Warhammer Underworlds: A New Two Player Starter Set Review

Warhammer Underworlds is a competitive tabletop game set in the Age of Sigmar universe, specifically the ‘Underworlds’ that sit beneath the main battlegrounds, where small warbands fight over ancient relics. The game has been out since 2017 and has undergone some major format changes in the last year or two – specifically going from a ‘take all the cards and make a deck’ format to a more focused, Rivals format.

You can still build your own decks using the Nemesis format, but Rivals is here with pre-determined decks to take a little bit of the anxiety away – players won’t have to own or memorize every single card available. Today we’re taking a look at the new Warhammer Underworlds Two Player Starter Set provided to us from Games Workshop.

The Sepulchral Guard
The Sepulchral Guard. Credit: Raf Cordero

This box set provides you with everything two players need to get started playing the game with the Farstriders (Stormcast Vanguard-Hunters) and the Sepulchral Guard (skele-bois from the Soublight Gravelords). These are two out-of-print warbands that new and experienced players alike will want to grab – some of the recent eBay sales for the Guard are upwards of $70-100.

The minis are the same ones released in 2017 – they’re push-fit and easy to assemble. The only beefs I had with them are the skeles are a bit easy to break, and the Stormcast shoulder pads don’t always come together well, leaving gaps.

You don’t only get these sweet warbands (that you can also use in your games of AOS) you get new cards for them. Rivals decks are either made up of all the cards that came with that warband when they came out either in a big box or an expansion pack… or a specially crafted universal Rivals deck that can be used by anyone. The earliest warbands don’t have the unique Rivals decks as they didn’t have enough cards to do so; if we look at the list of releases for Underworlds:

  1. Shadespire
  2. Nightvault
  3. Beastgrave
  4. Direchasm
  5. Harrowdeep
  6. Nethermaze
  7. Gnarlwood
  8. Wyrdhollow

Anything before Beastgrave didn’t have a unique Rivals deck, so you’d just have to use a generic one that you can get from GW – like the Toxic Terrors deck that came in the latest release, Wyrdhollow.

The minis sprues. Credit: Michael O “Mugginns”

All that to say – this release includes Rivals decks for The Sepulchral Guard and The Farstriders. Some cards will be familiar to long-time WHU players, but there are new cards in each deck, and every card has newer art than the out-of-date original releases for these two warbands. From what I can tell, some of the fighter cards have changed too – for instance, the regular Prince of Dust seems to have gone up one damage on his Mace to two. That could be an errata from before but I can’t find it anywhere as such.

All the tokens you get with the starter set. Credit: Michael O “Mugginns”

Besides the cards and minis, you also get two boards, enough dice and tokens for two players to play. I included the above picture with the tokens from Wyrdhollow on top; this new starter set includes all the same ones in a Shadespire style. That’s really cool to me – this isn’t just re-packaged leftover stock, this was re-designed to match the new box sets coming out with all the same stuff in mind, so if your buddy picks this up to play then they’ll be right on track.

Really the only thing that a player would be missing when starting with this kit is a bit of the rules. The main rulebook for this box doesn’t include the rules for Scatter, though it does include the token for it. I understand why they might not include it here – it’s not used by either warband, and they don’t want to confuse new players – but I really would have liked to see the entire rulebook. Besides Scatter, it does seem to include every other rule in an up-to-date manner which is great.

The Farstriders. Credit: Michael O “Mugginns”

Overall I think this is a great way to start the game and will be awesome for new players. I think more experienced players will also want to pick it up to get the Rivals decks for both warbands, and likely grab the formerly out-of-print minis if you don’t already have them. Warhammer Underworlds is billed by GW as ‘The Ultimate Competitive Miniatures Game’ and I tend to believe it’s the most competitive game put out by GW – pick it up!