Warhammer Underworlds is a competitive skirmish game that combines board game and card game elements. It's set in Games Workshop's fantasy Warhammer Age of Sigmar setting. Now entering its 4th season, it launches with a brand new starter set, Warhammer Underworlds Direchasm. In this article, we'll take a look at what's in the Direchasm box, the 2 new warbands, their cards, and discuss any new rules.
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For those new to Warhammer Underworlds, rather than players building their army from a list of available warriors, Underworlds has fixed rosters of fighters to choose from. Players then create 2 decks to work with the fighters from a set of warband specific cards, and neutral cards available to everyone. 2 decks are created, one is a mixed deck of cards that can be played during your turn, and upgrades to be played on fighters, the other deck is a set of objective cards that are scored throughout the game.
Both of these decks allow you to create variations in warbands so that even if you and your opponent are playing the same warband, the way you play might be entirely different. The objective deck can be built around scoring objectives, eliminating enemy fighters, or even your fighters avoiding damage. The power deck can be built around offsetting the weaknesses of your warband, capitalizing on its strengths, or a mixture of both.
Warhammer Underworlds also includes a load of other elements, like custom dice for attack and defense and a hex board to keep movement simple. Both of these make it extremely beginner-friendly, but the huge competitive scene makes it challenging to master.
A side note on the Warhammer Underworlds competitive scene. I've played wargames and card games at a high level, and Warhammer Underworlds has one of the most friendly and welcoming communities I've ever seen. The players are very welcoming to new players and are happy to guide and advise. Once you get past the initial rules, at the high competitive level there is a lot to consider when it comes to deck selection, and even game board and objective placement, and I've witnessed long conversations after games, with both players discussing how the game went, and what the losing player could have done differently.
What's a Warhammer Underworlds Season?
Warhammer Underworlds Direchasm is the start of Season 4 for Warhammer Underworlds. What that means is that some cards from Season 1 (Shadespire) and Season 2 (Nightvault) will rotate out of competitive play, but will still be available in friendly games. All previous warbands and their faction-specific cards are still legal to use in competitive, just not the neutral cards from Seasons 1 and 2. This happens for 2 reasons. The 1st is balance and control. Limiting the card pool allows the developers to maintain balance in the game. The 2nd reason is to keep it entry friendly for new players. Having to buy all previous packs to be competitive to a huge buy-in, but with the rotation, it means that you're only ever 1 season behind the current. New players can pick up the new sets are they release, any previous season they need for decks, and any warbands before that if they want to play that particular warband, but there's no requirement to buy older warbands they don't want to play.
This makes Direchasm the perfect time to start playing Warhammer Underworlds, it contains everything you need for 2 players to play, as we'll discuss below in the box contents, but it also kicks off the new Season.
Warhammer Underworlds Direchasm
Warhammer Underworlds Direchasm contains:
- Quick-start guide plus full Warhammer Underworlds rulebook
- 2 full warbands (Myari's Purifiers plus the Dread Pageant)
- 2 starter decks for both warbands, plus extra cards to expand
- 2 game boards
- 11 custom dice
- Objective and lethal hex tokens
- Wound, glory points, status, activation and a scatter token
- New Primacy card and token
Both included warbands are push-fit, which means no glue is required. They simply need cutting from the sprue and then slotting together in order for them to be ready for use.
Direchasm contains everything for 2 players to play Warhammer Underworlds, and afterward, the only purchases you need to make are the warbands you want to play. If players are looking to get into Warhammer Underworlds competitively though, they will each want their own set of Direchasm.
The Purifiers are a group of aelves who've delved into Warhammer Underworlds hoping to do good, but will probably end up making it worse for everyone. They're are a solid beginner warband as they have 4 fighters, along with good movement and attack options. They start the game with aetherquartz counters, which they can spend to reroll dice or on cards from their action deck. They do have low wounds, so you will need to be careful about positioning.
Our favorite cards from their set are:
- Channel the River - This ploy lets you push a fighter 1 hex, or 3 hexes if you remove their aetherquartz counters, which is great for momentum or positioning.
- Channel the Zenith - This lets you inspire a fighter. If you remove their aetherquartz counter, they remain inspired, if you don't, they un-inspire at the end of the turn. For the counter, inspiring early is great, but not so good late game.
- Tectonic Force - This gives you a choice of pushing an enemy or Bahannar with the restrictions that they have to be towards or away, but one of the options will always work to your advantage.
- Elemental Blessing - A score immediately objective that can be for after you resolve an elemental ploy (like Channel the River or Zenith) or after you cast your second spell, which can easily be achieved with Myari's range 3 magic attack.
The Dread Pageant
The Pageant are followers of Slaanesh, the god of excess. They're an odd mixed bunch of fighters. Vasillac and their bodyguard, Slakeslash have the ability to deal damage or heal themselves after their attacks. Dealing damage to themselves might seem crazy, but if the warband has 6 wound counters among them, they all inspire. So dealing damage to themselves early, inspiring, and then healing is a very viable tactic. The other 2 fighters only have 2 wounds each, but they do have ranged attacks, so throwing them into combat can be risky.
Our favorite cards from their set are:
- Dance Without End - This lets you push Glissete 1 hex, or 2 hexes if you deal damage to them, which can be useful for getting the Pageant inspired.
- Cruel Volley - This lets you attack twice in the same action with Hadzu. They only have 2 wounds, so drawing this late game could be a wasted card if they're not around.
- Fulled By Sensation - This lets you heal or deal damage to a friendly fighter. Great for inspiring, or recovering if they are already inspired.
- Cruel Pangs - Lets you deal 1 damage to a fighter holding an objective, either your fighter or your opponent's.
New Universal Cards
Direchasm also includes a new Primacy card and token which we may see more of as more warbands are released through the season. The Primacy rules are only used if you include a card that mentions the Primacy token in your deck. Having the Primacy token at the end of the round gives you one spent glory point, which means it can't be used for upgrades but does count towards your total for winning. You gain the Primacy token when you take an enemy leader out of action, hold 4 or more objectives, or if you take an enemy fighter with no wound counters out of action. In Direchasm, the upgrade Master of Spoils gains you the Primacy token every time the fighter with the upgrade takes an enemy fighter out of action.
We also like the upgrade Preyskin Mask, which gives your fighter -1 attack dice and the Quarry keyword but can be transferred to a fighter that attacks them, sort of like a game of reverse-tag.
Warhammer Underworlds Direchasm is the perfect place for new players to start playing Warhammer Underworlds. Veteran players will find 2 very interesting warbands with some unique effects and the new Primacy tokens bring an interesting dynamic to games. We're looking forward to trying out Primacy in multipayer games of Arena Mortis.
This copy of Warhammer Underworlds Direchasm was provided by Warhammer Community.