Welcome to the first Underworlds UK Masters.
Today we’re talking about something special I’ve been working on: my Underworlds UK Masters 2020! This is a tournament I’ve spent years planning out and preparing for so today not only am I revealing it to everyone but I’m also going to explain the purpose and rules for the event. The Underworlds UK masters has been a passion project of mine for a very long time. With the cancellation of the Warhammer Underworlds Masters in NOVA this year and the general pandemic, I still wanted to go ahead with this amazing event. After all everyone deserves to see some very high level Warhammer Underworlds play.
What is the Underworlds UK Masters?
The Underworlds UK Masters is a yearly event held to celebrate the best of UK Warhammer Underworlds talent. It was inspired by the Age of Sigmar Masters as well as the Snooker Masters you can see yearly in the UK. It is an invite only tournament featuring UK based Warhammer Underworlds players who have performed amazingly well in the competitive seen. Mostly these players are selected from those who have won Grand Clashes but I also take into consideration for players that have at least 1 top 4 Grand Clash art card, a store tournament trophy monster as well as other general competitive performance.
How Will it be Hosted?
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, my plans for a physical event are out of the window. Player safety first. However, there is hope. The Underworlds UK Masters 2020 will be an online webcam event! My foray into webcam gaming wasn’t just for fun, I’ve been perfecting and gaining the needed experience so that I can confidently run this tournament safely and smoothly. I did consider using VASSAL and Table Top Simulator but the former doesn’t allow streaming/recording while both are breaches of copyright/IP (note I have no issues with either format and think that they are great tools for the community). To make it useable for all players and to support Warhammer Underworlds as a whole, webcam was the chosen format.
Games will be hosted over ZOOM with me streaming and commentating a game from each round. Streaming will be done live from my Twitch channel (https://www.twitch.tv/canyourollacrit) and games can be watched for free on their too. I’ll also be uploading the games to my YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/c/CanYouRollaCrit) so you don’t have to worry about missing the action live.
Speaking of, the Underworlds UK Masters will be held, live, on Saturday the 31st of October at 9am BST.
What is the Tournament Format?
The Underworlds UK masters is a best of 3 tournament with rounds lasting 2 hours. This is due to the added preparation length of webcam gaming but also so players don’t feel the need to rush too much. I did think about experimenting with the format and player count but it would be much easier doing that in a physical scenario. These included double-elimination format as well as having 16 players but due to the aforementioned restrictions, I went with the good old reliable stuff we’re used to. However, there are some minor unique rulings I’m adding to make the event more interesting and balanced for viewers and players alike.
Warhammer Underworlds has a high standard of quality when it comes to players, there’s almost no cheating and sportsmanship is truly amazing. Yet due to the nature of this being a webcam tournament, I must still include certain rules to keep the Underworlds UK Masters fair and competitive. At its heart, I expect players to resolve issues between themselves and understand any technically issues that may occur due to reduced field of vision or connection issues. This rules aren’t in place because I assume some of the players will cheat but instead be there as a backup for the worst-case scenario if such things do pop up. The following rules, in addition to the standard Grand Clash rules pack which you can find here, are expected to be adhered to when playing in the Underworlds UK Masters 2020 webcam tournament:
- Decks must be shuffled thoroughly on-screen and left in-view for the opponent to see. Cutting decks is as normal but must be shown to the opponent in a manner they are happy with (e.g. placing the top half of a cut deck underneath the bottom half of it).
- Hands that are drawn are left face-down on the side of the game board and in view for the opponent. The controlling player is free to look at their hand any time but they must announce when they do so to their opponent. This is to prevent any issues such as additional cards being added off-screen.
- All dice must be rolled in clear view to the opponent. Before the game begins, players can ask if the dice they are using are clear for the opponent to see. Warhammer Underworlds contains a great variation of coloured dice and players are free to use any coloured official dice they wish as long as both players are happy with the clear visibility each set of dice offers.
- Players are always free to ask for a status updated of the board state which includes wound counters and equipped upgrades. To make it easier, players may place wound tokens and other counters next to their fighters on the game board instead of their fighter cards so their opponent can easily see such statuses.
- Webcam gaming has the unfortunate issue of doubling boards. Unless a player owns a second copy every currently legal game board (you’re amazing if you do), you are allowed to proxy the board your opponent is using if you both end up using the same board (e.g. both players pick the Mirror Well). In such cases, just make it clear to your opponent as it can be jarring. This is to prevent people from being locked off in using the same boards against each other. Players are allowed to photocopy boards for the even if they wish to help with mirrored setups.
- Players can record their games as long as their opponent agrees to it.
The following rules are used in extreme scenarios when players cannot friendly agree in such scenarios. As I stated earlier, I don’t expect these to occur but are only here as a worst case scenario situation.
- Takebacks (within reason) are allowed as long as both players agree to it. Such scenarios aren’t allowed once dice are rolled.
- Severe/repeated disconnects will lead to a game loss or round loss depending on the severity. This is only mentioned due to the potential risk of having a player disconnect, alter the cards off-screen, then reconnect with altered cards. Once again I don’t expect this rule to be used but it’s here in case there is a worst case scenario.
- Illegal actions and plays are never allowed. If they do happen by accident and both players spot it, a takeback can be done within reason. If caught while commentating, I will step in to prevent illegal actions from taking place.
Deck Deadlines and FAR Update
Decks are due the week of the Underworlds UK Masters on Monday the 26th of October. They may be submitted in whatever clear and readable format players decide and all deck builder websites are allowed (although my favourite and preferred choice is https://www.underworldsdb.com/).
In addition, the Underworlds UK Masters will be using the current FAR list as per June 2020 with a few extra cards. Currently Warhammer Underworlds is not in a great place and really needs a new FAR list. I want this tournament to be interesting to watch as well as play in. However I’m not going to do a big addition of cards. There are a lot of cards I want to hit (don’t get me started) but I’m going to hit the biggest offenders and leave the rest to Games Workshop. If Games Workshop drops a new FAR list before the decklist submission cut-off date then it will supersede my current FAR additions. If a FAR update drops after the decklist submission cut-off date, then it will not be used.
Additional Forsaken Cards: Prescient Blow
Additional Restricted Cards: Hidden Purpose, Digging Deep, To The End, Quick Search.
Additional Faction Restricted Cards: Orruk Kunnin’, Berserk Fortitude, Inured to Pain.
Prescient Blow is banned because it can loop with itself infinitely and when combined with Duellist’s Speed (or similar) it makes a chosen fighter immune to range 1 attacks.
Hidden Purpose is restricted because it probably needs to be banned.
Digging Deep, To The End and Quick Search are all hit because Quick Search deserves genuine restricting. To The End and Digging Deep are stop decks that rely on easily getting glory for drawing cards. You gotta stand up and work for your glory in the Underworlds UK Masters!
For Morgok’s Mob Orruk Kunnin’ needs restricting to kill their uninteractive turtle control build. Berserk Fortitude and Inured to pain are insanely good damage mitigation cards on a warband that already has 3 fighters with a wounds characteristic of 5 each. I’ve left their hold objective Surge cards a lone as at least that forces the Krushas out of position and to engage with the opponent.
There are notable cards which I’ve left alone like Great Gains, Solid Games, the Scattered Tome and Tome of Glories to name a few, but as I said earlier, such wide changes I’ll leave in the hands of Games Workshop and hope they address the issue Warhammer Underworlds has with easy passive glory generation from objectives and upgrades along with the card draw problem.
Players and Prizes
The Underworlds UK Masters 2020 will have 8 players invited based upon their competitive performance with Warhammer Underworlds. This is the first high level invite only Masters event for Warhammer Underworlds (as previous “Masters” tournaments held in other parts of the world allowed normal signups). I will do a separate article later introducing each Underworlds UK Masters 2020 player later but for now 5 out of 8 players are all UK Grand Clash winners. I was a bit limited in Grand Clash winner selection as a lot of said winners don’t play Underworlds anymore.
But yes the sad news is I won’t be playing the Underworlds UK Masters 2020. I really want to but the tournament needs a dedicated TO and streamer. Hosting my many physical tournaments (back when it was safe to do so) has shown me the perils of playing and TO’ing the same event. It was my dream to play at and win the Underworlds UK Masters but I guess there is always the Warhammer Underworlds Masters whenever that happens again as having a smoothly and properly ran
As for prizes, there is a very big Shadeglass Trophy up for grabs. It’s so big, it almost dwarfs my ego. I did plan on doing trophies for players in other positions but the cost of such a big glass trophy has hampered things. However, I am looking on ways to get some prizes to everyone who attends the Underworlds UK Masters as this is a free invite-only event that celebrates the best UK talent for Warhammer Underworlds. All I can confirm is the trophy for now but I’m hard at work on getting more prizes!
The Future of the Underworlds UK Masters
The Underworlds UK Masters is planned to be a yearly event. The 2020 tournament will be the first step for more highly competitive and fun Warhammer Underworlds content. The winner of the Underworlds UK Masters is invited to the Underworlds UK Masters 2021. For all other players, it depends on their performance in the upcoming year. I am working on doing a UK league points tracking system (similar to how the Age of Sigmar players do it in the UK) but this will be limited by my available free time as well as the ability for people to safely run and attend Warhammer Underworlds tournaments.
There you have it, the full lowdown on the Underworlds UK Masters 2020. Players are free to submit me FAQs for the tournament (which will have the same precedence as my custom FAR list) and I will be doing a special article detailing all the players for the torunament so you can root for who you want to win the Underworlds UK Masters 2020! So until next time, stay tuned for more Underworlds UK Masters 2020 news and keep in-mind the eternal debate about the ability of rolling crits.