirk next to an activated
enemy model, start twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom. Use your
Squigs as body blockers or supporting models for your actual Goblins, since
Squigs can’t hold objectives, so they’re actually kinda useless in regards of
getting Supremacy or keys at the end of the game. It’s okay if Squigs die,
basically. Yes, if someone kills Drizgit they turn into hyper accurate
murderballs, but they’re less important than your actual gobbos.
Remember to use Rebound where it’ll kill an enemy model (or
save someone on an objective at the end of a turn), and save Last Chance for a
model you actually care about like Snirk or Zarbag. Ideally on turn 2 you
should have at least one three model Scurry set up, and you can usually get
four if you position good.
Final point, get used to dying. Gobbos die. A lot. Ask not
for whom the bell tolls, the bell tolls for Dibz. Weep not over his tiny broken
form, but twirl Snirk merrily into his attacker.
Incidentally, Snirk is simultaneously the most fun and most frustrating model in the entirety of Shadespire. Sometimes he just rolls supports. Sometimes he rolls hammer crit sword and smashes someone from 3 HP in one activation. Be flexible and ideally give yourself a couple of activations to score Obliterated, he’s just not reliable enough to do it in one unless they’re on 1 HP. You got about an 80% chance of rolling at least one hammer on 4 dice though, so point hammers towards them, utter a brief prayer to the Bad Moon and RNJesus, and spin to win.
Went down to Goblin Gaming, a pretty new store in Norwich.
It’s a lovely place, only about a half hour drive from Manchester, and with
parking onsite, which I definitely appreciated. Unfortunately there only ended
up being 4 of us, an Eyes of the Nine player, a Cursebreaker player, and a
We all played each other, I won’t go too much into the game
against the Skaven player, since he was an extremely new player who’d only
really started the game very recently. Tried to give a few tips and stuff, so
those games were more learning experiences than actual competitive tournament
First round otherwise was against Eyes of the Nine!
I won board roll off and got 2 objectives, choosing to set
up with a pretty aggressive deployment, four hexes in two twos were up against
his board edge, while Zarbag and a couple of arrow boys sat back a bit. I drew
Defensive Strike, Escalation, and Superior Tactician on my opening hand. ‘Urgh’
I thought, but at least I’ll get Defensive Strike and then maybe Escalation
depending on if he puts an upgrade out. Well, no. He didn’t come in on anyone,
and by the time I realised I really needed to be pushing forward with Snirk,
Snirk chose the perfect moment to roll a whole bunch of supports and achieve
nothing. Ended turn 1 scoring no glory, which I don’t think I’ve done in
*purses lips, says tremulously* eighty
Whoops. To top it off, Uninspired K’charik rudely charged
Snirk and killed him at the top of two, which at the very least scored me
Martyred. Cold comfort, I know. I actually managed to turn my brain on at this
point, and killed the Horrors to score Defensive Strike, and like that, we were
cooking with charcoal. On the final turn, due to being garbage (and also the
Eyes player having Supremacy, Bind the City, and Our Only Way out and getting
three objectives), I was pretty heavily down on glory, but I had Keep Them
Guessing, Supremacy, and Solid Gains in hand, as well as the formless Key and
one other key. Prog Da Netter charged, knocked Narvia/Turosh off an objective,
then Ready for Actioned on the objective. Had to eat a charge from the newly
respawned Horror, but thankfully it whiffed entirely, so I scored 9 glory on
the last turn to take me to a 15-11 win. Why be good when you can be lucky?
The second game I actually managed to get it together. Won board again, but planned better and Snirk managed to roll some dice. Scored Obliterated this time, and managed to get inspired much earlier. Still got my keys out and got a bunch of glory for them, and ended up winning slightly more comfortably 16-9.
These set of two games really highlighted how much practice
against a single opponent can actually hamper your play, by setting
expectations based on how that person plays and how they tend to build their
decks. Lord help if you they play a hard skew list and you end up running into
something different that you really need to work around properly.
The next round was against Cursebreakers. Spellboiz. The
warband I won the last Grand Clash with (like to drop that one in occasionally
just to keep it fresh in people’s minds). I think Cursebreakers are still the
best warband in the game. They have such a variable, flexible playstyle, some
of the best in faction cards in the game, excellent attack profiles, and
Stormcast defensive stats, which is basically playing the game on easy mode.
They’re only gonna get better the more spells come out.
Anyway, up against them next. I lost the roll (3 objectives
yay) and he started Empowering and coming at me. Managed to lose a Goblin to
score Martyred early, and then Snirk stuck next to Stormsire like glue,
twirling majestically and smashing the old beardy guy’s head in to score
Defensive Strike. Sorry Stormdalf.
Saw a lot of my push cards come up aces in this game, since
without Stormsire his threat ranges were actually a bit limited, and so dodging
my boiz back out the way of vengeful retaliation was really good. Also I was
playing the board with three lethal hexes next to each other, so he had the
unenviable choice at one point of coming in on a goblin, but taking two damage
to do so, which I am A-Okay with. Managed to score almost all of my objective
deck (Superior Tactician was the bottom card, what a good choice I made
bringing it!) and control how and where he could attack me.
Won this one 17-12. He got some kills on gobbos (and scored
some passives, cause Cursebreakers eh) but my keys and objective play pulled me
Second game was much the same, (Superior Tactician in my
opening hand, yay) but he came in much more aggressively on turn 1 with
everyone. Ammis got pushed around a lot by my boiz, and Centre of Attention,
and I ended up getting a 5 glory kill on her with Tome of Offerings,
Obliterated, and Defensive Strike which was just wonderful.
Ended up winning this one 18-9, I think.
So I went undefeated over the three games, and won the
glass! I’m probably done with Goblins now, but I gotta admit, I’ve a lingering
appreciation for them. The most mechanically interesting and complex warband in
the game, punishing if you make mistakes, but putting the puzzle together is
enormously satisfying (and effective) if you get it right.
They’re my fifth warband to win glass, and this week I’m
trying out Steelheart’s Champions, which I haven’t played since the first time
I got the core set. Unfortunately, I’m already struggling with the lack of
mechanical complexity. Honestly Steelheart, your troops are good, but it’s not
exactly interesting to play. IDK. I’m certainly appreciating my Stormcast
privilege again, and also getting to dictate engagement, but gooooood I’m
already bored of every activation being draw card or charge, haha.
Alright, well, I’ve prolly rambled enough for someone who
won a wee local event with Goblins. Catch ye’s later, and remember: Snirk’s
acoming for you.
Waking up extra early my lovely girlfriend Emma, whom I love to bits and hope she somehow reads this to show my appreciation, drove me to get dropped off at a McDonalds where the Store Owner, Jonny, picked me up for the event. I’m learning to drive now so none of this has to keep happening!
There were eight players in total at the event with a nice variety of warbands on display; Mollog’s Mob, Magore’s Fiends, Zarbag’s Gitz (x2), Thorns of the Briar Queen, Steelheart’s Champions, Stormsire’s Cursebreakers, and my own Godsworn Hunt. Game one was drawn…
Round 1 – Godsworn Hunt vs Zarbag’s Gitz – Martin
GREAT! Gitz. Bryce just spent the week beating my with Gitz. I was 0-5 against this warband. The fanatic is just so damn effective at mopping up the Godsworn Hunt AND it subverts Rebound & Last Chance. Martin is a canny player and I was not expecting an easy match up, especially given my track record against the Gitz.
These games are a little fuzzy in my memory but essentially Martin was playing a Passive-Hold Objective style deck, with Tomes for flavour! This caught me a little off guard, as I was expecting heavy Keys. However Game 1 ended up being super close, and had I not remembered to reveal my Oath I would have lost. The score was 19-18 in favour of the Darkoath.
Game 2went terribly. I had to ditch Oath of Conquest, Escalation, and Victory after Victory from my opening hand. 7 Glory from my deck gone before the game had even begun. It was a whitewash, Rebound happened early on killing Thredda and it was just over. Despite my best efforts Martin won 8-15.
Serious time. This would be me out of the running if I lost here. Knowing that the tomes were in play I waited patiently scoring what I could until the first two tomes went out. Then I struck at Zarbag to remove those effective two glory points and let all hell break loose. The fanatic seemed to love this however, and ended up killing EVERY. SINGLE. MODEL. except Ollo. Ollo on his own scored me Oath of Conquest, Fired Up, What Armour?, and Victory after Victory. Martin hadn’t found his Tomes and the game ended 16-13 in favour of the Godsworn Hunt. We’d broke the curse of the bad moon and it felt great. What next?
Round 2 – Godsworn Hunt vs Mollog’s Mob – Adam
Great. I’d hoped to avoid the troll. I think I can out manoeuvre it but damn I didn’t feel confident! Adam was a lovely chap who’d travelled down with a bunch of friends from Stoke (I think it was Stoke) and was very honest that he’d been playing a defensive style Cursebreaker Deck and wanted a change of pace so brought the troll.
I got so damn lucky! I’m more than happy to admit it. I think you need a bit of fortune to beat the troll, especially when it’s in competent hands like Adam’s.
Turn 1 saw Grawl run over two lethal hexes to deny any early Objective card kills for Mollog and to score me Martyred whilst the rest hung back out of initial Charge range. This allowed me to equip Bag of Tricks to Shond, inspiring him and later digging for Spectral Wings to score Cover Ground with Jagathra as she ran past the Troll and threw her Javelin in it’s back.
The Troll then went on to miss every attack it made in Turn One. I’d feel bad but I’ve been there so many times with Skritch that I know it doesn’t happen often enough to worry about it. Going into Turn 2 I made Mollog go first as I had a cunning plan. He charged and killed Grundann who dodged it with Last Chance, but was struck down by a Ready for Action attack.
My retort was to equip Thredda with Great Strength and play Lethal Strike. I had no time to dig for accuracy buffs so just believed in the heart of the dice…and it paid off. Upon rolling two dice one was a glorious GLORIOUS critical success. Mollog rolled his defence dice. Shield. Down went the troll. Everyone runs in and murders the squigs. The game ended 15-6 in favour of the Godsworn Hunt.
It’s a bit of a blur, but Adam definitely drew Inspiration Strikes again, and Mollog did not miss (as much) this time, AND got to deploy the board in the hallway formation. I remember scoring Change of Tactics with Jagathra in turn one and bagging a kill with the Javelin against the Bat Squig, drawing into Cover Ground and applying Great Speed to Grundann who scored it whilst Charging into Mollog. Mollog killed them both to my memory. Before the turn was up I blew Hidden Paths early to throw Thredda into the back line and surprisingly killed Stalagsquig. The plan here was to split my force so Adam would have to choose between pushing on into my fighters or return to try and score Victorious Duel.
Turn Two saw Mollog run back and kill Thredda. I played Spectral Wings and upgraded Ollo to charge & score What Armour? Mollog pushed forward popping Potion of Grace to keep his Charge action available, whilst I threw an Inspired Grawl to the troll as bait to lead him away from being in Charge range of Shond in Turn 3, as I had plans to score Oath of Conquest with Faneway Crystal. Mollog missed the little pupper thanks to the double dodge charactersistic!! The bait paid off. Oh and somwehere along the way the Spiteshroom died – I can’t remember who claimed that one…it MIGHT have been Ollo before Mollog whomped him.
The final turn! I allowed Mollog to go first as I wanted to score Martyerd early and have the final activation to ensure that Shenanigans happened and that Mollog would not be able to influence my final position. Mollog swung and killed Grawl, I scored Martyred but Shond was well out of harms way so I drew a card. I had three cards left and I knew faneway was in there so I had time to find it and Move into Mollog’s territory. Did you spot my mistake? I forgot to reveal Oath of Conquest at the start of my first Activation!! FFFFUUUUUU this was a super tight game and that 1 glory could make or break it!! ARREGH!!! I felt like such an idiot especially after doing it the game before and thinking in the second end phase “Jamie! Do NOT forget to reveal that card!”. Don’t be like me. Reveal your Oaths!
Anyway, Adam had my plan pretty much figured out so moved to threaten as many Objective Hexes in his half as possible! Fortunately I’d been super aggressive with my objective hex placement knowing how important these Faneway moves are and had placed four hexes in his territory – meaning that Mollog could not cover ALL the Faneway Hexes. I drew Faneway Crystal on my next activation. Adam ditched an objective. I ditched No Remorse and drew Victory after Victory (boom!). Adam ditched another objective. I played Faneway Crystal and moved onto a safe objective hex.
The final end phase saw Adam score some passive glory putting him on a mighty 12 Glory! Whilst I scored Fired Up, Oath of Conquest and Victory after Victory, taking me to a grand total of 12 Glory. BUT I was on an objective whilst Mollog was not! So won it on tiebreakers. Had I not been a bad player and forgot to reveal Oath of Conquest I would have won 13-12 and not been in such predicament!
Round 3 – Godsworn Hunt vs Stormsire’s Cursebreakers – Steve
Well, well, well. Looky here. Yet another top tier warband for the Godsworn Hunt to overcome. Joyous. No easy Path to Glory here. As I learnt from the Godsworn Hunt’s previous outing Stormcast are difficult to deal with, and with the options for 2 and 3DMG attacks easily accessible these Spellcast can score Measured Strike very easily.
Turn 1 saw Steve Empower Rastus who was promptly hit was a Javelin from Jagathra for 2DMG and pushback onto an edge hex to keep him out of range to attack, scoring me Change of Tactics. However, this resulted in a Shardgale and Hidden Paths to get adjacent to Jagthra and Thredda. Rastus then attacked Jagthra killing her and scoring What Armour? Then Rastus upgraded with Tome of Offerings and used Ready for Action to hit Thredda scoring 2 Glory and Measured Strike, then Rastus was equipped with Sudden Growth. WHAT. A. STARTING. HAND!! 5 Glory scored! I fortunately scored Martyred to put me on 2 glory.
I then drew a card in an attempt to find an accuracy buff for Grundann to go and finish off Rastus but failed to find one. Steve drew a card. I equipped Grawl with a freshly drawn Bag of Tricks and searched my deck for Potion of Rage ready for next turn and equipped it to Grundann. Steve then cast Empower with Ammis but failed then cast Sphere of Ghur with Stormsire to Inspire him. At the end of turn one Steve scored just Magical Supremacy in the end phase putting him on 6 Glory whilst I scored Escalation, Fired Up and Victory after Victory to put me on 7 Glory. BOOM! The look on Steve’s face was priceless seeing the snowball of events. I equipped Shond with Tome of Offerings in the end phase having a plan in mind to deal with Ammis.
Turn 2 & 3
Turn 2 I went first charging in with Shond and dealing two damage to Ammis and scoring What Armour? Then equipping him with Path to Glory and using Ready for Action to finish her off scoring Advancing Strike. MMM 4 Glory. Steve upgraded Rastus with Shadeglass Darts and Lightening Whip. And killed poor Grawl. Grundann then charged in and killed Rastus whilst Stormsire returned the favour to Shond.
Going in to Turn 3 I had Grundann and Ollo left to get into Cursebreaker Terriroty – this time I remembered to reveal my oath! Stormsire was away from the action but went first and moved forward to threaten as much of his own board with fulmination as possible. We drew cards at each other until my final turn when I used Hidden Paths to put Ollo in and decided to put him on an objective incase of a draw….where he was promptly killed by Lethal Ward scoring Strong Start. During my turn I ran Grundann into Steve’s Territory and safely scored Oath of Conquest. The game ended 17-13 to me. Just one more win to go until Shadeglass was claimed.
I’ll be entirely honest. I do not remember the blow by blow of this match as I was pretty fried by this point. I do remember however that I got extremely lucky (again) as in the final turn I revealed my oath and only had Grundann again but Stormsire missed a 3 Smash Attack Action to kill him before I ran into Steve’s Territory to score Oath of Conquest. The game eneded 16-9 in my favour and the Godsworn Hunt claimed the Shadeglass!
Hey Trophy Hunters! I’ve recently become enamoured with the Godsworn Hunt! Their playstyle and inspiration mechanic is quite unique and OH MY GOD I love the Oaths! They’re a very cool bit of design space and I just want more of them in my life!! In my games of #Lunchspire I’ve been testing these barbarians, against fellow Grand Clash Winner Bryce, and their results have been…fine. They’re not setting the world on fire like Mollog but I’m enjoying the challenge of getting these guys and gals working!
Slaves to Darkness!
Much like way back when this blog started and I was determined to win with Skaven, I think I’m going to be ‘maining’ the Godsworn Hunt for a while (unless Kharadon Overlords or Sylvaneth are just too tempting). So I’ll be writing up my journey, my decks, my Win:Loss ratio and just generally how I feel about them!
For a while I’ve felt a bit lost in Warhammer Underworlds, as I’ve been flittering from warband to warband in search of something that makes me WANT to play the game. I had that in leaps and bounds with Skaven but after winning multiple glass trophies and a Grand Clash there didn’t seem anything left to do with them, so I tried Sepulchral Guard and have a pretty good deck with them ready to roll out at a moment’s notice, but I wasn’t exactly enjoying myself. However, now I’m chomping at the bit to play every single day!
Godsworn Hunt | The Deck
This is the current iteration of the deck. So far, I’ve found it wanting. Six Score Immediately objectives feel like too many, especially when they revolve so heavily around killing models in a certain way!
No Remorse, A Worthy Deed, Advancing Strike: These are my ‘kill’ cards and help get the Upgrades out required to Inspire the hunters!
Change of Tactics and Martyred: Change of Tactics is the perfect objective for this warband. Long range attacks let you make the charge from safety and gets some Glory to begin inspiring! Martyred is a headache; the warband is made of paper, but wants to be aggressive HOWEVER this does allow an upgrade to go out if it comes off in Turn One!
What Armour?: Once Ollo or Shond are Inspired they get Cleave printed on their Character Card and can score this Objective pretty handily. Without Spoils of Battle, Change of Tactics, or Martyred in Turn One, this can be a bit of a dead draw. But seriously boosts Glory later on!
Victory after Victory, Master of War: Force multipliers that theoretically are easy to score considering the number of Score Immediately cards.
Ploymaster, Keep Chopping: Easy to score cards that cannot easily be interrupted by the opponent. Keep Chopping works nicely with the Godsworn Hunt thanks to their two ranged attacks and generally fast speed!!
Oath of Conquest: The grand daddy of end game glory! Now that Superior Tactician has hit the Restricted list the Godsworn Hunt have a nice replacement in Oath of Conquest. It’s easy to score and as long as you remember to reveal it you’ll score three glory just for walking into the opponent’s territory!
Hidden Paths, Distraction: Controlling the board state is important, and with Extreme Flank suffering from a severe case of BANHAMMER! Where I would previously have had Sidestep, Distraction takes it’s place to disrupt the opponent and stop them scoring Glory.
Fuelled by Fury, Haymaker, Lethal Strike, Ready for Action: The more dice you roll the more likely your attacks are to hit! All these gambits provide an accuracy or damage buff! Lethal Strike is a bit of a nice piece but can combo with Fuelled by Fury beautifully for Jagathra to make a charge and skewer a Stormcast Eternal on the end of her Javelin.
Last Chance, Rebound, Forceful Denial:urgh, I think I stepped in something….ewww dice roll gambits. I don’t like that these cards are becoming regular occurrences in my decks but with the effective loss of:
I NEED to keep my fighters alive! Last Chance does that perfectly, Rebound…well I hate this card with a fiery passion but it can just win you a game by rolling a 5+ so why not? And Forceful Denial can be used to stop important gambits like Ready for Action, Rebound, Last Chance, Spoils of Battle etc.
Spoils of Battle: AKA Inspiration Strikes for Godsworn Hunt! The value of this card in turn one is just immense, as has been stated before. But for the Darkoath it’s a force multiplier that unlocks the opportunity for multiple objectives to be scored!
Awakened Weapon, Potion of Rage, Challenge Seeker,Path to Glory: Accuracy buffs. This faction adores them!
Great Fortitude, Path to Glory: Health buffs. This faction needs them to keep key fighters alive.
Great Strength, Gloryseeker, Nullstone Spear: Damage Buffs! Guess what…everyone needs them! I would probably look to swap out the Nullstone Spear for the Shadeglass Spear in future as the bearer of these weapons tends to die soon after their charge!
Faneway Crystal, Bag of Tricks: Bag of Tricks lets Grawl inspire early and be useful rather than a liability! Faneway Crystal is amazing for ensuring that Oath of Conquest is scored and for some janky Javelin charges!
Godsworn Hunt at an Event
So, I’ve played four games at a tournament with these glamrock wannabees. Sadly it was a best of one format so their performance wasn’t great, and my notes from the day show just how skewed their deck draw was.
Game 1 vs Defensive Steelhearts: Lost 4 – 14. Drew 5 Upgrades in the opening hand. Mulligan. A successful Rebound from Severin prevented Thredda scoring No Remorse (1) and A Worthy Deed (1), which would have drawn into Alone in the Darkness (2) and Escalation (2) and scored Victory after Victory (2) plus the glory from the kill (1) for a total of 8 glory, instead Thredda died for an effective -9 Glory swing.
Game 2 vs Mid-range Cursebreakers: Won 7-5. Drew 4 Upgrades and Last Chance. Mulligan. No notes on this game except that it was against the sculptor of the Godsworn Hunt, and that he could not roll spell dice successfully! We played again and I was promptly beaten 21-4 as Sergi’s dice GOT HOT!
Game 3 vs Zarbag’s Gitz: Lost 12-13. Drew 4 Upgrades. Mulliganed into 5 Upgrades – wanted to cry that my deck was forcing me to play with all my Inspire cards and no realistic way to equip them. Snirk was a homing fanatic and just could not do anything wrong, I think he took out three models in total before spinning off into a position to deny Alone in the Darkness. A turn one rebound prevented No Remorse and killed Jagathra. It was a sad sad day.
Game 4 vs Aggressive Steelhearts: Lost 12-13. Drew 3 Upgrades. Kept it because there were probably 5 Upgrades waiting to be drawn. After being bulwarked of my turn one aggression and the stormcast killing everything they turned their hand too I had written the game off. Thanks to spectacular luck Shond went on a rampage and killed Obryn whilst Grundann obliterated Severin. Sadly Brightshield glared at Grundann in the final turn, transfixing him to the spot and preventing Oath of Conquest! Curses!!
I’ll be running these Glamrock Gods at the Event this weekend at Rebel Base Gaming! I’ll keep you up to date with how the event goes and what changes have been made on our Facebook Page!
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.
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.
Let them know that they can Move, Attack and Charge. You can introduce Guard actions later if the opportunity presents itself.
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!
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.
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!
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.
Then use Blood Offering and have Saek make a BIG Charge Action to whack a Stormcast down to low health (hopefully).
Continue to play through the rest of turn one.
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.
(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.
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!
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.
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:
What do you think of our latest Banned & Restricted List, Errata and Designer’s Commentary?