Next week (September 29th) sees the release of Season 2 of Warhammer Underworlds, with a new Core Boxed set that includes two new warbands. Warhammer Underworlds Nightvault is the direct sequel to Shadespire and tidies up the rulebook, along with adding some new rules. All of the Shadespire warbands and cards are completely compatible with Nightvault and it will be interesting to see what the future holds for Warhammer Underworlds as more Warband Expansions are added after the Nightvault Core Set. In this article we will unbox Nightvault, discuss some of the new rules, have a look at the two new warbands, and take a look at our first deck for one of the new warbands.
Warhammer Underworlds Shadespire was the first Core Set for Warhammer Underworlds, and we reviewed it last year. The review still stands as our opinion on this great skirmish game that blends deck building with Warhammer’s Age of Sigmar line. We’ve also looked at all the currently released warbands in two separate articles which can be read here and here. With the new rules and updated rulebook, it only improves on this great product and our worries about the lack of diversity in the game in our initial review have been proven wrong as Games Workshop have released some solid expansion warbands over the last year that have seen a constantly changing meta in competitive Warhammer Underworlds.
What’s in the box?
Warhammer Underworlds New Rules
Nightvault contains an updated Warhammer Underworlds rulebook that takes on a lot of the updated points since Shadespire was first released, as well as incorporating the Errata, including some great examples to highlight points that were previously addressed in the FAQ.
The biggest change with Nightvault is the inclusion of magic through spell cards and abilities. Spells come in the form of spell gambit cards and spell actions printed on characters and are cast by rolling the new spell dice. The number of symbols listed on the spell show the requirements to cast the spell successfully, and wizards roll an amount of dice equal to their caster level (which is listed on their card, you can see the wizards from Nightvault later in the article). A few of our favourite spells are shown in the new warbands discussion below. When casting spells though, there is a chance that the caster can harm themselves so players need to be carful when trying to control the winds of magic.
Another new rule is scatter, and a new token is provided that shows symbols, which dictate which direction the effect scatters in when rolled on the attack dice. It’s an interesting random effect, and we’re looking forward to see how they explore this further in future sets.
Innate is a new keyword and rule introduced in this set. It adds another symbol to the success check for that ability, improving your chances of rolling enough symbols to cast a spell or hit a target. See the Gather the Storm card below.
The Cursebreakers are three wizards led by Averon Stormsire. Averon is a powerful wizard with a caster ability of 2, which means he rolls 2 dice for magic checks, giving him a chance to cast spells with a 2 symbol requirement, and a greater chance of casting spells with a single symbol requirement. The other two warriors, Ammis and Rastus are level 1 wizards. All the Cursebreakers have two different attack and inspire after successfully casting a spell. Averon has an attack spell as one of his attacks and Ammis and Rastus have spell abilities on their cards. They all have a low movement of 3, but 4 wounds and a single shield dice give them some staying power.
The Cursebreaker cards we felt were the most interesting from the Nightvault core set are Harness the Storm, Magical Supremacy, Chain Lightning and Gather the Storm.
Harness the storm is a score immediately objective card after one of your fighters successfully casts a spell, which also means they’ll be inspired.
Magical Supremacy is an end phase objective that scores if your warbands has successfully cast two spells. With the three stat card spells and the spells available for the Power Deck make this very likely for the Cursebreakers.
Chain Lightning uses the new scatter rule from Nightvault and gives you the opportunity to deal 1 wound to up to three enemies if they are adjacent and the scatter dice go your way.
Gather the Storm uses the new Innate keyword to make casting your next spell slightly easier by adding another success symbol to the roll.
Thorns of the Briar Queen
The Thorns are an undead warband of Nighthaunts from Age of Sigmar and like the Sepulchral Guard before them, they also have 7 warriors. They all have movement values of 3 or 4 and can ignore enemies fighters, blocked and lethal hexes. The 4 Chainasps aren’t the best fighters, but their inspire condition is simply to be next to an enemy at the start of your activation, which adds a defence and attack dice to their pool. Varclav the cruel has the ability to push Chainrasps 2 hexes for an activation, so pushing them across the board to tie up your enemies is a solid tactic. The Briar queen herself is a level 2 wizard, but also has a range 2, 3 dice, 2 damage attack, so getting her in position to attack multiple times a turn, surrounded by a protective screen of chainrasps could be hard for your opponent to avoid.
Our favourite Thorns cards from the Nightvault Core Set are Death Sentence, Take the City, Drifting Advance and Creeping Terror.
Death Sentence feels incredibly thematic, and the fact that all three fighters will also inspire, makes this score immediately objective well worth taking.
Take the City is another hugely thematic card. Taking the City for Nagash, the Lord of Undeath will net your glory beyond the single point for the objective.
Drifting Advance allows you to push up to 5 Chainrasps if they are all still alive, this is a huge burst and will go someway to getting your Chainrasps inspired.
Creeping Terror is an upgrade that has the opportunity to deal a damage to an enemy each turn simply by moving through them, which can be used to great effect wearing down their health.
Stormsire’s Cursebreakers Deck – Shock and Awe
Our first deck for the Cursebreakers includes four spells to increase the chances of inspiring them, along with some cards with innate to improve the casting chances. The rest of the Upgrades and Ploys are designed to keep the three warriors alive, and improve their damage dealing output.
The objectives are designed around keeping the three Cursebreakers together, along with score immediately objectives for casting spells and attacking the opposing warband. It may struggle against high glory achieving decks, so some tweaking may be required depending on how the meta developers with Nightvault.
Note that this isn’t an optimised deck, just what we are currently using for the Cursebreakers.
- Fight as One
- Harness the Storm
- Magical Supremacy
- Heroes All
- Defensive Strike
- Unbroken Wall
- Shining Example
- Measured Strike
- Balance of Power
- My Turn
- Duel of Wits
- Determined Effort
- Lightning Assault
- Aetherwing Stance
- Gather the Storm
- Vital Surge
- Empathic Conduction
- Cry of Thunder
- Chain Lightning
- Warding Blast
- Unstoppable Zeal
- Tempest’s Might
- Hurricane Step
- Lightning Whip
- Eye of the Storm
- Soul Trap
- Tethered Spirit
- Great Fortitude
What do you think of the two new Warbands for Warhammer Underworlds? Which is your favourite? Do you think magic will have a huge impact on Warhammer Underworlds? What do you think of our deck? Let us know in the comments below.
This copy of Warhammer Underworlds Nightvault was provided by Warhammer Community.
Future expansions for Warhammer Underworlds will be provided by Goblin Gaming, who will sponsor this series. You can pre-order your copy of Nightvault from them from today.