The Warhammer Underworlds box games have been one of my favourite developments from GW in the last few years. I’ve really enjoyed the small unit sizes for painting projects to try out new colour schemes and to paint models I’d never normally buy for an army otherwise. With the pandemic, I’ve not played any in-person games recently but the notorious OAG, my girlfriend, has never played a miniature game in her life. She expressed interest in my wargaming addiction and since I didn’t have a lot of experience with actually playing the Underworlds game, it was time for a new experience for both of us!
We’ve been playing a Zoom-based D&D campaign geared to noobs with a fantastic DM and have been enjoying it immensely, so adding models and boards to dice wasn’t a big stretch. Going over the warbands and models available, she instantly fell in love with squigs, calling them ‘Angry Grapes”. Accordingly, Zarbag’s Gits were procured. Painting took a bit of time with some false starts, but now that they were fully done, it was time to teach her how to play. I chose the Godsworn Hunt, purely because I love the models. We took the cards straight out of the packages, and didn’t get too involved in deck building to keep things slightly simple.
Rather than leaping directly into the game, OAG sat down with the Nightvault rule book. Many confused noises where made, and quizzical expressions directed towards me. After a short while, we set up the kitchen table with our chosen boards, placed objectives and rolled for initiative!
Theddra and her Godsworn Hunt was probing deep into the Mirrored City, looking for glory to prove themselves to their unholy gods.
Meanwhile, Zarbag’s Gitz were trying to harvest Deffkap mushrooms and wonderful noxious fungus and keeping intruders out of their find in the depths of the Nightvault.
Theddra and the Black Fang tribe started with priority. Grundann, Ollo and Shond all advanced, failing to hit their charged target. Dribbz, Prog and Drizgit advanced as well, taking objectives. Theddra charged and killed Gobbaluk the squig, becoming Inspired via Theddra’s Path. In retaliation, Redkap fired an arrow at Grundann acting a wound.
Godsworn Hunt: 1 Glory (1 spent), Zarbag’s Gitz: 0 Glory (0 spent)
Zarbag got priority, and Dribbz missed a shot at Grundann as Jagathra similarly threw her Javelin wide of Redkap. To keep the theme going, the Fanatical Snirk Sourtongue charged at Ollo and missed him with his giant steel ball. Ollo retaliated by sending an arrow into the Fanatic causing a wound. Incensed by his master’s fury, the Trained Killer Grawl attacked Bonekrakka the squig, causing a wound. Prog the Netter went on Guard to hold an objective, and Shond, despite activating twice failed to hit Sourtongue.
Zarbag’s Gitz Keep Them Guessing at their tactics.
Godsworn Hunt: 1 Glory (1 spent), Zarbag’s Gitz: 2 Glory (0 spent)
Zarbag continued his momentum, getting priority as Redkap charged Shond causing a wound. The Godsworn Hunt revealed their Oath of Conquest as Jagthra charged at Dribbz but missed her attack. Clearly shaken by the attack, Dribbz charged at Theddra missing her as well. To protect his beast, Ollo charged forward loosing an arrow into Bonekrakka, slaying the squig. Redkap fired a second arrow into Grundann, causing another wound to the hulking warrior. Free of the squig, Grawl charged deep into the Moonclan territory and took a chunk out of Zarbag, causing a wound. Trying to avenge his squigs, Drizgit charged towards Grundann, but the warrior was able to avoid his attacks. Finally, Theddra swept forward and smashed Redkap with her enchanted wand, easily removing his red cap, along with his head.
The Godsworn Hunt Thinned Their Ranks, and were able to fulfill their Oath of Conquest.
Godsworn Hunt: 7 Glory (1 spent), Zarbag’s Gitz: 2 Glory (0 spent)
As we finished up the game, we talked about the cards we pulled and possibly the missed opportunities we each had. A reaction card that was not read properly that could have been used, the effect and application of warband rules like Scurry that didn’t come up, as well as the use of support in attack and defense. We both have a lot to learn.
We’ll definitely be playing Warhammer Underworlds again. OAG is determined to learn to use the weak and unwieldy Goblins to their full effectiveness with board control and specific objectives. I’ll likely try some of the other warbands I’ve painted up, and play around with some of the deck building.
Our experience with D&D gave OAG some familiarity with activation order, the role of dice in the game, and the idea of attack, defense and wound allocation in wargaming. Once the game got started, the rules seemed to make a bit more sense with the experience of activating characters, moving and attacking and using the tokens made it all come together in a way that the rules on the page could not.
We’re already planning on teaching and playing with my nephews once the pandemic has eased this summer, as I sneakily gifted them the Shadespire box game a few years ago to infect them with the mini gaming bug!