It’s news time again!
Welcome to this month in Warhammer Underworlds for September AND October 2020. This is your one stop shop for everything Warhammer Underworlds related and once again there’s been a lot of news for our favourite competitive arena combat game. As always each news item has its own timestamp that can be found in the episode description.
After a long absence due to an overly complicated issue relating to my PC dying and needing to be repaired, I have returned and I’m full of new Warhammer Underworlds content! To make up for lost time, this episode will cover 2 months’ worth of news. Without further ado, let’s get on with the show!
As an aside, this is the article version of the YouTube version. There will be some overlap in news but that’s because: a) this piece of media was due out a long time ago and b) my YouTube and blog audiences don’t overlap too much. If you prefer the video format, you can check it out here:
Arena Mortis Released
September saw the release of the Arena Mortis game mode expansion for Warhammer Underworlds, designed as a casual multiplayer game mode for 3 to 6 players. This product contains a brand new double-sided board as well as 20 new universal gambits and 20 new universal upgrade cards. On top of these, Arena Mortis also packs additional cards and card tokens for Arena Mortis Games. Notably, this expansion includes 2 updated cards for the Sepulchral Guard: an updated Warden fighter card and updated Restless Dead faction gambit.
These updated faction cards include new wording containing the new Raise mechanic introduced in Arena Mortis. When a fighter in Arena Mortis is returned from out of action onto the battlefield, they gain a Raise counter. 9 of these new universal cards are tied to Raise counters. As Raise counters don’t exist outside of Arena Mortis, this means only the Sepulchral Guard can use these new universal cards in normal games of Warhammer Underwords. While this looks like a balance move for the health of the game (as some of these cards would be borderline broken with Spiteclaw’s Swarm and the Grymwatch), it is a bit annoying for players who don’t regularly use the Sepulchral Guard.
Despite all of this, Arena Mortis is alright. I think it’s fun but it quickly loses its charm over time. I’ve done a full in-depth review on my blog which you can find in the episode description if you’re interested as well as my board article covering an in-depth look at the 2 new boards in Arena Mortis.
Underworlds UK Masters 2020
One of the other major pieces of news for September was that I announced my Underworlds UK Masters tournament for 2020. This is my own privately ran tournament which is set like other Masters tournaments for games such as Magic the Gathering, Age of Sigmar, Snooker, Golf and so on. By that, I mean it is invite only for the most successful and talented competitive UK players for Warhammer Underworlds. These players range from Grand Clash winners to store tournament monsters.
Not to be confused with the cancelled NOVA Warhammer Underworlds Masters, the Underworlds UK Masters 2020 will be hosted and streamed via me with the players battling against each other via webcam. Originally I planned for the event to be a physical fixture but then COVID happened.
As the tournament is also run by myself and not supported by official Organised Play, I’m using an updated Forsaken and Restricted list for the event. This is partly because Warhammer Underworlds at the moment is in dire need of a FAR update and is rather boring and unbalanced to watch and play in. Interestingly, the reaction on certain social media pages, namely Facebook, was…interesting to say the least. Some people reacted negatively, which is to be expected, but to receive threats of legal action was another thing. From random people online. It got so bad Games Workshop even gave me a shout out on one of their Twitch streams in support of my tournament and the work I’m doing.
Anyway the majority of feedback received was very positive. It’s something I’ve been planning for a few years now and I plan to continue doing it yearly based on how the first tournament goes. Hopefully I can host the Underworlds UK Masters in a physical venue with 16 players as originally planned next year but that depends on whether it’s safe to do so.
For a full rundown of the tournament’s details, you can check them out in the following links for the general tournament information and the players and prizes. Some of the trophies available for winning include the grand champion winner and best painted.
Most importantly the Underworlds UK Masters has been delayed to November 28th, a Saturday at 9am UK time. Don’t forget it!
Q3 and Q4 OP Kits Leaked
October saw the organised play kits for the Wurmspat, Hrothgorn’s Mantrappers, Morgwaeth’s Blade-Coven and Morgok’s Krushas leaked. Thanks to a user from Discord I was able to show the images he’d taken of the new promo fighter cards as well as the acrylic prizes contained in the kits. These are: acrylic guard tokens and an acrylic double-sided scatter token/lethal hex. These were Chinese but are official Games Workshop product. Sadly, since making that news public back on Facebook, it seems these kits where sent back to head office. What will happen to them? Who knows? But based on what happened before during Shadespire with their delayed OP kits and the skipping of the Q4 kit to straight to Nightvault support, I expect the same thing to happen with the Beastgrave and Direchasm OP kits. Sad but not much you can do when it’s not safe to play in-person at tournaments and events.
Direchasm Warbands Fully Revealed
October saw the warbands found in the Direchasm core set revealed during the Games Workshop Gridiron and Glory live stream on Twitch. These are the Dread Pageant of Slaanesh and Myari’s Purifiers of the Lumineth Realm-Lords. While Myari’s Purifiers are a bit hit and miss, mainly due to their poses, the Dread Pageant are stunning. They look even better in-person. Games Workshops’ new Slaanesh miniatures are truly amazing work. Both teams are 4 fighter warbands and we got a few glimpses of new rules due to cards shown during the stream, namely that Myari Lightcaller inspires when rolling only successes during attack, defence or casting.
The Warhammer Community article mentions that the Dread Pageant inspire based off of wound counters on fighters, which is thematic and an interesting twist. It also reveals 2 new rules: Primacy and Hunger. You’ll have to wait till December to find out what those are but they’re clearly based off of the increasing effects of the Beastgrave. Despite the name not being great, I’m still super excited for Direchasm as I genuinely find it the best season of Warhammer Underworlds yet. Even from just miniatures alone.
As always you can find the WarCom article detailing the event here and I’ll be covering the Direchasm core set and all its secrets in my product review in December, so remember the date.
Italian Grand Skirmish Cheater
In October we saw the occurrence of 2 Games Workshop prize-supported tournaments which I’ll be covering under the tournaments section. Sadly, for the Italian Grand Skirmish, it was revealed that the winner had been cheating in at least all the games he was streamed in which were the semi-final and final. I’ve seen the videos myself and the guy cheated by fake shuffling his deck and then fake cutting his deck. He did this by cutting his deck into 3 piles, then pretending to pick one pile up and proceeded to place the cut decks back in their original order. He abused the COVID distancing rules of not being allowed to touch another player’s cards and models to cheat, which is absolutely disgusting.
Italian players first picked up on his cheating when he proceeded to score Despoilers and Temporary Victory every round 1. It was only watching the VODs which confirmed their suspicions. The other issue was that the cheater helped TO the event. Despite being the biggest recorded incident of cheating in Warhammer at a Games Workshop-sponsored event, the organisers did all the right actions. The cheater was banned, his prizes disqualified and everyone bumped up a place with prizes re-distributed due to the new final standings. There was some other minor drama involved but the main things were that the Italian Warhammer Underworlds community banded together to flush out cheating when it appeared as the Italian scene is a strong, fair and friendly one.
I won’t be revealing who the cheater was, that’s not my place, but I would like to see him openly apologise while commentating that he would now play on but to change his way. Otherwise he can’t really be trusted to play at or even run any future Warhammer Underworlds events. I’m not one for accusations, yet with such cold hard proof, these steps have to be taken. Cheating has no place in Warhammer.
New Fighters for Arena Mortis
In some more positive news, October also saw the release of new fighters for free for Arena Mortis! 2 fighters! Huge numbers, the best. These 2 fighters are Dolorghast the Knight of Shrouds and Regis Fulbringer the Knight-Incantor. These fighters are incredibly strong, too strong for normal Warhammer Underworlds games, but they fit perfectly into games of Arena Mortis. People were upset by this, however, people were expecting far too much from this release. Updated fighter cards were never going to happen. Although I would have liked to see a fighter for Destruction and Chaos too.
You can access the WarCom article here for more information on these fighters.
WUO news: The Chosen Axes
Over 2 months, the only news for Warhammer Underworlds Online was the release of the Chosen Axes in October, along with some more free universal cards. How are the Chosen Axes doing? Well the Thorns of the Briar Queen basically invalidate them but as long as Grimnir’s Chosen don’t run into them then it’s all fine. With the recent universal card drop though, the game is really starting to show its age and desperately needs a restricted list to make the game more fun and interesting again. While it’s nice to see the Chosen Axes finally, my heart still yearns for Garrek’s Reavers. Until they get gunned down by Thundrik’s Profiteers, of course.
For September and October, Path to Glory lead the charge on the podcast front with 6 episodes, ranging from their usual tournament coverage to warband focuses.
Battle for Salvation graced October with an episode dedicated to Morgwaeth’s Blade-Coven featuring Jimmy Molini.
Other than that, it was rather quiet on the podcast front, which is understandable due to the lack of regular tournaments and events for Warhammer Underworlds due to the global pandemic.
Tournaments and Events
Hold the phone everybody! We actually have physical events to cover! Please note, I still preface this with that my stance on the matter is we shouldn’t be holding physical events and tournaments while COVID is still in full swing with no vaccine. That’s my professional and personal stance.
Still, we had the Alberta Grand Clash in Canada and the Italian Grand Skirmish. They were using kits given to them by Games Workshop before COVID was even a thing. Canada is remarkably safe and responsible in terms of safety management, Italy too. Far better than the UK and America. They all carried out their events safely, distanced and with full PPE. Both events ran smoothly and it was nice to see some big Warhammer Underworlds action, which will probably be the last we’ll see for a long time.
Vassal saw another Vassal Clash that was decently populated. The Straight Outta Shadespire webcam tournaments continued too. Both showing more ways to play Warhammer Underworlds without having to play physically next to someone and remaining safe.
Summary of my content for September and October
There was nothing. I had no PC. That matter is now resolved though! Clearly. All that I posted was for my Underworlds UK Masters 202. Remember the new date is Saturday the 28th of November live on my Twitch channel!
Outside of that it’s just catching up with my podcast content so you’ll see a faster than normal release date for audio content while I catch-up to my old release schedule.
I’ll try and fit in some more Beastgrave content before December but my focus is on the Underworlds UK Masters 2020 and then my Direchasm content. As stated earlier I’ll be covering the ins and outs of season 4 with my usual in-depth product reviews. So prepare as we dig-in deeper to the Beastgrave.
Once again we have had 2 packed months for Warhammer Underworlds. Arena Mortis, Direchasm reveals, cheating, tournaments and the Chosen Axes. All we have to wait for now is the free November drop as per the Warhammer Underworlds road map and then it’s all waiting till Direchasm in December.
Before I go please feel free to click my affiliate link to Element Games. Any purchases you make after clicking through the link help support myself and the channel to help bring high quality content along with being at no additional cost to you while also granting you a 15 to 25% discount on all things Warhammer Underworlds and hobby related (like Arena Mortis)!
So until we get to enjoy our last few moments with Nightvault, don’t forget to keep asking; Can You Roll a Crit?