It’s the last article of the year!
2019 is almost upon us but before we welcome the New Year, it’s time for me to look back at 2018 and all the Underworlds action that happened.
This year has been a blast for me. Even though I started playing Underworlds at launch, things only really started picking up for me in January when I set out on my mission to go to every tournament available and to win a Grand Clash. The thought of this blog was but a distant dream until I could get myself good enough at the game to be competent. Thankfully I am now barely competent. Months of practice always pay off!
But enough about me (for now), it’s time to see my highlights of the year!
Best Tournaments of 2018
I’ve been to a lot of tournaments this year, far more than my whole gaming life since I started this hobby way back when 14 years ago. They’ve ranged from club events all the way to big gaming expos. I’ve been to so many that there was no way I could pick just a single one.
So here are my top 3, all these tournaments were more than just about winning or losing. The positive experiences they boasted are testament to how amazing and welcoming the Underworlds community is. Something we should all be really proud of.
3) Wargames Workshop Milton Keynes
It was a very difficult choice but the only clear choice to me was WGW Milton Keynes. This was the first tournament I travelled outside London for that wasn’t a Warhammer World event, the first of 2018 and my first tournament when I decided to hit the competitive scene hard.
Despite coming 2nd everyone was great from the players to staff. Not only that but the TO (who is a staff member) knew how to perfectly run the event without needing any help whatsoever due to his TO experience. It’s what kept me coming back (which resulted in me winning their next 2 tournaments) as it is just a truly amazing place for gaming events. A bit difficult to get to at times but you’ll never have a bad experience.
2) Warhammer World
Grand Clashes are always going to be the most talked about events but (almost) nothing beats the gaming haven that is Warhammer World. Not only that but it was my first Grand Clash! We all braved the snow and weather disruptions to make it to Warhammer World’s first Grand Clash. Me and my friends feared a über competitive event with hardly any sportsmanship but were elated to be proven wrong. What was going to be our worst event turned out to be one of the best.
It doesn’t go without mentioning the world-class events team who run their events. Although John Bracken has now moved onto the rules team, an event headed by him was a sight to behold. Even now events are still as fun as ever. From the miniatures hall, to the Forgeworld store and the venerable Bugman’s Bar there’s always something for every gamer
1) Tabletop Scotland 2018
Yes this was the first Grand Clash but it’s not the reason it claimed top spot. This event was their first dedicated tabletop expo as well as marking the beginning of my ventures outside of England for gaming tournaments.
I always plan to go to any Grand Clash in the UK but I was in two minds about this (thanks to my job). In the end, however, I was so glad I went up. This event is how I want all non-Games Workshop events to be ran. Staff were quickly responsive to e-mails and queries, friendly, approachable, welcoming and overall a huge laugh to chat with. The event was smooth with no hiccups plus they were fully prepared to run the Grand Clash.
The journey there and back is something I had to include. A 7 hour train journey is never fun but it was more than bearable once the train passed into Scotland. The landscape was beautiful and something you have to see. Next time I’ll be going by plane though.
Favourite Articles of 2018
I’ve written a lot of articles this year (75 excluding this one) but I still have a few that are near and dear to me. Allow me to share my top 3.
Probably my most tactically intensive articles, I breakdown my old love: aggro Steelheart’s Champions. They won me many events and got me to 11th at the first Warhammer World Grand Clash. The articles took me a while to complete but it was an enjoyable process to go through, especially with the board placement part. Sadly not as popular as some of my other articles but it is something I plan to return to eventually.
More of a proud accomplishment than anything, I never expected Games Workshop to reach out to me to review Underworlds season 2. I started the blog to chart my own competitive progress and also to help players with the game. With this article, I was able to give a full tactical insight into the box set while trying to be as impartial as possible. I like to think I mostly achieved that aim plus everyone seemed to really enjoy the article too!
It’s pinned to the front page for a reason. I’ve done a lot of work for helping players already familiar with the game but wanted to work an area I was severely lacking in: new or potential players. Now this was something I’ve seen a lot of blogs not really cover and I’m guilty of it too. Games Workshop do a good basis for getting started but I wanted to give my own independent and tactical input, especially considering I lack any sort of real card game history. With my reviews and experience for the whole aspect of the game, this article gives players a whole load of resources from what expansions to buy, card sleeves and storage ideas.
Favourite Warbands of 2018
Cards are easy to get lost upon but it needs to be mentioned about just how great the warbands are, especially with the Nightvault release.
3) Sepulchral Guard
Skelly bois coming at ya! Amazing models, unique playstyle and full meme power. They’re really good now and quite enjoyable to play once you get your head around it. I love using them for intro games and I am glad I’ll never have to use them to win a Shadeglass Trophy again.
2) Thorns of the Briar Queen
Miniatures that surpass even the Sepulchral Guard, these ghosts bring elegance with tactical power. A warband that excels at any power level and with huge tactical depth. Plus they really do look good! Be careful not to get tempted by their ethereal gazes.
1) Spiteclaw’s Swarm
You know it, I know it, heck who doesn’t?? The Skaven are my favourite warband from looks all the way to gameplay. Each model is so individual while full of character yet still blend together as a single coherent warband. Their speed and easy inspire mechanic makes them amazingly powerful, so much so I won 2 Grand Clashes with them and a multitude of other tournaments! Nothing beats the look of your opponent when they realise there is nowhere safe from Skritch. For he is the greatest, yes-yes.
Annual Loot Extravaganza
No yearly review is worth its salt without a look at my tournament results. I’ve won 2 Grand Clashes and accumulated a multitude of trophies. Now you get to see an eagerly awaited photo, what do 16 Shadeglass Trophies look like in one place?
The keen-eyed viewers will see I have colour-coded my trophies, a necessary step for cataloguing purposes when you have 16. Weirdly the Nightvault Grand Clash trophy differs slightly from the Shadespire one. Most importantly though is that the majority were won with my one true love,
Not to go without mentioning, here are my non-GW trophies. The glass trophy and metal plaque are from Wargames Workshop Northampton who run amazing events. The metal one is from Blood and Glory where I won it after playing in the Friday evening tournament after the Grand Clash.
My Grand Clash loot. I’ve been to all 7 held in the UK this year and placed in the top 4 at 5 of them.
Now this is my Organised Play loot from OP kit events. Most of this was earned by simply just attending and placing well, winning wasn’t a necessity (although very much welcomed). I won’t be showing the promos because they’re all sealed away in my organisers and I’d cry if I had to take them all out again.
Overall 2018 has been amazing for me and it’s heavily due to the community. From people posting on the blog to people at events, you’ve all made my time with the game super enjoyable. It’s the reason I stuck around and started writing this blog to give back what I’ve learned. I would never have made it this far without you all, especially with the local London scene and all my friends at my local club HATE who made me keep playing with such amazing people.
I met my target (twice!) for winning a Grand Clash and am now making a decent headway into winning a trophy with every warband. Yet for 2019 I want to focus more on delivering content in better ways, something which will make sense later on in the year. Of course winning clashes is still a goal but it’s just very rewarding to help everyone get better with the game.
Here’s to a Happy New Year with an excellent 2019! Just never forget to ask yourself: can you roll a crit?