After a long hiatus, Warhammer Underworlds is back in business! Like everything, COVID impacted the standard release schedule for this tactical game. However, it’s given us time to welcome Zach Caschetta to Goonhammer to give us his thoughts on the new warbands and cards. Zach is a regular in the Chicago Underworlds Tournament team and has also been seen at the top tables of LVO and Adepticon.
Morgok’s Krushas look to be a lot deeper than you might think at first glance. Managing Waaagh Counters and utilizing tools that generate and spend them is going to be almost a minigame in itself, making the Krushas one of the only Warbands with their own resource management system.
They are obviously aggressive, not bringing much Control or Hold Objective prowess, but with high wound counts and some very strong defensive Power cards, you could as easily make them grindy, tough aggression as you can make them full on blitz aggression. I think they’ll find a great niche in the current metagame, which has a lot of Hold Objective play and mid-board fighting going on.
Morgok himself is a veritable powerhouse, bringing all the same great stats as Gurzag Ironskull, while adding utility and better cards. Starting off with a fairly reliable base attack, he can be an early threat that develops into a nightmare with upgrades later on.
‘Ardskull is a very interesting case. He’s your other bashy fighter, and you want to get him inspired as early as possible to get away from that terrible 2 Sword attack profile. But once he gets a few buffs on him, he can slaughter just as good as your boss, and has the potential to burn Counters to spike damage and one-shot even Mollog the Mighty.
Thugg is ostensibly your chump, in that he’s the only fighter that doesn’t start on 3 damage. But, he’s got a very reliable attack, and Damage 2 is great for running around cleaning up actual chumps. With a few Damage boosting Upgrades, he doesn’t even need to be Inspired to be a serious threat.
All in all, you end up with an elite Warband that doesn’t have a true bad fighter, and has the types of Power cards some Warbands only dream about. They have the same downsides as every other elite Warband – lack of flexibility, feels each loss heavily, etc – but has some of the best aggressive play available to three Fighter teams. You might want to bring some extra mobility boosters, though.
Raf’s Thoughts: I love them already. Ironskullz Boyz were one of my favorite warbands during the original season, mostly because their straightforward style worked well for my baby brain. Run in, punch as hard as you can, and if you get the chance to punch again go ahead and take it. I have a feeling that Morgok’s Push Effect is going to be something you end up using once a game (if that) but used right it will win you games. ‘Ardskull is a monster and going to draw all the attention early game.
Avalanche of Aggression: 2/5
Traditionally these types of cards are pretty bad for elite warbands. For 2 Glory I might consider it, but this is pretty rough for a single Glory. Raf: 1/5; can’t see ever running this unless you have a friend who loves the Eyes of the Nine or Godsword Hunt.
Brute Triumph: 2/5
Oh, sure you might table your opponents sometimes. But it’s not the norm, and Annihilation is rarely run even in the most aggro warbands. It’s better to have objectives you can score to power up. Raf: I don’t think anyone has been able to consistently table an opponent since the early Shadespire days.
Brutes Is Da Best: 3/5
Not terrible, as you can burst down Leaders pretty well unless they’re hiding. But, it if they do hide, or buff up their Leader with defensive upgrades, it becomes a bit too mediocre for one Glory.
Called to Waaagh!: 4/5
I’m not completely sure how efficient Waaagh counter generation will be, but as a Surge this seems solid. Your attacks don’t need to succeed to generate extra counters, and the Power cards that make them generally don’t rely on dice either. Maybe it’s hard in the first turn, but by turn 2 it should be a gimme Objective that you always score.
Good Day’s Work: 3/5
While this is similar to something like Avalanche of Aggression, it’s worth 2 Glory, and therefore more interesting. It still relies on your aggression going well, but the payout is better. Still, there are likely better End Phase Objectives to take.
Got It, Boss: 5/5
Insanely good Objective. Single move, no dice, one Glory. You can even place one on their board near no-man’s land, making it an easy first Activation score. Sure, you’d rather be charging and killing, but free Glory is free.
In Their Element: 2/5
You won’t always be inspiring your Fighters, and even if you do focus on it, one Glory isn’t that great of a payoff. Raf: There are probably better cards, but I can see running this. You’ll almost be guaranteed to score this by the end of the game. Indeed, it’s one you hope you draw late.
Might of the Orruk: 4/5
This will require some Upgrades to work, but you have two fighters starting on Damage 3, and there are enough Power Cards to get to Damage 4 pretty easy. While it’s dice and upgrade dependent, it’s still very good. Raf: An inspired ‘Ardskull can score this easily, and you want to be inspiring him anyway.
Now Wot: 2/5
Surge for holding objectives is extremely good, but holding 2 with a three fighter warband is pretty difficult, and not what you want to be doing. Got It, Boss has the advantage of being a single action to score, and still scorable if you lose 2 fighters. This… isn’t as good.
Orruk Kunnin: 5/5
Surge for playing cards is good enough that every warband with this card available, runs it. It’s only bad if you fail to draw 3 Ploys at the same time, and then you can just hold it until next turn or until you draw. Expect this to be in every Morgok deck.
Proppa Rumble: 3/5
Pretty reliable, especially if you’re running chip damage cards. It counts both sides, so you’ll likely get this as long as both you and your opponents are rolling dice.
Waaagh! Unleashed: 2/5
While technically this is nice for not needing dice to go off, it seems a bit reliant on your counters to be where you need them, and might force you to use them inefficiently. I think there are better End Phase options.
Berserk Fortitude: 5/5
Reactions to reduce damage are a premium, and surprising your opponent by keeping a fighter alive is potentially devastating. Expect to see this card a lot.
Berserk Strength: 4/5
Would be a 5/5 if you spent the counters after rolling the dice, but as is, it’s a damage boost that you can pop out to surprise your opponent. It can be stopped by their own reactions like Buried Instinct, however.
Basically a way to auto-inspire, or load up for attack-boosting Reactions. I think you need to run this just to make the Warband function well, otherwise you might be caught without enough Waaagh Counters when you need them.
Brutal Attack: 5/5
Plus one dice to an attack usually is pretty middling, Determined Effort didn’t see a lot of play. But, an extra dice and an extra Waaagh Counter is pretty good value, allowing you to Inspire on your first charge, or set up to Berserk Fortitude the counter-attack.
Brutal Kunnin: 3/5
It’s a Charge that doesn’t leave you helpless afterwards. This won’t always be useful, as you still get a Move Token on a fighter with a Range 1 attack, but you could potentially combo it with Jealous Defence, pushes, Range 2 weapons, or anything like that. Still, as it doesn’t particularly make a huge impact without supporting cards, I can’t give it too high of a rating.
Brutal Reprisal: 5/5
Attacks out of sequence are excellent. While this does require you to take a hit, everyone has 5 Wounds. And you hit back just as hard or harder. Not to mention it stops Pit Trap, Snare, and Lethal Hexes.
Eager Advance: 5/5
Sidestep with upside of Waaagh Counters. Not much to say, it’s a free Counter addition, and you need pushes to help with positioning. All around great for the warband.
Kunnin’ Brutality: 4/5
Extra mobility is solid, and you can also use this with out of sequence attacks to get into positions that your opponent might not expect. While you can’t use it off of charges or Scything attacks, you should still get good mileage out of it.
Power of the Waaagh!: 2/5
Healing is nice, but this has around a 50% chance to do nothing. Heal(2) is not a good enough high roll to make up for the chance to do be a wasted card.
Waaagh! Energy: 4/5
Compared to Power of the Waaagh!, this one also has the chance to do nothing, but the upside of getting extra Counters is good enough to risk it. There’s also a much lower chance of rolling zero successes. You want as many Counters as you can get your hands on, so this is a pretty solid inclusion.
Raf: This feels a lot like the Grymwatch release in that over half of your Power Deck can be faction cards and you’ll be well on your way. The catch here is that moving away from this is difficult given that you really need these cards for your Waaagh Counter economy, which is the downside to having boutique counters for a faction.
Berserk Whirl: 1/5
Not sure why you’d even want to randomly scatter after attacking. It’s like Duellist’s Speed, but worse.
Brute Charge: 4/5
Making charges reliable is excellent, especially as two of your three fighters hit on Swords. It makes early ‘Ardskull charges terrifying.
Brute Swing: 1/5
Maybe you can find a need for Knockback, but it’s not really worth the Upgrade slot in my book.
Incredible Bellow: 2/5
Pushing enemies seems pretty bad to me, but the potential to push your own fighters into combat or onto objectives is potentially useful.
Inured to Pain: 5/5
Damage reduction is always worth the price of admission. Making a 5 wound fighter even tankier is excellent, nothing more to say.
Keen Choppa: 3/5
Cleave is excellent, unless you’re facing a Dodge warband. This is extremely meta dependent, so consider it at your own discretion.
Seething Hatred: 4/5
This is a really good card, though Thugg is your chumpiest dude off the bat. Still, reliably hitting those big guys is a good thing to have available, though you’ll likely want to combo it with other cards to boost damage as well.
Vengeful Glare: 3/5
Getting extra Counters is good, so this jumps out, but it’s not as necessary to operate as the Ploy cards that grant Counters are. It really depends on how much they target the fighter, and it does nothing if they do one big attack plus chip damage, so I think it really needs to stack with other defensive Upgrades to be really useful.
Vessel of the Waaagh!: 4/5
Waaagh Counters are really what makes this Warband work well, so having a way to reliably add some is really good. However, unlike the Ploys, this requires an Action, so needs to be used with serious consideration.
Waaagh! ‘Eadbutt: 4/5
While this is a potentially very strong weapon, threatening a quick spike of damage that can one shot almost any fighter, it’s risky to burn your Counters before rolling the dice. I think if you include this one, you’ll be looking to combo it with rerolls or additional dice.